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- Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri – This clever book is refreshingly outside the parameters of most kids books. Find out what happens when you give a dragon spicy tacos. Trust me, it’s not pretty.
- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems – Another cleverly written book that won’t make you want to stick a fork in your eye after you read it for the 100th time. But seriously, I really want to let the pigeon drive the bus.
- Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld – I love everything about this book. It’s fun to read with great illustrations and a varied layout that keeps it from getting old. And there’s something my kids love about construction vehicles having to go to bed too.
- Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann – This is the perfect book for nights when it’s already past bedtime and you need a book you can get through quickly. It’s short on words, but has great pictures with fun details that toddlers love to point out. Even my big kids will follow along with this favorite. And if you want your kids to be bilingual, just opt for the Spanish version, Buenos Noches Gorila.
- Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell – Another quick read that’s entertaining enough that your kids won’t notice you’re just trying to get them off to bed. Plus, how cool would it be if the zoo shipped you a lion or a camel for a pet?
- Vadar’s Little Princess by Jeffrey Brown – If you have a daughter that’s into princesses, here’s the perfect alternative to Disney stories. It’s the story of Vader as the real-life father to high maintenance Leia and it’s hilarious. Your kids might not pick up on all the humor, but you’ll love it.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst – For some reason, reading about other people’s bad days just makes me feel better. Kids and adults can relate to Alexander’s day when everything that can go wrong does.
- Cat Up a Tree by Ann Hassett – This is probably the least annoying counting book on the market. But I really love this book because the old lady sticks it to the man in the end.
Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin and Harry Bliss – Who knew that life through the eyes of a worm could be so entertaining? It’s a fun book written in a diary entry format. Kind of like Diary of a Wimpy Kid but with worms.
- The Golden Egg Book by Margaret Wise Brown – This book is lesser known than than Margaret Wise Brown’s classic, Goodnight Moon, but so amazing. Honestly, I think I love it because there’s kicking and throwing rocks in it – something sorely missed in today’s children’s literature.