Books for Kids

Our recommendations for quality books for young readers.  These books (and series) were selected for their outstanding writing, stories, characters, and illustrations.

Each book is wonderful as read-aloud books to children as young as 1-2 years old, or as early books for children just starting to read on their own.

If you have favorite books you’d like us to consider, please feel free to contact us at

Mother Bruce (and the "Bruce" series)

The “Bruce” books (by Ryan T. Higgins), are among our favorite children’s books published in recent years.  The illustrations are superb, the characters are lovable, and the miniature world that Ryan Higgins creates in Soggy Hollow is endearing.

In “Mother Bruce,” grumpy bear Bruce, who would rather be left alone to pursue his passion for finding new recipes, finds himself raising four goslings on his own.  How will this irritable bear adjust to being the parent of these demanding little ones?

The other books in the series follow Bruce the bear in his various adventures involving three lovable mice, a moose, a doppelganger, and more.  The illustrations showcase Higgins’s fabulous artistic talents, while the stories are funny, quirky, and sweet (wholly enjoyable).

The “Bruce” books are wonderful gifts for children learning to read, or for your own bookshelf.  We’ve gifted these books many times ourselves.

Our first recommendation.  Stay tuned for more.

Find out more about Ryan Higgins here.

Hotel Bruce

Ryan T. Higgins

Bruce's Big Storm

Ryan T. Higgins

Bruce's Big Move

Ryan T. Higgins

The Bruce Swap

Ryan T. Higgins

Iggy Peck, Architect (and "The Questioners" series)

Help children think big with these fun and smart books about audacious children who follow their passions.  Author Andrew Beaty and Illustrator David Roberts team up on this five book series called The Questioners:  Picture Books.

In Iggy Peck, Architect, follow the adventures of precocious young Iggy as he tries to bring his passion for architecture into his 2nd grade classroom.  When his teacher has other, more cynical ideas about buildings, Iggy must persevere.  An incident on a school picnic outing gives Iggy and his classmates the chance to use Iggy’s knowledge and their collective skills.  Will it be enough to change his teacher’s mind?

Imaginative scenarios, wonderful internal rhyming, and detailed illustrations all make these books winners as both gifts and books to own.

You’ll enjoy reading these books again and again.  The pages turn themselves as readers, both young and old, will want to see what adventures these intrepid and big dreaming kids get themselves into next.

Find out more about Andrew Beaty here, and David Roberts here.

Rose Revere, Engineer

Andrew Beaty (Author), David Roberts (Illustrator)

Aaron Slater, Illustrator

Andrew Beaty (Author), David Roberts (Illustrator)

Sofia Valdez, Future Prez

Andrew Beaty (Author), David Roberts (Illustrator)

Ada Twist, Scientist

Andrew Beaty (Author), David Roberts (Illustrator)

Mercy Watson: Adventures of a Porcine Wonder, Kate DiCamillo (Author), David Chris Van Dusen (Illustrator)

Mercy Watson, Adventures of a Porcine Wonder

Newbery Medal winner Kate DiCamillo teams up with illustrator Chris Van Dusen to bring to life the hilarious and unexpected adventures of the unwittingly mischevious pig (the “porcine wonder”), Mercy Watson.  Further books in the series explore other characters and happenings of Deckawoo Drive (Mercy’s street), where a colorful collection of neighbors get into their own adventures.

Kate DiCamillo’s text is masterful.  The characters of Deckawoo Drive come to life in memorable ways, as they rotate in and out of the stories and shenanigans of Mercy Watson, the lovable pig.  The  pace of the stories moves nicely, while DeCamillo leaves plenty of room for the little details that keep things fun and interesting.  DeCamillo uses a perfect blend of comfortable and familiar language, along with “stretch” words and names (very fun names) that keep it interesting for children and their adult readers alike.

Chris Van Dusen’s gorgeously rich illustrations, all from hand painted originals, are the perfect complement to the jaunty and amusing stories.  Kudos to the editor, agent, publisher, or whoever brought these two talents together for this delightful and essential series of books.

These are beginner chapter books, and probably most appropriate for readers 3-7 years of age.  But stretch you child’s learning.  See what they can do.  We were reading this one to our two year old, and he delighted in the adventures, idiosyncrasies, and fun names of the characters.

Find out more about Kate DiCamillo here, and Chris Van Dusen here.

Mercy Watson to the Rescue

Kate DiCamillo (Author), Chris Van Dusen (Illustrator)

Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride

Kate DiCamillo (Author), Chris Van Dusen (Illustrator)

Mercy Watson Something Wonky This Way Comes

Kate DiCamillo (Author), Chris Van Dusen (Illustrator)

Mercy Watson Princess in Disguise

Kate DiCamillo (Author), Chris Van Dusen (Illustrator)

There is a Bird on Your Head!, Mo Willems

The Elephant & Piggie book series

Best friends Elephant and Piggie star in this whimsical and humorous series by author/illustrator Mo Willems.  The cautious Elephant and the more adventurous Piggie get into (and out of) all sorts of creative situations in these wonderful books.
Willems expertly captures the essence of friendship, while bringing silly scenarios, amusing conversations, and wonderful visuals to readers.  He injects the main characters, Elephant and Piggie, along with their friends, with plenty of personality in a small amount of space.  There are of course the capricious adventures we expect to see in children’s books.  But there are also more subtle nods to the essential nature of friendship.
Note the remarkably skilled illustrations of the characters.  Willems has a great talent in using the facial expressions and body postures of his characters that allow them to communicate a lot of emotion and information to readers in a way we’ve rarely seen in children’s books. 

The Elephant and Piggie books are just a delight to read for kids and adults alike.  There are a total of 25 books in the series,  which can be purchased individually, or as a set.

Find out more about Mo Willems here.

Waiting is Not Easy!

Mo Willems

Let's Go for a Drive!

Mo Willems

My New Friends is So Fun!

Mo Willems

Elephant & Piggie: The Complete Collection

Mo Willems

Cornbread & Poppy, Matthew Cordell (Author and Illustrator)

Cornbread & Poppy

This recent release by Caldecott medalist Matthew Cordell may become a new favorite of yours after one read.

Cordell suffuses a lot of characterization into the two main characters, the fastidious Cornbread and the free-spirited Poppy.  Despite their personality differences, the friendship is maintained and deepened as they work on a common mission.  The story unfolds as the two friends are required to work their way out of a big problem.  The trouble starts  when Poppy is left without a store of food as winter approaches.  Poppy’s best friend, Cornbread, decides he has to help. 

It’s a classic story of friendship, overcoming of obstacles, and facing down dangers and fears together.  However, the main characters, as well as some friends they meet along the way, stand out from many other children’s book characters.  The characters have rounded and authentic qualities and personalities that goes beyond what might typically be expected in children’s book characters.

The book is divided into three parts and is perfect for young readers first trying to understand chapters and sections.  The book design is superb, as the text and the pencil, ink, and watercolor illustrations play off each other nicely in a layout similar to a graphic novel.

Find out more about Matthew Cordell here.