six of my favourite picture books

i am in my thirties but i still love picture books. and i love sharing them with the kids in my life. picture books are my go-to gift for holidays and birthdays. either on their own or in addition to another gift (say, for example, a handwoven baby blanket...!) i put a lot of thought into selecting just the right picture book for each small human

a great picture book has lovable characters, an interesting story and hopefully an unexpected ending all neatly fit into less that thirty beautifully illustrated pages. not all picture books meet these parameters, but the really good ones usually do. some of these books i've loved since i was a kid and others i've collected through adulthood (yes, i still buy picture books for myself!)

here are some of my favourites:

each peach pear plum

by janet & allan ahlberg

picture book each peach pear plum sitting on top of a handwoven baby blanket on a wooden chair

based on the game of eye spy, this rhyming story leads the reader from page to page spying fairy tale characters like tom thumb and the three bears who are hiding in the lovely illustrations. the lyrical rhyme is soothing to listen to and the interactive illustrations allow kids to participate by locating the hidden characters. this book is perfect for babies and toddlers and even comes as a board book (handwoven baby blanket light blue, peach & pistachio)

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the story of ferdinand

by munro leaf, illustrations by robert lawson

picture book the story of ferdinand sits on top of a handwoven baby blanket on a wooden chair

a sweet story about a friendly bull who just wants to smell the flowers but gets mistaken for a bull fighting bull. black and white illustrations of lovely ferdinand and the unhappy matadors with comic text show readers that it's ok to just be yourself (handwoven baby blanket mid blue, light blue & cream)

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extra yarn

by mac barnett, illustrations by jon klassen

picture book extra yarn sits on top of a handwoven baby blanket on a wooden chair

of course i love this one. extra yarn follows a little girl who transforms her small town with a magical box of yarn that never runs out. the fairy-tale-like, gently humorous story is paired with the most beautiful illustrations (handwoven baby blanket sage, peach & cream)

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winnie the witch

by valerie thomas & korky paul

picture book winnie the witch sits on top of a handwoven baby blanket on a wooden chair

winnie is a witch who lives in a black house with a black cat named wilbur. she can only see wilbur when his green eyes are open which is a problem because she's always tripping over him when he goes to sleep! she has a colourful plan to solve the problem but it doesn't work out as well as she thought. a funny story with clever, detailed illustrations (handwoven baby blanket purple, peach & clementine)

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the man whose mother was a pirate

by margaret mahy, illustrations by margaret chamberlain

picture book the man whose mother was a pirate sits on a wooden chair with a handwoven baby blanket draped over the back

this story follows a tidy man in a tidy brown suit whose pirate mother wants to return to the sea. he agrees to take her there, pushing her in a wheelbarrow and meeting interesting characters along the way. it is silly and fun but the descriptions of the ocean will make you long for the seaside! i didn't include a link for this one because it's out of print, but definitely worth tracking down if you're able to (handwoven baby blanket clementine, light blue & cream)

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by matthew forsythe

picture book mina sits on top of a handwoven baby blanket draped over the back of a wooden chair

this is one of my newest finds. mina is a mouse who loves to read. her eccentric father is always bringing her surprises. this time he brought her a squirrel... but she's pretty sure it's not a squirrel! colourful and clever i instantly loved this book (handwoven baby blanket pistachio, sage & cream)

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feel free to send me the names of some of your favourite picture books

happy reading!


note: i'm based in winnipeg so all of the links are to my local bookstore, mcnally robinson. if you live somewhere else, please do your best to support a locally owned bookstore near you if you can. we don't want them to disappear!

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