Picture Books For Little Thinkers and Dreamers






I discovered this set of books at Joseph Fox bookstore in Philly.  If you are local, it’s totally worth a trip.  For the ease of my readers I’m linking to Amazon below, but all of the books could be ordered and shipped from Joseph Fox by calling the store.


Sky High

A long, thin book of intricate ink drawings.  Two neighbors are competing to build the tallest, most ornate, most glorious house…until it all comes tumbling down.  The story is told through pictures, and it’s the kind of book that Raines will pour over (a flashlight at bedtime kind of book).  We’re starting a family project to draw one together, on paper that covers our entire dining room table.


The Conductor

Another long, thin book of gorgeous ink drawings.  This is a book for design freaks and classical music lovers – you can feel the music through the pictures.  Narrating a story to this one would be tough )(at least for me)…but we’ll be using it as a drawing prop, with Vivaldi’s Winter loudly in the background.


Cinderella: A Fashionable Tale

It’s the tried and true story of Cinderella…but done in an Art Deco style, with illustrations that look more like fashion designs.  Cinderella is choosing between classic dresses from Yves St. Laurant, Dior and Vivenne Westwood, to name just a few.  There’s a few pages on the history of fashion at the end of this book.  It’s a fabulous book for the fashion nerd.


The Hug

“I’m a little alone, and a little with everyone else, and it feels good to be a little bit this and a little bit that” explains the mum to her little boy. In this book, a little boy, Ben, grapples with the strangeness of realizing that we are all completely unique, and therefore, all completely – a little – alone.  This book makes Raines a little bit sad…but it also sparks some really thoughful discussions.  The book ends with the mom showing Ben what to do when he feels alone:  hug.

Also to be appreciated are the soft pencil drawings.  I love exposing my kids to different mediums, and these types of illustrations are rare in kid’s books.


The Day the Crayons Quit

This book has a funny tone (for all ages), and drawings that the kindergarten set can relate to.  This book is my boys’ Valentine’s Day present.  (shhhhh)



This story is reminiscent of Harold and his purple crayon…but the illustrations in this book are – without exaggeration – jaw-droppingly beautiful.  This book is a treasure.


What other books are you loving, Mamas?




  1. Your day-date sounds glorious! Spot on about how it was basically life before kids.
    Just a heads up, H & M makes an awesome high waisted skinny! Well, they call it their “regular waist”, but it’s definitely higher than anything I have! I have a couple pairs & they’re a really great, budget friendly option. Another added bonus; you can specify length when you order online 🙂

  2. I love books! I think my little fashionista princess needs to see this cinderella! I sometimes pick a fairy tale and then get a bunch of different versions at the library….
    We’ve been on a kick lately of be yourself girl power and at least once a day I read the paper bag princess and a bad case of stripes:). My 2 yr old son adores the paperbag princess and my 4 yr old daughter enjoys acting it out.

  3. I have Journey stashed away for my daughter’s upcoming birthday and Flotsam by David Weisner on order. Your mention of exposing kids to different illustration styles made me think of a book my daughter got from my artsy sister at Xmas: The Dirty Cowboy. The illustrations are gorgeous and have such painterly depth AAnd a deep palette compared to the simpler, pale style so prevalent in so many of our other picture books.

  4. How have a missed that bookstore? Going today, thanks for the rec!!! Loving the book recommendations in the comments, too…and the idea of a book as a Valentine’s day present. Perfect.

  5. We love The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. And as a read aloud for a group of kids we love Press Here. My son’s birthday is right before the holidays so instead of bringing in treats I read a book to the class and then donate it to his teacher. I read Press Here last year and each kid had a turn pressing/clapping/tapping etc. It was a huge hit.

  6. Thank you for these book recs! I hope we can find some at our library…Our house already has more giant bookshelves than humans.
    We’ve been reading a lot of Virginia Lee Burton books lately – Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, Katy and the Big Snow. I love that they are written by a woman (a mom!) and the big machines are all females. I have a son, but I want him to know how powerful women can be. 🙂

  7. I love The Day the Crayons Quit. I gave it to my neighbour’s children for Christmas. My husband and I had a bit of a debate as to whether it was a children’s book or not. He totally thought it has been written for adults. It’s so cute 🙂

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