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8 Picture Books We’re Loving Lately

8 Picture Books We Love Lately // One Lovely Life

I’ve been working on some behind-the-scenes planning for the summer and realized that I have a HUGE stack of books I’ve been meaning to share with you. That can only mean it’s time for another list of books we’re loving lately…

1. Little Owl Lost. By the same author as Shh! We Have a Plan, this book is fantastic. We’d read it 3-4 times in a sitting for days and days. The illustrations are darling, and we had a lot of fun making up voices for the characters.

2. Xander’s Panda Party.  This one was recommended by my friend Anna, and it didn’t disappoint. Sophie’s been so into animal books lately, especially panda books. This one was lots of fun to read–great rhymes, fun pictures, etc. We’ve also watched a few little panda videos here and there that both kids can’t get enough of.

3. The Bear’s Song. This had a really fun illustration style, and the book was fun to read. It’s a great choice if you’re little one likes I-Spy type books. We’ve been into Where’s Waldo and Look and Find books, so this was perfect. Makes me excited for The Bear’s Sea Escape to come in for us at the library.

4. Peanut Butter & Cupcake. I mentioned this one on Instagram, but we only just took it back to the library after renewing it a few times. I loved the photos, and the text was fun to read. We’re really excited for his next book Happy Birthday, Cupcake!, out later this summer. If you like this book, you might also enjoy The Secret Life of Squirrels, done in the same style. Sophie really likes it.

5. Otto: The boy who loved cars. This book just cracked me up. The clever character names (Otto, Chevy, Kia) and the All Cars All The Time mentality were fun to read through because it’s so familiar. Milo requested this book over and over and over and over and…

6. I Don’t Want to Be a Frog. This was a clever read about a little frog who thinks his lot in life isn’t so great. His dad’s commentary made me laugh, and Sophie thought the illustrations (particularly the bug sandwich) were excellent.

7. Pizza at Sally’s. We really love books by Monica Wellington. Her illustrations are a different style than typically appeals to me, but Milo and Sophie LOVE her books. They’re great for taking you through a full process, whether that’s gathering ingredients for pizza, rolling out and decorating cookies, or making cider. The food-related ones come with recipes at the back you can use to make a full afternoon of it. We like making pizzas with this book, baking up a batch of cookies with Mr. Cookie Baker, or concocting an apple-y treat with Apple Farmer Annie. I highly recommend them.

8.Red: A Crayon’s Story. This is the book that inspired this post from last week. It’s a great read and is a great way to talk about being different. Whether that’s not liking the same games or toys as your friends, having different skills or talents, or even things like special needs or a different learning style, this is SUCH a great book. I really can’t stop thinking about it. And, even if you only read it on the surface (which is all Sophie and Milo gleaned from it), it’s still a fun read about crayons and colors.

Those area few books we love lately. What are you reading lately?

What do you think?

With summer around the corner, I’ve got my eye on coming up with some little “units” for the summer to keep us busy. Things like animals, the ocean, fairy tales, farms, cooking with kids, etc. I thought I’d compile a little collection of books, crafts, and activities or recipes that go with each unit. What do you think? Any units you’d be especially interested in?

p.s. I tend to post picture books we like on Instagram every week or so. Feel free to follow along. You can also check out more book recommendations here


  1. You’re the second person I’ve seen recommend I don’t want to be a frog this week! We’re definitely going to have to check it out!

  2. loved this. We are in the market for some new books for a certain boy’s birthday soon 🙂
    Love the summer units idea ! after spring break i realized i need to be prepared for summer with things like that. Here are just some other unit ideas off the top of my head :
    Transportation, colors, shapes, space, Dr’s/body, dinosaurs, sports, instruments, weather…

  3. Really great list 🙂 These all seem like really fun reads and I have added quite a few to the family’s TBR pile. I want to recommend a book I recently purchased for my son called “Little Brown Animal” by author DiMari Bailey (http://www.dimaribailey.com/). I have been through so many books that are so heavy handed with their messages, it sometimes sucks the fun right out of the book. I am a strong advocate of children getting something out of the things they read (not just pure entertainment value). A young child is so impressionable it is important to provide high quality educational materials for them, education for the mind and for the soul. This book leans towards the latter and does so in such a beautiful way. Elegantly illustrated and lovingly written my son is enamored with Little Brown Animal. Teaching values of self respect, and esteem. Loving oneself no matter what qualities you posses. I feel this is a book that will stay with him for a long time.

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