January Picture Book Favorites

While I didn’t read a large number of adult books last year, picture books, or children’s books in general I guess, are life in our house– specifically with my 3 year old. We read mostly library books and when I got to the end of the year I was bummed I hadn’t done a better job keeping track of what we read.

This year I decided to use a spreadsheet and am keeping it super simple, just recording the title, month read, and whether or not we own the book– and for now just documenting the first time we read the book. At some point I might go back and add categories like trains, construction, friendship, etc., but for January at least it was easy for me to keep up with. These were the favorite– or most read out of the 50 or so we read in January. Most of the book links are affiliate links through bookshop.org where you can shop via your favorite independent bookstore.

I picked up a used copy of the Curious George Treasury for $3 and if I were keeping track it would probably be the MOST read book of the month. None of us were really that familiar with Curious George, I just knew this was kind of a classic and thought it was a good deal– so happy I picked it up because it has brought a lot of reading enjoyment.

Penguins Don’t Wear Sweaters— Theo’s top pick, though it was enjoyed by all of us. It’s quick and easy to read with fun illustrations, and is based on a true story about people making sweaters for penguins who were impacted from oil spills– it turned out that the sweaters are actually not good for penguins.

We have a wonderbook version of Islandborn that is read by the author and includes music and Mason adores it. The illustrations are incredible and the story of Lola collecting memories from her friends and family about the island where she’s from is a great way to talk about what home means.

I love the look inside series, but flap books are maybe my least favorite bedtime book. As much as I would try and put Look Inside Things That Go away before bed, Mason would always ask for it, so it was read a lot on top of him flipping through it on his own. I could probably recite the entire thing by memory and it is full of a lot of info. One of my favorite things though is how Mason likes to look very closely at what people are doing in the images– little things I would never take the time to notice on my own.

Stranger in the Woods— this book wins for best soundbites? We haven’t read it as much recently and I still have “strange in the woOoOoDs” stuck in my head, and Theo will regularly say “whoooo are youuuu??” Fun phrases aside, the nature photography is really incredible mixed with a fun story of animals discovering a stranger (snowman) in their woods.

Mason and I saw Corduroy at the Imagination Stage back around Christmas, so I made sure to check out a couple of the books from the library beforehand. We read the original story so much that he could basically recite the entire thing while doing a puppet show. We’ve also really loved listening to a few of the other stories read by Viola Davis via audio.

Locomotive— this book is on the heftier side, both in size and content, but it’s creative and engaging while being informative– definitely deserving of the Caldecott Medal. Mason loves all things trains, so this was an easy favorite for him– he loves the map inside the front cover and the detailed drawing of all of the locomotive parts on the back cover. We’ve also made our own recreation of the journey westward using his train tracks– complete with a rickety bridge, extra engine, and tunnel.

Hopefully I’ll stay on top of sharing these monthly picks as the year goes on.

2 thoughts on “January Picture Book Favorites

  1. I always love seeing your picture book picks! My kids are older than yours, but we still love picture books around here–Violet’s still at a great age for them (she’s 5) and Jona will listen to just about anything I want to read. Penguins Don’t Wear Sweaters is one I think they’d like. We got that Curios George treasury as a gift when Jona was a baby and it is also a much-loved book in our house, both kids have loved it!


    1. Thank you! I’m going to try and stay on top of sharing our favorites here so I can easily look back one day- with Instagram I feel so much pressure trying to take the right photo and then end up not posting some of our favorites. Penguins is really cute and at the end tells the real story, so it’s nice that it has that non-fiction tie-in too, right in the book. We took a Curious George break for a couple of weeks, but are back reading him again.


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