Picture Books We’re Loving Right Now

Need some inspiration for your next bookstore or library trip? Some Christmas gift ideas for the littles in your life? Here are a few new or recent titles that get the Bandy Girl stamp of approval.

King Arthur’s Very Great Grandson by Kenneth Kraegel

King Arthur's very great grandson

Follow Henry Alfred Grummorson as he sets out to find adventure on his sixth birthday, with his trusty donkey, Knuckles- challenging a dragon, a cyclops, a griffin, and a leviathan to a “battle to the uttermost.” Disappointingly, the beasts are more interested in blowing smoke rings, having staring contests, and playing chess. However, in the end, Henry finds something even better than sword-clashing adventure! Publisher’s Weekly says of Kraegel,

“He has a Monty Pythonesque sense of language, humor, pacing, and character—the text’s mixture of bombastic and deadpan deliveries makes for a stirring read-aloud. This fine sense of the epically absurd also animates Kraegel’s rococo watercolor and ink renderings: in his hands, a dragon’s scales coalesce into an intricate mosaic, a tree is a swirl of mazelike lines, and the sea becomes a tangled mass of blue ribbons.”

I LOVE the artwork, and the text is absolutely hilarious and fun to read! Though it looks like a “boy book,” my girls and I found it irresistible.

13 Words by Lemony Snicket


Any book that has gotten the words haberdashery and panache in my kids’ vocabulary is pretty spiffy. The illustrations by Maira Kalman are wonderfully bizarre and colorful, with delightfully strange surprises on every page.

The Dark by Lemony Snicket

The Dark

This book is so different, I promise you’ve never read anything quite like it. Personifying the dark, Lemony Snicket creates the wonderfully ominous atmosphere his readers love, while delivering a highly comforting and satisfying ending. Jon Klassen’s pictures are really cool, too!

If I Never Forever Endeavor by Holly Meade


Readers of all ages will find this sweet, poetic story comforting and inspiring. Follow baby bird as he weighs the pluses and minuses of attempting to fly, and ultimately decides to take the risk to become who he’s meant to be. Read it with your kids to encourage them to try new things; read it to yourself when you’re feeling scared that you can’t reach your own dreams.

The Black Rabbit by Philippa Leathers


This book is so clever and cute, I experience author envy every time I read it. The fast pace keeps the attention of the littlest of readers (my two-year-old loves shouting “sha-tow!” over and over), and bigger kids will love being in on the little secret of the black rabbit’s identity from the start – and surprised and delighted by the way the black rabbit saves the white rabbit from a hungry wolf!

Because I Am Your Daddy by Sherry North

because I am your daddy

This is a perfect gift book FOR a Daddy! Kids will love snuggling up with Daddy while he reads this sweet story at bedtime, or any time. After a series of imaginary adventures together where he does some cool, fun stuff for his daughter, the Daddy tells her, “If I were a wizard, I would make your dreams come true…Because I am your daddy, I would do anything for you.”


4 thoughts on “Picture Books We’re Loving Right Now

  1. I would like to add the Knufflebunny series to this list! They’re probably more well-known than the ones you listed, but I adore them. Kids can easily identify with Trixie and Mo (we’re on a first-name basis) writes in such a way that is so enjoyable to read aloud. I’ve found that when you read aloud the books that you love- whether a childhood classic or a newly discovered favorite- children will find your enthusiasm for reading inescapably contagious. And as a teacher, that’s really my ultimate goal. 🙂

  2. Oh! And “The Wolf’s Chicken Stew” by Keiko Kasza is also one of my favorites. It’s a launchpad for great discussions throughout the entire storyline and the kids LOVE the ending. I’m done now.

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