Good Night, Sleep Tight, Mem Fox & Judy Horacek, Scholastic

This book, first released over twenty years ago, has recently been released again, largely, I gather, due to popular request. This time Horacek has taken over as illustrator, and it’s a great read by this winning ‘Green Sheep’ combination. A babysitter is trying to put his two charges to bed, but he’s having trouble because of the wonderful rhymes he’s telling them.

Creatilogy, Peter H. Reynolds, Walker Books

Reynolds is one of our favourite authors in this house and what makes this special is that Creatilogy is not one but three of this books: Sky Color, The Dot and Ish. They all celebrate the innate (and sometimes not so innate, when there’s a crash of confidence) creativity of children, and the worth of pursuing passion(s). It RRPs for $49.95, and is well worth the money.

Why is the Sky Blue?, Geraldine Taylor & Amy Schimler, Ladybird

My kids are almost too old for this kind of book now (*sniff*), but if you’re in the market for a lift-the-flap book, this one is pretty durable (I know, because I picked it up and ‘tested’ it) and has been around for a few years now, which is a good testament of quality. It’s a nice introduction to science as it posits to answer ‘Real questions that children ask about the world around them’.

This is Not My Hat, Jon Klassen, Walker Books

This, like its predecessor I Want My Hat Back, has been declared an instant classic. I’ve bought both books for the kids for Christmas as I think they’re so clever. To give away their endings is ‘spoiler’ territory, so I won’t, but Klassen is very good at leaving the right kinds of questions in the reader’s mind, without them feeling that the story hasn’t been finished either. Genius.

The Very Hungry Zombie, Michael Teitelbaum & Jon Apple, Skyhorse Publishing

A parody – as the cover states plainly – of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. This kind of book isn’t for everyone (kids and parents alike) but when I picked it up I thought it was a bit of fun. I know my two would love it – especially considering their favourite present that I brought back from New York was this:


We’re a strange family. I wouldn’t have it any other way.


What picture books are you buying as presents this year? There are so many to choose from!


Karen Andrews is the creator of this website, one of the most established and well-respected parenting blogs in the country. She is also an author, award-winning writer, poet, editor and publisher at Miscellaneous Press. Her latest book is Trust the Process: 101 Tips on Writing and Creativity