While finishing up some Christmas shopping for the kids, I found myself perusing the children's book section at Target in hopes of taking home a few new treasures I'd been eyeing over the past year. My kids love their books and pretty much destroy them within six months of getting them, and I knew we were overdue for some new ones.
My intention was to pick out one or two from my list to purchase and then spend just a minute or so discovering some new ones. Five minutes turned to ten turned to 20 and I quickly became that weird lady in the corner, wearing brightly-colored sweatpants, sneakers and a full-length wool coat, laughing out loud at the bear in the Elvis costume and the pidgeon who swore he didn't need a bath. And then, every Target employee in America hated me when I found each book significantly cheaper on Amazon and purchased seven new books right then and there in between Click, Clack, Moo and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Honestly, I could have done way more damage than that, there are just so many great ones, but for now, here are a few I recommend adding to your Christmas list for a special little kid (or just yourself) this year. Some of these may be old news, but still, a classic is a classic and deserves to be recognized.
1. There's a Bear on My Chair by Ross Collins. This one had me awkwardly chortling to myself in the aisle. It's so stinky delightful and silly, and its easy rhyming and rhythm make it a smooth read you won't struggle through. I'm talking about you, "What's Wrong Little Pookie".
2. The Pigeon Needs a Bath! by Mo Willems. This snarky little rat with wings swears he doesn't need a bath, but anyone who's seen one of these guys land in a puddle of pee on a NYC street corner begs to differ.
3. The Book with No Pictures by B. J. Novak. This one had me skeptical, but Ryan from The Office delivers. This book indeed has no pictures, but is surprisingly silly and honestly one of my top picks from the bunch.
4. A Giraffe and a Half by Shel Silverstein. A standard classic that, along with The Giving Tree, belongs in every home.
5. The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin. While reading this one I immediately thought of Scout because, due to her sassy and determined personality, I know she'll be an incredible force (for good) in the world. And its sweet words and illustrations create such a warm, whimsical and loving message.
6. The Very Fluffy Kitty Papillon by A. N. Kang. A chubby white kitty is so fluffy that he's lighter than air and goes on to explore the world. I swear, books like these are what childhood is made of.
7. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt.
The colors in Duncan's crayon box each have their list of grievances and detail them in individual letters to him, warning that if things don't change they'll quit. Yes, Blue is always filed down to a nub, and White, well, you're just useless.