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Our Favorite Children's Books of 2022

At our house, we read A LOT of children's books! So, as a fun way to wrap-up 2022, we want to share some of our favorite books from the past 12 months with you. We've included everything from board books to chapter books, so feel free to skim the list and see if any appeal to your family. We hope you enjoy!

Just two girls who love reading books 😁

Nolan's Picks: Board Books

(Nolan is 15 months old and loves books but has a very short attention span.)


By: Sandra Boynton

Publisher: Little Simon (1995)

Recommended Ages: 0+

Book Description:

A cow says MOO.

A sheep says BAA.

Three singing pigs say


Sandra Boynton’s wildly popular, Moo, Baa, La La La! features her lively and spirited text that introduces readers to animals and the noises they make. A quiet final spread begs the little ones and their caregivers to OINK!, SNORT!, QUACK!, and MEOW! in a noisy animal ending.

Why We Love it:

  • Simple, short text

  • Lots of animal sounds

  • Teaches babies and toddlers the names of animals and the sounds they make

  • Good for very short attention spans 😊

  • Halloween and Christmas versions also available


Author: Jimmy Fallon

Illustrator: Miguel Ordonez

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends (2017)

Recommended Ages: 0+

Book Description: Take a lighthearted look at the world from your baby's point of view as different animals try to teach their children that there are other words in addition to MAMA for familiar objects and activities.

Why We Love It:

  • Perfect for babies who experience separation anxiety when away from mom (Nolan 😊)

  • Introduces babies and toddlers to common words and helps them associate the words with their pictures

Where's My Nose?

Written By: Susan Ring

Illustrated By: Stephanie Peterson

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap (2001)

Recommended Ages: 0+

Book Description:

Where's my nose?

Where's my nose?

I can see my fingers,

I can see my toes.

I know it's close 'cause it sniffs and blows,

but where's my nose?

Why We Love It:

  • Short, rhyming text that allows for interaction and sound effects

  • Introduces babies to body parts and other household concepts (furniture, clothes, etc.)

  • Mylar mirror at the end isn't super high-quality, but it still keeps baby's interest

Nolan's Picks: Sound Books

ABC and 123 Learning Songs

Illustrated By: Beatrice Costamagna

Publisher: Cottage Door Press (2017)

Recommended Ages: 0+

Book Description: Singing is learning and learning is fun! Toddlers and preschoolers can sing along with these popular learning songs in this fun songbook. Featuring a wooden inlay and sturdy construction, this book is sure to delight while teaching an appreciation for both music and together time. Come listen and sing along to children's favorites including Apples and Bananas, If Your Happy and You Know It, and The Ants Go Marching.

Why We Love It:

  • Includes 10 songs that are appropriate for a range of ages (Avery and Nolan approve)

  • Songs teach the alphabet, numbers, days of the week, months of the year, etc.

  • Great for long car rides and calming fussy babies 😅

What Do You Say, Little Blue Truck?

Written By: Alice Schertle

Illustrated By: Jill McElmurry

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2021)

Recommended Ages: 0+

Book Description: Hear Little Blue Truck say hello to all his animal friends in this interactive sound book, featuring a rollicking original story and eight different sounds! Will his friends BEEP! back like Blue, or will they say something new?

Why We Love It:

  • Simple, rhyming text teaches babies and toddlers farm animals and the sounds they make

  • Repetitive format helps even the youngest readers understand and predict patterns

  • The last two pages summarize the animals' sounds, so every button can be pushed in quick succession...big hit at our house! 😊

  • Beautiful illustrations

  • Even when Nolan was very young and had a very short attention span, this book kept his attention. To this day, he loves Little Blue Truck! 😊

Nolan's Picks: Lift-The-Flap Books

Dear Zoo

By: Rod Campbell

Publisher: Little Simon (1982)

Recommended Ages: 0+

Book Description:

I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet. They sent me an...

Young readers love lifting the flaps to discover the animals the zoo has sent—a monkey, a lion, and even an elephant! But will they ever find the perfect pet?

Why We Love It:

  • Simple, short text

  • Unique flap on every page

  • Teaches babies and toddlers to recognize zoo animals

  • Thick, sturdy pages

How Does Baby Feel?

By: Karen Katz

Publisher: Little Simon (2013)

Recommended Ages: 0+

Book Description: Baby feels happy, sleepy, hungry, and more in this delightful Karen Katz lift-the-flap board book!

Baby wants milk and and crackers.

How does Baby feel?


There are so many feelings that Baby can have! Little ones can lift the flaps to find Baby experiencing a range of emotions.

Why We Love It:

  • Simple, short text that allows for participation and sound effects

  • Simple, bright illustrations

  • Large flap on every page

  • Teaches babies and toddlers about common emotions in a way they can understand

Nolan's Picks: Touchy-Feely Books

That's not my puppy...

Written By: Fiona Watt

Illustrated By: Rachel Wells

Publisher: Usborne Publishing (1999)

Recommended Ages: 0+

Book Description: This delightful series of board books is aimed at very young children. The colorful pictures, with their patches of different textures, are designed to develop sensory and language awareness. Babies and toddlers will love turning the pages and touching the textures.

Why We Love It:

  • Simple, short text

  • Interesting textures on every page

  • Several versions available (the dinosaur version is also very good!)

Never touch A tiger!

Illustrated By: Stuart Lynch

Publisher: Make Believe Ideas Ltd. (2020)

Recommended Ages: 0+

Book Description: You must NEVER touch a tiger...except in this book! The jungle animals are a noisy bunch, and they love to go wild! Join the party in this funny rhyming book, and have fun touching the bumpy creatures...if you dare!

Why We Love It:

  • Interesting rhyming text

  • Bold textures on every page (Nolan loves the tiger's stripes on the cover! 😊)

  • Several versions available

Poke-A-Dot! The Wheels on the Bus Wild Safari

Publisher: Melissa & Doug, LLC (2019)

Recommended Ages: 0+

Book Description: Using irresistible click-to-count buttons, kids will love counting animals on a wild safari tour!

Why We Love It:

  • Text can be sung to the tune of The Wheels On The Bus

  • Includes plastic bubbles for kids to pop on every page

  • Teaches kids how to count to 10

  • Teaches babies and toddlers to recognize wild animals

  • Several versions available

  • Sturdy books with heavy-duty cardboard pages


Avery's Picks: Picture Books

(Avery is 5 years old and is an avid reader.)

The Very Impatient Caterpillar

By: Ross Burach

Publisher: Scholastic Press (2019)

Recommended Ages: 3+

Book Description: Ross Burach's clever sendup of every child's biggest challenge - being patient! - will make you flutter with glee, while also providing a tongue-in-cheek tutorial on metamorphosis.

Why We Love It:

  • It's funny!

  • Addresses learning to be patient

  • Teaches kids about the science of metamorphosis

The HICCUPotamus

By: Aaron Zenz

Publisher: Two Lions (2005)

Recommended Ages: 3+

Book Description:

Hic! Hic! Hic!

There was a hippopotamus

who hiccuped quite-a-lotamus,

and every time he got'emus...

...he'd fall upon his bottomus.

A hippopotamus gets a bad case of the hiccups and it causes quite a calamity!

Why We Love It:

  • It's funny!

  • Language is very interesting and fun...unlike any other book we've read.

  • Bold, bright illustrations

  • Includes a description of each character casted for the book, which is cute and clever

Sam & Dave Dig A Hole

Written By: Mac Barnett

Illustrated By: Jon Klassen

Publisher: Candlewick Press (2014)

Recommended Ages: 3+

Book Description: Sam and Dave are digging a hole, and they will not stop until they find something spectacular.

Why We Love It:

  • The text is so simple, but the illustrations add so much to the story, making it funny and letting the reader in on a secret that the characters only wish they knew. 😊

Diggersaurs Explore

By: Michael Whaite

Publisher: Scholastic Inc. (2018)

Recommended Ages: 3+

Book Description: A dozen diggersaurs crunch and crush, excavate and explore...perhaps for gold...or something more?

Why We Love It:

  • Fun, rhyming text full of bold verbs and onomatopoeia

  • We love dinosaurs! (Each diggersaur combines a dinosaur with a construction vehicle!)

  • Each diggersaur plays a specific role in helping the team find the treasure at the end.

  • Bold, bright illustrations

  • Hidden treasures in every picture

Ada Twist, Scientist

Written By: Andrea Beaty

Illustrated By: David Roberts

Publisher: Abrams Books For Young Readers (2016)

Recommended Ages: 3+

Book Description: Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs up inside of your nose? Ada Twist's head is full of questions. Like her classmates, Iggy and Rosie, Ada has always been endlessly curious. But when her fact-finding missions and elaborate scientific experiments go too far, her frazzled parents banish her to the Thinking Chair. Will all that thinking change Ada's mind?

Why We Love It:

  • It introduces interesting vocabulary and STEM concepts.

  • It promotes females in science and the use of the scientific method.

  • It is part of a series that includes picture books, chapter books, activity/project books, and more!

  • Of the picture books, our favorites are Ada Twist, Scientist and Iggy Peck, Architect.

Avery's Picks: Early Readers

Silly Milly (Level 1 Reader)

Written By: Wendy Cheyette Lewison

Illustrated By: Nadine Bernard Westcott

Publisher: Scholastic Inc. (2010)

Recommended Ages: 3+

Book Description: Why is Milly so silly? Can you solve the riddle?

Why We Love It:

  • Silly and fun read

  • The riddle is simple and yet not easy to figure out.

Nothing Fits A Dinosaur (Level 1 Reader)

By: Jonathan Fenske

Publisher: Simon Spotlight (2021)

Recommended Ages: 3+

Book Description: It is time to get dressed, but I am a dinosaur...and nothing fits a dinosaur!

Why We Love It:

  • The description doesn't do this book justice. The silly, rhyming text is fun to read, and,'s about dinosaurs. Did I mention that we love dinosaurs? 😊


(Level 1-2 Reader)

By: Jana Carson

Publisher: Treasure Bay, Inc. (2008)

Recommended Ages: 3+

Book Description: The unique We Both Read format is designed to allow parents and children to share the reading of a book by taking turns reading aloud. Parents read the more complex text and storyline on the left-hand pages and children read the right-hand pages, which feature text written at a specific early reading level. Developed with reading education specialists, this delightful series brings parents and children together for a wonderful new reading experience and faster reading development.

This particular book provides information and spectacular photographs of planets, moons, stars, and galaxies. The International Space Station, dwarf planets, and how astronauts live in space are just some of the topics covered.

Why We Love It:

  • Reading together is fun, and it takes some of the pressure off of the child who's learning to read. They can sit back and enjoy learning about new topics while the parent reads and then take a turn reading themselves.

  • There are numerous books in this series, so there is a topic for every child's interest.

Disney Frozen Story Collection

(Includes 5 Level 1-2 Early Readers)

Publisher: Disney Enterprises, Inc. and Random House Children's Books (2015)

Recommended Ages: 3+

Level 1 Readers Included:

Big Snowman, Little Snowman

Hello, Olaf!

Level 2 Readers Included:

Anna's Best Friend

A Tale of Two Sisters

The Christmas Party

Why We Love It:

  • It includes a Meet the Characters section at the beginning and five Frozen-themed early reader stories.

  • It takes a familiar story (with familiar characters) and simplifies it, making it easy and fun for young kids to learn to read.

Avery's Picks: Chapter Books

The Princess In Black Series

Written By: Shannon Hale and Dean Hale

Illustrated By: LeUyen Pham

Publisher: Walker Books (2015)

Recommended Ages: 5+

Book #1 Description: Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has a secret —she’s also the Princess in Black, and stopping monsters is the perfect job for her! Can the princess sneak away, transform into her alter ego, and defeat the monster before the nosy duchess discovers her secret?

Why We Love It:

  • It's a great introduction to chapter books. The text and chapters are short, and each chapter includes multiple full-color illustrations.

  • As of today, there are nine books in the series, with the most recent one being published earlier this year. I expect more to be published in the near-future.

  • They are silly and funny, and they teach young girls that even "girly girls" can kick some major you-know-what. 😁

Nancy Drew and The Clue Crew Series

Written By: Carolyn Keene

Illustrated By: Macky Pamintuan

Publisher: Aladdin (2006)

Recommended Ages: 6+

Book #1 Description: Sleepover Sleuths

Eight-year-old Nancy Drew has her first case to crack! Can you help?

Nancy and her two best friends, George and Bess, are so excited! They have been invited to Deirdre's sleepover party! There will be pizza, cake, and even a pajama fashion show. But the most exciting thing is that the party has a City Girls doll theme. All of the guests are bringing their dolls with them!

But then Deirdre's City Girls doll -- Hollywood Heather -- goes missing. Is her sleepover ruined? Or is there a detective in the room who can make sense of this mystery?

Why We Love It:

  • These books include simple mysteries that are perfectly geared for young audiences (i.e., not scary).

  • I also like that the characters are just normal people who have to rely on gathering and recording information/clues and using brain power to put the pieces of the puzzle together. In other words, the books encourage kids to think critically and use logic to solve the mystery without them even realizing it.

  • The three main characters are female detectives. Go, girls, go! 😊

  • There are several books in the series, so there are lots of mysteries to keep us busy.

The Owl Diaries Series

By: Rebecca Elliott

Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. (2015)

Recommended Ages: 5+

Book #1 Description: Eva's Treetop Festival

This adorable New York Times bestselling early chapter book series is perfect for young girls who love friendship stories starring animal characters!

This series is part of Scholastic's early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow! In Book #1, Eva Wingdale gets in over her head when she offers to organize a spring festival at school. Even with her best friend Lucy's help, there is NO way she will get everything done in time. Will Eva have to ask Sue (a.k.a. Meanie McMeanerson) for help? Or will the festival have to be cancelled? This book is written as Eva's diary -- with Rebecca Elliott's owl-dorable full-color illustrations throughout!

Why We Love It:

  • They have encouraged Avery, who has only started reading in the last year, to start reading chapter books already. The short, choppy text and plentiful color illustrations make these books accessible to even the youngest readers.