This is a list of 8 children’s books that I thought you might enjoy in your library. I have stayed away from the standards like “The Giving Tree” and “Where the Wild Things Are.” I have also avoided all Sandra Boynton and Dr. Seuss. I wanted to make a list of high-quality children’s books in which you might not have heard of most (or any) of them.
These are the criteria that I used in selecting them.
- FIRST, we have a copy in our family library. I did not want to recommend anything that we did not have or read at least 37 times in the course of raising two girls.
- SECOND, I have used all of these books in some form of ministry: youth ministry mission trips, children’s after school programs, church preschool chapel, sermon illustrations, etc.
- THIRD, they are excellent books!! They are well worth checking out and having as resources for that time when you want it or need it.
So here is my list. Please feel free to add more in the comments section below. The more additions we get, the more useful this list becomes. I am always looking for a another great one to add to our collection!
Hope for the Flowers – Trina Paulus
This book is the longest one of this list, but well worth the investment of time! It is about two caterpillars caught up in the caterpillar life of building towers by climbing on top of each other all day, every day. One caterpillar begins to question if climbing on top of each other and pushing each other down is really what life is supposed to be all about. Great story with beautiful, retro artwork on each page.
The Day When God Made Church – Rebekah McLeod Hutto
This is perhaps the newest book on this list. It is a poetic retelling of the Pentecost story. It starts with the disciples “waiting” and moves us all into the “new” that God is doing even now. Very well done. The artwork pops – as does the Spirit. Plus, bonus points, the author is a PC(USA) pastor!!
Psalms: For Young Children – Marie-Helene Delval
These succinct paraphrases of the psalms are simple, but deep. They are presented in a way that kids can understand them and it begins to expose them to all the range of human emotions that can be found in the book of psalms: joy, pain, love, fear, etc. Each paraphrase also contains some unique artwork on the next page illustrating it to help kids grasp it in perhaps a different way.
A Frog Thing – Eric Drachman
It begins: “Frank wanted to fly. But he was a frog. And frogs can’t fly.” The entire story is not only about believing in yourself, overcoming the haters of this world, and encountering obstacles – it is about using your imagination and all your might to dream big!
Signs of God’s Love – Jeanne Fogle
This is, by far, the best children’s book on the sacraments that I have ever seen! It helps clarify, define, and illumine what the two sacraments are. It also gives easy to grasp examples of how we can understand the meaning behind both baptism and communion. And the artwork is very 70s-tastic!!
Let There Be Light – Jane Breskin Zalbren
Zalbren actually did not write this. She collected and edited it. It contains short one-line prayers from Eastern Eskimos as well as Native Americans. It quotes from the Bible, the Koran, and even the Dali Lama. Many people are represented in here and it gets the point across that there are many people out there (even those who think about it differently than you) that also want to see a better world!
The Quiltmaker’s Gift – Jeff Brumbeau
The best quiltmaker in the world is approached by the most powerful king in the world. He demands a quilt. She tell him it doesn’t work like that. Then the journey begins. The beauty and the warmth of the story matches what I would imagine the beauty the warmth of those quilts. Worth it!
The Dreamer – Cynthia Rylant
This is an oldie, but a goodie! It tells the story of that great Artist who created a whole world through art, include little artists made in the Artist’s own image. I imagine this is probably the most familiar book to most people on this list. But for those who have not read this, please add it to your library.