Sharing a story is a special time for you and your little one. A picture book makes us think, question, and even giggle. It should be a time that you and your child feel safe and content. If you have a sensitive child, you may find yourself quickly flipping pages trying to make sure the words and pictures won’t lead to any new fears or tears. I hope I can help you with this list. After some research, these books top my list as some of the cutest, quirkiest, silliest, and most thought-provoking reads of this year. Since every child has their own sensitivities, please make sure you look through your favorites thoroughly before completing your holiday shopping!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I earn a small commission each time someone makes a purchase through one of my links, which helps to support the blog.
Written by Richard T. Morris and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. This book will delight your little readers with a group of curious forest friends and a personified river. I absolutely love the pops of color and the expressive faces of the animals in this book. This story keeps the pages turning in this journey of adventure and teamwork.
Words and picture by Matt Myers. I stumbled upon this picture book at the cutest little bookstore while vacationing in North Carolina. I opened it up and was entranced by the underlying message. A young girl simply wants to create and is bothered by all of the adults asking about her creation. She befriends another artist painting alongside her who is also focused on the process rather than the product. An enlightening reminder about the creative process and letting it be without a label.
Written and illustrated by Samantha Cotterill. Perfect for any child with sound sensitivity or any sensory challenges, this book demonstrates how excitement, fear, and anxiety can all be a part of a special day and smartly interweaves strategies that can help. (Check out Nope. Never. Not For Me! for another great story in the Little Senses series)
Authored by Jean Reidy and illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins. This book is SO cute. A girl and her peaceful pet turtle are in for a tough transition when she heads back to school. Truman the turtle has a difficult time separating and takes it upon himself to reunite as quickly as possible.
Written and illustrated by award winner Brendan Wenzel. Beautifully depicted, this book takes us on a journey of what it’s like to be part of the background as a stone, but also how necessary every part of nature is.
Story by Jenn Bailey and pictures by Mika Song. Henry wants a new friend but his strict parameters don’t always allow for others’ differences. He soon figures out that friends may be similar but don’t have to be exactly alike. A beautifully simple story about someone on the spectrum navigating the social situations of school.
Written by Kari Anne Holt and illustrated by Kenard Pak (one of my favorites!) Has your child ever asked you an unusually deep and interesting question? I just love those moments because they really highlight the genuine curiosity and awe in which children see the world. This book opens up the conversation for many intriguing wonderings about life.
Story and pictures by Joowon Oh. Cozy in its simplicity, Oh paints a picture of a practical routine broken up by the joy of a grandchild’s visit. There are no zoo trips, swimming lessons, or festivals to attend, but rather quiet delight in a grandparent’s home, creating art and special moments together.
Written by Abdul-Razak Zachariah and illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo. I can almost feel the humidity lift in this tribute to cool summer nights and the fun that takes place under the moonlight. Set in the courtyard of an apartment building with a predominately African American cast, this book will refresh any bookshelf.
Authored and illustrated by Lisa Jobe. A little boy wants a pet, but his mother helps him understand that each animal might be happiest under different circumstances. This tale ends happily when the boy gets a furry friend of his own.
Story and pictures by Sydni Gregg. Beautifully illustrated in bright hues. Head to the coast for an unlikely tale of friendship!