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Picture Books to Make You Smile

hippos go berserk

If you can read your child’s favorite picture books with your eyes closed, it’s time to visit your local library! Reading to babies and toddlers should be a fun and engaging experience. To keep reading time fresh, look for these ZERO TO THREE parent-approved picture books.

Sharing your love of books and reading to your child are important steps for helping your child learn that reading is fun. When young children have positive experiences with books, they become more motivated to seek out books as they grow older. Create new memories today with eight new book recommendations from ZERO TO THREE employees (who are parents like you!).


Hippos Go Beserk by Sandra Boynton

hippos go berserk
This fun story about hippos arriving at a party provides the perfect opportunity to practice counting. The fun illustrations and the rhymes help keep reading time fun for everyone.

“This book is a fun and interactive way to introduce math concepts early! Be sure to shake the book when you get to the middle page (when the hippos actually go berserk). Both of my kiddos absolutely love this book,” says Vera Alsova, mother of two young children.


Let’s Go for a Drive! By Mo Willems

Let's go for a drive

This is one of several books about the characters Elephant and Piggie by Mo Willems. The two friends are quite different from one another, but when they get together, they have fun adventures that delight children and adults alike.

“This book introduced my son to the idea of planning and showed him that even if plans don’t go accordingly, with the right attitude (and fun friends), you can still figure out a way to have a great time. I have no doubt my daughter will love this book too!” says Vera Alsova, mother of two.


Jamberry by Bruce Degen


With rollicking rhymes and “berry” cute illustrations, Jamberry tells the story about a berry-loving boy and a rhyming bear. The fun wordplay and bright paintings will have young readers exploring this board book over and over again, says Rebecca Parlakian, mother of two.


Creature ABC by Andrew Zuckerman


This 120-page alphabet book uses breathtaking wildlife photography to introduce children to the alphabet and the animal kingdom. The large, striking images offer a close-up look at some of your child’s favorite animals.

“The book uses amazing photographs of animals for each letter of the alphabet so we get to practice letters and animal sounds,” says Elise Miller, mother of two.


Huggy Kissy by Leslie Patricelli

Huggy Kissy

This board book shows all of the ways that an adorable baby is loved by their family. “Mommy lifts you uppy, Daddy kisses you on the tummy, and everyone wants to snuggle.” The book illustrates love and affection with comedy and warmth.

“My family loves this book. Not only does it have simple, silly language and beautiful, bold visuals, but it always ends with a big hug and kiss from my son (either for me or for the book!)” says Karen Goldstein, mom of three boys.


Little Tree by Loren Long

Little Tree

This book explores seasons and growing up through the eyes of a little tree. As summer changes to fall, the little tree refuses to let go of the leaves it loves so much. Year after year, the tree holds onto its leaves until it finally learns to accept change.

“I love this book because my children love it! And because it meaningfully conveys real emotions, despite being about a tree. It continues to move me, no matter how many times I’ve read it (which is a lot of times!)” says Alice Ricks, mother of two.


Littles and How They Grow by Kelly DiPucchio


In this illustrated love song to babies, Littles and How They Grow shares adorable scenes from the busy life of being “little,” including playing peekaboo, feeding, tantrums and giggles. As an added bonus, the illustrations show babies from around the world, introducing young children to diversity and different cultures.

“I love this book because it truly is what new parents experience with newborns and the illustrations include all parenting types. I enjoy reading it to Reuben and it truly is a reminder that babies don’t stay little for long,” says Nikea Winston, mother of one.


This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt

The Jazz Man

A playful introduction to jazz music, children will learn about some of the great jazz musicians and the instruments they played.

“This fantastic adaptation of the folk song ‘This Old Man’ introduces young readers to jazz greats and uses energetic, rhythmic language to get little ones feeling the beat!” says Rebecca Parlakian, mother of two.


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