As 2019 comes to a close, looking back at the best children’s books of the past 10 years isn’t easy. But, then again, if you have a kid from the age of 1-year-old to roughly 1st grade, then you know what makes a good kids’ book: It has to work. Instead of recapping the best kids’ books from across multiple age-ranges, we decided to present the 10 best kids’ picture books that, we personally know, that kids will sit for. To that end, we’ve included a few bedtime books in this list, because, let’s face it, those are the ones that you rely on the most in the early years.
From philosophical birds to landscape obsessed lions, to strong words of empowerment, here the coziest, smartest and best children’s books of the past decade.
13 Words (2010)
A depressed bird eats some cake while her friend, a dog, buys her a hat. This book will make your kid smarter just on accident.
Bridget’s Beret (2010)
From the illustrator of 'Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site,' this story is perfect for a budding painter or a kid who needs a very specific piece of clothing.
Dragons Love Tacos (2012)
By now, you've heard of this one. But if you haven't actually read it to your kids, you're missing out. Big time.
If Animals Kiss Goodnight (2014)
One of the sweetest bedtime books in the universe. If you're sick of 'Goodnight, Moon,' or any of the other classics that have been hanging on for the past five million years, you can't go wrong with this modern classic.
Shhh! This Book is Sleeping (2016)
Look, bedtime books are very important, and the fact that this book is an interactive bedtime book is part of its elegance. Let's help that book get to sleep, too!
Book of Mistakes (2017)
This book is not only a wonderful way for children to think about mistakes in life, but also has the most memorizing illustrations in the universe. One for kids to grow with.
Goodnight Numbers (2017)
Danica McKellar has written a ton of books about math for kids, but it's smart to make sure kids aren't afraid of numbers from an early age. This book is also sweet and is the rare bedtime book that can be read during the day, too. Good for naps!
Dear Gir (2017)
Written by a mother and a daughter, this big-hearted book is one for your kid to grow with. Even if they're not a girl! With messages for kids of all ages, this book is smart, even-handed, and best of all, kind.
A Stone Sat Still (2019)
It's good to get kids excited about reading, but what about having those little jitterbugs sit still? This meditation on stillness is captivating, and bizarrely, kids will sit for it. (Really!)
This one is for all the dad lions out there. If you've ever struggled with both fixing your lawn and making your child happy, this book is perfect. Great for bonding with your kid, but also, weirdly, primming them for knowing what a weed actually is.