16 Children's Books We Absolutely Love (Ages 0-3+)

Updated: Aug 27

Our favorite children's books we've read with Luna during her first two+ years of life. Great for any family looking to expand their library OR anyone looking for that perfect gift.


Introduction


As parents of a toddler, we are always on the lookout for quality books that ALL of us can enjoy, not just Luna. When looking for a good children's book, we keep a few things in mind:


  • Visuals: Obviously, we are all about the art. With so many talented artists out there contributing to the world of Children's Books, it's not difficult to find some beautifully-done work.

  • Message: This is a tiny apartment that's all about positive messaging and social lessons to be learned within. Inclusion of all cultures, races, genders, etc. is a huge plus, as we want to expose our child to all the beautiful people that inhabit this awesome planet we call home.

  • Educational Value: This goes without saying, but we try to find books that also provide an educational experience. Beautiful pictures, positive messages, AND we learn all about our Solar System? Great!


We take full advantage of our local library, grabbing up three to four new books every week, so we feel we've made our way through quite a few children's books -- this is the cream of the crop, if you will, that top our list:



1. We Are Music by Brandon Stosuy and Amy Martin


A Fan-Favorite here at the Lunita household, little ones are taken on a visually-explosive journey through the history of music and its role in humanity.


This book's educational value is a huge plus on top of the already-beautiful artwork, and it's a reminder of the important role music plays in all of our lives.


Bonus: In the back, the author even elaborates on the history of music.





2. Music Is... by Brandon Stosuy and Amy Martin


From the same people that brought you We Are Music, we take a journey through the various sensations of music, this is a must-read, plain and simple.


Absolutely beautiful art accompanies every turn of the page in this introduction to almost every child's favorite activity -- Music.








3. Ocean Life (Hello, World! Series) by Jill McDonald


With beautiful artwork, a ridiculous amount of educational information, and interactive questions to keep your child on their A-game, this ocean book easily comes in as one of our favorites.


If the entire "Hello, World! Series" is as good as this one, we've got plenty of reading in our future.






4. ALL BOOKS by Todd Parr


When we say ALL books by Todd Parr, we literally mean every single one of them.


His stories bring positive messages to children with simple illustrations and tons of color.


Our FAVORITES: The Thankful Book and The Family Book






5. Where is the Green Sheep / Donde Esta la Oveja Verde by Mem Fox, Judy Horacek, and Carlos E. Calvo


A great book for introducing your little one to a second language.


With lots of repetition and plenty of fun illustrations, this one has Luna yelling, "Aqui! Aqui!" on the final page every time.






6. Love Is by Diane Adams and Claire Keane


This one here has us laughing out loud at the frustrations of raising a young one (in this case, a duckling) while simultaneously bringing us to near tears as we realize the truths of life as a parent.


Its beautiful illustrations, hilarious references to what it's like to raise a duckling (spoiler: all-too-similar to raising a child), and powerful message make it a must-read in our opinion.







7. Big Hugs, Little Hugs by Felicia Bond


The message here is simple: Hugs are EVERYWHERE and for EVERYONE. What more could you ask for?


Beautiful illustrations take us from hugging elephants to hugging ants, hugging in the past to hugging in the future, and so on. A great book for families looking to convince their child to make good use of those little arms and big hearts!






8. Good Night Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann


A classic in every sense of the word, Good Night Gorilla takes your child on a mischievous journey through the zoo right before soothing their tired little eyes shut for the night.






9. Little Owl's Night by Divya Srinivasan


Next up, another great bedtime read. Here, we're taken on a journey through a moon-lit forest as Little Owl comes in contact with a multitude of friendly forest creatures.


One of the most beautifully-done books we've come across in terms of art, this book is sure to dazzle your child's visual senses before peacefully lowering those heavy eyelids.







10. Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreas and Guy Parker-Rees


Beautiful visuals and a heart-warming message about the importance of being yourself make this book an excellent choice for little readers.


Join Gerald the Giraffe as he finds the music that moves him and shows that "sometimes when you're different, you just need a different song."










11. Babies Around the World by Puck and Violet Lemay


Take a journey around the world, from morning to night, in this gorgeous read that will have your child giggling while they learn.


This book transports you through several cultures and cities and shares useful greetings and phrases in multiple languages; an all-around lovely experience.





12. The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton


A classic for a reason, Sandra Boynton's bedtime book will have your little one actually wanting to brush their teeth, exercise, and get ready for a peaceful night's rest.


That doesn't always mean they'll actually sleep, but it's been a big help in this house!






13. A is for Artichoke: A Foodie Alphabet from Artichoke to Zest by America's Test Kitchen Kids and Maddie Frost


Introduce your children to the world of food with this stunning A-Z read that packs a TON of knowledge into a scrumptious adventure.


A great book for layered learning, and one that we recommend to any food-lover and their children.






14. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle


Another classic that continues to bring joy to the lives of millions of children, Brown Bear, Brown Bear is a gorgeous book with repetition, animals, and plenty of opportunity for your little one to chime in.


Pro Tip: Be sure to put your voice to use and really give those animals some life!








15. 8 Little Planets by Chris Ferrie and Lizzy Doyle


A educational experience covering our Solar System, 8 little Planets takes us from smiling Neptune to speedy Mercury. Along with each planet comes a rhyme to help you child learn AND have fun.


Bonus: On the back cover, there's an additional 8 facts for continued learning!






16. Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers


One of the more recent additions to Luna's library, this book deep dives into the details of the very planet we call home.


Here We Are covers the differences between land, sea, and air; visually displays the varying shapes, sizes, and colors of the many different animals and people that live here; and reminds us that on Planet Earth, we are never alone.





The Wrap-Up


As stated above, we're always on the lookout for great children's books, so if you have some awesome suggestions, send them our way in the comments below or to our email, Lunita@Lunita.nyc


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