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Dragons Love Tacos
by Adam Rubin
Pictures by Daniel Salmieri

Who doesn't want to read this book upon opening the cover and seeing the awesome "Taco Cave" picture? And who knew that dragons love tacos? What a hilarious idea.

 

RHYMOCEROS
by Janik Coat

These blue rhinos are super cute. The illustration for "stinky" and "inky" got me... I thought someone had vandalized my precious book copy. But nope, fooled me!

 

GO TO SLEEP, GROUNDHOG!
by Judy Cox
Pictures by Paul Meisel

I have read this story so many times that I have lost count. I especially adore the Witch and Santa cameos and that Groundhog gets to enjoy so many seasonal treats and stories. Groundhog vs insomnia? GROUNDHOG!!

         

The Watermelon Seed
by Greg Pizzoli

This book reminds me of the time that I swallowed a cherry pit as a kid, and my grandma told me deadpan that a tree was going to grow in my stomach. I was horrified. This book hit home, and I love Pizzoli's limited color palette.

 

The Day the Crayons Quit
by Drew Daywalt
Pictures by Oliver Jeffers

The tone of the writing and crayon expressions are HILARIOUS. I could be friends with the orange crayon with that talk-talk hand opposite Yellow crayon's letter. So funny.

 

AH HA!
by Jeff Mack

Jeff Mack is amazing. The page turns of his books are an adventure. AH HA! is full of fun near-escapes. That frog is one lucky fellow. I also love Mack's magical HUSH LITTLE POLAR BEAR and GOOD NEWS BAD NEWS.

 

         

Goodnight Lulu
by Paulette Bogan

This is the sweetest bedtime book ever, and the author Paulette Bogan is just as wonderful. I met her at an SCBWI conference ten years ago and totally geeked out. She is the real deal.

 

Too Many Bunnies
by Matt Novak

For years, this smart little book has cracked me up. The story line is great and comes full circle, and the illustrations are superbly goofy. I also love the secondary visual story line with the angry insects.

 

The Pig of Happiness
by Edward Monkton

I love this book. The concept of happiness seeping and leaking is extremely gross but great. This pig makes me smile.

         

Jellybeans
by Sylvia von Ommen

This is a quiet existential conversation between two good friends. With simple and emotional black and white line drawings, JELLYBEANS explores life, death, and love.

 

The Stray Dog
by Marc Simont

Wow, the narrative quality of these illustrations! From the get-go, I really care about this homeless darling dog. I want so much for him to be loved that I cheer for him to have a happy ending.

 

George and Martha
by the great James Marshall

I've spent many a lazy afternoon with George and Martha. These two have a gorgeous friendship, and I love hippos even more because of them. Marshall's illustrations just make me giggle.

         

Raggedy Ann and Andy
by Johnny Gruelle

I own a much-loved copy of RAGGEDY ANN AND ANDY that I have read over and over since childhood. My favorite story bits are when they find the wishing pebble and drink from the magic soda water fountain. I could almost taste it!

 

Dear Zoo
by Rod Campbell

To discover which zoo animal is being delivered, you will want to hurry up and lift the flap. You will also want to find out what pet the kid gets at the end, a real incentive to turn the page. DEAR ZOO is simple and classic.

 

BiNg BaNg BOinG
by Douglas Florian

Douglas Florian's writing and curious drawings are fresh and inspiring. The weirder they are, the more I love them! My favorite poem in this collection is "Aunt Esther," and my favorite drawing is for "Mrs. Mason's Long Red Hair."

         

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