baby proof: bedtime stories lately.

March 13, 2019

Wow, sick days. They really throw a wrench into things, don’t they? We’ve had more than a few of them this winter and we’re eagerly looking forward to a less germy spring. Books (and movies) have helped us suffer through them, a modicum of self-respect maintained. Here’s some of what we’ve been reading lately, on sick days and snow days and all days in between.

+ DISAPPEARING ACTS: A search-and-find Book of Endangered Animals by Isabella Bunnell

A beautiful book with takeaways for younger and older kiddos. It offers a solid introduction to the effects of humankind on animals we share the planet with. Colorful full-spread illustrations of different ecosystems hide endangered animals that Silas is eager to point out, and the Faye can learn about in more detail in the back of the book.

+ FIREBIRD by Misty Copeland, pictures by Christopher Myers

Collage illustrations, Black ballerinas, Brooklyn—this book satisfies a little one interested in ballet, while celebrating a richness and diversity not always central in kid’s lit on the subject.

+ FLORETTE by Anna Walker

As the parent of nature-loving city dwellers, I admit that I had a tiny chip on my shoulder the first time or two I read this book. You should see my kids’ nature treasures, I wanted to holler back at a book that bemoaned a lack of greenery in city life. But I’ve come to like it. Cities can always use a bit more greenery, after all. 

+ ISH by Peter H. Reynolds

Faye recently started describing some of her drawings as “scribble scrabble.” I’m not sure where the turn of phrase came from, but it’s clear enough it’s not considered a good thing. We’ve found ourselves returning to this book and its message of jubilant art making, free of judgement or restriction.

+ HIDDEN FIGURES: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly, illustrations by Laura Freeman

Any book that gets my kid excited about being good at math feels worthy of a mention. This book is too long for Silas to sit through, but Faye loves it.

+ TIGER DAYS by M.H. Clark, pictures by Anna Hurley

Officially out just this week, we’ve been enjoying an advanced copy of this helpful volume courtesy of the publisher. M.H. Clark is already a family favorite (see also) and this latest book helps normalize and give voice to emotions big and small. Helpful for parents of young children the world over.

+ THE DAY YOU BEGIN by Jaqueline Woodson, pictures by Rafael Lopez

I love this book. It’s such an encouraging read for any little one learning to find their way in the world, especially as that world broadens with school and new friends and the first ability to articulate the differences inherent in the human experience. In Pre-K, Faye is currently working on a class-wide “about me” project and this book has been a perfect at-home complement.

+ UNDER MY HIJAB by Hena Kahn, illustrations by Aaliya Jaleel

A cheerful volume that demystifies and celebrates the hijab. Equally helpful for kids looking for representation of their own culture, and for kids eager to understand and learn more about experiences and practices outside of their own. Faye also loves Mommy’s Khimar, on the same subject.

What about you guys? New favorites on your lists?

More book recommendations in case you need them!

PS. We borrow many of our books from our public library, but when we buy new books, we love to always support our local bookstores—Stories BookshopBooks Are MagicGreenlight Bookstore, and Community Bookstore, to name a few. I’ve provided links above to where you can find these titles from independent bookstores near you.

This post includes affiliate links. Reading My Tea Leaves might earn a small commission on the goods purchased through those links.

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  • Reply Helen March 13, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    I so love this series! I always go straight away to either place these books on hold or request their purchase from our local library. Thanks for doing the research!

    • Reply Danyelle Hadaway March 13, 2019 at 8:04 pm

      I’m currently loving every time my daughter wants me to read Florence and Watson and the Sugarbush Mouse. It’s wonderfully witty read from South Africa with a great message, beautiful pictures and actually interesting enough for parents.

  • Reply Rebecca | Seven2Seven8 March 13, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    What a great list! One of mine picked out “The Day You Begin” at the library and we loved it. We also snagged “Animalphabet” from the same display (Julia Donaldson of Gruffalo, Stick Man, and Room on the Broom) and it is GORGEOUS.

  • Reply Rebecca March 13, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    I have a friend moving abroad with her husband and 2 kids (6 and 3 years old) for a year starting this summer. Her 6-year-old is getting anxious about the move and about missing out on friends, family, school, life, etc. while they’re away. Just curious to know whether you, Erin, or any of your readers have come across any kids books on the topic of moving that might help a 6-year-old boy feel a bit more at ease about it all.

    As always, I love all of your suggestions and will head to the library this week with your list in hand!

  • Reply Kristen Muldoon March 13, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    I LOVE The Day You Begin! It’s so sweet.

  • Reply Amanda March 13, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    My daughter also called her drawings and writing “scribble scrabs,” but she meant it affectionately, not in a disparaging way. Her teacher called her a Picasso because of her abstract art. We also love the book “ish.” (Of course, the real challenge is big brother who is more fond of realism…and thinks he’s an art critic when it comes to his sister’s creations…)

  • Reply Jessica Large March 13, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    I always love your book recommendations & this list is no exception. I’m especially interested in Ish & Firebird — excuse me while I run to the library!

    • Reply Sophie March 24, 2019 at 5:20 pm

      Thank you once again for your excellent recommendations! Now, to the library!

  • Reply Kate March 14, 2019 at 6:09 am

    I really love this book ( good friend wrote it so slightly bias)…
    It is so beautifully done with a really lovely message…
    ‘Watercolor illustrations create a richly imagined world in this awe-inspiring story about how even little kids can be fearless, and even big, mean creatures sometimes need help’

  • Reply Meghan March 14, 2019 at 7:31 am

    Thank you for continuing this series and curating such a thoughtful list of books. My children and I always love your recommendations. These books regularly make up the bulk of our library list and the most beloved are included as suggestions for birthday and Christmas gifts.

  • Reply Jessica March 18, 2019 at 11:16 pm

    Do you know “Un livre” by Hervé Tullet? It’s a brilliant children’s book that’s pretty famous in France. I just found out that there’s a translated version:
    Smart and different, I recommend it 100% percent!

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