Tara Luebbe | The Children’s Book Review | March 14, 2018
From the time my three sons were babies, I read them picture books at bedtime. Because I owned a children’s toy and book store, my boys were a bit spoiled by having access to so many new titles all the time. Now that I write them, even though I no longer have the store, I am still hauling home a dozen new picture books a week (just from the library instead). My youngest, Nathan, is still in the picture book age group, so I continue to add current books to my family’s list. When Nathan and I find an especially funny one, we make the two older boys read it as well. Choosing only five is impossible, but here are some of our favorites.
Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Illustrated by Jen Corace
This is the first book I remember my two-and-a-half-year-old laughing at hysterically when I read it to him. This is also a book that opened my eyes to funny, quirky picture books and made me think about writing them myself. It was one of the first children’s books that compelled me to go on Amazon and write a review because I just wanted to tell the world how great it was.
Ages 2-4 | Publisher: Chronicle Books | 2005 | ISBN-13: 978-0811846585
Written and Illustrated by Jolly Roger Bradford
This book is a beloved childhood favorite of mine and my co-author sister Becky Cattie. It was selling on eBay for $100, but then luckily the smart people at Purple House Press reissued it. I used to hand sell it in my bookstore all the time. It was one of those books that had people returning to my store just to tell me how much they liked it. Luckily my kids think this book is as great as I do. The illustrations are delightfully wacky, and the message is timeless.
Ages 5-6 | Publisher: Purple House Inc | 2004 | ISBN-13: 978-1930900301
Written and Illustrated by Marty Kelley
When you have a household full of boys, a certain type of humor is de rigueur. Luckily, I am okay with that type of humor, so I fit right in. We consider ourselves experts on flatulence picture books, and I probably could have done a whole post on those alone. Everybody Farts is one of the most hilarious. For all the moms out there who think they don’t like this type of humor, this book is for you.
Ages 3+ | Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books | 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1454919544
Written and Illustrated by Antoinette Portis
In Best Frints, the main characters use a foreign alien language that is close enough to English that readers can glean what the aliens are saying. We often quote this book in my house. “You don’t even like little blobbies,” or “Go jump in the peedle pit!” There is a sequel coming in June, Best Frints at Skrool, which I got an early peek at during my time at ALA a few weeks ago, and it is just as awesome.
Ages 4-7 | Publisher: Roaring Brook Press | 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1626721364
Written and Illustrated by Alex Latimer
When I look at our family’s favorite picture books, they seem to fall into two major categories: potty/subversive humor, or clever twists. We are big fans of all of Alex Latimer’s books, but this one has an especially clever plot, making it the standout in our house. How does a rabbit outsmart a lion?
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Peachtree Publishers | 2017 (Reprint) | ISBN-13: 978-1561458981
Written by Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie
Illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
Publisher’s Synopsis: Kiely knows she is famous! The paparazzi (her parents) follow her every move, documenting with cameras. It’s exhausting being famous, but someone has to do it! She even gets to perform a big song at her grandfather’s birthday. When she messes it up, she’s worried she’s lost her audience forever, but it turns out that no one is as loyal as her fans who love her.
Ages 3-5 | Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company | 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0807534403
“Move over, Eloise, Fancy Nancy, and Olivia.Tongue-in-cheek and humorous, this commentary that’s spot-on for kids growing up in a digital age, will entertain children while giving their parents some apt food for thought.” —Kirkus Reviews
About Tara Luebbe
In her previous life, Tara Luebbe owned a kids’ toy and book store, which was a catalyst for writing her own books. She co-writes with her sister Becky Cattie and they are the authors of I Am Famous, illustrated by Joanne Lew Vriethoff; Shark Nate-O, illustrated by Daniel Duncan; I Used to be Famous (coming Spring 2019); and Conan the Librarian (coming Spring 2020).
Tara is obsessed with Hamilton the musical, Star Wars, and subversive picture books. She lives with her husband and three boys in Fort Mill, South Carolina. She is the founder of Writing with The Stars, a mentorship program for aspiring picture book writers. To learn more, visit her online at www.beckytarabooks.com on Twitter: @t_luebbe. Instagram: @taraluebbe.
Enter to win a copy of I Am Famous!
One (1) winner receives:
- A copy of I Am Famous!
Giveaway begins March 14, 2018, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends April 14, 2018, at 11:59 P.M. MT.
How To Enter
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Prizes courtesy of Albert Whitman & Company
Tara Luebbe, co-author of I Am Famous, selected these five family favorites. Discover more articles on The Children’s Book Review tagged with Family Favorites.