Fiona’s 15 Favorite Library Books

Fiona loves libraries so much I have to carry her out every time. She just does not want to leave. Ever. While I’m thrilled that she is so happy in the library, I am not thrilled that she picks out her weight in books and I get to carry a double load to the car.

But at least the books don’t squirm and holler. (Isn’t that why we all love them?)

So, since she is a library book expert, I asked her to identify the best children’s books we’ve read so far, this year. Here’s what I learned.

(This post contains affiliate links, in case you would like to add some of Fiona’s favorites to your collection. For more info about affiliate links, see my disclosure page.)

She likes books for older kids just as much as books for her own age.

  • Maxi the Little Taxi – Full of onomatopoeias! This book helped her get over her fear of drive-through car washes. We both wish this was a series. I can imagine all kinds of adventures Maxi could have, as he grows into a wise old taxi.
  • Stuck with the Blooz – A beautifully written and illustrated book about a kid having a bummer of a day. A giant, soggy, blue creature visibly represents his troubles. This one is helping us sort through Fiona’s big toddler feelings.
  • Rudas: Niño’s Horrendous Hermanitas – Just try not to read this book in your best Nacho Libre voice. I daresay it’s impossible. We’ve learned so many fun Spanish phrases from this book about babies who cheat at wrestling (santos pañales = holy diapers). We crack up every time we read it.
  • Perfectly Percy – Percy the Porcupine has an ironic passion. Balloons. Poor fella can’t actually play with balloons, though, because his pokey spines always pop them. He asks around for a solution, but when no one has anything practical to offer, he comes up with his own genius plan. I love this book because Fiona often gets frustrated and angry when she can’t do something, and we are teaching her to ask for help or think of a new way to try, like Percy does.

Looks like I’ll be reading her The Chronicles of Narnia earlier than I expected.

She is a fan of particular authors/illustrators.

  • Charley Harper’s Count the Birds – I picked this one at the library because I’m a design junkie, not really expecting Fiona to care much for it. But HOORAY, she did! It’s really not a sophisticated book at all, but the pictures must be so interesting from a toddler’s perspective. I mean, colorful abstract birds…what could be cooler?
  • Charley Harper’s Book of Colors – Same as Count the Birds, we don’t read it for the words. We are captivated by the illustrations. We have the rest of this series reserved at our local branch. These would make awesome baby shower gifts for design-loving parents.
  • Corduroy’s Birthday – For some reason, Fiona pronounces “Corduroy” as “Cordoo-ree”, which is 1,000 kinds of adorable. I pick up every Corduroy book I see at the library, just so she’ll ask me “Can we read a Cordooree book, Mom?” a few times a day. This dude’s birthday party is no Pinterest-worthy affair; it is just streamers, balloons, party hats, and pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. All put together by the Birthday Bear, himself. This book helps me set Fiona’s party standards at a reasonable level.
  • Corduroy Goes to the Doctor – Since Fiona is a Doctor Princess, this may be her favorite book of all. It’s like her training manual. She goes through all of the steps from the book when Enzo comes to her for his weekly check-up. Check eyes, ears, heart, lungs, weight…”Enzo, you’ve been eating too many cookies!” The Corduroy books are the only ones from this list that have ho-hum illustrations. But they’re classics, so we let it slide.
  • Petunia Goes Wild – Petunia was created by the same author/illustrator as Perfectly Percy, and there are more books devoted to these awesome characters, so we’re excited to find those. Petunia has a wondrous imagination and ridiculously uptight parents. If my parents were as self-absorbed as hers, I’d mail myself to Africa, too.

She likes books with a lot of detail in the pictures.

  • Hamsters on the Go, Up Hamster Down Hamster, This Little Hamster – Adorable books about a horde of hamsters who like modes of transportation, opposites, and colors, respectively. These books are deceptively simple. The pictures are highly imaginative and some of them even tell a secret story within the cutesy rhyming pages.
  • All the World – One of the best children’s books published this decade, in my opinion. You can read my in-depth review here.
  • This Plane – If your kid is into planes, trains, cars, trucks, rockets, boats, etc., you HAVE TO find these books. The inside covers show each plane (in this book) with the real name, then the pages use the planes to illustrate opposites. A lot of them look and sound so futuristic they can’t be real, but my jet-mechanic aunt confirmed they are, in fact, current models. So cool. We are checking out the cars book next, because my girl is a car lover. (These are excellent gifts for kids – especially kids with nerdy parents.)

And then there’s this one:

  • Emma – This series is aptly named “The Simply Small Series”. The whole book may have 50 words, and the pictures are as basic as the cover. But they are truly charming. Fiona can recite this sweet little story so precisely, I wonder if she is actually reading it..

What didn’t make the cut?

While this giant list may look like we love every library book we ever bring home, that is not the case. We are fairly discerning about books! We have a dear friend named Ethan Long, so when I found out there is a prolific children’s  author by the same name, we promptly checked out a stack of his books. Gorgeous illustrations, totally pointless books.

And those BabyLit Primer books that use classic literature (Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Les Miserables, etc.) to illustrate counting and colors and emotions? You’d expect those to be THE BUgh. Basically, if you have read Pride and Prejudice but you don’t know how to count to ten, those books are for you. Talk about a narrow target audience!

Fiona chooses her favorite library books and they're the best children's books of the 2017.I couldn’t wait to read Jimmy Fallon’s book, but it turned out to be a waste of time. And this beautiful new book called Bloom, which has the coolest plot, but it feels like it just drops off right when it was starting to get good.

What a bummer.

What’s on your list?

I’m always on the lookout for recommendations of the best children’s books. We’re not into peer pressure, but if you like it, we want to like it too! So keep sharing your kids’ favorite books. We love hearing from you and checking those out!



About The Author


Mom to two little ones who are way cuter than they have any right to be. Locavore, bibliophile, ambivert. Lover of architecture, the desert, and raisins. Caffeine free. Probably hangry right now.
I wrote about desert landscaping and urban water conservation in my former life.


  1. Kathleen Zoll | 21st Apr 17

    Our favorites are;
    May I Bring a Friend
    Giraffe and a Half
    A Fly Went By
    The Pout Pout Fish
    The Book With No Pictures
    The Very Quiet Cricket

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