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So Obsessed With: The Baby Edition #7

When I was looking back at old posts for inspiration, I realized how long it had been since I'd done an edition of So Obsessed With focused on baby favorites. My son was about to turn two the last time I posted one – and now he's three and a half! He's technically aged out of the "baby" stage, but I decided to stick with that post name for consistency. Today, I figured it was time for an update on our favorite book since we read all the time! I shared favorite children's books in 2017 and 2018, but here are 32 books we've been loving lately:


As you can probably tell from a quick glance at these books, my son loves animals. I can't tell you how many animal figures we have scattered around our house and how much he knows about animals I'd never heard of before. Right now, he says that he wants to be a veterinarian or a paleontologist when he grows up. It's adorable!

1. Encyclopedia of Animals by Jules Howard – He just got this book for Christmas, and it's already proved to be a favorite. We both love the illustrations. He loves flipping through and describing what he sees (and where they live).

2. What If You Had Animal ______? by Sandra Markle – My mother-in-law introduced my son to this series, and he's obsessed. We read at least one a day! He loves learning about how characteristics are unique to different animals.

3. The Photo Ark by Joel Sartore – My brother and his wife gave my son this book for his birthday last year, and it's been such a hit! It's a photography-focused book, which is a nice contrast to all the illustrated books we own.

4. National Geographic Animal Encyclopedia by National Geographic Kids – Another gift from my mother-in-law. If he wants to learn something about a specific animal, chances are I'll be able find a fact in here to tell him!

5. The Cat in the Hat's Learning Library by Tish Rabe and Bonnie Worth – He checks these books out from the library again and again! If I had to pick his favorite from this list of 32 books, it would absolutely be this series.

6. How Animals Build by Lonely Planet Kids – This was a recent library find that we've enjoyed. There are lots of flaps to lift and animal homes to explore. We like that it focuses on the clever construction of animal architects!

7. Wild Animals of the South and Wild Animals of the North by Dieter Braun – There isn't a lot of text in these two books, but my son doesn't mind at all. The illustration style is very cool, and they're fun to sit and flip through.

8. Creaturepedia by Adrienne Barman – Another recent library find that we'll probably end up buying. Quirky organization and illustrations, but my son carries it around everywhere. So, there's the real testimonial!

9. An Anthology of Intriguing Animals by Ben Hoare – This has it all: beautiful illustrations paired with photographs and just enough text to teach us something new without being too overwhelming or detailed.

There are three books we've enjoyed lately that didn't really fit into fiction or non-fiction. I call them activity books because they prompt us to sit down and play with the content on the pages. From I Spy to Search-and-Find, these have led to countless hours. For example, I love taking this type of book with us to a doctor's appointment!

10. My Big Wimmelbook: Animals Around the World by Stefan Lohr – I bought this for my son in the hospital gift shop after his appendectomy. We like to play "I Spy..." or "Can you find the..." together with it.

11. Search-and-Find Alphabet of Alphabets by A. J. Wood – My son has memorized the ABCs but is still working on identifying them. This is a fun way to practice! There are 26 alphabets with so many things to find in each.

12. Today by Julie Morstad – In our house, we call this "the picking book" because it's all about choosing what to do today. The pages encourage the reader to pick what to eat/wear/do/etc. It's our favorite of the books in this section!


There are a lot of book in this section, and we don't necessarily love them all equally. A few are ones that I personally love to read aloud, but most are ones my son loves best. Many are beloved for the stories inside, but some have become favorites more for their illustrations. 

13. The Bear Series by Karma Wilson – My son and I both love these books! They're fun to read aloud because of the rhyming and repetition, and we love to follow the adventures of these forest animals.

14. Hooray for Books by Brian Won – As a book lover, it's impossible to resist falling in love with this book based solely on the title! A very cute story about the joy of sharing your favorite stories with your friends.

15. They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki – We found this at a nearby children's bookstore and were immediately charmed. Poetic text, dreamy illustrations, and a nice way to talk about colors and seasons. 

16. Finding Wild by Megan Wagner Lloyd – A short little story about all the places wild is hiding, even in a city environment. I like this one because I feel like it encourages being outdoors and exploring nature!

17. If I Had a Little Dream by Nina Laden – This is my mom's favorite on the list! She loves both the illustrations and the words, and it's so cute to listen to her reading it to my son. It's particularly great to read before bed. 

18. The New Adventures of Curious George by Margaret and H.A. Rey – My son has only recently discovered Curious George, and we love both this one and this treasury, too. Lots of laughs over this little monkey!

19. The Antlered Ship by Dashka Slater – I picked this up because it's illustrated by the Fan brothers, but the story itself has since won us over. A fun book about going on adventures and finding friends along the way.

20. Counting with Barefoot Critters and Adventures with Barefoot Critters by Teagan White – I bought these because White is one of my favorite illustrators, and it was lovely to learn she's a talented writer, too. 

21. Mice Skating by Annie Silvestro – I like this one more than my son does – and yes, I initially picked it up because Teagan White is the illustrator. I laugh at the cheesy puns and love reading this one in the winter, in particular. 

22. Smoot: A Rebellious Shadow by Michelle Cuevas – The illustrations are better than the story, in my opinion, but my son loves both. I think it's because he likes imagining that his shadow has its own hopes and dreams.

23. Time for Bed by Mem Fox – For a long time, we read this book every night before bed. The text is soothing as the animals prepare for bed, and I love the soft and cozy feeling of the illustrations. A classic for a reason!

24. All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan – This book makes me feel so nostalgic, even though I didn't grow up on a farm. I love the illustrations, seeing the different family generations, and the overall theme.

25. The Lines on Nana's Face by Simona Ciraolo – I've been surprised by just how much my son loves this book, since I thought it would be more of a "me" book. We adore the grandma's stories explaining her wrinkles!

26. Roly Poly Pangolin by Anna Dewdney – My animal lover is fascinated with pangolins, so I was thrilled to find this at the library. Adorable illustrations, easy-to-read rhyming text, and a cute message about trying new things.

27. Life by Cynthia Rylant – This celebration of life – in its wonder and wilderness – is a favorite because it is populated by animals. It seems like one adults would enjoy more than kids, but my son is the one who prefers it. 

28. A Dog Named Doug by Karma Wilson – My son used to make my dad pretend to be a dog that he called Doug. So, we were excited to find this book! I prefer Wilson's Bear series, but this one has great memories associated.

29. Bunny's Book Club by Annie Silvestro – Who wouldn't love a story about animals sneaking into a library to steal books and then starting a book club?! This is one my son and I love equally, and I'm alway so happy to read it.

30. Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall – My parents brought this back as a souvenir from their trip to Maine, and I adore the gorgeous illustrations. The story itself is lovely, too, as it looks at life inside a lighthouse.

31. Loving Hands by Tony Johnston – Is this extremely sentimental? Yep. But I'm here for it! I love the illustrations and have such a soft spot for this book since it's about a mother and son. Sometimes I like being a little emotional...

32. Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue – Another bedtime favorite in our house, especially because of the animal aspect. We love reading it and then talking about the different places and ways that animals sleep.

Do you have any recommendations for us to read together?
Or spy any personal favorites on our list?

1 comment

  1. So many awesome books here! We have a couple of these (The Antlered Ship and They Say Blue), several were already on my wishlist (Life and Hello, Lifehouse), and so many are ones I haven’t seen before. As for suggestions, a couple of my sons current favorites are Dragons Love Tacos, The Airport Book, and Building Our House. Now I’m off to add a bunch of these to my wishlist!!

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