The best picture books for parents to read to their children

Why am I passionate about this?

My name is Susan Marie Chapman and I am an award-winning Children’s Book Author. I have written over fourteen children’s books. I grew up on a farm surrounded by animals and nature and my seven sisters and brothers. Wow!! My goal is to get as many books into the hands of children that I possibly can. You see, reading books, especially picture books, is a way for a child to see the world through the pictures and words of a book. It creates imagination and excitement and fun and questions which lead to answers which makes you smarter. So read, read, read, until you run out of books, which will never happen.


I wrote...

Book cover of Grumpy the Iguana

What is my book about?

Grumpy the Iguana was a happy iguana until something happened to him that changed his mood from happy to grumpy. Grumpy’s life was perfect. He had a daily routine that was perfect for him. He had a perfect little tree home and he had neighbors and friends that loved him. This was Grumpy’s perfect life until his world was turned upside down. No one could say anything to make Grumpy feel better. Until one day he met someone that changed his life.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Owl Babies

Susan Marie Chapman Why did I love this book?

This book was a favorite of my children who are now adults themselves. They still remember reading this book. This year, in fact, is the 25th Anniversary of the publication of Owl Babies. The story is about a very big emotion for children and that is the promise that mommy and daddy will always come home. It is about three baby owls who worry that their mom may not return. She has been gone for a very long time and the babies are trying to be brave by imagining where she is and what she must be doing. The illustrations are beautiful and capture the emotions of the three baby owls. I love this book because it features babies, which babies can relate to. Babies worry and they depend on their parents to take care of them. The moral of this story is, “Parents, don't break your promises. Follow through and do what you say you are going to do.” Our children are depending on us.

By Martin Waddell, Patrick Benson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Owl Babies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A special 25th anniversary edition of a modern classic, Owl Babies reassures young children that Mummy will always come home.

"The perfect picture book" Guardian

A special 25th anniversary board book edition of a bestselling modern classic, Owl Babies is a comforting read for any toddler who has ever worried about mum leaving them alone, or any child starting pre-school for the very first time. Sarah, Percy and Bill the baby owls wake one night to find their mother gone. And as the darkness gathers and they perch patiently on their branch waiting for her return, oh how they worry!…


Book cover of Stellaluna

Susan Marie Chapman Why did I love this book?

This is another favorite book of my children when they were young. Also a 25-year anniversary book, the words and illustrations are both done by the author. This story covers a few big emotions for children. It begins with separation and loneliness but ends on a positive note of courage and an unlikely friendship.

Stellaluna is a baby fruit bat who is not old enough to fly. One day she unexpectedly falls from her nest. Now she is alone and lost. She clutches onto a branch but ends up falling again, this time into a bird's nest. Can a bat become a bird? Do they eat the same things and do they like to sleep at the same time? This is a wonderful book and the illustrations are divine. I recommended this book because it is a book that I will be reading to my grandchildren.  It is a book of survival and strength and never giving up. This book makes me feel like nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough.

By Janell Cannon,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Stellaluna as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Knocked from her mother's safe embrace by an attacking owl, Stellaluna lands headfirst in a bird's nest. This adorable baby fruit bat's world is literally turned upside down when she is adopted by the occupants of the nest and adapts to their peculiar bird habits. Two pages of notes at the end of the story provide factual information about bats. "Delightful and informative but never didactic; a splendid debut." - Kirkus Reviews AGES: 4 to 7 AUTHOR: Janell Cannon's picture books have won many awards and are beloved around the world. She is the author and illustrator of Verdi, Crickwing,…


Book cover of I Don't Like Rain!

Susan Marie Chapman Why did I love this book?

I love this book. It brings back so many memories of growing up in the country for me. The illustrations in this book are very expressive and literally speak for themselves, no words necessary.

The day starts out pretty nice for a young bunny who is trying to get a game of kickball started.

He calls out to his neighboring animal friends to come out of their homes and play. They all step outside. There is the hedgehog, the skunk, the fox, the raccoon, and many more. All of a sudden, clouds roll in and everyone goes home except the bunny. He loves rain. This is a big book full of fun. I really enjoyed this book. For me, it's all about the illustrations. I do not like the rain. Getting caught in a rainstorm without an umbrella is no fun. But, this book reminded me of a time in my childhood, when a rainstorm meant running outside to jump in the puddles, get soaking wet, and not care at all. This book makes me feel like a kid again.

By Sarah Dillard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Don't Like Rain! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A little rabbit discovers the delight in a dreary rainy day in this splashing sequel to the witty and whimsical picture book, I Wish it Would Snow.

One sunny day, Rabbit and his pals are playing outside and they couldn't be happier. But, oh, no!-the sky starts clouding up and before they know it, it's raining, it's pouring, and everyone has to run home. How boring! What will they do for the rest of the day?

It doesn't take long for Rabbit to realize that fun can be had in the rain. With raincoats, boots, and umbrellas, let the splashing…


Book cover of A Bed for Bear

Susan Marie Chapman Why did I love this book?

This is a great tale of a Bear named Bernard who thought there must be a better place to hibernate for the winter than a bear den. He has the perfect sleeping arrangement in mind. He wants a quiet, dry, not windy, extra room and some company, kind of place. Well, Bernard thought it would be easy, not so. He tried the frog’s lily pad and it was too wet. He sat in a bird’s nest with a bird but it was very windy, and so on. He finally meets a mouse who asks Bernard to describe the perfect sleeping arrangements. The mouse leads Bernard to the only place that would be perfect for a bear to sleep in. I love the message of this bear tale. It is about being yourself and not trying to be like everyone else. When you try to fit in, you realize that you are perfect just the way you are. Sometimes it takes one smart bunny to let you figure it out all by yourself.

By Clive McFarland,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Bed for Bear as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Children will fall in love with Bernard, the sleepy bear with a simple wish, in A Bed for Bear. It's time for Bernard to hibernate, but the bear cave is too crowded, too quiet, and too uncomfortable. So Bernard sets out to search the forest for the perfect bed for winter. But all he discovers are spots too windy, too wet, and too wild for him until he realizes that the perfect bed for a bear was right in front of him all along. With simple text and evocative illustrations by debut author-illustrator Clive McFarland, this heartwarming picture book is…


Book cover of A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars

Susan Marie Chapman Why did I love this book?

What child isn’t curious about the night sky and all the stars that live up there? Did you know that the Sun is a giant star?  This book is full of fun facts, not just about stars but about our planet. It helps to put things into perspective, so to speak. It talks about gravity and how many miles away the moon is from the earth. I think kids will learn a lot from reading this book and will even be able to impress their friends with all of their newly acquired knowledge. Did you know the earth looks green because it’s covered in 3,000,000,000,000 trees?? I love this book because learning new things is fun and this book is all about fun. I felt very smart after reading this book.

By Seth Fishman, Isabel Greenberg (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book * Winner of the Mathical Book Prize

Perfect for curious children, classrooms eager for STEM content, and readers who have devoured Ada Twist, Scientist and How Much Is a Million?

Did you know that the earth is covered in three trillion trees? And that seven billion people weigh about the same as ten quadrillion ants? Our world is full of constantly changing numbers, from a hundred billion trillion stars in space to thirty-seven billion rabbits on Earth. Can you imagine that many of anything?

The playful illustrations from New York Times–bestselling artist Isabel Greenberg…


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Book cover of Mindleap: A Fresh View of Education Empowered by Neuroscience and Systems Thinking

Jim Brown Author Of Mindleap: A Fresh View of Education Empowered by Neuroscience and Systems Thinking

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Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent my entire professional life quietly patrolling the frontiers of understanding human consciousness. I was an early adopter in the burgeoning field of biofeedback, then neurofeedback and neuroscience, plus theory and practices of humanistic and transpersonal psychology, plus steeping myself in systems theory as a context for all these other fields of focus. I hold a MS in psychology from San Francisco State University and a PhD from Saybrook Institute. I live in Mount Shasta CA with Molly, my life partner for over 60 years. We have two sons and two grandchildren.

Jim's book list on brain, mind, and consciousness

What is my book about?

In this thoroughly researched and exquisitely crafted treatise, Jim Brown synthesizes the newest understandings in neuroscience, developmental psychology, and dynamical systems theory for educators and others committed to nurturing human development.

He explains complex concepts in down-to-earth terms, suggesting how these understandings can transform education to engender optimal learning and intelligence. He explores the nature of consciousness, intelligence, and mind.

Brown then offers a model of optimal human learning through lifelong brain development within a supportive culture--drawing on the work of Piaget, Erickson, Maslow, Kohlberg, and Steiner--and how that work is being vastly expanded by neuroscience and dynamical systems thinking.

Mindleap: A Fresh View of Education Empowered by Neuroscience and Systems Thinking

By Jim Brown,

What is this book about?

In this thoroughly-researched and exquisitely crafted treatise, Jim Brown synthesizes the newest understandings in neuroscience, developmental psychology, and dynamical systems theory for educators and others committed to nurturing human development. He explains complex concepts in down-to-earth terms, suggesting how these understandings can transform education to truly engender optimal learning and intelligence. He explores the nature of consciousness, intelligence, and mind. Brown then offers a model of optimal human learning through life-long brain development within a supportive culture--drawing on the work of Piaget, Erickson, Maslow, Kohlberg, and Steiner--and how that work is being vastly expanded by neuroscience and dynamical systems thinking.


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