The best picture books to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside

Why am I passionate about this?

We’re picture book lovers and best friends that met in college at Washington University in St. Louis. Our friendship started out with long telephone conversations during the pandemic, and have now blossomed into a picture book partnership where we hope to write books that make people feel warm and fuzzy through the universality of the human experience. Vivienne is still currently a student at WashU, but will move to New York post-graduation. Eugenia has since graduated and is currently a designer in the children’s department at Chronicle Books in the Bay Area.

I wrote...

This Is Not My Home

By Eugenia Yoh & Vivienne Chang,

Book cover of This Is Not My Home

What is my book about?

This Is Not My Home is a reverse immigration story about a little girl named Lily who is forced to move back to Taiwan. Told eloquently in panels and very few words, we follow this angry girl through the streets of her new and unfamiliar environment. She despises the food, squats in distaste at the toilet, and feels overwhelmed by the language. Though it takes a bit of time, Lily begins to realize what home means to not just her, but those around her as well.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Kuma-Kuma Chan's Home

Eugenia Yoh & Vivienne Chang Why did I love this book?

This sweet, tiny Japanese book is part of a three-book series revolving around a little bear named Kuma Kuma Chan. The story perfectly captures what it feels like to go visit a friend who lives far away. Even though the visit is not particularly eventful, the moments shared drinking bear tea and eating gifted chocolates feel so relatable. The illustrations are simple and serene, paired with an equally quiet and sweet story of friendship.

By Kazue Takahashi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kuma-Kuma Chan's Home as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

When a boy receives an invitation in the mail from Kuma-Kuma Chan, his friend who happens to be a bear, he travels by train, bus, and foot to reach Kuma-Kuma Chan's home. His friend welcomes him with 'bear tea', serves rice crackers and at the end of the day, a delicious salmon dinner. The two don't have a lot to talk about, but they spend the day sharing activities, eating delicious food, and experiencing the sense of belonging that comes from being with a good friend. When the boy leaves to catch the last bus home, both friends are enriched…

Book cover of My Strange Shrinking Parents

Eugenia Yoh & Vivienne Chang Why did I love this book?

The watercolor illustrations in this book are absolutely gorgeous, and the story itself mixes magical realism with an insightful truth. In providing us with opportunities, our parents have to sacrifice a little bit of themselves. Throughout the book, this abstract sacrifice is portrayed by the parent’s shrinking scale. The parents offer a few inches of their height in exchange to give their child a birthday cake, education, and books. Throughout time, the reader sees the parents shrink smaller and smaller as they give more and more of themselves to the young boy. This is a book that made us want to tear up, and a book that we wish we could have written.

By Zeno Sworder,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Strange Shrinking Parents 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?

From the author of the award-winning picture book This Small Blue Dot comes a new tale of a family that doesn’t look like all the others, carrying an enduring message of the transformative power of love, and the shape a life can take.

It goes without saying that all children believe their parents to be strange. Mine were unusual for a different reason . . .

One boy’s parents travel from far-off lands to improve their son’s life. But what happens next is unexpected. What does it mean when your parents are different? What shape does love take? And what…

Book cover of Let's Do Everything and Nothing

Eugenia Yoh & Vivienne Chang Why did I love this book?

This book is composed of beautifully rendered landscapes in a considered color palette. A mother-daughter story sits at the heart of the book and is accompanied by breathtaking environments juxtaposed with everyday settings. This story shows that whether we are climbing a large mountain, or watching the shadows stretch in the afternoon, as long as we are together, there is nowhere else we rather be.

By Julia Kuo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Let's Do Everything and Nothing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

Let's Do Everything and Nothing is a lush and lyrical picture book from Julia Kuo celebrating special moments―big and small―shared with a child.

Will you climb a hill with me?
Dive into a lake with me?
Reach the starry sky with me,
and watch the clouds parade?

Love can feel as vast as a sky full of breathtaking clouds or as gentle as a sparkling, starlit night. It can scale the tallest mountains and reach the deepest depths of the sea.

Standing side by side with someone you love, the unimaginable can seem achievable.
But not every magical moment is…

Book cover of Guess How Much I Love You

Eugenia Yoh & Vivienne Chang Why did I love this book?

There is so much we love about this book. Every page stretches the imagination on how much one can love in physical distance form and it makes you realize that love, in a sense, has not bounds. You can’t guess how much Little Nutbrown Hare is loved, but he are loved endlessly. Not only is this book warm and fuzzy vibes, it makes you want to cry with this father and child relationship. Vivienne’s dad is a big inspiration in my life and it makes her realize how much she love him and hope to be just like him one day.

By Sam McBratney, Anita Jeram (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Guess How Much I Love You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Celebrate twenty-five years of love right up to the moon and back! A new board-book edition is perfect for little hands.

How much does Little Nutbrown Hare love his daddy? And how much does Big Nutbrown Hare love him back? The cherished tale of boundless affection is ready for boundless sharing in a durable board-book edition for the younger set.

Book cover of Professional Crocodile

Eugenia Yoh & Vivienne Chang Why did I love this book?

This heartwarming watercolored picture book follows a crocodile as he sets off into the great metropolis for his morning commute. With no words at all, this book expertly shows the bustling, dynamic city life with both human and animal inhabitants. Each page is compositionally unique, and it is a masterclass in pacing and paneling. Despite the urban landscapes, the illustrations are rendered in a way that feels like a breath of fresh air. And best of all, the last page will make you want to revisit the entire book from beginning to end.

By Giovanna Zoboli, Mariachiara Di Giorgio (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Professional Crocodile as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Mr. Crocodile loves his job. Every morning he gets up with an alarm. He brushes his teeth. He chooses the right tie to match his outfit, eats a quick slice of toast, and heads off to work on a crowded train. But what is his job? The answer may surprise you. Readers will want to pore over this witty, wordless book again and again, finding new details and new stories with every reading.

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