100 books like Art & Max

By David Wiesner,

Here are 100 books that Art & Max fans have personally recommended if you like Art & Max. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Music for Mister Moon

Dorothia Rohner Author Of I Am Goose!

From my list on children’s books with nature, whimsy, and humor.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born into a large, unique family. Our house was nestled in the Colorado foothill mountains. Our small tv with the rabbit ear antenna had one fuzzy station, so we depended upon our imaginations for entertainment. We read fairy tales, performed puppet shows, fed fairies on the full moon, painted, drew, wrote stories, explored the canyon. I once observed a small pebbled cylinder inch its way across a puddle. I thought it was magic! It was a caddis fly larvae. That spark of excitement from nature, imagination, and whimsy are what inspire me today when I create. I hope these books will inspire you–or at least make you laugh.

Dorothia's book list on children’s books with nature, whimsy, and humor

Dorothia Rohner Why did Dorothia love this book?

The magical tale, Music for Mister Moon, is about a little girl named Harriet, who likes to be called Hank. She loves nothing more than to play her cello, alone. When her parents suggest how wonderful it would be to play in a big orchestra someday, she retreats into her room playing her cello. When the owl hoots outside her window she loses her temper and throws a teacup. And so begins her imaginative journey that tickles the reader's imagination. On Hank’s adventure with Mr. Moon, they encounter kind and thoughtful animals with a profound understanding of acceptance and giving. Each time I read this book, I can almost hear the music of the cello float out the window, the crash of the teacup, the smell of the smoke that fills the little house. Harriet’s emotional journey comes full circle with a most satisfying ending. A must-read, over and…

By Phillip C. Stead, Erin E. Stead (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Music for Mister Moon 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?

A shy musician makes an unexpected friend in this beautiful picture book from an award-winning duo.

A Great Lakes Great Reads Award Children's Picture Book Winner

A girl named Harriet longs to play her cello alone in her room. But when a noisy owl disrupts her solitude, Harriet throws her teacup out the window in frustration, and accidentally knocks the moon out of the sky.

Over the course of an evening, Harriet and the moon become fast friends. Worried that he'll catch a chill, Harriet buys the moon a soft woolen hat, then takes him on a boat ride across…


Book cover of Du Iz Tak?

Aaron Zenz Author Of The Hiccupotamus

From my list on nonsense in children’s books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the Illustrator of 45 books for kids, 9 of which I authored as well. I have always been attracted to joyful nonsense. I am drawn to books and writings that turn norms on their heads. From the time I was super young, my favorite poem has been Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” with its delightful slithy toves gyring and gimbling in the wabe. In fact, of the books I’ve written to date, every one has had some kind of nonsensical element to it.

Aaron's book list on nonsense in children’s books

Aaron Zenz Why did Aaron love this book?

This gorgeous book is set like a stage and populated with a variety of bugs who speak a language invented by the author. Within the short space between the covers, our cast experiences the full gamut of life, death, villainy, victory, nature, building, community, beauty, growth, decay, loss, hope, and transformation – an amazing feat! While the invented language is full of delightfully silly words, every sentence can be accurately decoded by tracking how individual words and phrases are reused and by looking for context clues. A sampling of the nonsense you’ll find: “Du kimma plonk?” “Iz unk gladenboot.” “Booby voobeck!”

By Carson Ellis,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Du Iz Tak? 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?

The creator of Home explores the astonishing changes in a garden, where insects talk their own mysterious language.

In her follow-up to the internationally acclaimed Home, Carson Ellis invites readers to imagine the dramatic possibilities to be found in the natural world ... even the humblest back garden! With gorgeous, exquisitely-detailed illustration that will appear to children and art-lovers alike, and a wonderfully playful invented language, we soon find ourselves speaking "Bug" ... Du iz tak? What is that?


Book cover of The Green Umbrella

Dorothia Rohner Author Of I Am Goose!

From my list on children’s books with nature, whimsy, and humor.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born into a large, unique family. Our house was nestled in the Colorado foothill mountains. Our small tv with the rabbit ear antenna had one fuzzy station, so we depended upon our imaginations for entertainment. We read fairy tales, performed puppet shows, fed fairies on the full moon, painted, drew, wrote stories, explored the canyon. I once observed a small pebbled cylinder inch its way across a puddle. I thought it was magic! It was a caddis fly larvae. That spark of excitement from nature, imagination, and whimsy are what inspire me today when I create. I hope these books will inspire you–or at least make you laugh.

Dorothia's book list on children’s books with nature, whimsy, and humor

Dorothia Rohner Why did Dorothia love this book?

The cover illustrations for The Green Umbrella captivated my attention. It shows a playful elephant holding a green umbrella floating in the rain, jumping through puddles. The world that elephant lives in feels both foreign and familiar. On his rainy day walk, he encounters a hedgehog, cat, bear, rabbit, who all claim the green umbrella as their own. Each of them using it for a delightfully inventive purpose. As in all great kids' books, the message of sharing is tenderly disguised. The painted collage illustrations are textured with gorgeous details.

By Jackie Azusa Kramer, Maral Sassouni (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Green Umbrella 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?

A 2017 Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year.

Mom's Choice Award - Gold

A 2017 Parents' Choice Silver Honor

Things aren’t always what they seem in this charming tale of imagination, sharing and friendship.

When Elephant takes a peaceful walk with his green umbrella, he’s interrupted by Hedgehog, Cat, Bear, and Rabbit—all claiming that they’ve had exciting adventures with his umbrella. After all, it is an umbrella, and it certainly hasn’t been on any adventures more exciting than a walk in the rain. Or has it?

Jackie Azúa Kramer and illustrator Maral Sassouni both make their debut in…


Book cover of Moon: A Peek-Through Picture Book

Diana Mayo Author Of Molly on the Moon

From my list on for children who love space and science fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I usually enjoy painting pictures for storybooks about nature I know, so it was a treat to depict an imaginary place that I’ve never actually seen! I was so inspired to illustrate Mary’s story about the moon, as I could focus on creating an other-worldly atmosphere, adding to the drama that could have happened anywhere. The story focuses on Molly and her family moving to the moon and includes scientific facts about how gravity would impact their everyday life. I used Mary’s knowledge as reference to underpin the imaginative side of my process. Painting the inside of a moon module enabled me to use textures, colours, and lighting in such a fun, expressive way!

Diana's book list on for children who love space and science fiction

Diana Mayo Why did Diana love this book?

As an illustrator myself, I’m always drawn to picture books of beauty that have a style I admire. Britta Teckentrup’s textured, detailed, gentle artworks perfectly compliment the author’s rhyming text, bringing magical life to facts about the lunar cycle. I love the moodiness and atmosphere captured that gives feeling to the science described, and it’s all packaged with beautiful heavy-weight paper, bringing class and a gift-like quality.

By Britta Teckentrup,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the much-loved children’s series that began with Tree: A Peek-Through Picture Book comes an informative book with peek-through holes that show the moon’s different phases with each turn of the page.

Over deserts and forests, Arctic tundra and tropical beaches, the moon shines down on creatures around the world. Children will love discovering how it changes from day to day as the lunar cycle is shown through clever peek-through holes, each revealing the moon in a different size and shape.
 
It’s the perfect light nonfiction book for young stargazers—and an ideal bedtime book, ending with a giant moon hovering…


Book cover of Reptiles for Kids: A Junior Scientist's Guide to Lizards, Amphibians, and Cold-Blooded Creatures

Deb Aronson Author Of Reptiles: King Cobras

From my list on misunderstood or weird creatures for children.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a non-fiction writer my entire career and I love learning new things and then sharing them with readers in an approachable and engaging way, as these books do. These books encourage curiosity and that kind of “Oh! I didn’t know that!” response, which can spark a young reader to dig deeper and even share their new knowledge with others.

Deb's book list on misunderstood or weird creatures for children

Deb Aronson Why did Deb love this book?

This book covers a broader range of creatures. I find it an outstanding introduction to reptiles, because each chapter discusses a different reptile group—snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises, crocodiles and alligators, and, lastly, amphibians.

The material is clearly organized and includes a general description of the animal type, their anatomy, their diet, and then, a separate section on reptiles (or snakes etc.) at home that gives the young reader a way to learn more about a specific creature that is safe for them to explore and even keep as a pet.

By Michael G Starkey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Reptiles for Kids as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

Explore the fascinating world of reptiles with the Junior Scientists series for kids ages 6 to 9

Big and small. Cute and dangerous. Covered in spikes, scales, and bony plates! Reptiles for Kids is filled with fun facts and amazing photos of slithering snakes and lizards, tough turtles and tortoises, creepy crocodiles and alligators, and some awesome amphibians. These ancient animals come in all sizes, shapes, and colors, from the weird to the wonderful and everything in between.

Learn how a tadpole becomes a frog, what a crocodile likes to eat (and how it catches its prey!), and which gecko…


Book cover of Reptiles

Laura Hulbert Author Of Who Has These Feet?

From my list on animal adaptations for young readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was a child, I saw a grasshopper doing the sidestroke in the ocean and it sparked my interest in animal behavior. Though I still don’t know if all grasshoppers do the sidestroke, I’ve learned a lot about animal adaptations since then. And I’ve learned a lot about what motivates young readers from my years as a reading specialist and a classroom teacher. I’ve put that knowledge to work in my two popular books: Who Has These Feet? and Who Has This Tail?

Laura's book list on animal adaptations for young readers

Laura Hulbert Why did Laura love this book?

You really can’t go wrong with a book from Usborne publishers. Reptiles is a gem. It has all the features of a traditional non-fiction book--chapter titles, table of contents, glossary, and a list of related websites--and it bestows information in kid-friendly language. When a procedure is outlined, such as temperature regulation for a desert lizard through a long hot day, the process is distilled into 4 numbered steps. The small size of the book (6” x 8”), the beautiful integration of photographs and illustrations, and the high interest level of the topics covered makes this book a surefire winner with kids.

By Catriona Clarke, Connie McLennan (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Reptiles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a fantastic brand new addition to the "Beginners" series, designed to provide an informative introduction to trees and plant-life for young readers. Children can learn about some of the most fascinating cold-blooded creatures in the world from reptiles that can fly, walk on water, and climb on ceilings. This book offers terrific reading practice for children who prefer fact to fiction. It is developed with a reading expert from Roehampton University to help young readers grow in confidence. It is great value for money.


Book cover of Dream Dog

Judy Lea Author Of Please Don't Go in the Dryer!

From my list on laugh out loud children’s books about pets.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a semi-retired music teacher and grandmother of two. When my kids were little, we would devour books like they were delicious candy, reading our favourites over and over again. I still love reading out loud, using various inflections, accents, and voices for the different characters. I’ve read hundreds of children’s books and the ones I enjoy most have a great message, are fun to read out loud, and also make me laugh. And they must have beautiful, colourful illustrations! My first book is a spoken word piece from my WCMA-nominated CD, Too Much Work To Do. It’s been asking me to dream it into a book for years! 

Judy's book list on laugh out loud children’s books about pets

Judy Lea Why did Judy love this book?

Harry really wants a dog! Alas, his dad’s nose is sensitive from working in a pepper factory; dogs make him sneeze! He gets Harry a chameleon and it’s ok; it changes colours, but doesn’t move much and is hard to see. So…Harry decides to dream a dog! The two have the best time together until one day… 

I really relate to this story because dogs make me sneeze too! I love Harry’s great imagination and the father’s sympathy for his son, going along with the existence of Waffle, the dream dog. The illustrations are whimsical, beautiful, and hilarious. I think you will be delighted with this book, maybe as much as me! 

PS. The author is a ten-time Emmy Award winner and former head writer for Sesame Street!

By Lou Berger, David J. Catrow (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dream Dog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Written by a ten-time Emmy Award winner and former head writer for Sesame Street, here's a story that will resonate with every dog-loving child out there. Harry wants wants wants a dog, and, instead of getting one, his parents try to placate him with a pet that's decidedly less interesting—a lizard. So Harry takes matters into his own hands and places his X-35 Infra-Rocket Imagination Helmet on his head, and soon something—with paws! a tail! a wet nose!—pops into the world. Sure, nobody else can see the dog named Waffle, but that doesn't matter to Harry. But what happens when…


Book cover of The Last Hour of Gann

Melody Johnson Author Of Beyond the Next Star

From my list on sci-fi that will melt your heart.

Why am I passionate about this?

Science fiction is a wonderful genre and a fun one to write because it offers authors the opportunity to explore age-old topics from a fresh perspective. For me, as both a writer and a voracious reader, the one thing that ties me to a great story—no matter the genre—is romance. Whether the hero is an alien from a faraway world or a werewolf with mechanical organs, the heart of a story is its characters, the relationships they form, and the healing power of love. Below are my top five recommended reads in science fiction that are sure to melt your heart!

Melody's book list on sci-fi that will melt your heart

Melody Johnson Why did Melody love this book?

All of R. Lee Smith’s novels are dark, explicit, and fascinating, but my favorite (and it was a Sophie’s Choice, for sure!) is The Last Hour of Gann. The heroine, Amber, and her spaceship full of fellow pioneers crash land on a dystopian alien world inhabited by lizard people. The humans are woefully unprepared to survive in the wild and all too willing to turn on one another. When a passing lizard/warrior/judge, Meoraq, stumbles upon their camp, Amber jumps at the opportunity to beg for his aid, a near-impossible task without knowing his language. Together, they learn to communicate, and as Meoraq embarks on the futile task of keeping “his humans” safe, so begins the delicious, inexplicable, slow-burn romance between woman and lizard that I never knew I needed.

By R. Lee Smith,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Last Hour of Gann as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It was her last chance:Amber Bierce had nothing left except her sister and two tickets on Earth’s first colony-ship. She entered her Sleeper with a five-year contract and the promise of a better life, but awakened in wreckage on an unknown world. For the survivors, there is no rescue, no way home and no hope until they are found by Meoraq—a holy warrior more deadly than any hungering beast on this hostile new world…but whose eyes show a different sort of hunger when he looks at her.It was his last year of freedom:Uyane Meoraq is a Sword of Sheul, God’s…


Book cover of Brief Thief

Nancy Vo Author Of Boobies

From my list on with sideways humor and irony.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born where the sun rose in the prairies and set behind the Rockies. Now I live on the West Coast of Canada. I am a picture bookmaker, and from my recommendations, you might think that I also have a thing for thieves: cupcake thieves, underwear thieves, hat thieves, chicken thieves, pie thieves. But I’m really here for the element of surprise and well-earned laughs in children’s picture books. They say comedy is hard, but comedy in picture books is even harder. These five picks are a great place to start if you like smartly silly picture books with a bit of off-kilter humor and a sense of irony. Bonus points for puns.

Nancy's book list on with sideways humor and irony

Nancy Vo Why did Nancy love this book?

This book has so many things going for it, including the inimitable pairing of Escoffier and Di Giacomo (see their other book collaborations). Brief Thief is full of wit, charmingly illustrated, and deliciously fun to read aloud using the voices of a lizard and his conscience. Yes, there is potty humor, but it is arguably more about problem-solving and doing the right thing. Even the title is clever – the lizard was a thief briefly, and it was briefs that he stole. The last two wordless spreads are priceless.

By Michaël Escoffier, Kris Di Giacomo (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Brief Thief as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Witty, humorous illustrations of great charm tell this story of conscience and mistaken identity as thoroughly as the book's delightful text. Here a lizard takes the liberty of using what seem to be some old underpants when he runs out of toilet paper. What he doesn't count on is that his own conscience and an outraged rabbit will be watching.


Book cover of Dragonsong

Leanne M. Pankuch Author Of Dragon's Truth

From my list on girls and dragons, or girl dragons.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up reading and re-reading Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. But it always bothered me that there weren’t many girls or women in those books—and most of those that did appear were pretty, perfect, and—well—kind of boring. In college, I studied literature, myths, and fairytales and found that most of the female characters in those stories didn’t reflect women I wanted to be or know, either. So, I wrote my own high fantasy novel and continue to seek out great fantasy, sci-fi, and fairytale-inspired literature featuring strong female characters that are dragons on the inside—and sometimes on the outside, too. 

Leanne's book list on girls and dragons, or girl dragons

Leanne M. Pankuch Why did Leanne love this book?

Dragonsong is the science fantasy story of an isolated teenage girl who runs away from home when forbidden to pursue her passion for music. She stumbles on a nest of fire lizards—the legendary ancestors of the dragons that keep her world safe—and must stop hiding her identity and use her gifts to aid the dragonriders in their crucial mission. 

This book has the SF/F holy trinity of great plot, characters, and world-building—but what really hooked me was the multi-dimensional female main character that I connected to immediately. I’m a musician and creative thinker, too, so I could see myself in Menolly. This book is for anyone who has ever been told to hide part of who they are—and anyone who loves dragons, of course.

By Anne McCaffrey,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Dragonsong as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

Let Anne McCaffrey, storyteller extraordinare and New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author, take you on a journey to a whole new world: Pern. A world of dragons and other worldly forces; a world of mighty power and ominous threat.. If you like David Eddings, Brandon Sanderson and Douglas Adams, you will love this.

"Anne McCaffrey, one of the queens of science fiction, knows exactly how to give her public what it wants" - THE TIMES
"Do yourself a favour and read ANYTHING by this Author, you won't be sorry" -- ***** Reader review
"A real page turner" --…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in lizards, painting, and reptiles?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about lizards, painting, and reptiles.

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