100 books like Big Red Lollipop

By Rukhsana Khan, Sophie Blackall (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that Big Red Lollipop fans have personally recommended if you like Big Red Lollipop. 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 Owl Babies

Why am I passionate about this?

Lots of us rely occasionally on technology to help us entertain a young child, but the connection we form when looking at a book together cannot be beaten. I have found, both personally and professionally, that great books are born when a kind of magical mix-up is created in a child’s imagination between the words you read and the pictures they see. It feels so wonderful when this happens that they want to revisit the book again and again. I have written many books for young children over more than 20 years, and I am always striving to help cast that magical spell.

Fiona's book list on families and growing up–the funny bits, the comforting bits. . .and the scary bits

Fiona Munro Why did Fiona love this book?

At some point, every child is in a situation, maybe just for a few seconds, where they are not totally sure that their parent is coming back. I can still remember the look on my kids’ faces on their first day at nursery school! That feeling is no different for the young owl siblings in this story, left alone in the dark woods when their mother flies off in search of food. 

I love the simplicity of this tale, and the language is beautiful. We often turned to it at bedtime in our house, and no matter how many times I read, “Soft and silent, she swooped through the trees to Sarah and Percy and Bill,” it never got old.

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 Don't Forget to Come Back!

Naomi Danis Author Of Bye, Car

From my list on separation and belonging picture books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the author of picture books about feelings (I Hate Everyone), friendship (My Best Friend, Sometimes), and family (While Grandpa Napsand now, things that go (Bye, Car). I’ve also written about taking a bath and going for a walk. Wanting to be close and cared for, and at the same time, wanting to take even tentative steps toward independence is at the heart of the challenge of growing up for young children. Negotiating between the wish to belong and the wish to separate can be messy. The themes of connection, relationship, love, and ambivalence inspire much of my writing

Naomi's book list on separation and belonging picture books

Naomi Danis Why did Naomi love this book?

Mommy and Daddy are going out—without her— and the narrator of this compassionate and sweetly, smartly funny picture book doesn’t like it one bit. She keeps finding three new very important things to tell her patient parents to prevent their leaving—to no avail. The babysitter, not surprisingly, turns out to be very cool. I love the imagination, resourcefulness, and spunk of this child narrator coping with her own feelings of separation.

By Robie H. Harris, Harry Bliss (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Don't Forget to Come Back! 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?

With warmth, empathy, and a healthy dose of hilarity, Robie H. Harris and Harry Bliss capture the many emotions children feel when parents go out — and a babysitter comes in!

Guess what? The babysitter is coming!

That means:

1. Mommy and Daddy are going out
2. the feisty heroine of this book is not going out . . .
3. and she doesn’t like that one bit!

Parents, kids, and babysitters alike will relate to—and laugh at—this all-too-familiar tale, wisely and wittily penned by an expert in child development and brought wickedly to life with detailed illustrations by a…


Book cover of Where the Wild Things Are

Jane Yolen Author Of Giant Island

From my list on kids and mythical creatures.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hello! I am Jane Yolen, author of almost 450 books. I write picture books and novels, poetry, and graphic novels–mostly for children. I have published books about just about every subject imaginable. But I’ve always loved fantasy books especially. I grew up on the Alice in Wonderland books and the Arthurian legends. I, of course, carried that love into my writing life–having written about monsters, mermaids, and unicorns. I’m fascinated by fairies; they show up in a lot of what I write. Give me a real kid and a mythical creature of some sort, sprinkle in a bit of magicI’m in! 

Jane's book list on kids and mythical creatures

Jane Yolen Why did Jane love this book?

There is no doubt that this book is the classic example of a real kid with fantasy creatures. Not the first, but the one I return to over and over again. The first time I read it, I thought, “drat! Why didn’t I write this book?”

Not only is the story multi-layered, it is a story that reads like a poem and it has an unforgettable last line. 

By Maurice Sendak,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked Where the Wild Things Are 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?

Read-along with the story in this book and CD edition!

One night Max puts on his wolf suit and makes mischief of one kind and another, so his mother calls him 'Wild Thing' and sends him to bed without his supper.

That night a forest begins to grow in Max's room and an ocean rushes by with a boat to take Max to the place where the wild things are. Max tames the wild things and crowns himself as their king, and then the wild rumpus begins.

But when Max has sent the monsters to bed, and everything is quiet,…


Book cover of Night Job

Naomi Danis Author Of Bye, Car

From my list on separation and belonging picture books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the author of picture books about feelings (I Hate Everyone), friendship (My Best Friend, Sometimes), and family (While Grandpa Napsand now, things that go (Bye, Car). I’ve also written about taking a bath and going for a walk. Wanting to be close and cared for, and at the same time, wanting to take even tentative steps toward independence is at the heart of the challenge of growing up for young children. Negotiating between the wish to belong and the wish to separate can be messy. The themes of connection, relationship, love, and ambivalence inspire much of my writing

Naomi's book list on separation and belonging picture books

Naomi Danis Why did Naomi love this book?

While the city sleeps a small boy accompanies his dad on his night shift as a school custodian, playing ball in the gym while his dad sweeps, sharing a meal they brought with them, listening to a game on the radio as they go from classroom to classroom, reading aloud on a couch until he dozes off while his dad polishes the library. I love this story for its tender sense of togetherness and for sharing the adult world of work. The night time makes it special too.

By Karen Hesse, G. Brian Karas (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Night Job 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?

With lyrical narration and elegant, evocative artwork, Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse and illustrator G. Brian Karas share the nighttime experience of a father and child.

When the sun sets, Dad’s job as a school custodian is just beginning. What is it like to work on a Friday night while the rest of the city is asleep? There’s the smell of lilacs in the night air, the dusky highway in the moonlight, and glimpses of shy nighttime animals to make the dark magical. Shooting baskets in the half-lit gym, sweeping the stage with the game on the radio, and reading out…


Book cover of Shades of Milk and Honey

A.J. Maguire Author Of Usurper

From my list on how relationships can shape who we want to be.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in an era when princesses were big and the idea that a woman needs a man to be saved was just beginning to be questioned. I also lived in a single-parent household when that was still something society shamed. Watching my mother, I got a front-row seat to just how loving, vulnerable, and tough-as-nails women can be, and this instilled a desire to tell stories that highlight these sorts of women. My novels have survivors who discover that relationships do not need to be the only thing that defines them, but instead that relationship shapes both parties in ways neither can expect. 

A.J.'s book list on how relationships can shape who we want to be

A.J. Maguire Why did A.J. love this book?

Being a Jane Austin fan myself, it’s hard for me not to love the Glamorist series by Kowal. I deeply enjoyed the magic system she built in the series, and the characters were like… well, like old friends. Vincent provides enough of a Mr. Darcy feel for me that I was pleased by the romance written in here and I quite liked the fact that Jane was “plain” as opposed to the stunning beauties often written in the romance genre. 

By Mary Robinette Kowal,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is a fantasy novel you wish Jane Austen had written. "Shades of Milk and Honey" is an intimate portrait of Jane Ellsworth of Dorchester, a woman ahead of her time in a version of Regency England where the manipulation of glamour is considered an essential skill for a lady of quality. Despite the prevalence of magic in everyday life, other aspects of Dorchester's society are not that different: Jane and her sister Melody's lives still revolve around vying for the attentions of eligible men. While Jane's skill with glamour is remarkable, it is her sister who is fair of…


Book cover of Do One Thing Different: Ten Simple Ways to Change Your Life

Shelly Marshall Author Of Escaping Myself: Lee B's Biography, a true story of sobriety and his best tall tales

From my list on turning sobriety into a super power.

Why am I passionate about this?

Most drunks struggle to accept that they have a disease called “alcoholism” and feel shame, intertwined with fear, having to admit it. I, on the other hand, embraced it. Being alcoholic meant I wasn’t “crazy” after all like Grandma. At 21, I embraced the disease along with 12 Step recovery, thanking my lucky stars that there was something I could do about my chaotic hippied lifestyle. “Don’t pick up the first fix, pill, or drink and you can’t get drunk.” Could the solution be so simple? It is. From the moment I set down the drink and drugs, I knew I had to share this amazing revelation with others and my writing career began.

Shelly's book list on turning sobriety into a super power

Shelly Marshall Why did Shelly love this book?

Full disclosure, I know Bill Hanlon and we exchanged books at one of several speaking engagements together.

I cherish this book and have a signed copy featured in my collection. It is a simple straightforward ingenious way to disrupt destructive patterns in all relationships. And it works! Being in the mental health field, I would make this wonderful book mandatory for all counselors to read, if I had that power.

Full of examples on how to modify micro-behaviors, results could not be more life-changing. I found that I had the power to alter destructive patterns in my life by reacting differently in any given situation! Bill’s book explains how to do it.

By Bill O'hanlon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Do One Thing Different as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"If you do one thing different, read this book! It is filled with practical, creative, effective, down-to-earth solutions to life's challenging problems."-Michele Weiner-Davis, author of Divorce Busting

The 20th anniversary edition of a self-help classic, updated with a new preface: Tapping into widespread popular interest in highly effective, short-term therapeutic approaches to personal problems, author Bill O'Hanlon offers 10 Solution Keys to help you free yourself from "analysis paralysis" and quickly get unstuck from aggravating problems.

Tired of feeling stuck all the time when you're trying to solve a problem or are facing conflict? Do you get easily flustered or…


Book cover of Hazel Hill Is Gonna Win This One

Erik Christopher Martin Author Of The Case of the French Fry Phantom: Dotty Morgan Supernatural Sleuth Book One

From my list on middle-grade featuring an LGBTQIA+ protagonist.

Why am I passionate about this?

The world is an amazing, diverse place that needs stories that represent everyone. I identify as gender fluid and am part of my city’s LGBTQIA+ community. For kids, there aren’t enough stories that feature non-straight cis protagonists where that identity isn’t the focus. LGBTQIA+ kids exist. They are normal. Let a gay kid go into space. Let a teenage lesbian solve a mystery. Let a trans girl defeat a dragon. Let an ace teen be a witch. Everybody deserves their adventure. 

Erik's book list on middle-grade featuring an LGBTQIA+ protagonist

Erik Christopher Martin Why did Erik love this book?

Hazel Hill thinks she’s the only girl in the 7th grade who likes girls that way, until Tyler tells her that Ella Quinn told him she likes Hazel.

But Ella Quinn is pretty and popular, and she’s Hazel’s biggest rival in the upcoming speech contest. They talk. Ella confesses she only told Tyler that to stop his sexual harassment. It turns out, Tyler has been harassing a lot of girls.

They tell the school, but the teachers won’t do anything about it, even blaming the girls and punishing them. It is not a coincidence that Tyler’s mom is the superintendent of schools. Determined not to let Tyler get away with it, Hazel comes up with a plan. 

By Maggie Horne,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Hazel Hill Is Gonna Win This One as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Girls in Hazel's school are being harassed by an anonymous person online, someone who seems to know all about their insecurities and dreams. With no one willing to stand up and face the bully, how will Hazel be able to prove her suspicions?
Hazel Hill is Going to Win This One confronts bullying, both online and in person, to give children the power to stand up for themselves and speak out against harassment.


Book cover of On Not Being Someone Else: Tales of Our Unled Lives

Chad LeJeune Author Of "Pure O" OCD: Letting Go of Obsessive Thoughts with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

From my list on thoughts, and our relationship with them.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a clinical psychologist, I listen to thoughts all the time. I’m also having my own, constantly. We rely on our thoughts to help us navigate the world. However, our thoughts can also be a source of suffering. At times, they're not such reliable guides or helpers. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a way of thinking about thinking. ACT captured my imagination early in my clinical career. I trained with ACT’s originator, Steven Hayes, in the early 1990’s. I’ve come to believe that being more aware of our own thoughts, and our relationship to them is key to creating positive change and living a life grounded in our values.

Chad's book list on thoughts, and our relationship with them

Chad LeJeune Why did Chad love this book?

This poetic book by a literary scholar looks at the way we think about and experience not only the lives we lead, but those alternative lives that we do not lead. 

Our thoughts can lead us to obsessively regret our choices or focus on “the road not taken.” Miller looks at the sense of loss that can accrue as the potential transitions to the actual. 

He describes our unled lives as “part of this world as shadows are part of things…”    

By Andrew H. Miller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On Not Being Someone Else as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A captivating book about the emotional and literary power of the lives we might have lived had our chances or choices been different.

We each live one life, formed by paths taken and untaken. Choosing a job, getting married, deciding on a place to live or whether to have children-every decision precludes another. But what if you'd gone the other way? It can be a seductive thought, even a haunting one.

Andrew H. Miller illuminates this theme of modern culture: the allure of the alternate self. From Robert Frost to Sharon Olds, Virginia Woolf to Ian McEwan, Jane Hirshfield to…


Book cover of Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Sylvia Barry Author Of Lessons in Timing

From my list on grumpy/sunshine romance with a healthy side of yearning.

Why are we passionate about this?

Sylvia Barry is our invention, a solitary witch who writes queer romance from her lighthouse keep. As a pair of co-authors, one of us grew up with the dry humor of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, and the other grew up with fanfiction and romance tropes. We came together to write quirky, queer romances that are playful and ironic but also deal with deeper themes of self-discovery, trauma healing, and community. Rivals-to-lovers and grumpy/sunshine are our favorite tropes to write, especially in dual (or more!) POV, because the Yearning is always juicy, and we play off each other’s energy as we write our opposing characters.

Sylvia's book list on grumpy/sunshine romance with a healthy side of yearning

Sylvia Barry Why did Sylvia love this book?

We loved the steamy romance between clever, uptight Chloe and broody artist Red. 

To be perfectly honest, we don’t usually go for heterosexual romances, but Chloe and Red are wonderfully queer to us in their own special way. We really enjoyed the dual POV, getting to experience Chloe and Red falling head over heels for each other from both perspectives.

It had so many of the tropes we enjoy: the vivacious yet rigid (for good reason, she spends a lot of her time in pain) Chloe slowly learning to let go, and the kind yet gruff (for good reason, he’s had his heart smashed) Red coming into his own.

Book cover of How to Die: An Ancient Guide to the End of Life

Scott Samuelson Author Of Rome as a Guide to the Good Life: A Philosophical Grand Tour

From my list on finding the meaning of life in Rome.

Why am I passionate about this?

After learning Latin in college and studying Italian philosophy in graduate school, I stumbled into Rome for the first time over a decade ago as faculty on a study-abroad trip. In two weeks, I learned more about history and life than I had in two decades of study. I’ve been lucky enough to go back every summer since, with the sad exception of the pandemic years. I adore Rome. It didn’t help that a few years ago, in the Basilica of San Clemente, I fell head over heels for a Renaissance art historian and tried her patience with poetry until she married me.

Scott's book list on finding the meaning of life in Rome

Scott Samuelson Why did Scott love this book?

All the easily-portable volumes in Princeton University Press’s “Ancient Wisdom for Modern Readers” can be read in the time it takes to drink two glasses of wine (along with this book, one of my other favorites is How to Drink by the Renaissance humanist Vincent Obsopoeus).

For all their quarrels, ancient philosophers agree that the art of life is the preparation for death. Nobody expresses that wisdom with more panache than Seneca, a philosopher, financier, tutor to Nero, and playwright.

This selection from his works teaches us how to face the death and destruction that we see everywhere in Rome—and everywhere else too.

I turn to Seneca’s essays and letters for a good reminder to live with a minimum of regret and resentment.

By Seneca, James S. Romm (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Timeless wisdom on death and dying from the celebrated Stoic philosopher Seneca

"It takes an entire lifetime to learn how to die," wrote the Roman Stoic philosopher Seneca (c. 4 BC-65 AD). He counseled readers to "study death always," and took his own advice, returning to the subject again and again in all his writings, yet he never treated it in a complete work. How to Die gathers in one volume, for the first time, Seneca's remarkable meditations on death and dying. Edited and translated by James S. Romm, How to Die reveals a provocative thinker and dazzling writer who…


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