78 books like If You Want to See a Whale

By Julie Fogliano, Erin E. Stead (illustrator),

Here are 78 books that If You Want to See a Whale fans have personally recommended if you like If You Want to See a Whale. 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 This Is Sadie

Talitha Shipman Author Of Finding Beauty

From my list on inspiring childlike wonder for all ages.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an award-winning children's book author-illustrator. I’ve spent the last fifteen years dreaming up stories that I hope will inspire curiosity and wonder in kids of all ages. I’m also a life-long learner! I can’t get enough info about this amazing world we live in. The more I learn, the more I realize that being a noticer, someone who slows down to observe the tiny details around them, will inspire questions and the need to find some surprising and fascinating answers. When my daughter asks a question (and there are many), my mantra has become, “I don’t know, let’s find out!” I hope this list inspires your own adventurous inquiries.

Talitha's book list on inspiring childlike wonder for all ages

Talitha Shipman Why did Talitha love this book?

Of course, I’m going to have some picture books on this list, and This is Sadie is one of my all-time favorite books. It makes me feel like a kid again.

With spare yet thoughtful words from O’Leary and whimsical illustrations by Morstad, you are transported to a time and place where adult worries and preoccupations don’t exist. Sadie is a hero, a mermaid, an archer in a fairy tale, and was also raised by wolves.

Oh, and she has wings! It’s a magical and powerful portrayal of childhood imagination.

By Sara O’Leary, Julie Morstad (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked This Is Sadie 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?

Now in board book, the beloved story about a little girl with a big imagination from the award-winning team of Sara O'Leary and Julie Morstad.

Sadie is a little girl with a big imagination. She has been a girl who lived under
the sea and a boy raised by wolves. She has had adventures in wonderland and
visited the world of fairytales. She whispers to the dresses in her closet and talks
to birds in the treetops. She has wings that take her anywhere she wants to go, but
that always bring her home again. She likes to make things…


Book cover of Frederick

Bethanie Deeney Murguia Author Of Do You Believe in Unicorns?

From my list on seeing magic in the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer and illustrator of picture books who is always seeking magic in the world around me. I love to daydream, wander, wonder, and get lost in nature as much as possible. I’m also an avid reader of books that celebrate the natural world, animals, and imagination. Happy reading!

Bethanie's book list on seeing magic in the world

Bethanie Deeney Murguia Why did Bethanie love this book?

Frederick is a classic that continues to speak to me. Frederick is a creative mouse who gathers beauty from the world—he’s a daydreamer and a poet. His talents aren’t appreciated by the other mice at first. By the end of the story, though, they realize that his talents are essential to their survival. I love how this book celebrates creativity and difference.

By Leo Lionni,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Frederick 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?

Leo Lionni’s Caldecott Honor–winning story about a little mouse who gathers something unusual for the long winter is turning fifty! Celebrate this beloved favorite, which now includes a special introduction from noted children’s book historian Leonard Marcus.
 
Winter is coming, and all the mice are gathering food . . . except for Frederick. But when the days grow short and the snow begins to fall, it’s Frederick’s stories that warm the hearts and spirits of his fellow field mice. Winner of a 1967 Caldecott Honor, Frederick has been cherished by generations of readers.
 
“A splendid achievement.” —School Library Journal, starred…


Book cover of On a Magical Do-Nothing Day

Danica Novgorodoff Author Of Alexander von Humboldt: Explorer, Naturalist & Environmental Pioneer

From my list on playing in nature.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was growing up, my favorite books were about kids getting lost in the wilderness. Now, as an artist and writer, I love to create stories about people’s connection to land and the plants and animals that inhabit natural spaces. The inspiration for my picture book biography, Alexander von Humboldt: Explorer, Naturalist & Environmental Pioneer, came after hiking many of the volcanoes that Humboldt had climbed some 200 years earlier in South America. Besides hiking, I occupy myself with drawing and watercolor painting, climate activism, and looking at bugs and rocks with my daughters. I’ve published four graphic novels, two picture books, and a cookbook about rice.

Danica's book list on playing in nature

Danica Novgorodoff Why did Danica love this book?

Besides the fact that the illustrations in On a Magical Do-Nothing Day are gorgeous, I love this story of a child turning a boring, lonely, rainy day into a magical (dare I say spiritual?) adventure—an encounter with “a world full of treasures that I could feel!”

I’ve often found that a life-changing experience of beauty comes after some difficulty or personal challenge, and this kid discovers—after being ignored by their parents, losing their favorite video game in a stream, and being drenched by cold rain—a breathtaking world that seems “brand-new, as if it had been created right in front of me.” 

By Beatrice Alemagna,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked On a Magical Do-Nothing Day 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 compelling, magical picture book with whimsical, stunning art and heartfelt, charming text, from award-winning illustrator Beatrice Alemagna. "Hands down, Beatrice Alemagna is my favorite contemporary illustrator," said the Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator of Last Stop on Market Street, Christian Robinson. All I want to do on a rainy day like today is play my game. My mom says it's a waste of time, but without my game, nothing is fun! On the other hand, maybe I'm wrong about that...While reading On a Magical Do-Nothing Day, one gets the sense that the illustrator became lost in her drawings, and as a…


Book cover of They All Saw a Cat

Isabella Kung Author Of No Fuzzball!

From my list on children's stories with extraordinary animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

While I am a self-acclaimed cat expert, I have been an animal lover since I could remember. In fact, my favorite childhood memories are of me running barefooted through grass, catching bugs, and chasing birds. I wasn't allowed big pets growing up, but I'm pleased to say I now have two furbabies that fill my heart with love and inspiration! I am still fascinated by nature and the animal kingdom, often indulging in books, podcasts, and especially David Attenborough’s natural documentaries. I think they are all extraordinary and this passion influences my work too, as evident in my body of work. I really enjoy observing and painting animals, as well as illustrating animal characters.

Isabella's book list on children's stories with extraordinary animals

Isabella Kung Why did Isabella love this book?

This book is brilliantly and creatively illustrated, featuring a black cat (which I have a soft spot for) from the point of view of a boy, a dog, a mouse, a bee, a bird, a snake, and more! This seemly simple concept not only scientifically showcases the difference in each animal's capabilities of vision and sense perception, but it also demonstrates that things can be perceived very differently depending on the perspective of the viewer. It’s has a really lovely and subtle message for young children while introducing them to the extraordinary word of zoology in a fun and creative way. A great book for children and adults alike.

By Brendan Wenzel,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked They All Saw a Cat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

They All Saw A Cat by Brendan Wenzel - New York Times bestseller and 2017 Caldecott Medal and Honor Book

"An ingenious idea, gorgeously realized." -Shelf Awareness, starred review
"Both simple and ingenious in concept, Wenzel's book feels like a game changer." -The Huffington Post

The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws . . . In this glorious celebration of observation, curiosity, and imagination, Brendan Wenzel shows us the many lives of one cat, and how perspective shapes what we see. When you see a cat, what do you see?

If you and your child…


Book cover of Pearl

Emily Neilson Author Of Can I Give You a Squish?

From my list on underwater books for your little sea monster.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am writing this list because I am a sea monster. I’m the sort of sea monster who loves merpeople, pirates, sharks, dolphins, octopuses, shipwrecks, and…did I miss anything? Oh yes, piranhas. Some people have pointed out that I look like a regular adult human, but really it’s just a trick of the light. I like to make stories, draw pictures, and build miniature environments for stop motion animated films. My typical day is spent gluing miniature flowers to miniature rocks, or screwing miniature chairs to miniature floors. It’s the sort of job that makes you feel like magic is around every corner. Because it is, probably.

Emily's book list on underwater books for your little sea monster

Emily Neilson Why did Emily love this book?

This book has this soft slow kind of magic that would be wonderful for winding down right before bedtime. The images flow through the book and guide you down into the colorful glowing depths where a family of mermaids guard the secrets of the sea. The message is lovely as well. Little Pearl the mermaid discovers that even the smallest of responsibilities, when nurtured properly, can grow to be hugely impactful.

By Molly Idle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pearl 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?

Sometimes the tiniest light can shine the brightest! Like the other mermaids of the deep, Pearl longs to care for the endless beaches, coral reefs, and towering kelp forests of her vast ocean world. So when her mother asks her to tend to a mere grain of sand, Pearl is heartbroken. It takes all her patience and determination to discover how even the littlest mermaid can transform the world.

Caldecott Honor-winning author and artist Molly Idle has masterfully crafted a modern classic in this mesmerizing tale about the immense power of small actions.


Book cover of Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake

Marc Remus Author Of The Chocolate Clouds

From my list on chocolate.

Why am I passionate about this?

Who doesn’t love chocolate? This is what I ask myself very often. Being an award-winning children’s book author with a passion for chocolate and sweets, I began to wonder how healthy my lifestyle really is. With the death of an overweight friend of mine and many people around me with weight issues, I felt it was time to write a book about food choices for kids.

Marc's book list on chocolate

Marc Remus Why did Marc love this book?

This is a hilariously funny book for children ages 3 – 5 about a bunny girl who discovers chocolate cake. Besides being an entertaining story, valuable life lessons about food are woven into the plot. This gives the book a deeper layer that can be enjoyed by parents as well. The illustrations are endearing and well-suited for this age group.

By Michael Kaplan, Stephane Jorisch (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake 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?

Betty Bunny is the youngest in her family of rabbits, and she's just discovering the important things in life, like chocolate cake. She declares, "I am going to marry chocolate cake," and takes a piece to school with her in her pocket. Mum values healthy eating and tells Betty Bunny she needs patience when it comes to dessert. But Betty Bunny doesn't want patience, she wants chocolate cake! In this funny tribute to chocolate lovers (and picky eaters), Betty Bunny's charming perspective on patience will be recognisable to anyone with a pre-schooler in their life.


Book cover of Waiting Is Not Easy!

Heather Hartt-Sussman Author Of Noni Says No

From my list on picture books parents will love.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have written seven picture books, one of which was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and many of which have been award nominees. My books have been translated into five languages and are enjoyed by kids from Denmark to Korea. As a mom, I know that when a child loves a book they want it read to them repeatedly. That’s why I admire books that are written for the enjoyment of both the adult and the child. I dislike preachy books filled with lessons. I prefer when books entertain and contain a nugget of gold that readers can take with them when the book is done.

Heather's book list on picture books parents will love

Heather Hartt-Sussman Why did Heather love this book?

Any impatient adult or child will tell you that waiting is indeed not for the faint of heart. In this book, which is a part of the early reader Elephant and Piggie series, Piggie has a surprise for Gerald the Elephant. But he must wait for it, and wait and wait and wait. As he waits, Gerald’s groans grow louder, illustrated typographically with ever-enlarging speech bubbles. The ending shows previously frustrated Gerald the Elephant proclaiming that the surprise was well worth the wait. And indeed it is!!

By Mo Willems,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Waiting Is Not Easy! 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?

Gerald is careful. Piggie is not.
Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.
Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to.

Gerald and Piggie are best friends.

In Waiting Is Not Easy!, Piggie has a surprise for Gerald, but he is going to have to wait for it. And Wait. And wait some more...


Book cover of We All Play

Danica Novgorodoff Author Of Alexander von Humboldt: Explorer, Naturalist & Environmental Pioneer

From my list on playing in nature.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was growing up, my favorite books were about kids getting lost in the wilderness. Now, as an artist and writer, I love to create stories about people’s connection to land and the plants and animals that inhabit natural spaces. The inspiration for my picture book biography, Alexander von Humboldt: Explorer, Naturalist & Environmental Pioneer, came after hiking many of the volcanoes that Humboldt had climbed some 200 years earlier in South America. Besides hiking, I occupy myself with drawing and watercolor painting, climate activism, and looking at bugs and rocks with my daughters. I’ve published four graphic novels, two picture books, and a cookbook about rice.

Danica's book list on playing in nature

Danica Novgorodoff Why did Danica love this book?

So simple and yet so poetic (both visually and lyrically), We All Play is a catalog of human and more-than-human animals delighting in movement and sound in the outdoors.

This book is great for a younger (baby and toddler) readership, and highlights our connection with all living beings. It also peppers in some Cree language words, which are fun to explore. I love the adorable drawings of animals and children that Flett created with the ochres and umbers of her earthy palette. 

By Julie Flett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A BEST CHILDREN'S BOOK OF THE YEAR: New York Times, Washington Post, New York Public Library, Kirkus Reviews, Globe and Mail, Horn Book, and Boston Globe

STARRED Reviews in Kirkus, Publisher's Weekly, The Horn Book, School Library Journal

From Julie Flett, the beloved author and illustrator of Birdsong, comes a joyous new book about playtime for babies, toddlers, and kids up to age 7.

Animals and kids love to play! This wonderful book celebrates playtime and the connection between children and the natural world. Beautiful illustrations show:

birds who chase and chirp!
bears who wiggle and wobble!
whales who swim…


Book cover of The Recycled Citizen

Dory Codington Author Of Beside Turning Water

From my list on realistic historical fiction that makes you swoon.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started the Edge of Empire series which includes Beside Turning Water when I was a Park Guide at Boston’s National Historical Park. As a guide I gave tours on the Freedom Trail which preserves the buildings and stories from the era of the American Revolution. I wanted to create a book like the ones I love full of romance a bit of sex, and with historical accuracy. Books that would help readers fall in love with the characters and understand the history of the events in the Revolution without that dry history-class feeling.

Dory's book list on realistic historical fiction that makes you swoon

Dory Codington Why did Dory love this book?

Detectives Sarah Kelling and her much-loved husband Max Bittersohn live in her inherited house on Beacon Hill, Boston. These are detective novels of the cozy and charming sort, and because of the relationship between Sarah and Max are adventure romances as well.

Sarah has a large extended family and they enter into all the books as friends. This makes each one a friend and fun to read. MacCleod knows Boston and her descriptions of the habits and haunts of classic Beacon Brahmins/Yankees are as charming and rich as her plots. I recommend this and her other books for the fun of reading and the great plots.

By Charlotte MacLeod,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A “funny and exciting” mystery in the series featuring a husband-and-wife sleuthing team in Boston (Publishers Weekly).

Boston and its suburbs are stuffed with Kellings, and the city is about to get one more. Sarah Kelling and her husband Max Bittersohn—a pair of amateur sleuths equally at home in back alleys as they are at black-tie balls—are about to have a baby. And if the child takes after his parents, he will be one of the cleverest infants in New England. But while Sarah is a month away from giving birth, she cannot let pregnancy slow her down—she has a…


Book cover of Puritan Boston and Quaker Philadelphia

Benjamin M. Friedman Author Of Religion and the Rise of Capitalism

From my list on economics, religion, and society.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an economist, now in my fiftieth year as a professor at Harvard. While much of my work has focused on economic policy – questions like the effects of government budget deficits, guidelines for the conduct of U.S. monetary policy, and what actions to take in response to a banking or more general financial crisis – in recent years I’ve also addressed broader issues surrounding the connections between economics and society. Several years ago, in The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth, I examined the implications of our economy’s growth, or stagnation, for the social, political, and ultimately moral character of our society. My most recent book explores the connections between economic thinking and religious thinking.

Benjamin's book list on economics, religion, and society

Benjamin M. Friedman Why did Benjamin love this book?

Everyone knows that the Puritans settled in Boston and the Quakers settled in Philadelphia. What I found surprising is Baltzell’s argument that the two cities’ founding religions shaped their respective character for hundreds of years afterward. And, he says, the difference between Puritanism and Quakerism explains why Boston and Philadelphia played such different roles in American history.

By E. Digby Baltzell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Puritan Boston and Quaker Philadelphia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Based on the biographies of some three hundred people in each city, this book shows how such distinguished Boston families as the Adamses, Cabots, Lowells, and Peabodys have produced many generations of men and women who have made major contributions to the intellectual, educational, and political life of their state and nation. At the same time, comparable Philadelphia families such as the Biddles, Cadwaladers, Ingersolls, and Drexels have contributed far fewer leaders to their state and nation. From the days of Benjamin Franklin and Stephen Girard down to the present, what leadership there has been in Philadelphia has largely been…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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