Written by Nancy E. Shaw and illustrated by Margot Apple, Sheep in a Jeep is a fun book whose humor begins with the simple idea of sheep driving a jeep. The story emphasizes the importance of paying attention to what you are doing, problem-solving, and facing consequences using short phrases and a fun rhyme scheme.
I love the excitement of an entire farm over the arrival of a single baby chick in Hurry! Hurry!, written by Eva Bunting and illustrated by Jeff Mack. Mack’s illustrations are adorably expressive. The minimal text makes this an ideal book for a very young child while the storyline is one of 3.5-year-old Emma’s favorites.
I read Owl Babies, written by Martin Waddell and illustrated by Patrick Benson, to Emma nearly every day until her second birthday or so, and this book is a current favorite of 18-month-old Johnny’s. I found this book at a local library while living in the UK, and I do wish we had the UK version or that they hadn’t “translated” the book into US English. Waddell is a British author, and I consider his original prose superior to the “translation” even if the changes are minor. The three baby owls who star in the story are adorable, and the storyline of worrying if their mother will return (she does, of course) is an emotion both of my separation anxiety prone children identify strongly with.
The Gruffalo, written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, is an illustrated poem that tells of a clever mouse who outwits every predator he meets. The book’s creative storyline and fun illustrations alongside smooth-flowing and highly accessible poetry make it one of my personal favorites.