1. The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep – Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin
Having trouble falling asleep? This book was written in consultation with psychologists and therapists to create a book that uses rhythmic cadence and repetitive wording to induce sleep. Get the audio, which also includes relaxing background music, and be read right to sleep!
2. Good Morning Yoga: A Pose by Pose Wake up Story – Mariam Gates
Once you have a great night sleep, you’ll need something to get you ready to conquer the day. Good Morning Yoga is filled with bright, colorful illustrative yoga poses and sunny affirmations. Not just for children, this gentle yoga sequence and story can give your hectic morning the relaxing boost it needs.
3. Sparky! – Jenny Offill
Sparky! Is the story of a girl who wanted a pet, and she ends up receiving a sloth in the mail. While it is an adorable story about a pet sloth, it also conveys the message that we are all enough just as we are without needing to produce anything, or to meet anyone else’s expectations, and we all could stand to hear that a little more.
4. The Most Magnificent Thing –Ashley Spires
If you are marred with frustration, either personally or professionally, this is the book for you. The heroine of this book sets out to make “the most magnificent thing,” but when her attempts repeatedly fail, her anger takes over, and she quits. With a little encouragement from her best friend, her dog, she pushes forward, and ends up making something even better. This is the pep talk we all still need.
5. Fortunately, the Milk – Neil Gaiman
While you may all know Neil Gaiman for his darker, more adult works, he has also composed one for the best children’s books you will ever read. Fortunately, the Milk follows a father who has gone to the market for milk for his children’s cereal, and the epic story that unfolds. Longer than the picture books on this list, but sometimes you need a little more fun on those days when life seems a little too serious. Gaiman will have you laughing in that magical way only he can.
6. Archie, the Daredevil Penguin – Andy Rash
Archie is a penguin, who is afraid of the water, and he’s afraid to let his fellow penguins know. In fact, his fellow penguins think that Archie isn’t afraid of anything. So, in Archie’s efforts to hide his fears from his friends, he concocts a plan to fly. Archie inevitably has to face his fear, and finds that his friends are more than supportive. Archie gives adults a gentle reminder to face our fears, and that it’s ok to ask for some support once in a while.
7. Any Book by Oliver Jeffers
Oliver Jeffers writes delightfully hilarious and beautifully illustrated stories that appeal to readers of any age. Some favorites are Stuck, which is the story of a boy who tries to solve the problem of something being stuck in a tree, by throwing more things at it. Which shows us all that you can easily make a problem worse by being reactionary. Another favorite is Imaginary Fred, written by Eoin Colfer, with classic Jeffers illustrations. Imaginary Fred is the story of a boy named Sam, who is in need of a friend, and through a little magic, imaginary Fred appears. Fred, too, was lonely waiting to be wished for. It is a great illustration of what it is to feel lonely, and how much we truly need one another.
8. The Dot – Peter H. Reynolds
When you are consumed with writers block, or feeling unsure of how to start a project, this is the book you need to read. The Dot is the story of how a little dot, created out of frustration in an art class, transformed into something much bigger. Get your creative fervor going with this poignant story.
9. Last Stop on Market Street – Matt de la Pena
This is the story of a boy named C.J., who takes the bus with his grandmother every Sunday. Along with stunning illustrations, this book takes the reader on a journey right along with C.J. This book not only depicts a diverse community, but it also offers teaches the ultimate lesson that we do not need material things to be happy. Last Stop on Market Street is a multiple award winner for a reason. This book is perfect for adults to remember that this world is filled with many different people, and that having the latest iPhone does not define your life.
10. Flotsam – David Wiesner
Flotsam is the visual story of a boy who finds something floating in the ocean that sparks an adventure. There are no words in this book, so you are left to be engulfed by the brilliant illustrations. It is an odyssey that entices you to keep dreaming, and there isn’t an adult alive who doesn’t need to be reminded that even our ordinary lives can yield something fantastic.