Good kids' books are something we do not keep to a minimum. A good kid book to me is visually beautiful, tells a great story, and isn't too long (ha!). I'm drawn to books that are loved by Theo (hopefully eventually Mae) but have a little humour for the adults too. Often if we love one book by a particular author like Oliver Jeffers or Jon Klassen then we tend to love most of their books.
It can be overwhelming choosing good kids' books that stand the test of time. We are so lucky to have the most beautiful children's book and art store in our neighbourhood. I used to visit it even before I had kids, for gifts, but now it is a regular stop for us.... a bright, cheerful gift to our city, Collage Collage. They have introduced me to many favourite books and authors and host the most wonderful book inspired art classes. A few more sources I use for wonderful books are @kaleidescopeca, @ourbookbag and @averyandaugustine, give them a follow on instagram for beautiful descriptions of new and old favourites. I look to these inspiring women and mamas for new books that always become classics on our shelves.
I don't limit kids' books (though we do limit adult books) in our small space because I believe books are a wonderful way to spend time with your children and teach them at the same time. Watching Theo intently focus while we read to him is such a joy (and one of the only times he sits still!). While I would never turn away a good book from our home, one trick I have learned is to borrow books from the library that capture our child's interest for the moment but will not be a lasting love. For example, Theo loved Thomas the Train and would read anything Thomas related but the books are not particularly good. So instead of buying a bunch of Thomas books that he would eventually discard, we borrowed the majority of them. Now that his Thomas obsession has waned I'm sure there will be a new obsession to find at the library but will not fill our wall shelves. The library is also a great place to test run a book to see if it makes it into our collection (a friend does this with cookbooks as well...smart!).
There are many more favourites to list but here are the Top 10 Books we currently love:
I Want My Hat Back (and subsequent.. This is Not My Hat and We Found a Hat) by Jon Klassen
The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak
Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton
Little You by Richard VanCamp and Julie Flett
Home by Carson Ellis
When I Was Small by Sarah O'Leary and Julie Morstad
Today by Julie Morstad
S is For Surfing by Carly Seibel and Edward Juan