We love books.

Whenever we’re on vacation or visiting a new place, we alway seek out the used book stores. We spend hours browsing, carefully selecting our “loot”, which inevitably takes up the bulk of our luggage space. At home, we have what you might call a bookshelf problem… there’s just not enough room for all the tomes we’ve accumulated over the years.

Now, our bookshelf problem has a new dimension: where to put all those board and picture books! We were very lucky to get many classic titles for our little one’s shelf from family and friends. Some titles are so classic and popular that we received multiple copies of them… including no fewer than 5 copies of Guess How Much I Love You.

Before little H was born, we’d talk about the types of books we’d want to share with her. Now that we can, we’re adding to her bookshelf and our Amazon wishlist every week. We’ve already started quite the collection! The nursery bookshelf holds our favorite classics, like The Giving Tree and Watership Down, to more recent additions, like the new illustrated Harry Potter collection! (We’ve also been geeking out about how family road trips will necessarily include the HP audiobooks narrated by Jim Dale…)

Here are a few books we’ve come across that we look forward to reading with our daughter. These stories celebrate many of the values we want to share and explore with her: diversity, community, critical thinking and empathy. Enjoy.

(Book descriptions excerpted from Amazon!)

Annabelle & Aiden: The Story of Life
by Joseph Raphael Becker

In this “delightful illustrated book written in rhyme” (as endorsed by Lawrence Krauss), Annabelle asks “Why do we look, the way that we do? With hands and feet, in neat sets of two? What made my eyes? And what made my nose? And the shape of my body, from my head to my toes?” A wise owl answers by taking the characters on an incredible journey through Darwinian evolution. Join our characters as they visit outer space, watch the Earth go through its earliest stages, and gaze in wonder at the earliest forms of life. Young readers will gain a basic understanding of evolution, and perhaps more importantly, what we can learn from it: to be kind to one another, as we are all related in the same family tree.


Red: A Crayon’s Story
By Michael Hall

A blue crayon mistakenly labeled as “red” suffers an identity crisis in this picture book by the New York Times–bestselling creator of My Heart Is Like a Zoo and It’s an Orange Aardvark! Funny, insightful, and colorful, Red: A Crayon’s Story, by Michael Hall, is about being true to your inner self and following your own path despite obstacles that may come your way.


Counting on Community
By Innosanto Nagara

Counting on Community is Innosanto Nagara’s follow-up to his hit ABC book, A is for Activist. Counting up from one stuffed piñata to ten hefty hens–and always counting on each other–children are encouraged to recognize the value of their community, the joys inherent in healthy eco-friendly activities, and the agency they posses to make change. A broad and inspiring vision of diversity is told through stories in words and pictures. And of course, there is a duck to find on every page!

The Family Book
By Todd Parr

There are so many different types of families, and THE FAMILY BOOK celebrates them all in a funny, silly, and reassuring way. Todd Parr includes adopted families, step-families, one-parent families, and families with two parents of the same sex, as well as the traditional nuclear family. His quirky humor and bright, childlike illustrations will make children feel good about their families. Parents and teachers can use this book to encourage children to talk about their families and the different kinds of families that exist.

And Tango Makes Three

By Justin Richardson

At the penguin house at the Central Park Zoo, two penguins named Roy and Silo were a little bit different from the others. But their desire for a family was the same. And with the help of a kindly zookeeper, Roy and Silo got the chance to welcome a baby penguin of their very own.