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Offbeat Children’s Books Destined to Become Classics


Children’s Book Week is the perfect time to discover a new “read it again” storybook for your little one. While there are always the beloved, classic stories that we all remember from our childhood, it is worth taking a look at some of the more quirky and offbeat stories that have appeared over the last couple of years. Here are 10 offbeat children’s storybooks destined to become classics and guaranteed to find a place on your bookshelf.

Please, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony

Mr. Panda has a box of donuts he wants to share with his friends, but not one of them asks or responds politely. This story focuses on manners and politeness, but the adorable drawings of Mr. Panda and his friends are what bring the story to life. This book is sure to make any child giggle and start saying “please” and “thank you.” For more politeness, check out the sequels, I’ll Wait, Mr. Panda and Thank You, Mr. Panda.

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywait; illustrations by Oliver Jeffers

A little boy comes goes to school to find that all of his crayons have quit due to mistreatment. The resignation notes left by each colored crayon are hilarious and the story teaches children to take better care of their possessions. Want more colorful fun? Check out the sequel, The Day the Crayons Came Home.

Mustache Baby by Bridget Heos; illustrated by Joy Ang

The idea of a baby born with a mustache is quirky enough, but the story of baby Billy gets really fun when his parents must decide if it’s a “good-guy” mustache or a “bad-guy” mustache. For more, I mustache you to check out the sequel, Mustache Baby Meets His Match

Monsters Eat Whiny Children by Bruce Eric Kaplan

Monsters have kidnapped two arguing children, but they can't agree on how to eat them. As the monsters argue, the children learn to be nice to each other and find a way to escape the monsters who eat whiny children. The story, while it might seem scary, is actually very funny. The story is so quirky, that it actually includes a recipe for cucumber sandwiches, which the monsters decide to make at the end. Monsters Eat Whiny Children also teaches siblings to be kind to one another and listen to their parents. This book is definitely for parents who have a sense of humor. If you enjoy Kaplan’s humor, try his other children’s book, Meaniehead.

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

Bear lost his hat, so he goes on a quest to find it. He asks every animal he meets, “Have you seen my hat?” A great lost-and-found story, this classic Jon Klassen visual humor will have your little one in on the joke and laughing along. Continue the story with This Is Not My Hat and We Found a Hat.

The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak

A book with no pictures? That doesn’t sound like fun at all, unless the reader has to say out loud every word written on each page. This book is so great because your little one will laugh out loud when hearing you say silly words like “blork or “glibbity globbity.” If you find yourself reading this one over and over again, well then get ready for its sequel, The Alphabet Book with No Pictures, coming out later this year.

Dragon’s Love Tacos by Adam Rubin; illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

Dragons love tacos! Just be careful not to give them salsa with those tacos, because there could be fiery consequences! A fun, silly story about mythical creatures who love tacos doesn’t get quirkier than that! Once you’ve had your fill, try the sequel, Dragons Love Tacos 2.

Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima

Growing up under the sea with narwhals, Kelp always felt a little out of place. One night, a strong current sweeps him away to a land filled with unicorns, where he discovers that he is, in fact, a unicorn! While he is thrilled to finally fit in, he misses his narwhal family and finds a way for both worlds to live together. This book is so adorably quirky and offbeat. The colorful illustrations are heartwarming, and watching the little sea unicorn find love and acceptance pull on the heartstrings. Be prepared to read this one over and over again.

It’s a Book by Lane Smith

A classic for the digital age, this story pokes lighthearted fun when two friends compare books and digital media. While agreeing on the importance of technology, the two friends find that perhaps books still have value. The slapstick humor will have both adult and child laughing along with the characters as they look over the mysterious object they call “a book.” If you have tiny ones, check out It’s a Little Book for them.

Scaredy Squirrel by Mélanie Watt

Scaredy Squirrel is too afraid to leave his tree. He says there are too many scary things out there, like killer bees and tarantulas. However, one-day Scaredy Squirrel is faced with the scariest thing ever: He has to leave the tree! Prepared with his emergency kit, he ventures out into the world where he finds something truly inspiring. This story is fantastic for those little ones who are a bit timid or cautious of the world around them. Scaredy Squirrel’s tale is filled with humor, and kids will get a kick out of the illustrations. If you find yourself looking for more scaredy adventures, check out the rest of the series: Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend, Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach, Scaredy Squirrel at Night, Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday Party, and Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping.

Children’s Book Week is May 8- 14.  Stop by or order for home delivery one of these offbeat, future classics today!

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