Imaginary Fred (Eoin Colfer & Oliver Jeffers)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Imaginary Fred by Eoin Colfer & Oliver Jeffers, a quirky reflection on friendship.

When a lonely child wishes very hard, and the conditions are just right, Imaginary Fred arrives to be their imaginary friend. It can often be fulfilling (playing pretend, having discussions, sharing secrets) and sometimes not (when his “friends” are rude or bossy or cruel). Yet Fred is faithful in his position, being the best friend he can be – that is, until his friend makes a “real world” friend. Then Fred fades away, and is whisked back up into the clouds to wait for the next child. Fred makes his own wish: for a friend who is forever, someone who likes the things HE likes to do, and who appreciates his him. Soon he meets Sam; like Fred, Sam is quiet, thoughtful, artistic and creative. The pair spend all their time together, discussing music and writing plays. But as happy as Fred is, he fears the day will come when Sam will let him fade like all the others. And when Sam comes home excited about his new friend Sammi, Fred feels certain his time is up. But the best friendships are full of surprises, and Sam is not the type to let his friend fade away…

Very interesting. On the surface, there’s a wonderfully strange little story about imaginary friends, filled with delightful and unexpected moments of laugh-out-loud humor. But what I really loved were the unique themes surrounding friendship: how it can grow and change, how it may not always make sense to others, and how our best friends may even lead us to better ones. At the end of the book, Sam’s friend Sammi introduces Fred to Frieda, HER imaginary friend. And as close as Sam and Fred are, Fred comes to find that it’s FRIEDA who he was waiting for (the two are implied to be soulmates, platonic or otherwise). It’s a fascinating twist, and familiar to anyone who has watched their other friendships change after finding their “person”. Jeffers’ illustrations are perfect for the tone, full of quiet emotion and whimsical humor, and JJ loved them. The length may be better for slightly older bookworms, but this was such a strange, touching, lovely little read. Baby Bookworm approved!

Top 5: New Baby


Hello, friends! It’s a new month, so we’ve got a new Top 5 list for you! As it so happens, several friends of The Baby Bookworm have welcomed new additions over the last month, so we thought we’d celebrate these growing families with a list of our Top 5 New Baby Books! Whether helping older siblings with the transition, bringing a little levity to the stressful lives of new parents, or simply welcoming the new arrivals themselves to the world, these books are perfect for the newest bookworms on the block.

So without further ado, here’s our Top 5 New Baby Books:

1. Here We Are: Notes For Living On Planet Earth (Oliver Jeffers)


Hello, new person! Here we are; this is Earth, a big globe spinning in a massively bigger universe, and carrying all of human and plant and animal life as we know it. Created as a gift for his first child, Jeffers brings care, humor, and deep affection in both the text and art, assuring Earth’s newest arrivals that there is a whole universe to explore as they grow, and that they are never alone in it.

“The art is positively lovely: gorgeous, sweeping land-, sea-, and starscapes blended with Jeffers signature quirky details and characters. A spread featuring dozens of animals makes for delightful identification practice; another featuring a tongue-in-cheek look at the solar system informs and amuses. The text is clever, sweet, and full of wonder at the world around. […] The rare story that little ones can enjoy more and more as they grow, and that encourages us to be curious and kind.”

2. King Baby (Kate Beaton)


When King Baby is born, it is clear that he is the ruler of all he surveys. People crowd around to greet and fawn over him. He is given mountains of gifts as tribute. His loyal servants (otherwise known as Mommy and Daddy) fulfill his every need and whim, even if they are occasionally simple fools who do not understand his instructions. This hysterical look at the first year of #babylife will make new parents laugh along with their little ones.

“While King Baby and his imperious dialogue were entertaining for JJ, the text and concept of the book are filled with tongue-in-cheek humor for parents. Beaton’s signature comic style makes it feel like this is as much a book for grown-ups as it is for baby bookworms […]. Add to that the charming and colorful illustrations and a perfect length for little ones, and you’ve got a book that is sure to please readers of all ages.”

3. I’ve Loved You Since Forever (Hoda Kotb, illus. Suzie Mason)\


When does a mother or father begin to love their baby? From the day they meet them? No no, the love between a mother or father and their baby began long before that. It began before the flight of birds, and before bees made honey. It came before rivers and sunsets and even the silvery glow of the moon. Before all of that, there were two bright points of light traveling through the stars, destined to meet – and that’s when a parent’s love begins, and waits for the day that ”you and me” becomes a ”we”.

“Sentimentally sweet, elegant yet earnest. […] Inspired by the adoption of her daughter, Kotb is careful to keep the story gender-neutral (with the exception of one illustration) and open a diverse cross-section of families: the narrator could represent a mother or a father, and could be a biological, adopted, step-parent, or other types of caregiver, allowing for many types of families to feel a personal connection to the story. Both the text and the art have a soothing, dreamy quality that makes for a perfect bedtime read, including a gorgeous reoccurring cosmic motif that serves as a beautiful visual metaphor for the story’s theme.”

4. Mama’s Belly (Kate Hosford, illus. Abigail Halpin)


The unnamed young protagonist knows her baby sister is on the way – she can see the swell of her Mama’s belly like a rising sea. And she has a number of questions about the new arrival: Will her sister know her, when she arrives? Will she have freckles like her? Will the girl have to share her beloved blanket with the baby? And lastly, will her parents have enough love for her and the baby to share?

“Gentle, warm, and simply lovely. There’s a sincere and almost meditative quality in which the narrative of the family’s day unfolds, inviting the reader into the mind of the curious, and perhaps a bit anxious, big-sister-to-be. Then, as her parents comfort her with reassuring and encouraging words, the soothing text and vivid, inviting illustrations wrap around the reader like a cozy blanket. The art is just beautiful, bringing the audience into a comfy house bursting with color in rich, warm tones.”

5. Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide For New Arrivals (Mo Willems)


Welcome! You have officially been born, and are now experiencing life. It’s a big, complicated thing to do, so we hope that this introductory guide will help you navigate some of the major points. Occasionally, there may be disappointments, like injustice or spilled ice cream. But there are people working to make this world better for you all the time, and we can share our ice cream. Overall, there will be much to experience; the good, the bad, and the very silly. We’re so glad that you are you, and that you are here, and that we are reading this book together.

“Using a instruction manual-style layout and his signature tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, Willems has created a story that captures both the lightness and gravity of welcoming an infant into the family and the world. Sections of silly comedy combine moments of earnest honesty and hope to give the book a weight beyond its whimsy, and simple yet bold block illustrations are perfect for the tiniest bookworm’s developing eyesight. […] A wonderful book for those welcoming a new addition to the world[…]”


That’s our list! We’d also like to note two favorites not on this list: Little Big Girl by Claire Keane and Love Is by Diane Adams! Both are gorgeous and touching stories, and the only reason we didn’t include them here is because we’ve featured them in previous lists. Did we miss any of your favorites? Do you have a book you would like to recommend to us? Let us know in the comments, or message us from our Contact page. Thanks so much!

Here We Are: Notes For Living On Planet Earth (Oliver Jeffers)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Here We Are: Notes For Living On Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers, a charmingly sweet welcome guide to our planet for the newest arrivals.

Welcome, new person! Here we are; this is Earth, a big globe spinning in a massively bigger universe, and carrying all of human and plant and animal life as we know it. There are pointy, cold mountains, and hot, flat grasslands, and deep, mysterious oceans (though we can talk more about the latter once you’ve learned to swim). There are all kinds of people here, all different shapes and sizes and colors, but all of them people just like you. There are stars and constellations and planets and solar systems in the skies, and car and cities and animals here on earth, and inside your brain? Oh, there’s the potential for even more than all of that combined! It can be a little overwhelming, but we’ll take it step by step as you grow. And if you have any questions, you can always ask me, or other family, or anyone really. We are here, after all – you’re never alone on Planet Earth.

Phenomenal. Jeffers created Here We Are as a gift for his first child, and it shows in the care, humor, and affection that sing from each page. The art is positively lovely: gorgeous, sweeping land-, sea-, and starscapes blended with Jeffers signature quirky details and characters. A spread featuring dozens of animals makes for delightful identification practice; another featuring a tongue-in-cheeky look at the solar system informs and amuses. The text is clever, sweet, and full of wonder at the world around. The length is great, and JJ absolutely loved it. The rare story that little ones can enjoy more and more and they grow, and that encourages us to be curious and kind. Baby Bookworm approved!

A Child Of Books (Oliver Jeffers & Sam Winston)

Hello, friends! Today, we read a gorgeous story called A Child Of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston, a celebration of the written word and the magical lands it can transport you too.

The story is simple: a little girl sets sail on her raft of imagination, built from the words she reads, and invites another young child along. Together, they explore forests, fight monsters, and sleep among the clouds, transported by the text of the stories they read. After all, the entire universe is at your fingertips if you are a child of books, and your imagination is the key.

As always, we adore a children’s book that pays tribute to reading and stories and how important they are in our lives, and this one does so with a sense of majesty. The art is especially breathtaking: the landscapes and creatures of each world the children travel to is crafted from typeset quotes from classic children’s books and songs (the clouds they sleep on in a starlit sky, for instance, are made of the lyrics to Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star). In addition to being so original and symbolic, this feature makes this a book that children can come back to as their reading abilities develop, and could even help them discover new books. The story’s text is lovely to read, and the length is great, and JJ really enjoyed this one, as did I. A perfect addition to any young reader’s library. Baby Bookworm approved!

The Day The Crayons Came Home (Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers)

Hello, everyone! Our book today is The Day The Crayons Came Home, by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers, the hilariously silly sequel to The Day The Crayons Quit.

If you’ve not read The Crayons books, the concept is cute and simple: a little boy named Duncan receives letters and postcards from his crayons, detailing their complaints, requests and labor concerns. This sequel focuses on crayons that have been lost, misplaced, or damaged, and their funny postcards to Duncan complaining of their lot.

These books are very tongue-in-cheek and lots of fun to read. The illustrations are hilarious as well, and the text and art compliment each other well. Two things: the book can be a little long for baby bookworms, and there is one poop joke, in case that’s not your style. Still, JJ loved the first Crayon book, and she loved this one too! Baby Bookworm approved!