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Staff Picks: Lauren's Top 10 Picture Books

Updated: Apr 21

Meet Lauren: a lifelong art & book lover who now works at two indie bookstores: The Book Jewel in Westchester & Creating Conversations in Redondo Beach, while also working as a freelance illustrator. In her words, she's "Living the dream!" Lauren grew up in and lives in Hawthorne, CA.

Lauren is a talented digital artist who creates breathtaking images, some of which you can find at her website.

Image by Lauren Hadnot

Lauren is drawn to fairy tales, period pieces, landscapes, and always looking for inspiration for her next project. Some of her favorite sources of inspiration are the incredible illustrators being published in Picture Books. So, here are Lauren's Top 10 Picture Books with incredible art and a great story for your little ones!


1. The Real Mother Goose by Blanche Fisher Wright: A classic childhood favorite of nursery rhymes and beautiful illustrations.

2. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, Illustrated by Charles Santore: A sweet timeless story that gave my toys life long before Toy Story.

3. The Night Gardener by Terry & Eric Fan: A beautiful story that enchanted me (and made me want to have a topiary) from beginning to end.

4. Wishes by Muon Thi Van, Illustrated by Victo Ngai. Ngai's breathtaking illustrations showing the struggles of refugee families, especially the children.

5. Mairy Blair's Unique Flair by Amy Novesky, illustrated by Brittney Lee: I love to see a spotlight on Mary Blair and her impact on Disney's history.

6. The Secret Garden: Francis Hodges Burnett's classic tale adapted by Calista Brill & Illustrated by Adelina Lirius. A great introduction to children to the classic story, with beautiful floral illustrations.

7.Ocean Meets the Sky by Eric & Terry Fan: The Fan Brothers never disappoint. This reminds me of the stories I loved as a kid.

8. Seeds and Trees by Brandon Walden, Illustrated by Kristen & Kevin Howdeshell: It's always wonderful to find a children's book that makes you stop, think, and try to be better.

9. My Two Border Towns by David Bowles & Illustrated by Erika Meza: A sweet story about a father and son as they go on a day trip between the US and Mexico

10. Watercress by Andrea Wang & Illustrated by Jason Chin: A touching lesson in taking pride in your family and yourself.



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