3 Kids Books That Make Me Cry (and our other favorite toddler books)

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A couple things you should know about us before you read my book recommendations:

  1. I took a class on children’s books in college. Based on my tuition costs per semester, that class cost approximately $3,000. That’s how much I like kids’ books.
  2. I currently spend a decent amount of my waking hours reading to the small people in my house.
  3. We go to the library and get “new” books every week. #FreeEntertainment
  4. When we go to the library, Addie is most excited about banging on the keyboards and picking out a movie. Emma is most excited about climbing in and out of the little chairs. Just cultivating a love of learning over here…
  5. Speaking of love of learning, both of our girls love to read books. And by read, I mean flip through the pages and then throw the books over the banister down the stairs… because what else would you do with a book when you’re done with it?
  6. But seriously, they do love to be read to.

3 Kids books that make me cry As Addie gets a little older, and the story lines become more complex than this is a duck, the duck says quack, I have come across a few kids books that make me cry. [Literally…. for all you Parks & Rec enthusiasts] 😉

Here are 3 that get me every time. (If you too love to cry while you read to the little people in your life, you can click the affiliate link* or the picture to be taken to amazon to purchase any of these. Read my full disclosure policy here.)

This darn bear. He starts out looking for a button and ends up finding a friend*. It is way more tear-jerking than I remember.

The Wemmicks are little wooden people, going about the business of rating each other with stars and dots. Winner Wemmicks and loser Wemmicks. Judging one another all day long. Poor little Puchinello… he’s the biggest Wemmick loser of them all. Then he meets a girl who has no dots or stars. They just don’t stick. When he finds out her secret, just be prepared for your tears to flow. You Are Special*(Max Lucado).

I was 37 weeks pregnant with Addie, waddling through Target. So so huge. This end cap of children’s books caught my eye. I picked up a board book with a happy polar bear on it and started thumbing through it. I actually assumed it’d be a lame, cheesy, Christian kids book. Before I knew it, I was crying. In Target. Real tears. I couldn’t stop. I threw it in my cart and wrapped it up for Ben as a Christmas present. My parents, brother, and his girlfriend (now wife) came to Lincoln that Christmas, being as I was quite great-with-child. Ben opened the aforementioned book, and he started thumbing through it, reading it aloud like a nice daddy-to-be. Before long, he was crying. Obviously, I cried again. Everyone else politely listened and laughed at with us. It’s a great gift to give to your expectant friend or family member. Especially if you want to see her do the ugly-cry in front of a group.

Okay, okay. If I had to pick a 4th, it would be the cliche, Love You Forever*. I don’t want to cry in this book, I actually don’t love reading it this much. But when the grown-up boy picks up his dying mother and sings “As long as I’m living, my mommy you’ll be,” I get all circle-of-life-teary-eyed.

(clicking any of these pics will take you to amazon. how’s that for instant gratification?)
Some of our other favorite books for toddlers are:

and, anything by Sandra Boynton. If you’ve never read her books, go get them for your favorite toddler. They’re all short, small, square board books. And they’re so funny. She has more than 15, but our personal favorites (in no particular order) are:
but not the hippopotamus sandray boynton

I know there are a ton of other great toddler books out there, but in our house, all those ones are the ones that have been taped over and over and are missing covers. What are your kids’ faves? Any tear jerkers that I missed?

10 thoughts on “3 Kids Books That Make Me Cry (and our other favorite toddler books)”

  1. The comments on my site are turned off now, but I'd love to hear from you on Instagram! Follow me there & tag me in a comment or DM me. Xo I'm @MrsReneeCook on Instagram!
  2. I totally cried the first time I read the “Love you Forever” book to my son!!

    Just wanted you to know you were one of our weekly features on the Weekend Wind Down Link Party! Come check it out and add another one of your awesome articles!!

    Britni from Happy Mama Tales

  3. I’ll have to check out “Tumble Me Tumbily.” I love watercolor illustrations! and if there are any somersaults, my girls will love it. That’s a top 3 activity at our house right now 🙂 ha!

  4. God Gave Us You made me a crying mess. We struggled with infertility for 5 years before our daughter was born and we really felt how much a blessing from God she was. Any of the books by Max Lucado are so touching, I want my girls to know how special they are just for being them. Another good fun one (no crying) is “Tumble Me Tumbily” by Karen Baicker. It actually has 3 stories of children throughout the day. It has fun watercolor pictures and a nice flowing rhyme.

  5. uh oh – i haven’t heard of the Kissing Hand. We’ll have to check it out on a week I’m feeling particularly emotionally strong 🙁

  6. Great list! God Gave Us You is a wonderful story, I actually read it in a Kohl’s, and had to stop before I was a blubbering mess right there in the store. I love all your recommendations. I’m an elementary teacher (currently staying at home), so reading is extremely big in our house. We visit the library every week too, and my oldest daughter always asks if she can “buy” the books, which I think is so sweet. If you haven’t yet, read the book, “The Kissing Hand.” It’s a real tear-jerker too! Happy Reading!

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