Read Local! The Best Children’s Books by North Carolina Authors and Illustrators

read local

At Baby+Company, we love to support our community. That means shopping local, for everything from gifts for moms-to-be to books for our children! The world of children’s books is enormous – there are literally millions to choose from. We help you narrow down your list by featuring some of our favorite kid’s books that were written or illustrated by fellow North Carolinians so you can read local!

read local

Colorasaurus, by Megan E. Bryant
Megan Bryant lives in Winston-Salem with her husband and children, where she works as a full-time writer. She’s written a bunch of great children’s books, including board books that will actually teach your little ones something. We especially like the beautifully illustrated Colorasaurus , but there’s also Shapeasaurus, Countasaurus and Alphasaurus.


Baby Faces, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Your little one will never tire of this interactive book of baby faces. Pull the tabs and watch the babies’ faces change: one blinks his eyes, another’s hair blows in the wind, and a playful little one sticks out his tongue. Your child will love imitating the expressions he or she sees, and it’s a great way to introduce the parts of the face. Side note: Brantley-Newton also illustrated Tori Spelling’s children’s book and the Little Golden Book I Can Do It!


Mighty Dads, by Joan Holub
Author and illustrator Joan Holub has collaborated on over 140 books, and Mighty Dads is widely considered one of the best. Written by Holub and illustrated by the creator of Pete the Cat, this New York Times Bestseller is a sweet story of construction vehicles large and small. If you want to nurture an interest in mythology, check out Holub’s Mini Myths series featuring board book tales based on classic mythological characters, like Be Patient, Pandora! and Play Nice, Hercules!


One More Dino on the Floor, by Kelly Starling Lyons
This newly released tale will have your wiggle-worm toe tapping, clapping, and be-bopping along as the dinosaurs take to the dance floor. This brightly illustrated story doesn’t just encourage physical activity; it also gets your child started on counting basics as more and more dinos join the fun.


Jazz Baby, by Carole Boston Weatherford
Weatherford has authored numerous children’s books on African-American culture and history, but this paperback is aimed at toddlers. Celebrate the joy of music as your baby learns to clap, stomp, and sing along with a group of young jazz artists. It’s a jazz-inspired take on the age-old pat-a-cake rhyme, and the colorful pictures and happy faces will have you tooting your pretend trumpet, as well.


Little Treasures: Endearments from Around the World, by Jacqueline Ogburn
Are you over the typical nicknames for children, like “peanut” and “cupcake”? All around the world, parents use sweet terms of endearment to address their little ones. This gorgeously illustrated book is a bit word-heavy, but it’s great for both parents and children. Your “poppet” will love looking at the fanciful drawings, and you’ll enjoy learning an entirely new vocabulary to show your love for your “wee flossie.” Ogburn has also written several fun books for older children, like A Dignity of Dragons and The Bake Shop Ghost.


Pirate Boy, illustrated by Julie Fortenberry
Julie Fortenberry is best known for illustrating Jamie Korngold’s series of children’s books about Jewish holidays and traditions, but families of all faiths will enjoy Pirate Boy. This sweet story tells of a little boy who dreams of sailing away on a pirate ship. It’s reminiscent of perennial favorite The Runaway Bunny; no matter what kind of trouble the Pirate Boy gets into, mom will be there to help!


Little Bear, by Else Holmelund Minarik
Minarik is the author of the award-winning Little Bear series, which was illustrated by Maurice Sendak, famed author of Where the Wild Things Are. It’s the first book in the I Can Read series, and manages to tell a sweet, compelling story in just 250 words. Parents may be familiar with the television show based on the books, which ran from 1995 until 2003. Younger ones will love hearing this simple tale of a bear and his mother, and it’s a perfect starter book for children who are just learning to read.

With the exception of Minarik (who has passed away), all of these authors and illustrators are members of the Writers and Illustrators of North Carolina, and are still creating new material! The next time you’re at the library or bookstore, consider picking up one of these favorites and supporting your local authors!

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