People I Sleep With, by Jill Fineberg
This is a lovely (grown-up) photo book of people sleeping with animals. Mostly their pets although there are a few others. Wide variety of animals and wide variety of people. Kind of new age-y backstory but in an interesting rather than an irritating way.
The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime, by Phyllis Tickle
So I've kind of sort of been doing fixed-hour prayer? I'm doing it more because I miss liturgy (and my paternal grandmother and maternal great-grandmother) than because I miss praying. (Not that there's a hard and fast division between liturgy and prayer in the Catholic tradition anyway.) I'm also extremely haphazard and do it when I am in the mood to do it which often is 4 times a day in a regular fashion for weeks but SOMETIMES means skipping for several days and then catching up all in a burst, or just skipping bits that are non-productively irritating instead of nostalgically and engagingly frustrating. In any case, if you are interested in such things you might like to request this volume; it's quite representative (though without the special sections for Lent/Easter and Advent/Christmas that the other 2 volumes have, obviously), and very well put together. The Compline sections in particular show Tickle's soul as well as the weight of tradition.
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves, by Lucille Colandro
So if you know the old lady who swallowed a fly song, this is like that only seasonal. Apparently it is my niece's comfort reading book that comes with her everywhere. I found this highly amusing because I was obsessed with the original at her age. The illustrations are appropriately playful.
Sleeping Dragons All Around, by Sheree Fitch
One of my niece's current favorites, which I had never read, despite Sheree Fitch being a popular kids' author when I was growing up (in Canada). It's pretty cute. I can see why she loves it.
The Paper Bag Princess, by Robert Munsch, illustrated by Michael Martchenko (reread)
Still one of my favorites of all time, she said with relief. (I was afraid it wouldn't have aged well.). My niece likes it too, and was very surprised to find it on my shelf. "YOU have this TOO??" she said. "Oh yeah," her mom said, "Your auntie used to read that ALL THE TIME when she was your age."
There's No Such Thing as a Dragon, by Jack Kent (reread)
This was one of my husband's favorites as a kid. I liked it fine but there's a mystery to kids' favorites, you know? My inner kid thinks all my favorites are WAY better.
Leo the Late Bloomer, by Robert Kraus, illustrated by José Aruego (reread)
Another of my kid favorites that my niece really liked. I think as an adult the best part was the illustrations, but as a kid I freaking LOVED the story. Even though I was a bit of a prodigy, not a late bloomer, I still found it super reassuring.
East of the Sun and West of the Moon, by Mercer Mayer (reread)
This was a book I loved as a kid but had almost forgotten until I found it in a box of remainders at the bookstore where I used to work. Mayer's illustrative style here is VERY different than in the little critter books - lush, old-fashioned, and glowing. I grew progressively hesitant about reading it to my niece as I belatedly realized that it was a fairly dull and complicated storyline that I would think was more suited to 9 year olds... but then the next night it was the very FIRST thing she wanted to read, even before her own books. I think she was as entranced by the illustrations as I am.
Grasshopper on the Road, by Arnold Lobel (reread)
Another classic, this one wasn't one of my favorites as a kid, but I like it more every time I read it.
Days with Frog and Toad, by Arnold Lobel (reread)
This was a fun one to read aloud because my sister and I kept breaking off the story to tell my niece one or another anecdote about ways that this book had featured in our lives - trouble we got into, comfort we found, and the time my mom dragooned us to act it out for one of her lesson plan presentations when she was getting a certification. Good times.