Zoe Lister-Jones: TOP TEN BOOKS

Zoe Lister Jones

Actor and director Zoe Lister-Jones grew up in Park Slope, Brooklyn, way before it was the stroller-crammed Subaru utopia of today. The daughter of two artists, Bill Jones and Ardele Lister, Lister-Jones was weened on the irreverent, brilliant and deeply human aesthetic that marks so much of her work as an actor on shows such as Life in Pieces and New Girl to her own writing in films such as Lola Versus and Band-Aid to her latest, a reboot of the classic horror film, The Craft: Legacy, which Lister-Jones wrote and directed and came out on, naturally, Halloween. Drawing on books her mother read to her and books she’s picked up since this list similarly combines deep heart and humor.

Below are Zoe Lister-Jones’ favorite children’s books, available for purchase individually or as a set.


The Lorax

Dr. Seuss
A fable that highlights the dangers of deforestation and corporate greed? Yes please. Sadly, nearly thirty years later these issues are more pressing than ever, and so little has changed...
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Goodnight Moon

Margaret Wise Brown
This was a regular in my childhood, but has come back to haunt me in my adulthood because my friend and former co-star, Colin Hanks, likes to make fun of all the new age rituals I have by saying "Goodnight bone broth, goodnight Chinese herbal supplements, goodnight chickpeas..." You get the gist.
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The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Eric Carle
I relate to this caterpillar a lot, and always have. Side note, a lot of body shaming this caterpillar goes through on his way to becoming a butterfly!
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The Missing Piece

Shel Silverstein
You know how certain stuff you read or watch when you're little feels too sad for such a little heart, but then you're like it won't hurt so much when I'm big cause I'll be strong, but then you get big and it hurts more? Yeah, this picture book by Shel Silverstein is like that.
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The Runaway Bunny

Margaret Wise Brown
Not too long ago I was high with my Mom and we went into a bookstore and found ourselves in the children's section and she read me The Runaway Bunny, which she used to read me when I was a kid. I was super moved because it was so nostalgic. But then we both came to realize that it's a sordid tale about an obsessive mother who refuses to give her bunny child any space and maybe not the best template for parents generally. Still a good book, though.
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Intersectionalallies: We Make Room For All

Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, and Carolyn Cho
With nine interconnected characters, this book is a wonderful celebration of intersectionality, with a foreword by the brilliant Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw, who introduced intersectionality as a concept to the world at large. I don't have children but if I did I would read this to them. I know some adults who should read it too.
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Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea

Meena Harris
This is the true story of two little girls who work with their community to effect change, as told by author Meena Harris about her aunt, Senator (and please GODDESS future Vice President) Kamala Harris, and her Mother, Maya, a lawyer and policy expert. Meena is dope, Maya is dope, and OBVIOUSLY VOTE FOR KAMALA.
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I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark

Debbie Levy
This picture book wasn’t around when I was a kid but I wish it was. Especially with the reverberations of the loss of RBG books like this, which help present the importance of RBG in an accessible and inspiring way, are so profound and important.
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Weetzie Bat

Francesca Lia Block
Ok I know this is not technically a children's book but it is Y.A. The debut novel of Francesca Lia Block, Weetzie Bat is set in a dream like version of L.A., called Shangri-LA and follows Weetzie Bat, a misfit punk rock girl and her gay best friend Dirk. Weetzie ends up getting three wishes, none of which turn out how she imagines. It's super punk rock and it was everything to me growing up.
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Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

Judy Blume
Another YA pick but I am my own woman and I don't live by rules. Read this book!
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