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80 Comments

  1. Thank you thank you thank you for this amazing list! My six year old – after three weeks of “I only want you to read me chapter books” announced “I don’t like chapter books, I want picture books.” And this sent me scurrying to the internet because I’ve run through every picture book I know. I cannot thank you enough for these suggestions!

    1. So glad to hear you found the list useful, Tara! I was in newborn mode when you first posted this comment, but hopefully you’ve found a couple new favorites from the list. :)

  2. Wow….. This list is really helpful
    Thank you so much for sharing…

  3. I have three little boys and absolutely love children’s picture books as well. Some I might add is Watching Grass Grow, Another Brother, Maple, and The Book With No Pictures. Thanks for a great list!

    1. Ah, I can’t believe we left off The Book With No Pictures! I’ll need to update to add that soon. We love Maple too. :) I’ll check out the other two, thanks!

  4. All 4 of our kids and us have also enjoyed Something from Nothing, Jillian Jiggs (we could close our eyes and recite it end to end), and The Giving Tree.

  5. “Bark,George!”….can’t remember the author…..something like Jules Feffer? You’ll ROFL

  6. My son has a new favorite – The Digger and The Flower. It’s a beautiful book, and provides a great opening for talking about feelings and protecting the environment too!

    1. Meghan, we got that from the library a few weeks ago too! So good. <3 It's almost due back at the library so we'll definitely be getting a copy for our shelf. :)

  7. You’ve listed my absolute favorites (Mrs. Biddlebox!!!), and I can’t wait to check out your other recommendations! Thank you for putting together such amazing and thoughtful recommendations.
    So happy to have found your blog!

    1. Marianne, I’ve only ever met one other person who’d heard of Mrs. Biddlebox before! So happy to find a kindred spirit in picture books. :) I’d love to hear of any others that are your favorites, since we have similar taste!

  8. Do you have any recommendations for books to show kids all that they can be?

  9. Thank you for the wonderful list! I’ve been teaching elementary learning support for 16+ years, and there are 2-3 books in particular I find myself reading over and over and over . . . The kids can’t get enough of them – Taxi Dog” and “The Baby Beebee Bird!” Thankfully, I adore these books too! Oh – and can’t forget “Room on the Broom;” it’s a favorite all year long! :-)

  10. Storm is Coming by Heather Tekavec. Absolutely hilarious about farm animals rounded up by the dog because the farmer tells him “Storm is coming”. They hide in the barn from a terrible monster named Storm and cheer every time the lightning flashes and thunder growls to chase Storm away. One of my favorites.

  11. Thank you for this list. I am always searching for additional children’s books with important messages.

  12. Illana Olsen says:

    I taught both preschool and kindergarten during my teaching career, and story time was always the highlight of the day! Here are a few of my personal favorites:
    The Gruffalo
    Elmer Blunt’s Open House
    Room on the Broom
    Tacky the Penguin
    Not Your Typical Dragon
    Frog and Toad series
    Huggly series
    Max and Ruby series
    Dav Pilkey’s Dragon series
    The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

  13. So excited to check out the books on this list. Thank you for taking the time to put it together. We also love “You are Special” by Max Lucado. So powerful to help develop a sense of self-worth that is not swayed by the opinions of others.

    Also, “Red: A Crayon Story” by Michael Hall…teaches about how it feels when we put unreasonable expectations/labels on others.

    I’m on the hunt for a book that talks about being true to your word/keeping promises. Do you have any recommendations?

  14. Oh my goodness, this is great! Paper Bag Princess is terrific!

  15. Ana Jovanovic says:

    For bedtime books I really like the Nancy Tillman collection. They all rhyme which is in my head what a bedtime book should look like (don’t ask me why) and they are all so gentle and loving I always drop a tear or two at the end. The only issue that I have is with the printer who has obviously never read a book to a child in a dimmed room before!! Because the font is so tiny and scriptive it’s very hard to read. So I just learned them by heart!!

  16. Jennifer Nelson says:

    My boys LOVE “Room on the Broom”

  17. Thanks for the wonderful list! We love ANYTHING by Sandra Boynton, especially Dinosaur Dance and The Going To Bed Book. Also on my list of favorites is You Belong Here by M.H. Clark and Good Night, Little Bear by Veronica Vasylenko. Both are beautifully illustrated and so sweet!

  18. Great list, thanks a lot Kelly! Our daughter is only one year old and loves picture books. My problem is, English is not our native language (nor German and we live in Germany), so we read in our language by spontaneous translating, which of course everytime is a bit different, and has no rhyme :-(. Then almost all of the books are not so nice and funny.. Do you have a suggestion what to do? Do you think it is too bad?

  19. Great list! Lots of new ones to check out!!
    Do you have a list of best chapter books for reading aloud? I don’t even know where to start but my almost 7 year old is ready for more!!

    1. Jackie Giordano says:

      We did the Narnia series, the box car children, Misty of Chincoteague, we are alos looking for more, but my kids are smaller, so we need super “clean” content.

  20. This list is great! Some of these I’ve either not heard of or forgotten about and a couple ones my kids love too. Thank you for taking the time and putting this together and writing out the important messages. Another book your kids might like that my son loved is The Little Blue Truck, if you haven’t read it.

  21. Maureen Forney says:

    Wonderful what you do. Always enjoy your articles. Great list. Right now my daughter is obsessed with Butterfly girl and Bumblebee Boy. Whole series is wonderful. My son is obsessed with Interrupting Chicken. I love the book with no worth’s and also love singing to them the book by Pharrell Williams ‘Happy?

  22. Is there a link to print out the list? I’d love to take this to the library with us.

    1. I, too, would love to be able to print the list out.

  23. Cathy McFarlane says:

    I love your posts!!! Thank you for sharing this list of books. I just requested half of them from the library:) (I teach Preschool, and lots of these are perfect for my class!)

    On a side note, you have a wonderful way of writing that makes everything seem comfortable and real. Feels like I’m talking with a friend. I really enjoy it, and am grateful for your info and opinions! Thanks again!

  24. I LOVE your lists so much! We just finished most of the ones from your kindness list and now starting on some of these. Thank you!!

  25. AuntMamma says:

    The Treehouse That Jack Built, Some Bugs, and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole are the favorites of the little boys in this house

  26. Is there a way to print this off as a list? They look fantastic and most I haven’t heard of – want to take a list to the library

    1. The authors aren’t listed on the page. you have to click the link.

  27. Andy Coleman says:

    Thank you for this list! I’d like to add: Mary Had a Little Lamp, Peanut Butter & Cupcake, The Very Cranky Bear, and Perfectman.

  28. Other ones would be – blueberries for Sal, Jillian Jigs, The Napping House, corduroy, Miss Rumphius, my heart is like a zoo, Mr Gumpy

  29. Amanda Platt says:

    Such a great list! I love all of these. I would add Mr Blueberry, The Library, Monkey and Me.

  30. Ruby’s Birds by Mya Thompson. Helps kids find nature in their environment and also great role model – an African-American girl.

  31. Childhood favorite Mrs. Nelson is Missing!!! I waited for my boys to be in 1st grade but it took him until second to realize she was always there….. ?

  32. Anna Maledon says:

    That’s a very useful list. From “real readers to real readers”. Fancy professional-chosen lists don’t always live up to expectations. I buy a lot of picture books. I am a self-confessed picture book junkie. My boys are 4 and 6. I always look for new picture books to read, not necessarily new. I buy plenty of old books. I actually prefer older ones, they often have a better story and calmer illustrations that don’t absorb all child’s attention so there is nothing left for listening. My younger son loves Mr Men series especially Mr Cheeky. He also loves Beatrix Potter books, especially Peter Rabbit. One day I will share my favourites on my blog when I set it up finally. I used to have a blog on and off. At the moment I don’t have one. I love picture books so much that I started writing them too. I’m currently getting 3 of them ready. Many more to come. I cover a multitude of topics including business start-up, money saving and spending, not trusting strangers and more. 99.9% of them are funny I’m really happy I’ve found your blog, a fellow picture-book junkie! The only book from your list we have is MR AMOS. A very sweet book and beautiful illustrations.

  33. Jane Tyson says:

    My granddaughter absolutely loves the book “I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More” by Karen Beaumont. It can be sung but that’s just the beginning. It uses rhyme, and has great illustrations. My granddaughter has heard it so many times and has now started comparing the length of her arm and size of her hand with the boy in the book and comparing the pictures of the boy in the tub at the beginning and end of the book. We talk about what the mom was thinking about at the end of the book as well making observations of how the dog is painted along with the boy. I love to see her discover the layers each time we read it. And probably most of all, I’m not tired of it. I highly recommend it!

  34. Hello. A good list, especially library lion. Was surprised not to see any Julia Donaldson books on it though. Room on the broom?

  35. My children are adults now, so maybe this oldie is no longer on book shelves, but we loved Tacky the Penguin, by Helene Lester.

  36. Thank you! I had not heard of all of these, so I am looking forward to checking out some fresh stories to read with my grandson. I would love to add “The Big Orange Splot” by Daniel Pinkwater to this list. I always recommend it to others. It is a wonderful story about being unashamedly unique, comfortable in your own skin, and not allowing others to squash your individuality or to dictate who you should be. My kids and I always enjoyed the laughs and the sweet message.

  37. Jen Baylis says:

    Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus by Mo Willem is an awesome read. There are others in the ‘Don’t Let The Pigeon’ series but this is our favourite! Another firm favourite is Shark in the Park by Nick Sharratt. We very much enjoy Lauren Child’s series on Charlie and Lola too.

  38. Carol Adkison says:

    Just in Case You Ever Wonder by Max Lucado

  39. Natasha R Grimaudo says:

    Giraffes Can’t Dance
    I need my monster
    Quackenstein

  40. The monster at the end of this book, my all time favourite !

  41. Ashley Bain says:

    I’ll go against the grain a bit and say I’m a bit dubious about this list. The two books I have, I am a Bunny, and peek-a-who, and I’d say that neither adds a ton of value to our book collection.

    Mortimer, and many other Munch books, on the other hand, are AMAZING (I highly recommend watching a video of how Munch reads his stories- it’ll definitely inspire you to get into them more ;)

  42. I’d add:
    The Very Cranky Bear and
    The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight (I think you’d liked that one)

  43. Thank you for this wonderfully written and encouraging article and book list!! We also love Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site (another fun bedtime, rhyming book), This is Not My Hat ( Jon Klausen’s clever follow-up to I Want My Hat Back), and Alistair and the Alien Invasion (by Sadler/Bollen).

  44. Dawn Bruce says:

    You need to add a few….My Lucky Day, Knuffle Bunny, No, David!, Abiyoyo, Crazy Pizza Day….I have been a preschool teacher for 27 years now…..I send home a list EVERY YEAR with my students of all the books we read and love to help parents encourage reading at home.

  45. Thanks for this list!! My personal favorite to read aloud is the Pout Pout Fish. Awesome alliteration and a musical cadence keeps it fun – over and over and over and over!

  46. Kristine LiVecchi says:

    Thanks for this! Please consider the hard to find but amazing and timeless books of Elsa Beskow. Not only are the illustrations beautiful but the stories are enchanting-. A quality that childhood needs as much or more than lessons of how to ….. The best are Children of the Forest, Woody,Hazel and Little Pip, and Peters Adventures in Blueberry Land. Also wonderful are the Sun Egg and Ollie’s Ski Trip.

  47. I am so happy I found this post! I literally have been getting rid of all my kids books that I find extremely boring! Haha. I have decided that if the story line is not interesting we are not going too be reading it anymore, I want to enjoy storytime too lol. Anyways I wanted to say thank you! My kids birthdays are coming up and I’m definitely going to be picking a few choices from your selection ?

  48. Anything by Sandra Boynton, but particularly Blue Hat, Green Hat (the Oops book). My youngest is 16 and we still joke about this. After reading another one of her books, I still sometimes call out to my daughter “Goodnight Little Pookie” and she giggles and responds with “Goodnight Little Mommy”. Wonderful memories of reading with them when they were small.

  49. Chris Binder says:

    What Newt Could do for Turtle and Tacky the Penguin are some of my favorites

  50. Is there a way to print the list so I can take it to the library? I don’t want all the adds when I print. Thanks.

  51. Would you happen to have a printable of this? That would be easy to take to the library. :-)

  52. Bear Snores On is my absolute favorite! He’s so me – you’re having a party without me?! My suggestions: snowy day, finklehopper frog, Louella Mae (has run away), snugglepuppy

  53. Ann Whitford says:

    Moo, Baa, LaLaLa is one of our kids/grandkids favorites: Sandra Boynton

  54. Shelly Werger says:

    Are you familiar with Usborne Books & More? They definitely have some amazing books that I would have added to this list. As a parent to 7 and having fostered a lot more as well as volunteered in schools, Several of their books are way more interactive and hold a child’s attention much better.

  55. Gail Przeclawski says:

    “One” by Kathryn Otoshi. I think it is the perfect book about how to deal with bullying. I am a retired Media Specialist and every class I read it to, you could hear a pin drop. They hung on every page. And my grandkids love it too. Great message, beautifully presented.

  56. Melissa Johnston says:

    I love reading the day the crayons quit… it’s fun to see life from a different perspective one you wouldn’t normally think of

  57. Thankyou for the list. One of our faves is All the ways to be smart. I think it’s fairly new. You’re right, it’s one we never get sick of and that’s a precious thing indeed.

  58. More choices! We’ve read so many books. I can’t believe I haven’t read several of these. Looking forward to trying the chapter books especially ! Hoping they will help my daughter venture away from fairies and ponies just a little.
    Variety is the spice of life!

  59. Alexandra says:

    We are currently reading Anna Hibiscus with our 4yr old. (Chapter books). And she can’t get enough. Such a wonderful way to introduce kids to a very different culture and way of life.

    Our 18mo old loves Mr Brown can Moo and all the fun sounds in it. (It’s been read daily for about 6mo now).

  60. Nicole Ikeda says:

    Thank you for your list…. A hundred more would be great but I’ll list just a few of our favorites…
    1.Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld 2. Mama Panya’s Pancakes: A Village Tale from Kenya by Mary Chamberlin 3. Hooray for Amanda & her Alligator! by Mo Willems (My 4 yer old son has the biggest smile and laughs all through this book). 4. Love Monster and the Last Chocolate by Rachel Bright. Ok I cant stop myself… one more that I may like a little more than my son 5. Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima

  61. The One and Only Ivan is also a cute movie on DisneyPlus! Stars Bill Cranston, voices of Sam Rockwell, Danny Devito, Helen Miren, Angelina Jolie… a couple of liberties taken with the story but guess what, it’s based on a true story! And the real Ivan went to live at Zoo Atlanta and we live in Atlanta, so that was super cool for the kids to learn.

  62. Elizabeth Morris says:

    I am a librarian and absolutely LOVE these lists. You hit on almost all of my favorites as well. I would like your thoughts on Drew Daywalt’s books The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home.

  63. Thank you for this resource! Is there a printable book list available?