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Best Picture Books for Children

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Today I am sharing over 120 of our absolute favorite picture books for children.  Reading with our kids is the best thing we can do for them and for their future.  By reading to them, and showing that we value literacy, we are creating an environment full of literacy!  And their future will become bright with opportunity!  Books bring our children into a world full of adventure, intrigue, and information.  I pray that this list will introduce you to new classic books that you fall in love to over and over again.

best picture books for kids - reading to your children every day! preschool and early learning blog!

Our Best Picture Books for Children are a compilation, new and old (mostly old classics), that I come back to time and time again.  Many of these stories have deep meaning, as they are from my own childhood.  Children will hold these sweet memories and stories in their hearts and minds for their whole lives.  Books bring families and people together, young and old.  Whether it is laughing about the Mama Bear who is afraid of Little Sal, or admiring a little boy as he writes his first love letter to his girl friend.  We can talk and share about why Max came back from where the wild things are, or the friendship of a little mouse and big whale.  Books hold the key to imagination and wonder and they unlock a world of discovery and opportunity.

best picture book authors

Also check out: 10 Reasons to Read to your Child.

Books with an asterik * are my top picks :)

Each of the books below is affiliate linked to Amazon, and I’ve provided a printable copy at the bottom of this post so you can bring this list to your library and enjoy these stories together!!

Classic Picture Books for Children

Cecil Frances Alexander: All Things Bright and Beautiful

Clarence William Anderson: Blaze and the Forest Fire, Billy and Blaze, Blaze and the Mountain Lion

Frank Asch: Moonbear’s Shadow, Moonbear’s Sunrise, Moongame, Moonbear’s Bargain, Happy Birthday Moon, Mooncake, Sandcake*, Pizza, et al

Atinuke: Splash Anna Hibiscus, Double Trouble*

Esther Averill: The Fire Cat

Elisa Bartone: Peppe the Lamplighter

Ludwig Bemelmans: Madeline, Madeline’s Rescue, Madeline and the Bad Hat, Madeline and the Gypsies, Madeline in London, Madeline’s Christmas


Julie Brinkloe: Fireflies

Marcia Brown: Stone Soup, Once a Mouse, Shadow, Dick Whittington and His Cat

Margaret Wise Brown: The Important Book, The Little Fir Tree, The Dirty Little Boy, The Color Kittens, The Little Island*, The Treasury

Virginia Lee Burton: The Little House, Katy and the Big Snow, Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel

Janell Cannon: Stellaluna, Verdi

Eric Carle: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Pancakes, Pancakes!, Walter the Baker, A House for Hermit Crab, The Mixed-Up Chameleon, The Grouchy Ladybug, The Foolish Tortoise

Emma Chichester Clark: Bear’s Don’t Read

Barbara Cooney: Miss Rumphius, Hattie and the Wild Waves*, Roxaboxen, Chanticleer and the Fox

Jay Daugherty: Andy and the Lion

Tommie DePaola: The Clown of God, Strega Nona

Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese: The Story of Ping

Mem Fox: Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge

Don Freeman: Gregory’s Shadow, Corduroy, A Pocket for Corduroy, Beady Bear*, Dandelion

Berta and Elmer Hader: The Big Snow

Donald Hall: Ox-Cart Man

Kevin Henkes: Kitten’s First Full Moon, Chester’s Way, Chrysanthemum, Julius: The Baby of the World, Lilly’s Big Day, Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, Owen, Sheila Rae the Brave, A Weekend with Wendell, Wemberly Worried

Karen Hesse: Come On, Rain!

Russell Hoban: Bread and Jam for Frances, et al.

Syd Hoff: The Horse in Harry’s Room

Kim Lewis: Floss

Else Holmelund Minarik: Little Bear*, Father Bear Comes Home, Little Bear’s Friend, Little Bear’s Visit

Ezra Jack Keats: The Snowy Day*, Whistle for Willie, A Letter to Amy, Goggles, Pet Show, Hi Cat!, Peter’s Chair, et al.

Monro Leaf: The Story of Ferdinand


Leo Lionni: Frederick, Fish is Fish, An Extraordinary Egg, Swimmy, et al.

Arnold Lobel: Frog and Toad are Friends*, Frog and Toad Together, Frog and Toad All Year, Days with Frog and Toad, Owl at Home, Fables, Mouse Soup, et al.

Robert McCloskey: Time of Wonder, One Morning in Maine, Make Way for Ducklings*, Blueberries for Sal*

Emmy Payne: Katy No-Pocket

Bill Peet: Hubert’s Hair-Raising Adventure*

Watty Piper: The Little Engine that Could

Beatrix Potter: The Tale of Peter Rabbit, et al.

Marjorie Priceman: How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

H. A. Rey: Curious George

Cynthia Rylant: When I was Young in the Mountains*

Maurice Sendak: Where the Wild Things Are*

Dr. Seuss: all books

Esphyr Slobodkina: Caps for Sale

William Steig: Brave Irene, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble*, Doctor DeSoto, Amos & Boris*, Roland the Minstrel Pig, The Amazing Bone, et al.

Tasha Tudor: Around the Year

Brinton Turkle: Obadiah the Bold, Rachel and Obadiah, Thy Friend Obadiah

Janice May Udry: A Tree is Nice*

Eloise Wilkins: Wonders of Nature

Wong Herbert Yee: Mouse and Mole: Fine Feathered Friends, et al.

Jane Yolen: Owl Moon*


Take it with you to the library!

Take this list with you to find beautiful books, with thoughtful and wholesome messages for your children.  You can feel good about bringing these books home to have your child read with you or on their own.

{By downloading, you are agreeing to my Terms of Use.}

You can download the list by subscribing here!: Best Picture Books for Children here.

Did I miss one?  Which one (and why!) would you have added to my list?

best picture book authors

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  1. One of my favorite authors is Mem Fox, I use the story “Koala Lou” every year during the first week of school. It reminds students that they are loved, even if they are not the “best” in the class. Robert Munsch is another favorite, I adore the story called “Pigs”, simply because it shows the consequences of breaking rules. I would add both authors, and most of their titles, to your list.

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