25 Must-Read Picture Books

25 Must-Read Picture Books

Picture books are some of my favorite books since they use a beautiful combination of words and pictures to tell a story. The best picture books are clever, beautifully illustrated, and are enjoyable by kids and adults. Here are some of my favorites!

Find teaching aids for many of the books here.

1. Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin

Cows are only supposed to moo, but Farmer Brown’s click and clack too. When his cows start leaving him notes, his farm becomes much more than just a place to care for animals. 

2. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff

We’re always told to be kind and do good deeds, but is it possible for to go too far? Read this funny story about what may happen if your good deed is giving a mouse a cookie.

3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Learn not only about the life of a caterpillar, but the life of a very hungry one. Eric Carle’s beautiful illustrations captivate young readers in this delightful, classic tale.

4. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Follow Sam-I-Am as he talks about his love for green eggs and ham in this funny and entertaining read. The rhyming words and illustrations that match up perfectly have made this story a classic for all.

5. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

Rosie wants to become an engineer. She tries her best to see inspiration in even the smallest things. She pieces together her own inventions from scraps, but hides them under her bed because of her fear of failure. Will she be able to get over this fear and show the world what she’s capable of?

6. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena

CJ has a routine. He and his grandma ride the bus together every Sunday after church but this Sunday, things are different. CJ knows his routine, but he wonders why it’s so different from some of his friends. Read along as CJ learns the important lesson of perspectives and differences.

7. Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say

This beautifully illustrated book depicts a man’s love for both his home country and new country and longing for a combination of both. The illustrations and words together make for a captivating, personal piece that will touch anyone who reads it.

8. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum loves her name, but when the kids at school tease her over it, she has second thoughts. Read along as Chrysanthemum learns the lessons of self-confidence and acceptance in this classic story.

9. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

Duncan wants to color, but he has a problem, his crayons are gone. He didn’t lose them, they quit! Each crayon has a problem. They’re either fighting with each other or sick of their daily jobs. Will Duncan be able to fix this problem and color again? Grab the free lapbook here!

10. It Could Always be Worse by Margot Zemach

Arguments with his wife, a crowded home full of children, and little patience, push a man to run for a Rabbi for advice. Despite his efforts to improve things, they go from bad to worse. This hilarious tale is a fun one to follow along with an important lesson to take away.

11. The Book with No Pictures by BJ Novak

This book may have no pictures, but it’s still one that will keep your kids interested and entertained. No matter what’s on the page, it must be read aloud! Have fun along with your kids during this silly read.

12. Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine

Henry doesn’t know how old he is. No one keeps track of slave’s birthdays. He grows up in this world of neglect, eventually getting fed up with it and developing a plan. He will mail himself North. Follow Henry throughout his life as he faces his issues head on.

13. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

The bus driver leaves and gives one rule, “Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus”! Can you keep the pigeon from getting into the driver’s seat? This fun and unexpected story is a great fun read for the kids.

14. I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

The bear has misplaced his hat and wants it back. Come alongside him on his journey through sarcasm and inside jokes to find it.

15. Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal

Alma is discouraged by the amount of names she has! Six is too many. When she digs into her names and the reasons for them, she discovers her names mean much more to her. Follow along as Alma discovers herself in this beautiful read.

16. The Very Fairy Princess by Julie Andrews

I love Julie Andrews and immediately fell in love with this sweet picture book about a girl who KNOWS she is a fairy princess.

17. Olivia by Ian Falconer

Have fun with Olivia as she sings, builds, dances, and plays all before a night of sleep! Ian’s illustrations and main character have made this story a classic for families. 

18. Counting on Katherine by Helaine Becker

Learn about Katherine Johnson, one of the women who worked with NASA to save Apollo 13. Read along as you learn of her ambition and love to count as a child. This inspiring story is a great way to teach kids of important figures who aren’t always noted in school. Grab the lapbook here!

19. Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Dragons love tacos! All kinds of tacos, but what usually comes with tacos? Salsa! And salsa paired with a fire-breathing dragon could mean disaster. This entertaining read will make you and your kids laugh! Grab the free lapbook here!

20. Curious George by H.A. Reys

Introduce this classic character to your kids with the book that started it all. George is curious and sometimes it leads to trouble, but it also always leads to a lesson. 

21. Madeline Finn and the Library Dog by Lisa Papp

Madeline Finn does NOT like to read. In this sweet story about overcoming fears and growth, Madeline meets Bonnie the library dog. This book is perfect for new or reluctant readers.

22. Dream Big Little Pig by Kristi Yamaguchi

Kristi Yamaguchi is an Olympic gold medalist. In this sweet book, she encourages kids to work hard and dream big.

23. The Adventures of Beekle by Dan Sanat

This magical Caldecott book is set on an island where an imaginary friend is born. This book is one that may be appreciated by adults over children, but it’s still a fun read.

24.  Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Sally Walker

When Harry finds a baby bear for sale at a train station, it tugs on his heartstrings and he adopts it. Harry soon had to go to war, but that didn’t stop Winnie from tagging along and becoming his company’s mascot! This book is sweet and is one of my favorites.

25. Stellaluna by Janell Canon

Separated from her mother, the little fruit bat Stellaluna finds herself in a bird’s nest. This story would pair well with a lesson on bats!

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