Best Books: Picture Books

This wasn’t a list I was going to make. But then, I found myself with three adorable nephews and an Amazon Prime account for their birthdays. Now, I know some of the books that I have loved reading to my kids–and Lord knows I spent enough time researching the best and most classic books–but I didn’t have any tidy, little list to refer to. So I did my usual research and came up with a great starting point. Thanks to Scholastic, Library Journal, and New York Times, etc.

Best Picture Books

  • Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice SendakDON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
  • Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Mo Willems
  • Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown
  • The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats
  • Make Way for Ducklings, Robert McCloskey
  • Knuffle Bunny, Mo Willems
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Judith Viorst
  • Bark, George, Jules Feiffer
  • The Monster at the End of This Book, Jon StoneMONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK
  • Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, Kevin Henkes
  • Green Eggs and Ham, Dr. Seuss
  • Miss Rumphius, Barbara Cooney
  • Caps for Sale, Esphyr Slobodkina
  • Frog and Toad Are Friends, Arnold Lobel
  • The Story of Ferdinand, Munro Leaf
  • A Sick Day for Amos McGee, Philip Stead
  • Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, Eric Litwin
  • Millions of Cats, Wanda Gag
  • Corduroy, Donald FreemanCORDUROY
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Bill Martin Jr.
  • Tuesday, David Weisner
  • Kitten’s First Full Moon, Kevin Henkes
  • We Are In a Book, Mo Willems
  • Bread and Jam for Frances, Russell Hoban
  • Go, Dog, Go!, P. D. Eastman
  • Miss Nelson Is Missing!, Nelson Ellard
  • Owl Moon, Jane Yolan
  • Blueberries for Sal, Robert McCloskey
  • The Little House, Virginia Lee BurtonTHE LITTLE HOUSE
  • The Lorax, Dr. Seuss
  • Strega Nona, Tomie de Paola
  • The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, Jon Scieszka
  • The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss
  • The Lion and the Mouse, Jerry Pinkney
  • Click, Clack, Moo, Doreen Cronin
  • Good Night, Gorilla, Peggy Rathman
  • Curious George, H. A. Rey
  • Freight Train, Donald Crews
  • Rudie Nudie, Emma Quay
  • The Very Cranky Bear, Nick BlandCURIOUS GEORGE
  • Where Is the Green Sheep?, Mem Fox
  • Room on the Broom, Julia Donaldson
  • Edwina the Emu, Sheena Knowles
  • Green Eggs and Ham, Dr. Seuss
  • Madeline, Ludwig Bemelmans
  • Harry the Dirty Dog, Gene Zion
  • Who Sank the Boat?, Pamela Allen
  • Imagine, Allison Lester
  • Wombat Stew, Marsha K. Vaughan
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter
  • Where the Forest Meets the Sea, Jeannie BakerTHE JOLLY POSTMAN
  • The Jolly Postman, Janet and Allan Ahlberg
  • The Little Yellow Digger, Betty and Alan Gilderdale
  • Moo, Baa, La La La!, Sandra Boynton
  • Sebastian Lives in a Hat, Thelma Catterwell
  • Where’s Spot?, Eric Hill
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, Eric Carle
  • Iggy Peck, Architect, Andrea Baety
  • The Gruffalo, Julia Donalson
  • Uno’s Garden, Graham BaseIGGY PECK ARCHITECT
  • Guess How Much I Love You, Sam McBratney
  • Possum Magic, Julie Vivas
  • We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Michael Rosen
  • Magic Beach, Alison Lester
  • John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Car, Jenny Wagner
  • Dear Zoo, Rod Campbell
  • The Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg
  • Doctor De Soto, William Steig
  • Scaredy Squirrel, Melanie Watt
  • Officer Buckle and Gloria, Peggy Rathmann
  • There is a Bird on Your Head, Mo WillemsTHERE IS A BIRD ON YOUR HEAD
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Dr. Seuss
  • Go Away, Big Green Monster!, Ed Emberley
  • The Sneetches and Other Stories, Dr. Seuss
  • King Bodgood’s in the Bathtub, Audrey Wood
  • The Arrival, Shaun Tan
  • Bedtime for Frances, Russell Hoban
  • The Three Pigs, David Wiesner
  • Rhyming Dust Bunnies, Jan Thomas
  • Stellaluna, Janell Cannon
  • But Not the Hippopotamus, Sandra Boynton
  • May I Bring a Friend?, Beatrice Schenk de RegniersBUT NOT THE HIPPOPOTAMUS
  • I Want My Hat Back, Jon Klassen
  • Chrysanthemum, Kevin Henkes
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Judi Barrett
  • Eloise, Kay Thompson
  • Flotsam, David Weisner
  • Zoom at Sea, Tim Wynne-Jones
  • Pierre, Maurice Sendak
  • Madeline’s Rescue, Ludwig Bemelmans
  • Fortunately, Remy Charlip
  • A Visitor for Bear, Bonny BeckerBEAR SNORES ON
  • Bear Snores On, Karma Wilson
  • Not a Box, Antoinette Portis
  • The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein
  • The Paper Bag Princess,  Robert Munsch
  • No, David!, David Shannon
  • Tikki Tikki Tembo, Arlene Mosel
  • Arnie the Doughnut, Laurie Keller
  • The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Stupid Fairy Tales, Jon Scieszka
  • The Gardener, Sarah Steward
  • Traction Man is Here!, Mini GreyTRACTION MAN IN HERE
  • The Mitten, Jan Brett
  • The Kissing Hand, Audrey Penn
  • Ira Sleeps Over, Bernard Waber
  • Duck on a Bike, David Shannon
  • The Maggie B, Irene Haas
  • The Carrot Seed, Ruth Krauss
  • The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strwberry, and the Big Hungry Bear, Audrey Wood
  • Are You My Mother?, P. D. Eastman
  • Grandfather’s Journey, Allen Say
  • George and Martha, James MarshallGEORGE AND MARTHA
  • Press Here, Herve Tullet
  • The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, Chris Van Allsburg
  • The Library, Sarah Stewart
  • Zen Shorts, Jon J. Moth
  • Thank You, Mr. Falker, Patricia Polacco
  • Olivia, Ian Falconer
  •  Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, William Steig
  • Love You Forever, Robert Munsch
  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Laura Numeroff
  • The Other Side, Jacqueline Woodson
  • The Snowman, Raymond Brigg
  • SkippyJon Jones, Judy SchachnerSKIPPYJON JONES
  • The Keeping Quilt, Patricia Polacco
  • The Little Engine That Could, Watty Piper
  • My Lucky Day, Keiko Kasza
  • The Day the Crayons Quit, Drew Daywalt
  • Peek-A-Who, Nina Laden
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon, Crockett Johnson
  • Charlie and Lola (series), Lauren Child
  • The Underwear Book, Todd Parr
  • A Bear Called Paddington, Michael BondBEAR CALLED PADDINGTON
  • The Big Book of the Bearenstein Bears, Stan and Jan Bearenstein
  • Put Me in the Zoo, Robert Lopshire
  • The Ghost Eye Tree, Bill Martin
  • Fancy Nancy, Jane O’Connor
  • Father Christmas, Raymond Briggs
  • Gorilla, Anthony Browne
  • The Mick Inkpen Collection, Mick Inkpen
  • There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, Pam Adams
  • The Babar Collection, Jean de Brunhoff
  • Jim, Who Ran Away from His Nurse and Was Eaten by a Lion, Hilaire Belloc
  • Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?, Eric Carle
  • What Do People Do All Day?, Richard ScarryWHAT DO PEOPLE DO ALL DAY
  • The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew It Was None of His Business, Wener Holzwarth
  • Lost and Found, Oliver Jeffers
  • Adventures of Mrs. Pepperpot, Alf Proysen
  • Operation Alpha Monkey and Me, Emily Gravett
  • Time for Bed, Mem Fox
  • Operation Alphabet, Al MacCuish
  • Hippos Go Beserk!, Sandra Boynton
  • The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Judith Kerr
  • Funnybones, Janet and Allan Ahlberg
  • Elmer, David McKee
  • I Love You, Blue Kangaroo, Emma Chichester ClarkELMER
  • Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain, Edward Ardizzone
  • The Princess and the Pea, Lauren Child
  • The Velveteen Rabbit, Margery Williams

Some Chapter Books to Read Out to Your Children

  • Maps, Aleksandra and Daniel Mizielinska
  • A Little History of the World, E. H. Gombrich
  • Tales from Shakespeare, Charles and Mary Lamb
  • Our Island Story, H. E. Marshall
  • The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank
  • The Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book, Iona and Julian Opie
  • Tales of Hans Christian Andersen, Naomi Lewis
  • The Complete Nonsense of Edward Lear, Faber
  • The Hutchinson Treasury of Children’s Literature, Alison Sage
  • Horrible Histories: Rotten Romans, Terry Dreary
  • The Way Things Work, David Macaulay
  • Carrie’s War, Nina BawdenPINOCCHIO
  • Pinocchio, Michael Morpurgo
  • Stig of the Dump, Clive King
  • The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Joan Aiken
  • The Magician’s Nephew, C. S. Lewis
  • Five Children of the Western Front, Kate Saunders
  • Charlotte’s Web, E. B. White
  • How to Train Your Dragon, Cressida Cowell
  • South Sea Adventure, Willard Price
  • Goodnight Mr. Tom, Michelle Magorian
  • Saffy’s Angel, Hilary McKay
  • Charmed Life, Diana Wynne Jone
  • Dead Man’s Cove, Lauren St. JohnDEAD MANS COVE
  • Noble Conflict, Malorie Blackman
  • The Abominables, Eva Ibbotson
  • Ballet Shoes, Hoel Streatfeild
  • The Little White Horse, Elizabeth Goudge
  • A Wrinkle In Time, Madeleine L’Engle
  • Skellig, David Almond
  • Harry Potter, J. K. Rowling
  • His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
  • Stormbreaker, Anthony Horowitz
  • Kepper, Mal Peet
  • Watership Down, Richard Adams
  • The Hobbit, J. R. R. TolkeinEMIL AND THE DETECTIVES
  • Emil and the Detectives, Erich Kastner
  • James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
  • The Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Just So Stories, Rudyard Kipling
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth, Jules Verne
  • The Doll People, Ann M. Martin
  • The Sword in the Stone, T. H. White
  • The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Heidi, Johanna Spyri
  • Sophie’s Adventures, Dick King-Smith
  • Paddington Races Ahead, Michael Bond
  • How the Whale Became, Ted HughesHOW THE WHALE BECAME
  • A Boy and a Bear in a Boat, Dave Shelton
  • Beatrix Potter: The Complete Tales, Beatrix Potter
  • The Adventures of TinTin: The Secret of the Unicorn, Herge
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
  • The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum
  • The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • The Winnie-the-Pooh Collection, A. A. Milne
  • Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren
  • Swallows and Amazons, Arthur Ransome
  • Five on a Treasure Island, Enid Blyton
  • The Story of the Chalet School, Elinor M. Brent-DyerTHE CHALET SCHOOL
  • The Railway Children, E. Nesbit
  • The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
  • The Story of Doctor Dolittle, Hugh Lofting
  • The BFG, Roald Dahl
  • Fattypuffs and Thinifers, Andre Maurois
  • Anne of Green Gables, L. M. Montgomery
  • Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
  • The Greengage Summer, Rumer Godden
  • The Peacock Spring, Rumer Godden
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness
  • How I Live Now, Meg Rosof
  • The Summer Book, Tove Jansson
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