Picture books heavily rely on illustrations to convey the story. The image-driven style of storytelling makes these books ideal for young readers. Whether you want your child to start reading books on their own or you want to read with them, picture books are a perfect choice. So, what picture books should you buy for the child?
MomJunction gives you a list of the best picture books that your child might enjoy reading.
25 Best Picture Books For Kids
1. Library Lion
The head librarian Miss Merriweather has strict rules for children reading at the library. But when a lion arrives at the library, all are confused because there are no library rules for lions. So they let the lion be, and he turns out to be a sweet one. He helps the children reach the top shelves and even licks the envelopes shut for the librarian. A fictional tale that portrays animals as kind and helpful, ‘Library Lion’ is a book that the kids will love for its silly plot and adorable illustrations.
The book tells the life story of a caterpillar from when it was an egg to its transformation into a butterfly. There is a large, colorful picture on each page. ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ is considered a classic picture book that has been loved by generations of children for nearly five decades.
The book tells the story of a furry animal family. The main character is a fur child who wakes up in the morning, gets a bath, and then goes out into the woods to play. The day ends with his parents tucking him into the bed. ‘Little Fur Family’ is told in short rhyming paragraphs, which makes it an excellent read-along picture book.
The main character of the book is Grover, a puppet monster. He tells the reader not to turn the pages because there is a monster at the end of the book. But if the reader turns the page, Grover reappears on the next page again, pleading the reader not to turn any more pages. But once you reach the last page, you’ll find a hilarious surprise waiting for you.
Harold is a young boy with a magical purple crayon. One evening, he decides to go on a walk under the moonlight. So he draws a moon and a road using his crayon and sets out on a walk with the purple crayon still in his hand. The story has plenty of imaginative illustrations that are fascinating and entertaining.
The author asks the brown bear what he sees. The bear replies that he sees a red bird that is looking at him. Turn the page to see and ask the red bird what does it see. The bird says that it sees another animal, and thus the story goes on. The book has illustrations of different animals on each page, describing what they see. The illustrations in the book are made in collage-style, a unique style used in this book.
Horton is an elephant who lives in the forests of Nool. One day, he discovers some noise coming from a speck of dust. It turns out that the dust particle is a mini planet called Who-ville, with tiny people living on it. Horton has a large heart and thus decides to protect the tiny world and its creatures. ‘Horton Hears a Who!’ is a sweet story about the importance of compassion and help.
‘Sheep in a Jeep’ is a funny story about a bunch of sheep who drive away in a Jeep. The sheep encounter several mishaps and adventures while driving their vehicle roughly around the country. This picture book has plentiful illustrations, and the scene of a sheep driving a Jeep is certainly amusing for children and adults alike.
It is a tale of two best friends: a frog and a toad. The story is about the adventures that the duo goes on together, including something as simple as swimming to the mundane task of searching lost buttons. This picture book tells a heartwarming story of friendship and kindness.
In this picture book, we meet an unnamed dog with a spot behind the left ear. As the dog walks by the dining table, a bit of fruit jam splats on him and now he also has a red spot. The dog then accidentally dips his tail in a container of blue paint, and now he has a blue spot. The number of color spots on the dog continues to increase in this wonderfully illustrated picture book for children.
Sal and her mother are picking blueberries at the Blueberry Hill. Sal wanders around the hill and discovers a mama bear. On the other side of the hill, Sal’s mother is being followed by a bear cub who has an appetite for blueberries. We then see the adorable interaction of the two families. ‘Blueberries for Sal’ is illustrated with sketches that have incredible detail.
‘Corduroy’ is a classic children’s picture book that was first published in 1968. It tells the story of Corduroy, who is a teddy bear on a shelf in a departmental store. One day, the bear catches the attention of a young girl. But she does not buy him since he has a button missing. The tiny toy bear then sets out in search of his button at night when the store is all dark and quiet.
Little Nutbrown Hare is out on a walk with his father, Big Nutbrown Hare. The young hare looks at his dad and exclaims “Guess how much I love you.” The little hare then tells that he loves his father as wide his arms reach, as high as he can hop, and as far as the moon. ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ is a delightful picture book for a parent and child to read along.
14. Little Bear
The book is about the various adventures of a cute and cuddly little bear. In one story, the little bear feels cold, and mama bear gives him a hat and a coat. But the little bear still feels cold. In another adventure, the little bear takes an imaginary trip to the moon. This picture book is full of adorable illustrations of the furry little bear, the mama bear, and other animals.
15. Caps for Sale
A cap-seller heads towards the countryside to sell his caps. Owing to fewer or no buyers showing interest in the caps, he decides to take a nap under a tree. What he doesn’t know is that there are a few monkeys on the tree, which sneak down and steal all the caps while the seller is sleeping. The cap-seller has to use all his wits to get the caps back from the smart, intelligent, and comical monkeys.
The story begins with the bus driver telling the reader that he is leaving the bus for some time. He asks the reader to look after the bus and not to let the pigeon drive the bus. But as one turns the page, one is greeted by the pigeon who then hilariously pleads for permission to drive the bus. ‘Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus’ is incredibly funny thanks to its drawings and the idea of a pigeon driving a bus.
17. Bark, George
The story is about George the dog. But there is one problem – he cannot bark. When George’s mom asks him to bark, he says “Meow,” and the next time he goes “Oink.” This hilarious picture book takes us through the journey of George’s attempts to say an “Arf”, with a cute surprise in the end.
18. Where’s Spot?
‘Where’s Spot?’ is an interactive picture book where cardboard flaps cover the illustrations on each page. Turn a flap to reveal a character or object, which takes the story forward. In this story, the author wonders where is Spot, the dog. Is he behind the door? Or is he behind the clock? This picture book is interactive and will be enjoyed by a child.
Pete is a cat who loves his white shoes. He loves them so much that he has even written a song for them. One day, when Pete is on a walk with his bright white shoes, he happens to step on a pile of strawberries. The shoes turn red. Soon, he steps on blueberries, and the shoes turn blue. But Pete continues walking despite the changing color of the shoes. The sketch of Pete is funny, and the illustrations teach children about the different colors we see on Pete’s shoes.
A little red chicken listens to a bedtime story every night from her papa. But the young chicken does not listen to a story without interrupting her father. She dives deep into the story and imagines herself as a character. This night her father warns her not to interrupt, but she does and then narrates a story of her own. The tired dad chicken yawns while listening to the little chicken, leaving us to wonder if he will interrupt the daughter’s story.
A young boy gives a mouse a cookie. After eating the cookie, the mouse asks for milk. Since the tiny mouse cannot have milk from the glass, he asks for a straw. The string of amusing requests from the mouse continues to the surprise of the young boy.
Duncan is a school-going boy who loves coloring with his crayons. One day, when he opens his box of crayons, he finds that a stack of letters has replaced all the crayons. Each letter is a complaint from a crayon that has quit coloring for some hilarious reason. Duncan has to quickly think of a way to appease the crayons and get them back into their box.
23. Scaredy Squirrel
Scaredy Squirrel is a nervous and anxious squirrel who never sets foot outside his tree home. He is afraid of many things – spiders to aliens from Mars! But one day, Scaredy Squirrel finds himself in the unknown place, away from his tree home. He has to think quickly to protect himself with the emergency kit he carries everywhere. The book is hilarious with a lot of text elements that directly interact with the reader.
24. The Dot
‘The Dot’ tells an inspiring story of a budding artist through illustrations. The protagonist is Vashti, a little girl who cannot draw. When her art teacher gives a blank sheet of paper, she returns it with a dot on it, since that is all she can draw. But little does she realize that the dot will mark the beginning of her self-discovery journey and creativity. ‘The Dot’ is a picture book that will be enjoyed by children, thanks to its positive message and a relatable protagonist.
25. The Giving Tree
A boy and a talking tree become good friends. The tree gives the boy fruits. When the boy grows older, the tree provides him leaves and branches to build his house. The tree eventually gives the boy its wood so that he can build a boat to sail. ‘The Giving Tree’ conveys a deep message of selflessness using simple and child-friendly illustrations.
Picture books help young readers as they make a tale enjoyable and understandable with the use of illustrations and cartoons. The drawings warrant a second reading to enjoy their various nuances. Maintaining a collection of picture books for your child is the best way to get them interested in books and develop the reading habit.
Which picture book does your child enjoy? Do tell us in the comments section below.