As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. And picture books are just as powerful. While most picture books also feature text, the artwork is often what sets these books apart.
We’ve selected the best picture books that feature creative illustrations and stories your children will want to read again and again. These books help develop young, creative minds, build storytelling and language skills, and allow children’s imaginations to run wild.
“If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” tells the illogical story of cause and effect through a persistent mouse and a willing boy. It comes complete with detailed pictures any child is sure to enjoy. This is the first book in its series, which also features stories like “If You Give a Pig a Pancake” and “If You Give a Moose a Muffin.” The 40-page story is ideal for children in preschool and beyond..
This is a story that never gets old. Twenty-five years later, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” is still a favorite in homes and classrooms alike. Vibrant, colorful pictures motivate early readers and encourage them to “read” on their own. This book is ideal for 2- to 5-year-olds.
“Dragons Love Tacos” introduces the steps for developing friendships, and shows what may go wrong when you invite dragons to a party. It’s a silly story designed to get laughs and is great for family reading time or library circles. This New York Times bestseller is excellent for children ages 2 to 7.
If you could have a conversation with a crayon, what do you think they would say? See Duncan’s crayons come alive through bright illustrations and clever prose. “The Day the Crayons Quit” is a winner of the E.B. White Read-Aloud Award.
The illustrations in “Grumpy Monkey” are funny, appealing and poignant. The story teaches children that they should be allowed to feel their feelings, whether good or bad. At the same time, it helps them understand that they shouldn’t use their bad day as an excuse to make others feel bad. The best audience for “Grumpy Monkey” is children ages 3 to 7.
“Although these are picture books, these stories are ones your littles will go back to over and over again. My children love books with rich illustrations; even as they get older; they still light up for beautiful illustrations and seem to appreciate the books even more. This genre is likely the first they will ‘read,’ memorizing words and reciting the book back to you. For under 4 and up to 7, I recommend anything by Eric Carle or ‘If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.’ Note: ‘The Day The Crayons Quit’ is a fun book, but be sure to be ready for an intro to sarcasm.”
Our Expert Consultant
Melissa holds a doctorate in pharmacy and is a home educator, co-teaching a high school chemistry class and a primary school class. Having taught two of her own children to read, write and traverse Singapore Math, Melissa has spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours researching and testing curriculum.