Must-Read Picture Books / Children's Book Lists

Books for children and tweens categorized for your consideration by library staff!

"Snowman's Story" by Will Hillenbrand

'Snowman's Story' by Will Hillenbrand

★★★★ Your preschool child can tell the story to you with this wordless picture book featuring a sweet snowman, cute bunny and a wandering top hat. Bunny finds a hat and crawls inside but when bear finds it and uses it to top the snowman that he is building, he is unaware that a bunny is inside. Apparently bunny likes stories too so after the snowman reads to the forest animals and falls asleep, bunny steals his book and runs away. The chase is ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "Snowman's Story" at Goodreads.com. »

"Little Humans" by Brandon Stanton

'Little Humans' by Brandon Stanton

★★★★ From the author and photographer of the well-known blog "Humans of New York" comes a great picture book that celebrates the uniqueness, abilities, and diversity of the littlest humans--children. Brandon Stanton's photographs capture children doing everyday things like walking down the street, riding a bicycle, playing in the street, and making music. This is a great read aloud for children of all-ages that celebrates all of the things litt ...

Reviewed by Taylor W. Read more reviews of "Little Humans" at Goodreads.com. »

"Blue on Blue" by Dianne White

'Blue on Blue' by Dianne White

★★★★★ This beautifully illustrated picture book portrays an ordinary stormy, rainy day in the country that looks wonderfully extraordinary. The scratchboard illustrations with added watercolor paint by 2009 Caldecott Medal winner, Beth Krommes, are the real stars here. With repetitive, spare, dreamy words and illustrations we see a day unfolding--wash being hung on the line, fields being plowed, pigs rolling in the mud, loud thunder, drips dripp ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "Blue on Blue" at Goodreads.com. »

"Hug Machine" by Scott Campbell

'Hug Machine' by Scott   Campbell

★★★★★ "Whoa! Here I come! I am the Hug Machine!" starts this wonderful book about a little boy who hugs everything. He hugs people, animals, and even a fire hydrant and mailbox! He hugs hard things, soft things, square things and long things. But, can he hug a spiky porcupine or a humongous whale? The Hug Machine will do anything to give a hug. With simple and warm watercolor illustrations, this book shows how a simple act of kindness can change ...

Reviewed by Taylor W. Read more reviews of "Hug Machine" at Goodreads.com. »

"Goodnight Darth Vader" by Jeffrey Brown

'Goodnight Darth Vader' by Jeffrey Brown

★★★ Darth Vader is trying to put his twins Luke and Leia to sleep but they have the usual questions and demands of most kids at bedtime. He tells them rhyming stories about droids, wookies, Han Solo, Boba Fett and other familiar Star Wars characters. While this is not great literature, this cute book will be devoured by Star Wars fans, old and young alike, who are continually searching for more books about their favorite characters. ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "Goodnight Darth Vader" at Goodreads.com. »

"Millie Fierce Sleeps Out" by Jane Manning

'Millie Fierce Sleeps Out' by Jane Manning

★★★★ Millie has been fierce-free all summer so her mother agrees to let her have a sleep-out in a tent in the backyard with her friends. Of course all does not go smoothly during her sleep-out, and Millie needs to often force herself to control her fierceness until it is absolutely necessary to frighten off a scary dog. Colorfully and humorously illustrated, this picture book demonstrates the importance of self-control in an understandable way ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "Millie Fierce Sleeps Out" at Goodreads.com. »

"Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress" by Christine Baldacchino

'Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress' by Christine  Baldacchino

★★★★★ Morris Micklewhite loves painting, dreaming of great adventures and wearing the tangerine dress in the dress-up center at school. He loves the way it crinkles and swishes when he walks and the color reminds him of tigers, the sun and his mother's hair. But the other boys and some of the girls tell him "boys don't wear dresses" and exclude him from their activities and lunch table. After he creates a wonderful painting and adventure the ot ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress" at Goodreads.com. »

"Naked!" by Michael Ian Black

'Naked!' by Michael Ian Black

★★★★★ This wonderful, enjoyable read-aloud celebrates the joys of being naked—naked, naked, naked. The wide-mouthed boy in this picture book eats (several) cookies-naked, slides down the stairs-naked, and dreams of going to school, doing the hokey pokey, and playing on the playground-naked. Children will easily identify with this sometimes-caped crusader and his patient parents, and giggle every time the word “Naked!” is read aloud. Be pre ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "Naked!" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend" by Dan Santat

'The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend' by Dan Santat

★★★★★ On an island far away, imaginary friends are born. Beekle is one of them, waiting to be chosen by a child and transported to the real world. Rather than waiting, Beekle does the unimaginable and sets sail to the real world. He finds that the real world is strange and uncomfortable, until he meets his perfect friend. Then the world is colorful , fun, and not so strange. This is a fantastic book about finding your place in the big, bustling, ...

Reviewed by Taylor W. Read more reviews of "The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend" at Goodreads.com. »

"Ferry Tail" by Katharine Kenah

'Ferry Tail' by Katharine Kenah

★★★★ Walter, the ferry dog loves his perfect job. He greets ferry-goers, fetches the captain’s morning newspaper, tastes the cook’s food, watches babies and barks at seagulls. The captain’s cat is the only one aboard he does not like. One day he doesn’t feel needed and decides to leave and try life on the island. This sweet, simple picture book will appeal to everyone, but especially to children who have either have been on a family vac ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "Ferry Tail" at Goodreads.com. »

"Nest" by Jorey Hurley

'Nest' by Jorey Hurley

★★★★★ Robins arrive in the spring, prepare a nest, raise their young throughout the seasons in this beautifully illustrated picture book that is perfect for sharing. With only one word on each page it reads like a poem. The pictures lend themselves to adult-child conversation beyond the words. ...

Reviewed by Katie Z. Read more reviews of "Nest" at Goodreads.com. »

"What's Your Favorite Animal?" by Eric Carle

'What's Your Favorite Animal?' by Eric Carle

★★★★★ This book is a wonderful compilation of artwork depicting the favorite animals of famous children’s authors and illustrators. Of course it’s no surprise that Nick Bruel’s favorite is the infamous Bad Kitty; but wait a minute, oh no, I think it really is octopuses; sorry Bad Kitty. Beautiful artwork by well-known children’s illustrators including Lucy Cousins, Susan Jeffers, Jon Klassen, Mo Willems, Chris Raschka and of course ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "What's Your Favorite Animal?" at Goodreads.com. »

"Patti Cake and Her New Doll" by Patricia Reilly Giff

'Patti Cake and Her New Doll' by Patricia Reilly Giff

★★★★ Patti Cake is facing two new life challenges: a new room and a new big bed. When she goes to bed the first night, it seems “greatly dark” and lonely with one else in bed, not even her dog Tootsie. The next morning her babysitter takes her to a store where she decides to get an “on-sale “ doll that she names On-Sale. During the day she and her doll have many experiences together with Tootsie and her cat. That night Patti Cake o ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "Patti Cake and Her New Doll" at Goodreads.com. »

"City Cat" by Kate Banks

'City Cat' by Kate Banks

★★★★★ This is an adorable picture book that features a family cat that secretly follows his family as they travel around Europe. It features landmarks in some of the greatest cities, such as London, Amsterdam, Paris, and Venice, and information at end of the book on each. As someone who's been to many of the cities featured, I thought the pictures were authentic and are bound to foster the love of traveling in any child. The ending was great as ...

Reviewed by Sarah M. Read more reviews of "City Cat" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Lion and the Bird" by Marianne Dubuc

'The Lion and the Bird' by Marianne Dubuc

★★★★ Lion kindly helps a bird who is cold and wounded and provides a warm place for the winter. They have a lovely time together, but when spring comes and bird's flock returns, he has to join them. This heart-touching universal tale about friendship, love and the ties that bind us is wonderfully told, and simply, but beautifully, illustrated. Preschoolers, their parents and grandparents will love it! ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "The Lion and the Bird" at Goodreads.com. »

"Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses" by James Dean

'Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses' by James Dean

★★★★★ Cool-cat Pete the Cat is back with his laid-back personality and going-with-the-flow mantra. Pete wakes up grumpy one morning and cannot seem to be happy. Pete's friend Grumpy Toad gives him a pair of magic sunglasses that make Pete see the world in a new, more positive way. Pete helps out other friends who are feeling frustrated, mad and sad with his magic sunglasses. With some help from Wise Old Owl, Pete learns that you don't need a spe ...

Reviewed by Taylor W. Read more reviews of "Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses" at Goodreads.com. »

"If It's Snowy and You Know It, Clap Your Paws!" by Kim Norman

'If It's Snowy and You Know It, Clap Your Paws!' by Kim Norman

★★★★ Go on an adventure and find out all the fun things you can do in the snow! The book follows the rhythm of the children's song "If You're Happy and You Know It," so the book can be sung to the classic tune. Go skiing, sledding, and drink cocoa with a walrus, caribou, polar bear and other arctic creatures. Recommended for preschool children and families. ...

Reviewed by Taylor W. Read more reviews of "If It's Snowy and You Know It, Clap Your Paws!" at Goodreads.com. »

"Santa Claus and the Three Bears" by Maria Modugno

'Santa Claus and the Three Bears' by Maria Modugno

★★★★★ The three bears weren't expecting company when they went for a walk on Christmas Eve. But who should appear but the merry old gentleman himself - Santa Claus! Santa tries out the Christmas pudding, the chairs and then the beds. Find out what happens when the three bears come home from their walk. Wonderful pictures and whimsical prose make for a lovely picture book to share with your family during the holiday season. ...

Reviewed by Janice P. Read more reviews of "Santa Claus and the Three Bears" at Goodreads.com. »

"Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library" by Barb Rosenstock

'Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library' by Barb Rosenstock

★★★★★ Thomas Jefferson’s love of books and reading is wonderfully portrayed in this short children’s book. Amusing illustrations of books on the roof of the White House, books used to spell out the word “BOOKS” on his fireplace mantle, and a picture of Jefferson being so engrossed in reading a book that they had to wait for him to sign the Declaration of Independence are wonderfully created by illustrator,John O’Brien. Short quotes b ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library" at Goodreads.com. »

"Journey (Journey Trilogy #1)" by Aaron Becker

'Journey (Journey Trilogy #1)' by Aaron Becker

★★★★★ In this wordless story a lonely girl with a red piece of chalk draws herself into another world. On her journey she finds adventure, peril and ultimately friendship. Although readers will think of "Harold and the Purple Crayon," this is a much more engaging story. The illustrations are rich and full of color and detail. People of all ages will be drawn into the story, anticipating the sense of anticipation on each page. (Caldecott Honor B ...

Reviewed by Katie Z. Read more reviews of "Journey (Journey Trilogy #1)" at Goodreads.com. »

"Easter Bunny on the Loose!: A Seek and Solve Mystery!" by Wendy Wax

'Easter Bunny on the Loose!: A Seek and Solve Mystery!' by Wendy Wax

★★★★★ What do you get when you mix "Where's Waldo?" and the Easter Bunny? "Easter Bunny on the Loose!", a delightful seek and solve picture book. It is almost Easter in Easterville and the Easter Bunny is missing his most prized possession, his golden egg! The Easter Bunny has narrowed down the suspects, and it is up to you to find the clues on each page. Will the missing egg be found before Easterville's big Easter egg hunt? This book is gre ...

Reviewed by Taylor W. Read more reviews of "Easter Bunny on the Loose!: A Seek and Solve Mystery!" at Goodreads.com. »

"Building Our House" by Jonathan Bean

'Building Our House' by Jonathan Bean

★★★★★ This cozy picture book shows the year-and-a-half long construction process involved in building a house, from moving into a trailer to live until the house is done, picking out the site, consulting the blueprints, digging the basement, raising the frame, and working in all types of weather. Mom and Dad both work on the house while the children play and “help”. This is a realistic picture of how much work and planning it takes to cons ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "Building Our House" at Goodreads.com. »

"What Does the Fox Say?" by Ylvis

'What Does the Fox Say?' by Ylvis

★★★★★ Dog goes woof and cat goes meow, but what does the fox say? If you loved the YouTube sensation "What Does the Fox Say?" you will love the children's picture book version! The book is filled with the zany lyrics to the popular song and kooky illustrations of the animals mentioned. Recommended for children and adults who are fans of the song, or anyone curious about what noise the fox makes. ...

Reviewed by Taylor W. Read more reviews of "What Does the Fox Say?" at Goodreads.com. »

"Sleep Like a Tiger" by Mary Logue

'Sleep Like a Tiger' by Mary Logue

“Does everything in the world go to sleep?” the little girl asks. In dialogue between a not-at-all sleepy child and understanding parents, the little girl decides “in a cocoon of sheets, a nest of blankets,” she is ready to sleep, warm and strong, just like a tiger. ...

Read more reviews of "Sleep Like a Tiger" at Goodreads.com. »

25 | Based on the Goodreads API.