16 Wonderful Picture Books

One of my favorite things to do with my kids is read picture books. Picture books can be so fun, with elaborate drawings and good writing. We use the library for the majority of our picture book needs. At our library, you can only have 50 books checked out at a time, and before we got into kids books we were never close to hitting that limit. But now we always have at least 40 checked out, and I love finding books that turn into James's obsessions.

Here are 16 books that we love and have read over and over:

1. Extra Yarn
We have enjoyed all the books where Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen team up, and I think this one is my favorite. I love the colors of the yarn and the fact that James associates pickup trucks with Annabelle.

2. Juna's Jar
This is a fun book about a girl and her kimchi jar, which reminds me of magical realism in children's book form.

3. Sheila Rae the Brave
We first listened to this on audio (our library had a copy through Overdrive) and we loved singing, "I am brave. I am fearless!" just like Sheila Rae.

4. Grandfather's Journey
I remember this one from when I was a kid. The illustrations are gorgeous, and I love that the story of Say's grandfather is true. I also love the sentiment expressed in this book, the way that you can love more than one place and always long for the other.

5. I Hear a Pickle
James loved this fun book that explores the five senses in a relatable, entertaining way.

6. All the World
This one has gentle rhymes and beautiful pictures. I love the simple story and admire the way Marla Frazee draws diverse people.

7. The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash
James was OBSESSED with this one, so much so that it was driving me bonkers. But I do like the story of the boa constrictor who completely derailed an otherwise normal class trip to the farm.

8. Museum ABC
Definitely my favorite alphabet book we've read. This one has pictures from famous paintings that correspond with each letter (i.e. A is for apple and there are paintings with apples in them). I love that both James and I are exposed to more traditional art.

9. Ernest, the Moose who Doesn't Fit
Simple and fun, I love the drawings and the funny words Reyner uses to describe how big this moose is.

10. The Circus Ship
A circus ship sinks and all the animals end up on an island in Maine. There are fun rhymes here and a some hide and seek of the animals.

11. The Dot
The message here is invaluable- that there isn't one type of artist, and you just need to make a mark and see where it takes you.

12. There's a Wocket in my Pocket
This Dr. Seuss book seems less well-known than his others, but it is one of my favorites. It's not as long as many of his others and has silly rhyming throughout.

13. Small Pig
Although not as iconic as Lobel's Frog and Toad, I enjoy this story of a small pig who runs away from his farm and ends getting stuck in cement in the middle of a city.

14. Chengdu Could Not, Would Not Fall Asleep
This one is a simple, silly story with fun foldouts about a panda who just can't fall asleep.

15. Ira Sleeps Over
Another one that James was obsessed over, this classic features Ira, a boy who is worried about taking his teddy bear along on his very first sleepover.

16. The Paper Crane
I love the illustrations in this interesting book about a magical paper crane that brings a restaurant back to life by its dancing. That description definitely makes it sound weirder than it is, because it is charming.

P.S. Here is a list of some of our favorite board books


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