Top 20 Picture Books for Children

December 15, 2015
Top 20 Picture Books for Children

There's nothing more special than sharing a beautiful children's picture book with your child. Read on to find out more about our top 20 children's book picks.

With so many children's books out there it can be hard to know which ones will keep both your child and you entertained!

Even before your children start to understand what words and books are all about, your little ones can still benefit from listening to you read aloud.

By making books a part of your daily routine, you’re not only setting the stage for future success in school, work and life but also helps you bond and build your relationship, laying the groundwork for your child’s later social and communication skills.

We have put together a list of what believe are 20 of the best picture books for children. This list is by no means exclusive; there are so many fantastic picture books for kids out there, but it is a good place to start to ensure your child from an early age starts reaping the many benefits of literature.

1.Where the Wild Things Are

by Maurice Sendak

This is the story of Max's (imaginary) adventures when he sails away to the land where the wild things after being sent to his room. This is an enjoyable story for adults and children with beautiful, detailed illustrations.

where the wild things are by Maurice Sendak

2.The Very Hungry Caterpillar

by Eric Carle

This picture book for kids is said to be sold somewhere in the world every 30 seconds. A newly hatched caterpillar eats his way through all kinds of food, getting bigger and bigger, until eventually he turns into a beautiful butterfly. One of the most popular picture books of all time, no nursery bookshelf is complete without a copy.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

3.Green Eggs and Ham

by Dr. Seuss

In what is arguably one of Dr. Seuss’ most famous picture books, Sam-I-Am takes readers through all the places to enjoy green eggs and ham. As the story continues the list of places to enjoy the unusual treat gets longer and longer. Fun to read, although a times a bit of a mouth full, no book shelf is complete without this classic picture book.

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

4.The Giving Tree

by Shel Silverstein

The Giving Tree is about the relationship between a boy and a tree. It sends a great message to children (and parents) about the importance of loving and respecting nature.

4.The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

5.Goodnight Moon

by Margaret Wise Brown

In a great green room a little bunny is tucked up snugly and safely in bed and is getting ready to say goodnight one by one to all the things in his room. This is the perfect bedtime story.

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

6.Oh, The Places You'll Go!

by Dr. Seuss

We get to follow a little boy (who Dr. Seuss intended to be your own child) as they set off into the world to see what life will bring them, encountering all sorts of crazy adventures along the way. A fun story that will have your children excited for what the future holds.

Oh  The Places You ll Go  by Dr. Seuss

7.The Cat in the Hat

by Dr. Seuss

It’s a rainy day and Dick and Sally can’t find anything to do . . . until the Cat in the Hat unexpectedly appears and turns their dreary afternoon into a fun-filled extravaganza!

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

8.How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

by Dr. Seuss

No matter what time of the year it is this book is always a faviourite. The reclusive green grinch decides to come down from his mountain top home and ruin chrismtas for the people of Whoville but taking all there presesnts and decorations. Unable to ruin there spirits, the Grinch learns that maybe there is more to chrismtas than just presents and food.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas  by Dr. Seuss

9.The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs

by Jon Scieszka

This is the story of the three little pigs but from the perspective of the wolf. Alexander T. Wolf tries to set the story straight on how he came to be known as big and bad and we hear his account on what happened to the three little pigs.

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka

10.The Polar Express

by Chris Van Allsburg

The story revolves around a young boy who is coming to the age where he is starting to doubt Santa Claus' existence, that is until the Polar Express, a magical train destined for the North Pole, takes him and a group of other children on a journey to Santa to reaffirm their faith in Christmas.

.The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

11.If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

by Laura Joffe Numeroff

This story is about what happens after a young boy gives a mouse a cookie. The whole book demonstrates what happens when the mouse receives a cookie, milk, straw, napkin, etc. The book is a great way to teach young children about making predictions while reading a story.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff

12.Love You Forever

by Robert Munsch

This is the story of a mothers unconditional love for her son as he grows up. An emotional story about love, Love You Forever is the perfect book to share with your child, if you can hold back the tears.

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13.Madeline

by Ludwig Bemelmans

Madeline is one of the most recognised and loved characters in childrens literature ever. Set in Paris, this beautifully illustrated picture book is the story of Madeline and her twelve friends at boarding school.

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

14.Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business

by Esphyr Slobodkina

This story about a peddler who has his caps stolen by a band of mischievous monkeys is filled with warmth, humour and simplicity and teaches children about problem and resolution. Children will delight in following the peddler's efforts to outwit the monkeys and being easy-to-read with repetition, patterns and lots of colour it is the perfect book for early readers.

Caps for Sale A Tale of a Peddler  Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business by Esphyr Slobodkina

15.Harold and the Purple Crayon

by Crockett Johnson

Armed with only an oversized purple crayon, young Harold draws himself a landscape full of wonder and excitement. Full of surprises, this fun picture book shows you just how far the imagination can take you.

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

16.Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

by Mo Willems

When a bus driver takes a break from driving, he gives readers one instruction…. Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus. Trying every trick he can think of to get behind the wheel, it is up to you and your child whether or not the pigeon is allowed to drive the bus.

.Don t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus  by Mo Willems

17.Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

by Judith Viorst

Alexander wakes up with gum in his hair, and it only gets worse from there. This classic children’s book takes us through Alexanders terrible day and teaches us that bad days are unfortunately a part of life.

Alexander and the Terrible  Horrible  No Good  Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

18.The Lorax

by Dr. Seuss

Long before “going green” was mainstream, Dr. Seuss’s Lorax spoke for the trees and warned of the dangers of disrespecting the environment. Although one of his more serious books conveying quite a strong message, Dr Seuss still manages to make this book fun through colours and rhymes.

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

19.Who Sank the Boat

by Pamela Anderson

A cow, a pig, a donkey, a sheep and a tiny mouse go for a row, but one of them sinks the boat. Children will love finding out who is to blame for sinking the boat and may be a little bit surprised at who the culprit end up being.

Who Sank the Boat by Pamela Allen

20.The Tale of Peter Rabbit

by Beatrix Potter

Despite being over 100 years old, The Tale of Peter Rabbit remains a classic childrens book and is still enjoyed by children everywhere. It is a story of cheeky Peter, who disobeys his mother and cause mischief in Mr McGregors garden.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

This is just a start as to some of the beautiful children’s books available. With the technology now available, sometimes we forget the importance of reading however choosing a variety of well written and entertaining stories with fun, colourful illustrations will help develop a love of both reading and learning in your child. Cuddling up over a great picture book will also help build a bond between you and your child and is a memory your little one will undoubtedly hold onto for a very long time.

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