Must-Read Picture Books / Children's Book Lists

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

"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. »

"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. »

"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" by Aaron Becker

'Journey' 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" 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. »

"It's All About Me-Ow" by Hudson Talbott

'It's All About Me-Ow' by Hudson Talbott

★★★★★ Catitude! What exactly does it mean? Well, a purr-fect children's fiction book that gives you an insight to our fabulous feline friends is "It's All About ME-ow." It was written and illustrated by Hudson Talbott and he does a fantastic job! Buddy, quite a wise old cat, takes us on a catwalk through feline history. This book is a great read for all ages. Read it and find out why cats really do rule! ...

Reviewed by Pam S. Read more reviews of "It's All About Me-Ow" at Goodreads.com. »

"Creepy Carrots!" by Aaron Reynolds

'Creepy Carrots!' by Aaron Reynolds

The Twilight Zone comes to the carrot patch in this clever picture book parable about a rabbit who fears his favorite treats are out to get him. Jasper Rabbit loves carrots—especially Crackenhopper Field carrots.He eats them on the way to school.He eats them going to Little League.He eats them walking home.Until the day the carrots start following him...or are they?Celebrated art ...

Read more reviews of "Creepy Carrots!" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Great Fairy Tale Disaster" by David Conway

'The Great Fairy Tale Disaster' by David Conway

★★★★★ The Big Bad Wolf has had enough of his fairy tale, "The Three Little Pigs." He decides to go on a journey to find a nice, relaxing story to be a part of. He finds Cinderella, Rupunzel, Hansel and Gretel, and a whole cast of other fairy tale creatures. Will he find a new tale to be a part of? Or will all of the fairy tales get mixed up, ending in disaster? Along with the fun and crazy story line, Melanie Williamson's illustrations are ca ...

Reviewed by Taylor W. Read more reviews of "The Great Fairy Tale Disaster" at Goodreads.com. »

"Baby Bear Sees Blue" by Ashley Wolff

'Baby Bear Sees Blue' by Ashley Wolff

★★★★★ Baby Bear awakes on fine seasonal morning with his mother only to discover all the many colorful wonders of nature. After a day of exploration, the sky begins to grow dark and the rain begins to fall, a typical spring morning. This story introduces beautiful watercolors that depict the many vibrant colors of nature with gorgeous illustrations. A wonderful springtime story that is a perfect picture book for spring. ...

Reviewed by Pam S. Read more reviews of "Baby Bear Sees Blue" at Goodreads.com. »

"Extra Yarn" by Mac Barnett

'Extra Yarn' by Mac Barnett

This looks like an ordinary box full of ordinary yarn.But it turns out it isn't. ...

Read more reviews of "Extra Yarn" at Goodreads.com. »

"Green" by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

'Green' by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Die cut pages bring surprise after surprise in this magical new book from the "Queen of the concept book"—an intricate and satisfying homage to green, the color of all creation. How many kinds of green are there? There's the lush green of a forest on a late spring day, the fresh, juicy green of a just-cut lime, the incandescent green of a firefly, and the vivid aquamarine of a tropical sea. In her newest book, Caldecott and Geisel ...

Read more reviews of "Green" at Goodreads.com. »

"Superworm" by Julia Donaldson

'Superworm' by Julia Donaldson

★★★★★ “Hip, hip hooray for SUPERWORM”, repeatedly chant the animals and insects in the forest as their hero Superworm saves them from many disasters. But in the midst of their happiness the evil wizard lizard captures Superworm with his servant crow and puts an evil spell on him, forcing him to find treasure in the soil. Will his friends rescue him, break the evil spell, and restore their happy life? With its unlikely, admirable hero and ...

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

"The Very Fairy Princess" by Julie Andrews Edwards

'The Very Fairy Princess' by Julie Andrews Edwards

★★★★ What little girl doesn't imagine being a princess? From morning until evening, Geraldine pretends to be a young royal who goes through each day doing the same as a princess, even though others may not believe in her. This is a beautiful children's story that will warm everyone's heart. Anyone can believe in something if they really feel it in their heart. ...

Reviewed by Pam S. Read more reviews of "The Very Fairy Princess" at Goodreads.com. »

25 | Based on the Goodreads API.

NY Times Best Sellers

Picture Books

Childrens Middle Grade

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