Must-Read Picture Books / Children's Book Lists

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

"The Nonsense Show" by Eric Carle

'The Nonsense Show' by Eric Carle

★★★★ It’s a fun, upside-down world in this new picture book that's full of nonsense by Eric Carle. A boy is pulled from a hat by a rabbit magician, a bird is living in an aquarium and a fish in a cage, a human baby is in a kangaroo's pouch, mice are catching cats, a man is living in a dog house and more. It’s all of course in good fun. With classic, colorful, uncluttered illustrations and rhyming text, Carle creates a wonderfully silly envi ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "The Nonsense Show" at »

"Thank You and Good Night" by Patrick McDonnell

'Thank You and Good Night' by Patrick McDonnell

★★★★ In this sleepy-time picture book, Maggie and her rabbit, Clement are getting ready for bed when Jean and his friend Alan arrive in pajamas. And of course it’s time for a wonderful, surprise pajama party complete with bed jumping, chicken dancing, funny-face contest, hide-and-seek, yoga, food and finally sleep. Maggie reads everyone bed-time stories for sweet dreams, ending with kisses and giving thanks for a good day. The star of this sw ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "Thank You and Good Night" at »

"What Pet Should I Get?" by Dr. Seuss

'What Pet Should I Get?' by Dr. Seuss

★★★★★ In this newly discovered book by Dr. Seuss, a brother and sister are at the pet store trying to decide what pet to get. Of course they can only have one, but all the pets look like so much fun it’s hard to choose just one. The other problem they face is they have a deadline; Mother and Dad said to be home by noon. This may be a “new” Dr. Seuss book, but with familiar characters, animals, and rhymes it already feels like a comfortable ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "What Pet Should I Get?" at »

"Stick and Stone" by Beth Ferry

'Stick and Stone' by Beth Ferry

★★★★★ Stick and Stone are both alone without a friend in the world. Then, Stone is bullied and Stick intervenes. From that day forward they have a strong friendship. Well-written with cute illustrations, this book is an easy read with a great message about friendship. My kids and I loved it! ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Stick and Stone" at »

"Pete the Cat's Groovy Guide to Life" by Kimberly Dean

'Pete the Cat's Groovy Guide to Life' by Kimberly  Dean

Children's Book ★★★★★ This awesome little book shares Pete the Cat's favorite inspirational quotes with the added bonus of Pete's own wisdom. A great way to share these thoughts with kids, this book is just as much fun to read as the other books featuring this cool cat. Hang out with Pete and soak up some wisdom! My family loved this book! ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Pete the Cat's Groovy Guide to Life" at »

"Everybody Sleeps (But Not Fred)" by Josh Schneider

'Everybody Sleeps (But Not Fred)' by Josh Schneider

★★★★★ This is a really cute story, written in rhyme. All over the world, animals are trying to sleep. Fred however is not. This adventurous boy has a huge to do list and simply does not have time to waste sleeping. Kids will enjoy Fred's antics as he fights to get his tasks done before bedtime. ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Everybody Sleeps (But Not Fred)" at »

"Good Night Yoga: A Pose-By-Pose Bedtime Story" by Mariam Gates

'Good Night Yoga: A Pose-By-Pose Bedtime Story' by Mariam Gates

★★★★★ You don't have to be a yogi to love this book. This pose-by-pose bedtime story takes children through gentle yoga poses and focuses their breathing while telling the story about the world getting ready for bed. Complete with beautiful illustrations, this book can be enjoyed by the whole family. Following the story, there is a complete list of the yoga poses in sequence and a "cloud journey visualization" to help children relax and wind dow ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Good Night Yoga: A Pose-By-Pose Bedtime Story" at »

"I Wish You More" by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

'I Wish You More' by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

★★★★★ Lovely illustrations and simple text convey the beauty of life's small moments. This book is a wonderful read to share with a special child in your life. I loved the simplicity that still spoke volumes, and having the chance to show my kids through this book that it is all of those little things in life that mean to much. ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "I Wish You More" at »

"Wolfie the Bunny" by Ame Dyckman

'Wolfie the Bunny' by Ame Dyckman

★★★★★ Wolfie is a baby wolf, not a baby bunny, but Mama and Papa bunny don’t seem to care when they adopt him after finding him in a basket on their doorstep. Their daughter Dot tries to warn them , “he’s going to eat us all up.” Her parents are already smitten but Dot is cautious and maintains her distance. When Wolfie grows bigger and a big bear tries to grab him and eat him, Dot surprisingly discovers he really is her little brother. ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "Wolfie the Bunny" at »

"Spots in a Box" by Helen Ward

'Spots in a Box' by Helen Ward

Children's Book ★★★★★ This fun book is about a guinea fowl who doesn't have any spots. When he orders them in the mail, they arrive as something quite unexpected. As he explores the unexpected assortment of spots, he comes to realize that not all spots are created equal just like no two individuals are exactly alike. What he discovers is that it is more important to be happy being yourself when making friends than to be someone you're not. ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Spots in a Box" at »

"Smick!" by Doreen Cronin

'Smick!' by Doreen Cronin

★★★★★ This adorable book of few words is perfect to share with beginning readers and older kids too. Smick is irresistibly cute as he does what dogs do, chases, fetches, and looks huggable. Smick is happy when a stick shows up, but how will he react when a chick appears? Actions, rhymes, and wordplay make this a fun and quick read that will help kids discover the joy of friendship. ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Smick!" at »

"Cat & Bunny" by Mary Lundquist

'Cat & Bunny' by Mary Lundquist

★★★★★ This adorable book tells the story of Cat and Bunny, two of the very best of friends. Cat and Bunny are inseparable. That is until the day that they are playing in the park and the other kids ask to join their game. Bunny says yes but Cat doesn't want to share her friend. Cat storms off and ends up alone until she meets a kitten and starts a new game. Pretty soon, everyone asks to join her game and she realizes that playing is more fun whe ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Cat & Bunny" at »

"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 »

"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 »

"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 »

"Pete the Cat and the New Guy" by Kimberly Dean

'Pete the Cat and the New Guy' by Kimberly  Dean

★★★★★ Pete the Cat is easily one of my favorite children's book characters. In this story, Pete meets Gus the Platypus and tries to help him fit into his new neighborhood. When Gus has a hard time trying out everyone's favorite activities, Pete tries to cheer him up. What they learn is that Gus has a special talent that is unique to him that he can share with his new friends. By sharing what makes them each special, they all benefit in the end. ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Pete the Cat and the New Guy" at »

"Sam and Dave Dig a Hole" by Mac Barnett

'Sam and Dave Dig a Hole' by Mac Barnett

★★★★★ Sam and Dave are determined to dig a hole until they find something spectacular. What unfolds in this story is a wonderful mix of what is happening in the story and what is happening in the illustrations. This book is a 2015 Caldecott Honor Book for a good reason. The book as a whole, the writing and the illustrations, play off of each other so well that this book tells a story beyond the words on the page. There is such a sense of adventu ...

Reviewed by Ashley C. Read more reviews of "Sam and Dave Dig a Hole" at »

"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 »

"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 »

"Goodnight Football" by Michael Dahl

'Goodnight Football' by Michael Dahl

★★★★★ This bedtime story will bring back sweet memories of football season. Told in rhyme, it follows a little boy as he attends a Friday night game with his family. From concessions, to the players, to the roar of the crowd, you'll remember why we love this game so much, and the satisfaction we feel as our team wins and we head home to snuggle into bed. This is a great book for the young football fans in your life. ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Goodnight Football" at »

"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 »

"Orion and the Dark" by Emma Yarlett

'Orion and the Dark' by Emma Yarlett

★★★★★ This adorable picture book is about a little boy named Orion who is afraid of everything, especially the dark! He tries and tries to find ways to not be afraid but nothing works. One night, he decides to tell the dark to go away. When the dark slips through his window and invites him to have an adventure, Orion learns that he doesn't need to be afraid with his new friend at his side. Super cute illustrations and fun text make this book a g ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Orion and the Dark" at »

"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 oth ...

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

"Naked!" by Michael Ian Black

'Naked!' by Michael Ian Black

Children's Book ★★★★★ 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 »

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

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

Children's Book ★★★★★ 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 »

25 | Based on the Goodreads API.