Skip to main content

Great Picture Books

Recommended Picture Books
The following picture books were published within the last 3 years.  All can be found in our school library, as well as most public libraries.
K – 2nd grade:
 
Max’s Words by Kate Banks
 
When Max cuts out words from magazines and newspapers, collecting them the way his brothers collect stamps and coins, they all learn about the power of words, sentences, and storytelling. Highly recommended!
 
 
Gingerbread Friends by Jan Brett
This book, by the author of “the Mitten,” tells the story of a lonely Gingerbread Baby who goes to a bakery to make friends and ends up leading a crowd back to his house on a chase similar to the one in the familiar tale.
 
 
On Meadowview Street by Henry Cole
Upon moving to a new house, Caroline and her parents encourage wildflowers to grow and birds and animals to stay in their yard, which soon has the whole suburban street living up to its name!  Lovely illustrations show the transition from a trim suburban lawn to a nature preserve exploding with life and color. Highly recommended!
 
 
Titanicat by Marty Crisp
A boy who has signed on as a cabin boy aboard the Titanic helps ready the ship for its maiden voyage, but when it’s time to sail and he can’t find the ship’s cat on board, he leaves the ship in search of her.
 
 
Dooby Dooby Moo by Doreen Cronin
The characters of “Click Clack Moo: Cows that Type” are back in this story of farm animals who prepare for a talent show while the farmer sleeps.
 
 
I Lost My Tooth in Africa by Penda Diakit
While visiting her father’s family in Mali, a young girl loses a tooth and receives a hen and rooster from the African tooth fairy.
 
 
Charlie Cook’s Favorite Book by Julia Donaldson
A circular tale in which each new book character  is reading about the next character, beginning and ending with Charlie Cook.
 
 
Old House by Pamela Edwards
An old empty house feels sorry for itself because it has no family living inside, but with the help of some good friends, its dreams come true.
 
 
 
 
Oodles of Animals by Lois Ehlert
Short, easy-to-read rhymes reveal what is unique about various animals, from ape to wolf.  Lovely, bold collage-style art.
 
 
Princess Pigsty by Cornelia Funke
Tire of being a princess, the youngest of three sisters throws her crown out the window and finds happiness working in the royal kitchen and pigsty.  By the author of “Dragon Rider” and the  “Inkheart” series.
 
 
The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County by Janice Harrington
A young farm girl tries to catch her favorite chicken, until she learns something about the hen that makes her change her ways.  Wonderful artwork and a rollicking first-person narration makes this sweet story a stand-out.  Highly recommended!
 
 
Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building by Deborah Hopkinson
In 1931, a boy and his father watch as the world’s tallest building, the Empire State Building, is constructed, step by step, near their Manhattan home.
 
 
Bats at the Library by Brian Lies
Bored with another normal evening, bats discover an open window and fly into a library where they discover the photocopier, water fountain, and the books and stories.
 
 
Uncle Peter’s Amazing Chinese Wedding by Lenore Look
A Chinese American girl describes the festivities of her uncle’s Chinese wedding and the customs behind them.
 
 
Fiona Loves the Night by Patricia MacLachlan
Fiona explores the nighttime wonders of the outdoors, from the sounds of the owl to flowers that bloom only in the dark.  A n interesting science narrative with wonderful art, by a Newbery-winning author.
 
 
Fancy Nancy: Bonjour, Butterfly by Jane O’Connor
Nancy is furious when she can’t go to her friend’s butterfly-themed birthday party, but her family’s outing might just be fun enough to make her feel better.
 
 
A Kiss Goodbye by Audrey Penn
In this sequel to “ The Kissing Hand”, Chester Raccoon is very unhappy about leaving his home, a tree that has been marked for cutting, but his mother tries to convince him that his new home might be even better.
 
 
The Littlest Owl by Caroline Pitcher
Four, the youngest and smallest owl, has a positive attitude that gets him through most challenges of life in a nest, but it may not be enough when a storm threatens his home before he has learned to fly.
 
 
 
Nouns and Verbs have a Field Day by Robin Pulver
When the children in Mr. Wright’s class have a field day, nouns and verbs in the classroom have their own fun.
 
 
A Kitten Tale by Eric Rohmann
Four kittens who have never seen winter watch the other seasons pass.  Three of them declare they will not like snow, but a fourth cannot wait to experience it.
 
 
Dog and Bear: two friends, three stories by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Three easy-to-read stories reveal the close friendship between Dog and Bear from a Caldecott-winning author.
 
 
Too Many Toys by David Shannon
Although he finally agrees that he has too many toys and needs to give them away, there is one toy that Spencer absolutely cannot part with.
 
 
Bear Feels Sick by Karma Wilson
When bear is too sick to play, his animal friends go to his cave to make him soup and keep him company.
 
 
Bear Feels Scared by Karma Wilson
Bear’s friends come to his rescue when he becomes lost and frightened in the woods.
 
 
How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? By Jane Yolen
A fun instructional book on how little dinosaurs (and children!) should behave during a typical school day.
 
 
2nd-5th grades:
 
Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio
When Grace discovers that there has never been a female U.S. president, she decides to run for school president.
 
 
Spuds by Karen Hesse
Maybelle, Jack and Eddie want to help Ma by putting something extra on the table, so they sneak out in the dark to take potatoes from a nearby field, but when they arrive home and empty their sacks, they are surprised by what they see.
 
 
The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon by Mini Grey
Having run away together, the Dish and the Spoon from the nursery rhyme become vaudeville stars before turning to a life of crime.  Hilarious!
 
 
 
 
 
Bad Dog, Marley! by John Grogan
In this picture book based on the popular “Marley” memoir,  Marley the puppy makes himself at home while causing lots of trouble, but still proving to be a valuable member of the household.
 
 
Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine
A fictionalized account of how in 1849 a Virginia slave, Henry “Box” Brown, escapes to freedom by shipping himself in a wooden crate from Richmond to Philadelphia.
 
 
Zen Ties by Jon Muth
In this sequel to the Caldecott-winning “Zen Stories”, Stillwater the panda encourages Koo, Addy, Michael and Karl to help a grouchy neighbor and their efforts are rewarded in unexpected ways.
 
 
The Wishing Club: A Story about Fractions by Donna Jo Napoli
When four siblings wish on a star, each gets only a fraction of what he or she wanted, but when they combine their wishes, they just might get a whole new pet!
 
 
Yo-yo Man by Daniel Pinkwater
Third grade improves dramatically for a boy after he makes up his mind to win the upcoming yo-yo tournament.
 
 
John, Paul, George & Ben by Lane Smith
A humorous look at four of our country’s founding fathers.
 
 
Help Me, Mr. Mutt!: Expert Answers for Dogs with People Problems by Janet Stevens
Dogs across the country write to Mr. Mutt, a people expert, for help with their humans in this hilarious tale and receive contradicting responses from both Mr. Mutt and the cat of the house. Highly recommended!
 
 
LaRue for Mayor: Letters from the Campaign Trail by Mark Teague
This follow-up to “Dear Mrs. LaRue” is as a funny as its predecessor.  When Mrs. LaRue is injured, her dog seeks justice by running for mayor of the city.
 
 
Otto Runs for President by Rosemary Wells
While the popular Tiffany and athletic Charles make increasingly outrageous promises in their campaigns for President of Canine Country Day School, Otto quietly enters the race, vowing to do what students really want.