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Classic Picture Books

Looking for the best children's picture books?
Where the Sidewalk Ends book
#1
Where the Sidewalk Ends
Written & illustrated by Shel Silverstein
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

If you are a dreamer, come in, If you are a dreamer, A wisher, a liar, A hope-er, a pray-er, A magic bean buyer … Come in … for where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein’s world begins. You’ll meet a boy who turns into a TV set, and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist. Shel Silverstein’s masterful collection of poems and drawings is at once outrageously funny and profound.

The Giving Tree book
#2
The Giving Tree
Written & illustrated by Shel Silverstein
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

‘Once there was a tree…and she loved a little boy.’ So begins a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein. Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk…and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave. This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. Shel Silverstein has created a moving parable for readers of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another’s capacity to love in return. Ages 10+

Where the Wild Things Are book
#3
Where the Wild Things Are
Written & illustrated by Maurice Sendak
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Where the Wild Things Are is fifty years old! Maurice Sendak’s Caldecott Medal-winning picture book has become one of the most highly acclaimed and best-loved children’s books of all time. A must for every child’s bookshelf.

Introduce a new generation to Max’s imaginative journey with this special anniversary edition. Let the wild rumpus continue as this classic comes to life like never before with new reproductions of Maurice Sendak’s artwork.

Astonishing state-of-the-art technology faithfully captures the color and detail of the original illustrations. Sendak himself enthusiastically endorsed this impressive new interpretation of his art before his death in 2012. This iconic story has inspired a movie, an opera, and the imagination of generations.

Green Eggs and Ham book
#4
Green Eggs and Ham
Written & illustrated by Dr. Seuss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

This Dr. Seuss classic starring Sam-I-Am will have readers of all ages craving Green Eggs and Ham!

And don’t miss the new series adaption of Green Eggs and Ham coming soon to Netflix – featuring the voice talents of Michael Douglas, Diane Keaton, Daveed Diggs, and more!

“Do you like green eggs and ham?” asks Sam-I-am in this Beginner Book by Dr. Seuss. In a house or with a mouse? In a boat or with a goat? On a train or in a tree? Sam keeps asking persistently. With unmistakable characters and signature rhymes, Dr. Seuss’s beloved favorite has cemented its place as a children’s classic. In this most famous of cumulative tales, the list of places to enjoy green eggs and ham, and friends to enjoy them with, gets longer and longer. Follow Sam-I-am as he insists that this unusual treat is indeed a delectable snack to be savored everywhere and in every way.

Originally created by Dr. Seuss, Beginner Books encourage children to read all by themselves, with simple words and illustrations that give clues to their meaning.

The Cat in the Hat book
#5
The Cat in the Hat
Written & illustrated by Dr. Seuss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Poor Dick and Sally. It’s cold and wet and they’re stuck in the house with nothing to do . . . until a giant cat in a hat shows up, transforming the dull day into a madcap adventure and almost wrecking the place in the process! Written by Dr. Seuss in 1957 in response to the concern that “pallid primers [with] abnormally courteous, unnaturally clean boys and girls’ were leading to growing illiteracy among children, The Cat in the Hat (the first Random House Beginner Book) changed the way our children learn how to read.

  1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Follows the progress of a hungry little caterpillar as he eats his way through a varied and very large quantity of food until, full at last, he forms a cocoon around himself and goes to sleep. Die-cut pages illustrate what the caterpillar ate on successive days.

  2. A Light in the Attic - From New York Times bestselling author Shel Silverstein, the creator of the beloved poetry collections Where the Sidewalk Ends, Falling Up, and _Every Thing On It,_ comes an imaginative book of poems and drawings―a favorite of Shel Silverstein fans young and old. A Light in the Attic delights with remarkable characters and hilariously profound poems in a collection readers will return to again and again. Here in the attic you will find Backward Bill, Sour Face Ann, the Meehoo with an Exactlywatt, and the Polar Bear in the Frigidaire. You will talk with Broiled Face, and find out what happens when Somebody steals your knees, you get caught by the Quick-Digesting Gink, a Mountain snores, and They Put a Brassiere on the Camel. Come on up to the attic of Shel Silverstein and let the light bring you home. And don’t miss _The Giving Tree_ and _Where the Sidewalk End_s by Shel Silverstein, also available as ebooks!

  3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! - The Dr. Seuss holiday classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas is now a major motion picture from Illumination Presents – Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch! Grow your heart three sizes and get in on all of the Grinch excitement with the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas—the ultimate Dr. Seuss Christmas classic that no holiday season is complete without! “Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot . . . but the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville, did NOT!” Not since “’Twas the night before Christmas” has the beginning of a Christmas tale been so instantly recognizable. This heartwarming story about the effects of the Christmas spirit will grow even the coldest and smallest of hearts. Like mistletoe, candy canes, and caroling, the Grinch is a mainstay of the holidays, and his story is the perfect gift for young and old. And don’t forget to celebrate Grinch-mas this Christmas season, the annual holiday tradition inspired by How the Grinch Stole Christmas that encourages readers to grow their hearts three sizes by doing good deeds!

  4. Oh, the Places You'll Go! - Dr. Seuss’s wonderfully wise Oh, the Places You’ll Go! is the perfect send-off for grads—from nursery school, high school, college, and beyond! From soaring to high heights and seeing great sights to being left in a Lurch on a prickle-ly perch, Dr. Seuss addresses life’s ups and downs with his trademark humorous verse and illustrations, while encouraging readers to find the success that lies within. In a starred review, Booklist notes, “Seuss’s message is simple but never sappy: life may be a ‘Great Balancing Act,’ but through it all ‘There’s fun to be done.’” A perennial favorite and a perfect gift for anyone starting a new phase in their life!

The Lorax book
#10
The Lorax
Written & illustrated by Dr. Seuss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Celebrate nature with Dr. Seuss and the Lorax in this classic picture book about protecting the environment!

I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.

Dr. Seuss’s beloved story teaches kids to speak up and stand up for those who can’t. With a recycling-friendly “Go Green” message, The Lorax allows young readers to experience the beauty of the Truffula Trees and the danger of taking our earth for granted, all in a story that is timely, playful, and hopeful. The book’s final pages teach us that just one small seed, or one small child, can make a difference.

Printed on recycled paper, this book is the perfect gift for Earth Day and for any child—or child at heart—who is interested in recycling, advocacy, and the environment, or just loves nature and playing outside.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

“Pretty much all the stuff you need to know is in Dr. Seuss.” –President Barack Obama

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie book
#11
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Written by Laura Numeroff & illustrated by Felicia Bond
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

If a hungry little traveler shows up at your house, you might want to give him a cookie. If you give him a cookie, he’s going to ask for a glass of milk. He’ll want to look in a mirror to make sure he doesn’t have a milk mustache, and then he’ll ask for a pair of scissors to give himself a trim…. The consequences of giving a cookie to this energetic mouse run the young host ragged, but young readers will come away smiling at the antics that tumble like dominoes through the pages of this delightful picture book.

The Velveteen Rabbit book
#12
The Velveteen Rabbit
Written by Margery Williams & illustrated by William Nicholson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Margery Williams’ famous story tells of a young boy and his treasured favorite toy, a splendid “fat and bunchy” rabbit, whose ears are lined with pink sateen. He carries it everywhere, talks to it, pretends with it, sleeps with it each night. The love he steadfastly bestows on his toy helps him through a serious illness and afterwards saves his beloved bunny from a terrible fate.

Are You My Mother? book
#13
Are You My Mother?
Written & illustrated by P. D. Eastman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Never having seen his mother, a baby bird makes humorous mistakes trying to find her.

Madeline book
#14
Madeline
Written & illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines the smallest one was Madeline.”

Nothing frightens Madeline—not tigers, not mice, not even getting sick. With its endearing, courageous heroine, cheerful humor, and wonderful, whimsical drawings of Paris, the Madeline stories are true classics that continue to charm readers even after 75 years!

  1. Corduroy - Corduroy was first introduced to readers in 1968, and in the fifty years since, his adventures have never stopped. Corduroy has been on the department store shelf for a long time. Yet as soon as Lisa sees him, she knows that he’s the bear for her. Her mother, though, thinks he’s a little shopworn—he’s even missing a button! Still, Corduroy knows that with a bit of work he can tidy himself up and be just the bear for Lisa. And where better to start than with a nighttime adventure through the department store, searching for a new button! Celebrate 50 years of this irresistible childhood classic, a heartwarming story about a little bear and a little girl finding the friend they have always wanted in each other.

  2. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day - The perennially popular tale of Alexander’s worst day is a storybook that belongs on every child’s bookshelf. Alexander knew it was going to be a terrible day when he woke up with gum in this hair. And it got worse… His best friend deserted him. There was no dessert in his lunch bag. And, on top of all that, there were lima beans for dinner and kissing on TV! This handsome new edition of Judith Viorst’s classic picture book is sure to charm readers of all ages.

  3. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish - “From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere” . . . So begins this classic Beginner Book by Dr. Seuss. Beginning with just five fish and continuing into flights of fancy, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish celebrates how much fun imagination can be. From the can-opening Zans to the boxing Gox to the winking Yink who drinks pink ink, the silly rhymes and colorful cast of characters create an entertaining approach to reading that will have every child giggling from morning to night: “Today is gone. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.” Originally created by Dr. Seuss, Beginner Books encourage children to read all by themselves, with simple words and illustrations that give clues to their meaning.

  4. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - In this lively alphabet rhyme, the letters of the alphabet race up the cocunut tree. Will there be enough room? Oh, no - Chicka Chicka Boom! Boom! A told B, and B told C, I’ll meet you at the top of the coconut tree. In this lively alphabet rhyme, all the letters of the alphabet race each other up the cocunut tree. Will there be enough room? Oh, no - Chicka Chicka Boom! Boom! The well-known authors of Barn Dance and Knots on a Counting Rope have created a rhythmic alphabet chant that rolls along on waves of fun. Lois Ehlert’s rainbow of bright, bold, cheerful colors makes the merry parade of letters unforgettable.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs book
#19
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Written by Judi Barrett & illustrated by Ron Barrett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The beloved, bestselling tale of edible weather is brought to life! If food dropped like rain from the sky, wouldn’t it be marvelous! Or would it? It could, after all, be messy. And you’d have no choice. What if you didn’t like what fell? Or what if too much came? Have you ever thought of what it might be like to be squashed flat by a pancake?

Curious George book
#20
Curious George
Written & illustrated by H. A. Rey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In this, the original book about the curious monkey, George is taken from the jungle by the man in the yellow hat to live in a new home, but—oh, what happened! Though trying to be good, George is still very curious and takes a swim in the ocean, escapes from jail, and goes for a flying ride on a bunch of balloons. This treasured classic is where it all began for the curious, loveable monkey and is a must have for any children’s book collection.

Miss Nelson is Missing! book
#21
Miss Nelson is Missing!
Written by Harry G Allard Jr & illustrated by James Marshall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

The kids in Room 207 were misbehaving again. Spitballs stuck to the ceiling. Paper planes whizzing through the air. They were the worst-behaved class in the whole school. So begins this quirky classic, first published in 1977 and still relevant today as a lighthearted reminder to show our appreciation to those we value. The students don’t proffer a shred of respect for their good-natured teacher Miss Nelson, but when the witchy substitute Miss Viola Swamp appears on the scene, they start to regret their own wicked ways. James Marshall’s scritchy, cartoonish full-color ink and wash illustrations are hilarious. A back-to-school perennial!

Horton Hears a Who! book
#22
Horton Hears a Who!
Written by Dr. Seuss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A city of Whos on a speck of dust are threatened with destruction until the smallest Who of all helps convince Horton’s friends that Whos really exist. Reissue.

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales book
#23
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales
Written by Jon Scieszka & illustrated by Lane Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Madcap revisions of familiar fairy tales.

  1. Caps for Sale - Caps for Sale is a timeless classic, in print for over fifty years, and beloved by generations of readers. This easy-to-read story about a peddler and a band of mischievous monkeys is filled with warmth, humor, and simplicity. Children will delight in following the peddlers efforts to outwit the monkeys in this new, enlarged, and redesigned edition, and will ask to read it again and again.

  2. Strega Nona - When Strega Nona leaves him alone with her magic pasta pot, Big Anthony is determined to show the townspeople how it works in this classic Caldecott Honor book from Tomie dePaola. Strega Nona—“Grandma Witch”—is the source for potions, cures, magic, and comfort in her Calabrian town. Her magical everfull pasta pot is especially intriguing to hungry Big Anthony. He is supposed to look after her house and tend her garden but one day, when she goes over the mountain to visit Strega Amelia, Big Anthony recites the magic verse over the pasta pot, with disastrous results. In this retelling of an old tale, author-illustrator Tomie dePaola combines humor in the writing and warmth in the paintings as he builds the story to its hilarious climax.

  3. Make Way for Ducklings - Mrs. Mallard was sure that the pond in the Boston Public Gardens would be a perfect place for her and her eight ducklings to live. The problem was how to get them there through the busy streets of Boston. But with a little help from the Boston police, Mrs. Mallard and Jack, Kack, Lack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack arive safely at their new home. This brilliantly illustrated, amusingly observed tale of Mallards on the move has won the hearts of generations of readers. Awarded the Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children in 1941, it has since become a favorite of millions.

  4. The Gift of the Magi - A husband and wife sacrifice treasured possessions in order to buy each other Christmas presents.

Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

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