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Cameras: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about cameras?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to cameras. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about cameras.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about cameras, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Smile, Ernest and Celestine to popular sellers like Flotsam to some of our favorite hidden gems like Russell and the Lost Treasure.

We hope this list of kids books about cameras can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Famously Phoebe
Written by Lori Alexander & illustrated by Aurelie Blard-Quintard
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Phoebe was the shining star of her family. Then someone came along to take her place.
For as long as Phoebe can remember, she’s known the clickety click click of a photographer snapping her picture. Thanks to the camera-carrying “paparazzi” (aka Mom and Dad), she’s always been the star of the show . . . until the day a tiny newcomer arrives on set. Will Phoebe learn to share the spotlight and assume the role she was born to play: big sister? This sweet tale of sibling rivalry resolved is perfect for every older brother and sister.

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Russell and the Lost Treasure
Written & illustrated by Rob Scotton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Russell the sheep is determined to find the Lost Treasure of Frogsbottom. Equipped with his Super-Duper Treasure Seeker, Russell searches high and low, up and down, and in and out. Nothing! Finally, Russell finds an old chest! Could it be? Discover how Russell finds the most valuable treasure of all.

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Indestructibles: Jungle, Rumble!
Written by Amy Pixton & illustrated by Kaaren Pixton
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Here is a book babies can really sink their gums into. Built for the way babies read, Indestructibles are printed on an amazing paperlike material that can’t be ripped, torn, or punctured. Indestructibles are 100 percent safe and nontoxic, and if they get too funky, just throw them in the washing machine or dishwasher. They’re made for baby to hold, grab, chew, pull, and bend, and are designed to create an even more special bond between reader and baby. Printed without words, the parent gets to make up the story, or just cuddle with baby while they explore together.

Jungle Rumble! is about creatures in the wild. Kaaren Pixton’s art is bright, swirling with color, and reminiscent of Eric Carle, and it attains an almost 3D richness on the special paperlike stock of the book.

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Flotsam
Written & illustrated by David Wiesner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

When a young boy discovers a camera on the beach and develops the film, he finds with his microscope many layers of pictures within the photographs.

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The Bluest of Blues
Written & illustrated by Fiona Robinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

A gorgeous picture book biography of botanist and photographer Anna Atkins–the first person to ever publish a book of photography After losing her mother very early in life, Anna Atkins (1799-1871) was raised by her loving father. He gave her a scientific education, which was highly unusual for women and girls in the early 19th century. Fascinated with the plant life around her, Anna became a botanist. She recorded all her findings in detailed illustrations and engravings, until the invention of cyanotype photography in 1842. Anna used this new technology in order to catalogue plant specimens–a true marriage of science and art. In 1843, Anna published the book Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions with handwritten text and cyanotype photographs. It is considered the first book of photographs ever published. Weaving together histories of women, science, and art, The Bluest of Blues will inspire young readers to embark on their own journeys of discovery and creativity.

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  • Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves - Girls being fearless. Girls being silly. Girls being wild, stubborn, and proud. Girls whose faces are smeared with dirt and lit up with joy. So simple and yet so powerful, Strong Is the New Pretty celebrates, through more than 175 memorable photographs, the strength and spirit of girls being 100% themselves. Real beauty isn’t about being a certain size, acting a certain way, wearing the right clothes, or having your hair done (or even brushed). Real beauty is about being your authentic self and owning it. Kate T. Parker is a professional photographer who finds the real beauty in girls, capturing it for all the world to see in candid and arresting images. A celebration, a catalog of spirit in words and smiles, an affirmation of the fact that it’s what’s inside you that counts, Strong Is the New Pretty conveys a powerful message for every girl, for every mother and father of a girl, for every coach and mentor and teacher, for everyone in the village that it takes to raise a strong and self-confident person.

  • Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee! - James Van Der Zee was just a young boy when he saved enough money to buy his first camera. He took photos of his family, classmates, and anyone who would sit still for a portrait. By the fifth grade, James was the school photographer and unofficial town photographer. Eventually he outgrew his small town and moved to the exciting, fast-paced world of New York City. After being told by his boss that no one would want his or her photo taken -by a black man, - James opened his own portrait studio in Harlem. He took photographs of legendary figures of the Harlem Renaissance–politicians such as Marcus Garvey, performers including Florence Mills, Bill -Bojangles- Robinson, and Mamie Smith–and ordinary folks in the neighborhood too. Everyone wanted fancy portraits by James Van Der Zee. Winner of Lee & Low’s New Voices Award, Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee! tells the story of a groundbreaking artist who chronicled an important era in Harlem and showed the beauty and pride of its people.

  • Plip-Plop Pond! - Here is a book babies can really sink their gums into. Built for the way babies read, Indestructibles are printed on an amazing paperlike material that can’t be ripped, torn, or punctured. Indestructibles are 100 percent safe and nontoxic, and if they get too funky, just throw them in the washing machine or dishwasher. They’re made for baby to hold, grab, chew, pull, and bend, and are designed to create an even more special bond between reader and baby. Printed without words, the parent gets to make up the story, or just cuddle with baby while they explore together. Plip-Plop Pond! is about a frog who visits his friends in the pond. Kaaren Pixton’s art is bright, swirling with color, and reminiscent of Eric Carle, and it attains an almost 3D richness on the special paperlike stock of the book.

  • Be Our Guest! - From Gray Malin, New York Times bestselling photographer of Beaches, comes Be Our Guest!, Malin’s first children’s picture book, compiled from his acclaimed series of photographs at the Parker Hotel in Palm Springs. Welcome to the Parker Hotel, where you’ll experience a delightful time away, filled with everything you’d expect from a sunny, California vacation. There’s tennis courts and a lemonade stand, a gorgeous pool, and a lawn for croquet. But, the other guests and staff are more than a little unexpected . . . If Eloise had lived in an animal-only hotel, it would have had the style and whimsy of the Parker. Just reading Be Our Guest! will whisk children away on a temporary holiday, which is nothing less than extraordinary.

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Who Am I?
Written by Tim Flach
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Gorgeous nature photography introduces readers to endangered species in this picture book from Tim Flach Who is that peeking through the page? Is it a giant panda munching on bamboo? Or perhaps a yellow-eyed tree frog hiding in a tropical forest? Who Am I? uses clever riddles and stunning images by esteemed photographer Tim Flach (taken from his Abrams adult book Endangered) to introduce ten vital species-at-risk to readers. With its engaging and timely message, this beautifully crafted picture book is perfect for the youngest animal enthusiasts.

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Smile, Ernest and Celestine
Written & illustrated by Gebrielle Vincent
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

After he explains to Celestine why his collection of photographs does not include her, Ernest remedies the omission.

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The Heart of a Boy
Written & illustrated by Kate T Parker
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 0-12

In her international bestseller Strong Is the New Pretty (with 329,000 copies in print), the photographer Kate T. Parker changed the way we see girls by showing us their truest selves—fearless, messy, wild, stubborn, proud. Now it’s time to talk about our boys. Prompted by #metoo, school shootings, bullying, and other toxic behavior, there’s a national conversation going on about what defines masculinity and how to raise sons to become good people. And Kate Parker is joining in by turning her lens to boys. The result is possibly even more moving, more eloquent, more surprising than Strong. The Heart of a Boy is a deeply felt celebration of boyhood as it’s etched in the faces and bodies of dozens of boys, ages 5 to 18. There’s the pensive look of a skateboarder caught in a moment between rides. The years of dedication in a ballet dancer’s poise. The love of a younger brother hugging his older brother. The unself-conscious joy of a goofy grin with a missing tooth. The casual intimacy of two friends at a lemonade stand. The shyness of a lone boy and his model boat. The intensity in a football huddle. The proud, challenging gaze of a boy bald from alopecia—and the same kind of gaze, but wreathed in tenderness, of a boy a few years younger with flowing, almost waist-length hair. There are guitarists, fencers, wrestlers, star-gazers, a pilot—it’s the world of our sons, in all their amazing variety and difference. The photographs feel spontaneous, direct, and with so much eye contact between the viewed and the viewer that it’s impossible to turn away. And throughout, words from the boys themselves enrich every photo. What a gift for boys and anyone who is raising them.

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Hair for Mama
Written by Kelly A. Tinkham & illustrated by Amy June Bates
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s family picture time for the Carters, but Mama does not want to be in the photo this year. All of her beautiful hair is gone because of chemotherapy treatments for her cancer, and she doesn’t want to be remembered without hair. Eight-year-old Marcus knows that the picture won’t be the same without Mama, so he comes up with a plan to find her some hair and make her better. Even though the plan doesn’t work in quite the way Marcus expects, he comes to understand that hair is nice to have, but not as nice as me having Mama and Mama having me. <P> This is a story for every family dealing with a serious illness. It is told with a touch of gentle humor in a style that children will readily understand, and the warm and inviting illustrations will bring comfort and hope to young and old alike. <BR>”

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Ms. Joni Is a Phony!
Written by Dan Gutman & illustrated by Jim Paillot
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

With more than 12 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading!

In this seventh book in the My Weirdest School series, it’s picture day at Ella Mentry School! This year, Mr. Klutz has hired a weird photographer, Ms. Joni. She keeps saying “fabulous,” and she wants to turn A.J. into a supermodel. But what happens when the Picture Day Zombie makes an appearance? Run for your lives!

Perfect for reluctant readers and word lovers alike, Dan Gutman’s hugely popular My Weird School chapter book series has something for everyone. Don’t miss the hilarious adventures of A.J. and the gang.

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  • My People - Langston Hughes’s spare yet eloquent tribue to his people has been cherished for generations. Now, acclaimed photographer Charles R. Smith Jr. interprets this beloved poem in vivid sepia photographs that capture the glory, the beauty, and the soul of being a black American today.

  • Hector: A Boy, a Protest, and the Photograph That Changed Apartheid - A Junior Library Guild Selection! On June 16, 1976, Hector Pieterson, an ordinary boy, lost his life after getting caught up in what was supposed to be a peaceful protest. Black South African students were marching against a new law requiring that they be taught half of their subjects in Afrikaans, the language of the White government. The story's events unfold from the perspectives of Hector, his sister, and the photographer who captured their photo in the chaos. This book can serve as a pertinent tool for adults discussing global history and race relations with children. Its graphic novel style and mixed media art portray the vibrancy and grit of Hector's daily life and untimely death. Heartbreaking yet relevant, this powerful story gives voice to an ordinary boy and sheds light on events that helped lead to the end of apartheid.

  • The Art of Eric Carle - Carle is one of the most beloved illustrators of children’s books. This retrospective is more than just an appreciation of his art, however. The book also contains an insightful autobiography illustrated with personal photographs, an anecdotal essay by his longtime editor, a photographic essay on how Carle creates his collages, and writings by Carle and his colleagues. Still, it is the artwork in the oversize volume that seizes the imagination. More than 60 of his full-color collage pictures are handsomely reproduced and serve as a statement of Carle’s impressive talent.
    - Booklist

  • Lunch Lady and the Picture Day Peril - From the author of National Book Award finalist Hey, Kiddo.

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Cityscape: Where Science and Art Meet
Written & illustrated by April Pulley Sayre
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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Selfie
Written & illustrated by Sandy Horsley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Click! Click! Click! Sylvie the Squirrel is obsessed with selfies. However, as she’s clicking away, Sylvie is missing out on the fun right in front of her. When her friends save her from a scary situation, Sylvie realizes what’s really important and it’s not taking selfies. Social media starts at an early age, and debut author/illustrator Sandy Horsley brings that issue to the forefront in this timely picture book. Selfies are fun, but nothing is more fun than being a good friend and living in the moment.

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Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph
Written by Roxane Orgill & illustrated by Francis Vallejo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

What happens when you invite as many jazz musicians as you can to pose for a photo in 1950s Harlem? Playful verse and glorious artwork capture an iconic moment for American jazz. When Esquire magazine planned an issue to salute the American jazz scene in 1958, graphic designer Art Kane pitched a crazy idea: how about gathering a group of beloved jazz musicians and photographing them? He didn’t own a good camera, didn’t know if any musicians would show up, and insisted on setting up the shoot in front of a Harlem brownstone. Could he pull it off? In a captivating collection of poems, Roxane Orgill steps into the frame of Harlem 1958, bringing to life the musicians’ mischief and quirks, their memorable style, and the vivacious atmosphere of a Harlem block full of kids on a hot summer’s day. Francis Vallejo’s vibrant, detailed, and wonderfully expressive paintings do loving justice to the larger-than-life quality of jazz musicians of the era. Includes bios of several of the fifty-seven musicians, an author’s note, sources, a bibliography, and a foldout of Art Kane’s famous photograph.

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Fairy Spell
Written by Marc Tyler Nobleman & illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

In 1917, in Cottingley, England, a girl named Elsie took a picture of her younger cousin, Frances. Also in the photo was a group of fairies, fairies that the girls insisted were real. Through a remarkable set of circumstances, that photograph and the ones that followed came to be widely believed as evidence of real fairies. It was not until 1983 that the girls, then late in life, confessed that the Cottingley Fairies were a hoax. Their take is an extraordinary slice of history, from a time when anything in a photograph was assumed to be fact and it was possible to trick an eager public into believing something magical. Exquisitely illustrated with art and the original fairy photographs.

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Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America
Written by Carole Boston Weatherford & illustrated by Jamey Christoph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

His white teacher tells her all-black class, You’ll all wind up porters and waiters. What did she know? Gordon Parks is most famous for being the first black director in Hollywood. But before he made movies and wrote books, he was a poor African American looking for work. When he bought a camera, his life changed forever. He taught himself how to take pictures and before long, people noticed. His success as a fashion photographer landed him a job working for the government. In Washington DC, Gordon went looking for a subject, but what he found was segregation. He and others were treated differently because of the color of their skin. Gordon wanted to take a stand against the racism he observed. With his camera in hand, he found a way. Told through lyrical verse and atmospheric art, this is the story of how, with a single photograph, a self-taught artist got America to take notice.

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  • Say Cheese And Die - Greg finds an old camera with an uncanny knack of predicting–in the photographs it takes–a grisly future for its subjects, but he cannot convince his friends of the danger. Original.

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