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Clothing: Picture Books For Kids

This list of the best picture books about clothing is sure to include a new favorite for the voracious young reader in your life! From Something Smells! to Hats Off to Mr. Pockles! there's something here for everyone's tastes. Do you have a favorite book about clothing? Let us know!

Something Smells! book
#1
Something Smells!
Written by Blake Liliane Hellman and illustrated by Steven Henry
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Elliot wakes up one morning to the most terrible smell. But what could it be? Find out in this gentle introduction to hygiene that’s stinkin’ adorable! One morning, Elliot wakes up and smells something awful. Is it the trash? No… The dog? No… Dad? His sister? The baby? Grandma’s famous gerfartzenschanffel? No, no, no, and no! Elliot searches high and low for the something that smells, but he just can’t find it, and it’s driving him and his nostrils crazy. Almost as bad, now his mother wants him to take a bath, which means taking off his super cool skeleton costume that he’s been wearing since Halloween! The funny thing is, after Elliot finishes his bath and Mom puts his costume in the wash, something doesn’t smell anymore…

Julian Is a Mermaid book
#2
Julian Is a Mermaid
Written and illustrated by Jessica Love
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In an exuberant picture book, a glimpse of costumed mermaids leaves one boy flooded with wonder and ready to dazzle the world. While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he's seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes -- and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself? Mesmerizing and full of heart, Jessica Love's author-illustrator debut is a jubilant picture of self-love and a radiant celebration of individuality.

Mary Wears What She Wants book
#3
Mary Wears What She Wants
Written and illustrated by Keith Negley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Once upon a time (but not too long ago), girls only wore dresses. And only boys wore pants. Until one day, a young girl named Mary had a bold idea: She would wear whatever she wanted. And she wanted to wear pants! Inspired by the true story of Mary Edwards Walker, a trailblazing doctor who was arrested many times for wearing pants, this fresh, charming picture book encourages readers to think for themselves while gently challenging gender and societal norms.

Papillon: The Very Fluffy Kitty book
#4
Papillon: The Very Fluffy Kitty
Written and illustrated by Anna Kang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

Papillon is a very fluffy kitty. So fluffy that he's lighter than air! His owner tries to weigh him down, but Papillon just wants to fly. One particularly sunny day, he floats right out the window! Exploring the wide world is exhilarating, but it's also a little scary. Will his new friend, a bird, be able to help him find his way home? Whimsical art and airy text come together seamlessly in this delightful debut by A. N. Kang.

You Must Bring a Hat! book
#5
You Must Bring a Hat!
Written by Simon Philip and illustrated by Kate Hindley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

“You are cordially invited to the BIGGEST, BESTEST, HATTIEST party of all time!” Come join the fun—but only if you have a hat. AND you know the entry rules. Unfortunately, there seems to be a surprising number of those, as a young boy discovers. Will he—and the cool collection of animals he befriends along the way—ever get in? Gloriously illustrated, the art contains loads of details that serve as clues to the satisfying surprise ending. Kids will read this thoroughly hilarious cumulative picture book again and again!

  1. On a Windy Night - On a windy Halloween night, as a little boy makes his way home after trick-or-treating, he hears a voice: “Cracklety-clack, bones in a sack. They could be yours—if you look back.” As his heart flip-flops with fear, the boy dashes through woods and fields that seem full of haunting shapes—owls, ghosts, skeletons, and more. The detailed illustrations are packed with visual tricks for children to discover. Are those skeletons or cornstalks? Ghostly hands or tree branches? The playful tone of the text makes this a perfect, not-too-scary read-aloud, with an enjoyable surprise ending.

  2. A Dog Is a Dog - A dog is a dog, right? Not so fast! From debut author-illustrator Stephen Shaskan comes this lively picture book that will keep young readers guessing (and giggling!) from beginning to end. With its wacky illustrations, bouncy text, and spot-on humor, A Dog Is a Dog is a fantastic read-aloud that kids will clamor to hear again and again.

  3. Pout-Pout Fish: Haunted House - It's time for Halloween, and Mr. Fish is nervous about visiting a haunted house with his friends—but he just may be surprised that it's not all so scary! At an affordable price point, and with two pages of stickers, this new format is fun and accessible for Mr. Fish's fans and newcomers alike.

  4. Froggy Gets Dressed - Rambunctious Froggy hops out into the snow for a winter frolic but is called back by his mother to put on some necessary articles of clothing.

Harriet Gets Carried Away book
#10
Harriet Gets Carried Away
Written and illustrated by Jessie Sima
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

While shopping with her two dads for supplies for her birthday party, Harriet, who is wearing a penguin costume, is carried away by a waddle of penguins and must hatch a plan in order to get herself back to the store in the city.

Tropical Terry book
#11
Tropical Terry
Written and illustrated by Jarvis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

From author-illustrator Jarvis comes a buoyant underwater tale about a little blue fish who learns that being dazzling isn't what makes you special. Coral Reef City is home to the most brilliant tropical fish in the ocean. Sparkling and multicolored, they swim around and around, showing off. And then there's Terry. Small, blue, and ordinary, Terry spends his days playing hiding games with his friends and wishing the tropical fish would play with him, too. So with the help of his friends, Terry fashions a flashy, dazzling costume and transforms into Tropical Terry. But life as the center of attention isn't quite everything Terry dreamed it would be -- especially once Eddie the Eel shows up, hungry for dinner. In a bright, cheerful story, Jarvis uses his vibrant art and heartwarming wit to prove that sometimes the things you thought made you unremarkable are actually the most special qualities of all.

Mary Had a Little Glam book
#12
Mary Had a Little Glam
Written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Mary has STYLE! In this fun take on Mother Goose, fashion-forward Mary helps some childhood favorites go glam. From the kid who lives in a shoe (and dons some fab footwear) to Jack, who breaks his crown but gets a great new one, Mary's friends look fine. But are they too well dressed for recess? Don't worry Mary always shows her flair for what to wear!"

Pirate Jack Gets Dressed book
#13
Pirate Jack Gets Dressed
Written by Nancy Raines Day and illustrated by Allison Black
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-8

Ahoy, matey! Join jaunty pirate Captain Jack as he uses every color of the rainbow to pick out his outfit in this bright and bold read-aloud. It’s the crack o’ dawn, and dapper Pirate Jack is ready t’ get dressed for a day out on the high seas with his motley crew. He’ll need every color of the rainbow to make his outfit complete—from his itchy gray long johns and his toasty pink socks to his bright red sash and his cozy purple coat. And he won’t be forgettin’ his black eye patch and trusty brown peg leg, either! But just as he’s about to step outside, he realizes he’s still missing one color: green! Thank goodness a certain feathered friend is ready to jump from her swing and onto his shoulder to complete his colorful look. Squawk!

Brimsby's Hats book
#14
Brimsby's Hats
Written and illustrated by Andrew Prahin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A lonely hat maker uses quirky creativity to make friends in this delightful picture book that will charm readers young and old. Brimsby is a happy hat maker—until his best friend goes off to find adventure at sea. Now Brimsby is a lonely hat maker, unsure of what to do. But since making hats is what he does best, perhaps his talents can help him find some friends… Filled with whimsy and wonder, Brimsby’s Hats is a celebration of creativity and friendship.

  1. Polly and Her Duck Costume - Polly and Her Duck Costume tells the true story of Polly, a little blind goat who was rescued by Leanne Lauricella, rescuer of farmyard animals and founder of the immensely popular Instagram account The Goats of Anarchy. Polly has some trouble adapting to her new life until her new mom gives her a warm and fuzzy duck costume, which turns out to be the perfect fit! Follow along with Polly as she finds love with her new family, gains confidence, and makes new friends. The perfect tale to inspire and delight animal lovers, Polly and Her Duck Costume pairs beautiful illustrations with a truly heartwarming tale readers of all ages will adore.

  2. Five Little Monkeys Trick-Or-Treat - In another adorable story starring Eileen Christelow's mischievous and beloved monkeys, these five silly monkeys go trick-or-treating and fun chaos ensues! Now in paperback. "Another winner." --School Library Journal Five little monkeys dress up for Halloween. They're going trick-or-treating with their favorite babysitter, Lulu. Mama reminds her, "Don't lose the rascals!" But soon those mischievous monkeys meet other costumed friends and decide to try "the best Halloween trick ever!" Will Lulu be fooled? Or will the five little rascals get tricked by their own monkey business? Vibrant, silly, and perfect for reading aloud, this non-scary Halloween story will delight fans of this best-selling series. Includes recipes for "eyeballs" and "worm juice" for kids to try at home.

  3. The Walking Bathroom - A sweet Halloween story about standing out and fitting in. I t’s Halloween, and Amayah doesn’t have a costume to wear to school. She dressed as a ghost for the last three years in a row, witches are overdone, and fairies are not her style. She wants to be something different, something creative. The Walking Bathroom is the newest book from awardwinning author and poet Shauntay Grant, with fun, eyecatching artwork from Erin Bennett Banks. This imaginative tale is bound to inspire some unique costumes and become a Halloween favorite!

  4. Aunt Flossie's Hats (and Crab Cakes Later) - Sara and Susan share tea, cookies, crab cakes, and stories about hats when they visit their favorite relative, Aunt Flossie.

Unstoppable Max book
#19
Unstoppable Max
Written and illustrated by Julia Patton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Max is a four-year-old whirlwind who doesn't have an off switch! His socks are odd, his bedroom is chaotic, and his mind is so full of imaginative schemes that following even the simplest of instructions can end in mayhem. Max's bedtime routine, so seemingly simple, becomes a military operation for Max with many obstacles to overcome - tidying his bedroom, putting on his pyjamas, and feeding his pet goldfish! Illustrated with non-stop energy by exciting new author/illustrator, Julia Patton.

Halloween Is Here, Corduroy! book
#20
Halloween Is Here, Corduroy!
Written by Don Freeman and illustrated by Emilie Kong, Don Freeman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Corduroy and his friends love to trick-or-treat, and they are excited for Halloween! His friends all have the perfect costumes in mind, but Corduroy can?t decide what to be. With a little help from his friends, though, Corduroy will have the best Halloween ever!

Dress Up and Let's Have a Party book
#21
Dress Up and Let's Have a Party
Written and illustrated by Remy Charlip
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

John puts a pot on his head while his mother bakes a cake. The next thing we know, he invites his friends over for a costume party. What will they wear? With each page turn, we wait to see. Vera arrives tangled up in string, a “meatball covered in spaghetti.” And Sarah, as a mountain, inching across the floor under a carpet. First published in 1956, Dress Up and Let’s Have a Party is a pleasing and thought-provoking book about impulse and ingenuity.

Peep  and  Egg:  I'm  Not  Trick-or-Treating book
#22
Peep and Egg: I'm Not Trick-or-Treating
Written by Laura Gehl and illustrated by Joyce Wan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Peep is so excited to go trick-or-treating with her friend Egg. She wants to visit the duck pond and the cow pasture to get treats. But Egg thinks Halloween is too scary, with frightening monsters possibly lurking everywhere! Peep tells her jokes because laughing helps you feel less scared. Egg is still not cracking. But soon Egg learns that maybe trick-or-treating is not so scary after all when you have a friend to hold on to.

Ella Sarah Gets Dressed book
#23
Ella Sarah Gets Dressed
Written and illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

The long-awaited paperback edition of a Caldecott Honor book that celebrates a child's unique sense of fashion and independent streak. Ella Sarah may be little, but she has a BIG sense of style--and it isn't at all like that of her mother, father, or older sister. Yet they all want her to dress just like them! Ella Sarah will have none of it--and when her flamboyantly dressed friends arrive, it's clear that Ella Sarah's favorite outfit is just right for her. Written and illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine, this spirited Caldecott Honor-winning story will gently nudge young children toward independence--providing plenty of exuberant colors and patterns to identify along the way.

  1. Madeline and the Bad Hat - “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 even mice. 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. In this next adventure, Madeline has a new neighbor who she does not like so much. Can she and Pepito ever get along? When the Spanish ambassador moves in next door, Madeline and the rest of the twelve little girls discover that his son is not the best neighbor.

  2. The Night Before Class Picture Day - In this Night Before book, kids get ready for that all-important moment of the school year: class picture day! It’s the night before class picture day, and kids all down the block are getting ready. Everyone wants to look perfect for the photo. They fix their hair, practice smiles, and choose outfits. At school the next day, they try to stay picture-perfect. Will everything look perfect for the big moment when they say, “Cheese?”

  3. A Tiger Called Thomas - Shy Tomás is afraid to venture out into the neighborhood until the night of Halloween. Because Tomás has the perfect tiger costume, complete with a mask that hides his identity. But Tomás will soon discover his costume doesn't hide him quite as well as he thinks...

  4. Stardust - One little girl dreams of being a star. But whether it’s finding Mom’s lost wedding ring or winning the costume prize, her big sister always shines brighter. A story about how everything and everyone is made of stardust and we all shine in different ways

Is That You, Eleanor Sue? book
#28
Is That You, Eleanor Sue?
Written and illustrated by Tricia Tusa
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Saturdays are dress-up days when Eleanor Sue Climbs out the window . . . Tiptoes over to the front door . . . And rings the doorbell. Ding dong. When her mother answers, she doesn’t see Eleanor Sue. She sees A cranky old neighbor. Or a hungry witch. Or a white-bearded wizard. Eleanor Sue is a master of disguise, but when her mother gets in on the act, along with Grandma, anything can happen in this whimsical picture book by award-winning author/illustrator Tricia Tusa.

Ladybug Girl and the Dress-Up Dilemma book
#29
Ladybug Girl and the Dress-Up Dilemma
Written by Jacky Davis and illustrated by David Soman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Ladybug Girl gets dressed up for Halloween in the newest hardcover addition to the New York Times bestselling series. It is Halloween and Lulu must decide on a costume. Should she be Ladybug Girl or something new? She tries many different costumes, but nothing seems right. Maybe she’ll think of the perfect costume as she enjoys the autumn day with her family by pumpkin picking and going on a hayride. But it isn’t until Lulu and Bingo help a little girl who is lost that Lulu discovers who she was meant to be for Halloween–Ladybug Girl, of course! After all, she is Ladybug Girl and it is important to be true to yourself.

Welcome to Morningtown book
#30
Welcome to Morningtown
Written by Blake Liliane Hellman and illustrated by Steven Henry
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Greet the new day with the adorable animal families of Morningtown in this sweet, classically inspired picture book! Welcome to Morningtown! In Morningtown, animal families of all shapes and sizes are waking up to a shiny new day. They get up out of fluffy beds, hard beds, and secret beds. They hop, splash, and flutter through their morning routines, getting ready for whatever the day holds. One thing is certain--every day is a beautiful day in Morningtown!

Maya Papaya and Her Amigos Play Dress-up book
#31
Maya Papaya and Her Amigos Play Dress-up
Written by Susan Middleton Elya and illustrated by Maria Mola
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Maya Papaya plays dress-up with her pets and toys every season.

Brobot Bedtime book
#32
Brobot Bedtime
Written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and illustrated by Scott Campbell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

The Brobots have had a long day, and it is time to recharge and enter sleep mode. Buzz and Crash have no problem falling asleep, but Beep s got a case of the flick-ups. Luckily, Buzz knows just the trick: scare Beep with a monster mask! Does it work? Affirmative. No more flick-ups. But Beep still can t sleep. He s afraid of monsters! Plan of action: turn on the lights. Problem solved? Negative. Now it s too bright. Block the light with blankets? Too hot. Add a fan? Too loud. Can the Brobots power down before Beep has a breakdown? This hilarious bedtime romp explores the universal experience of siblings settling in for the night with a clever robot twist. "

  1. Finders Keepers - Fans of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie will love this new preschool gem from beloved storyteller Keiko Kasza A hat is not just a hat in these woods! From tree branch to stream to flower patch—wherever the hat lands, someone knows exactly what to do with it and exclaims, “Finders, keepers!” But this red hat doesn’t stay in one place for long, and everyone will be surprised by what happens to it in the end. Youngsters will be delighted by the silly scenes and clever twists and turns in this charming circular story.

  2. Brownie and Pearl Get Dolled Up - Brownie and Pearl should be getting ready for bed. But instead of hitting the hay, they decide to play dress-up. They don pearls, apply powder, and add glitter galore. And when they make their sparkly debut, Mom and Dad can’t help but agree: Brownie and Pearl are so dolled up! With its adorable characters, sweet storyline, and vibrant illustrations, this second installment in the Brownie & Pearl series is certain to delight young dress-up fans across the land.

  3. Hats Off to Mr. Pockles! - When disaster strikes, Mr. Pockles, a reclusive little dog with a big hat collection, comes to the aid of renowned panda, Lady Satsuma, and begins collecting friends.

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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