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Collectors And Collecting: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about collectors and collecting?

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

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 collectors and collecting, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Clue in the Old Album to popular sellers like The Word Collector to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Matchbox Diary.

We hope this list of kids books about collectors and collecting can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

The Matchbox Diary
Written by Paul Fleischman & illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Follows a girl’s perusal of her great-grandfather’s collection of matchboxes and small curios that document his poignant immigration journey from Italy to a new country.

The Book Rescuer
Written by Sue Macy & illustrated by Stacy Innerst
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

“Stunning.”​ —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Inspired…[a] journalistic, propulsive narrative.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

From New York Times Best Illustrated Book artist Stacy Innerst and author Sue Macy comes a story of one man’s heroic effort to save the world’s Yiddish books.

Over the last forty years, Aaron Lansky has jumped into dumpsters, rummaged around musty basements, and crawled through cramped attics. He did all of this in pursuit of a particular kind of treasure, and he’s found plenty. Lansky’s treasure was any book written Yiddish, the language of generations of European Jews. When he started looking for Yiddish books, experts estimated there might be about 70,000 still in existence. Since then, the MacArthur Genius Grant recipient has collected close to 1.5 million books, and he’s finding more every day.

Told in a folkloric voice reminiscent of Patricia Polacco, this story celebrates the power of an individual to preserve history and culture, while exploring timely themes of identity and immigration.

Finding Treasure: A Collection of Collections
Written by Michelle Schaub & illustrated by Carmen Saldaṅa
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Clever poems tell the story of one inquisitive child’s quest to start just the right collection to share at school. While everyone else is excited about presenting their treasures, one creative elementary schooler is stressed about her class’s show-and-tell assignment. How is she supposed to share her collection if she doesn’t collect anything? Polling her parents, gathering with Granny and Grandpa, and searching for the secret behind her siblings’ obsession with baseball cards, she discovers she does, in fact, have something to share: a collection of stories and poems!

The Two Mutch Sisters
Written by Carol Brendler & illustrated by Lisa Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Ruby and Violet Mutch, a matched pair, have always collected things in pairs, but when their house will no longer hold everything, Ruby packs her things and moves out.

Love Is a Truck
Written by Amy Novesky & illustrated by Sara Gillingham
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Graphically appealing two-color illustrations pair perfectly with a spare, rhythmic ode to beloved trucks of all kinds - from fire trucks to dump trucks to ice cream trucks, the sweetest trucks of all - and to the kid who loves and collects them, Love Is a Truck follows Love Is a Tutu (our ballet-inspired ode to tutus and toe shoes) in our Love Is series. A smaller square format with thick, sturdy pages, make these little picture books perfect for young readers, ages 2-6, and for reading aloud again and again.

  • Lost and Found Perl - Unlikely best friends Arnold and Louise—a big bear and a chatty chipmunk—are back in this easy-to-read chapter book series! When Louise borrows Arnold’s newly found treasure, he’s sure he’ll never see it again. After all, she loses just about everything he lends her. Louise swears she hasn’t lost it, but to get it back, she sends Arnold on a treasure hunt of her own—or is it a wild goose chase?

  • The Word Collector - Overview From the beloved bestselling creator of The Dot and our own Happy Dreamer comes an inspiring story about the transformative and profound power of words. A New York Times Bestseller Named an Outstanding Literary Work for Children by the NAACP Some people collect stamps. Some people collect coins. Some people collect art. And Jerome? Jerome collected words . . . In this extraordinary new tale from Peter H. Reynolds, Jerome discovers the magic of the words all around him — short and sweet words, two-syllable treats, and multisyllable words that sound like little songs. Words that connect, transform, and empower. From the creator of The Dot, I Am Human, and Happy Dreamer comes a celebration of finding your own words — and the impact you can have when you share them with the world.

  • Schomburg: the Man Who Built a Library - In luminous paintings and arresting poems, two of children’s literature’s top African-American scholars track Arturo Schomburg’s quest to correct history. Where is our historian to give us our side? Arturo asked. Amid the scholars, poets, authors, and artists of the Harlem Renaissance stood an Afro–Puerto Rican named Arturo Schomburg. This law clerk’s life’s passion was to collect books, letters, music, and art from Africa and the African diaspora and bring to light the achievements of people of African descent through the ages. When Schomburg’s collection became so big it began to overflow his house (and his wife threatened to mutiny), he turned to the New York Public Library, where he created and curated a collection that was the cornerstone of a new Negro Division. A century later, his groundbreaking collection, known as the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, has become a beacon to scholars all over the world.

  • Rock Star - When Jada Jones’s best friend moves away, school feels like the last place she wants to be. She’d much rather wander outside looking for cool rocks to add to her collection, since finding rocks is much easier than finding friends. So when Jada’s teacher announces a class project on rocks and minerals, Jada finally feels like she’s in her element. The only problem: one of her teammates doesn’t seem to like any of Jada’s ideas. She doesn’t seem to like Jada all that much, either. Can Jada figure out a way to make a winning science project and a new friend?

Dewey Bob
Written & illustrated by Judy Schachner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A sweet raccoon character stars in this endearing tale of unexpected friendship from the creator of the bestselling Skippyjon Jones

Dewey Bob Crockett is a durn cute raccoon who lives by himself in a house filled to the brim with the wonderful objects he collects. Buttons, wheels, furniture and bricabrac adorn his cozy quarters and keep him busy as he finds and fixes, turning trash into treasures. But there’s something missing from Dewey’s collections—a friend! He tries gathering up some critters and bringing them home in his shopping cart, but that doesn’t work out so well. In the end, a friend does come Dewey’s way, and, with a little DIY help from this clever raccoon, returns again and again.

Combining art and heart with storytelling genius and a lilting twang, Judy Schachner’s tale of unexpected friendship will delight readers young and old.

The Clue in the Old Album
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Nancy Drew witnesses a purse snatching and runs after the thief. She rescues the purse, but not its contents, then is asked by the owner, a doll collector, to do some detective work. Readers will enjoy Nancy’s clever ways of finding all she seeks, and bringing happiness to a misunderstood child and her lonely grandmother.

James to the Rescue
Written by Elise Broach & illustrated by Kelly Murphy
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

“Marvin the beetle is going collecting with his family. All is good and well until Uncle Albert gets hurt. Marvin needs his human friend James’s help to save Uncle Albert before it’s too late”—

The Art Collector
Written by Jan Wahl & illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Oscar’s Great-Granny showed him how to draw. Oscar was not good at drawing. But he loved art, so he kept the drawing of a red chicken that Great-Granny gave to him and he loved to look at it. He bought another drawing at a flea market, and he loved looking at that one, too.

As he grew up, Oscar collected more drawings and paintings, filling his bedroom with color and shapes and scenes. Oscar collected and collected until a museum had to be built to hold all of his drawings and paintings.

Not everyone can become an artist, but as Oscar learned, everyone can love looking at art. Oscar’s passion for the stories in paintings and the thoughts they provoke will inspire young readers to see art in a new way—even if they don’t enjoy making it themselves.

Hats Off to Mr. Pockles!
Written by Sally Lloyd-Jones & illustrated by David Litchfield
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

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