Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to opposites. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about opposites.
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 opposites, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Opposites to popular sellers like Triangle to some of our favorite hidden gems like Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs!.
We hope this list of kids books about opposites 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.
Everyone knows the sun is hot. But open the flaps in this book and you may find a chilly surprise instead! Each spread of this cleverly designed board book reveals a surprising opposite that makes for a truly original way for toddlers to learn about words and concepts. Whether it be hot or cold, clean or dirty, slow or fast, this book has you covered at least until you open the flaps.”
Discover animal opposites in this playful board book by award-winning author Douglas Florian. Bears are big. Bees are small. Shrews are short. Giraffes are tall. In this fun, rhyming story by award-winning author Douglas Florian, little ones can meet pairs of animals and discover how they’re different! The pairs include bears/bees, shrews/giraffes, rhinos/tigers, turtles/snails, sloths/cheetahs, eels/tree frogs, hippos/butterflies, and ravens/doves.
Meet Triangle. He is going to play a sneaky trick on his friend, Square. Or so Triangle thinks. . . . With this first tale in a new trilogy, partners in crime Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen will have readers wondering just who they can trust in a richly imagined world of shapes. Visually stunning and full of wry humor, here is a perfectly paced treat that could come only from the minds of two of today’s most irreverent — and talented — picture book creators.
Sunbathing dinosaurs and artistic dinosaurs, dancing dinosaurs and volleyball-playing dinosaurs make learning opposites fun! From Boynton on Board, the bestselling series of extra-big, extra-fat, extra-appealing board books, Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs! features the inimitable Sandra Boyntonís colorful, humorous drawings and lively text.
Dinosaurs EARLY. Dinosaurs LATER. Dinosaurs crammed in an elevator. Dinosaurs PLUMP. Dinosaurs LEAN. Dinosaurs RED, BLUE, YELLOW, and GREEN.
Invites young readers to match the sentences on each page with similar sentences featuring opposing terms that appear in a corner of the book that has pages that move independently.
Les & Ronnie Step Out - Meet a left and right foot who are a pair of complete opposites! Full of clever, giggle-inducing details, this lively odd-couple tale celebrates what makes us all unique, as well as the power of friendship to bring us together despite our differences. Feet come in twos, so they need to step out together. But Les and Ronnie often find it hard to cooperate. Les likes having a clean sock and being responsible. Ronnie is fine with a dirty sock and loves letting loose. Les is straight-laced while Ronnie doesn’t even care about laces. What’s a duo to do?
Russell and the Lost Treasure - 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.
Opposites - Quiet/Loud… Over/Under… Day/Night… and many more. Katie Wilson’s lovable illustrations teach little ones a variety of common and not so common opposites in this creative board book from the Montessori inspired Discovery Concepts early learning collection.
Flora and the Ostrich - Inspired by Caldecott Honor book Flora and the Flamingo, this series of board books is perfect for the very youngest Flora fans. When a new feathered friend seems so different from her, Flora discovers that opposites, in fact, attract! Featuring fold-out pages and Molly Idle’s graceful artwork, this adorable book of opposites will delight young children as they master new words and concepts.
From music writer and The Creative Independent/Kickstarter Editor in Chief Brandon Stosuy, comes an entertaining new board book that introduces the many moods, styles, and senses of music to the youngest audiophiles—because music is for everyone, and music is for you. Featuring Amy Martin’s dynamic art style, Music Is… explains music through our eyes and ears so that the sense of hearing is transformed into a visual experience. A pitch-perfect board book that is sure to strike a chord with readers of all ages.
From heavy and light to wet and dry, opposites are full of fun in this Sandra Boynton classic.
Serious silliness for all ages. Artist Sandra Boynton is back and better than ever with completely redrawn versions of her multi-million selling board books. These whimsical and hilarious books, featuring nontraditional texts and her famous animal characters, have been printed on thick board pages, and are sure to educate and entertain children of all ages.
A joyful board book about family love from the #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie!
Big or small, Furry or not, Here or there, Inside or out, Everyone hugs all over the world.
With its loving, simple text and bold, beautiful artwork, this is a perfect board book for baby showers, first birthdays, or a baby’s first first holidays. And it’s not just about hugging! Little ones can learn about opposites and about animals and their habitats in this story too.
Mega-selling author and artist Felicia Bond has crafted a charming book filled with animals hugging across the globe that celebrates the universality of love.
From the creator of A Book of Sleep and A Book of Babies comes a beautiful new book of animals—and opposites!
The sky is dark and the Opposite Zoo is CLOSED. But the monkey’s cage is OPEN! Time to explore. . .
Follow the monkey as he visits all the animals in the zoo: fast and slow, big and small, noisy and quiet, soft and prickly! Filled with energetic illustrations, friendly animals, and a simple text, The Opposite Zoo is a fun and lively introduction to animals and opposites.
Praise for Il Sung Na:
“Il Sung Na’s illustrative art is so joyous, so jubilantly colorful, it feels celebratory and poetic even when the story is simple and spare.” —The Boston Globe (A Book of Babies)
“[A] grand read-aloud.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred (Welcome Home, Bear)
“It’s the rare picture book that, upon arrival, feels as though it has been around for years already; Na’s belongs to this group.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred (A Book of Sleep)
“Vibrant [and] whimsical.” —School Library Journal, Starred (Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit)
Bear can’t reach the cake he’s after—it’s so far up, and he’s so far down! Will his friends be able to help? Toddlers will be drawn in by repetition, opposites, humor, and an unexpected twist in this board book story about Bear’s quest to reach a cake on a windowsill that is so far up! A cast of friendly animals—who are all so far down—try to help bear reach the desired cake. But what happens when a child swoops in with other plans? Short, simple, and memorable, this board book offers a satisfying story arc.
So Light, So Heavy - Elephant is so heavy, and all the other animals are so light. How will the seesaw ever go up and down? Toddlers will be drawn in by repetition, opposites, humor, and an unexpected twist in this board book story about Elephant’s quest to get the seesaw to teeter. A cast of friendly animals—who are all so light—try to help move the seesaw, but Elephant’s side won’t budge. He’s so heavy. Then what happens when a child swoops in with other plans? Short, simple, and memorable, this board book offers a satisfying story arc.
The Opposite Zoo - From the creator of A Book of Sleep and A Book of Babies comes a beautiful new book of animals—and opposites! The sky is dark and the Opposite Zoo is CLOSED. But the monkey’s cage is OPEN! Time to explore. . . Follow the monkey as he visits all the animals in the zoo: fast and slow, big and small, noisy and quiet, soft and prickly! Filled with energetic illustrations, friendly animals, and a clear, simple text—all wrapped up in a gorgeous package—The Opposite Zoo is a fun and lively introduction to animals and opposites for the youngest picture-book audience. “Na brings fresh energy to the familiar. With a coloring style that feels as if someone took a firecracker to a box of crayons, Na makes turtle shells as dynamic as a peacock’s plumage.” —The New York Times Book Review
TouchThinkLearn: Opposites - Introducing TouchThinkLearn books, a format unlike any other. Combining scooped-out die-cuts with raised, shaped elements, each book is designed to offer the youngest learners an irresistible opportunity to explore their universe in a hands-on, multisensory way. Seeing the image, tracing its shape, saying its name: these modes of perception combine in a dynamic way to stimulate understanding of essential concepts. Experience green both in the beauty of a raised leaf’s surface as well as in the caterpillar that munches on the leaf’s edge. Celebrate a moon rising into the night, while simultaneously a sun sets deep into the mirroring page. Translating abstract thought into tangible knowledge, groundbreaking TouchThinkLearn books give early learning new dimension.
Inside Outside - From the creators of Before After comes another striking book of opposites, this time exploring the concepts of within and without with bright, bold graphics. Safe inside its shell, a baby bird prepares to brave the world. A spelunker descends into a wide and glittering cavern while fellow explorers cluster around a crack in the earth. Fire-red ants march busily around their anthill, oblivious of a hungry anteater waiting above. Smart and stylish, this oversize art book takes a unique approach to the concept of inside and outside, offering clever and unexpected examples that will delight readers and spark conversations about context and perspective. Inside Outside is sure to find a place in collections, on coffee tables, in classrooms, and anywhere curious minds can be found.
From the creators of BabyLit(R) . . . Parents and children alike will be swept away by the whimsical imaginings of Merilee Liddiard’s board book Fairy Friends: An Opposites Primer. Reaching high and low; feeling hot and cold; dressing simple or fancy: discover, play, and spark your imagination with the Fairy Friends series enchanting illustrations to lead the way. Merrilee Liddiard grew up in a splendid home filled with delightful artistic chaos and ample creativity. She spent most of her youth making things like lions out of oatmeal boxes and drawing little humans or animals and telling the tales that went along with them. She is known in the blog world for her love of kids design, toys and DIY crafts via her popular blog mermagblog.com. She has authored and illustrated the book PLAYFUL: Fun Projects to Make With + For Kids and sells many of her illustrations and designs as prints, and paper play things in her online shop.
Introducing Lionel and Molly—two best friends exploring the world around them in this touch and feel concept board book. Lionel the lion and Molly the mouse are best friends who love exploring the world together. Join them as they discover the concept of opposites by comparing themselves to each other. Lionel is big and loud, while Molly is quiet and small.
Learn your first opposites with Little Mouse! This cute board book features a large lift-flap on every spread. Essential first concept learning for stylish families to share.
I Say, You Say Opposites! - I say “Reading!” You say, “Fun!” Explore the world of opposites with 8 lift-the-flaps. These colorful, playful books encourage interactive learning through prediction and repetition; but most importantly, they look really fun.—Dr. Robert Needlman, co-founder of Reach Out and Read and author of Dr. Spock’s Baby Basics With I Say, You Say, your little ones can: Say new words Recognize opposites Learn and play!
Give and Take - Full of colorful pieces to pop out and move around, this striking, hands-on book of opposites is one that toddlers will love exploring over and over. To play this game of opposites, press out a shape on each spread and turn the page to complete a new picture. Once readers reach the end, they will be eager to play their way back to the beginning! Not your ordinary board book, Lucie Felix s highly original novelty title will help very young children practice early motor skills, shape recognition, sorting, and the vocabulary of opposites.”
Water Land - This unique information book for the very young switches between bodies of water and corresponding land masses with the simple turn of a page. Full color.
Sense & Sensibility - Observe the life and loves of the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, in Sense & Sensibility: A BabyLit Opposites Primer. Learn the difference between big Norland Park and little Barton Cottage, happy Mr. Willoughby and sad Colonel Brandon, while hoping that one day Elinor and Marianne will leave their single days behind them and celebrate worthy marriages.
Bedtimes can be wild, especially when animal babies are involved! Sometimes messy, often chaotic and always exhausting, they offer perfect bonding opportunities - of a kind!
Celebrated illustrator Petr Horácek offers a pop-up introduction to opposites with the help of a variety of creatures. Turn the pages, lift the flaps, and see animals of all shapes and sizes bring the world of opposites to life. From slow snail to fast cheetah, heavy hippo to light butterfly, smooth frog to prickly porcupine, Petr Horácek’s brightly colored pop-up animals and interactive flaps make early learning irresistible and fun.
The Pocket Piggies are back in their third irresistible board book for babies and toddlers, this time illustrating the concept of opposites. The star residents of Pennywell Farm in Devon, England, pocket pigs are tiny enough to fit in the palm of a hand, and they love posing for the camera as much as the camera loves them. The chunky, made-for-little-hands board book format is the perfect platform for these friendly and photogenic ambassadors of cute. With bright, colorful photographs and simple text, Pocket Piggies Opposites! is a delightful way for young children to learn about opposites. There’s “Messy” (piggy splattered with paint) and “Clean” (piggy taking a bubble bath). “Cold” (piggy playing in the snow) and “Hot” (piggy building a sand castle on the beach). And more, all lovingly photographed by Richard Austin, Pennywell’s exclusive animal photographer.
“Funny, spirited board books by Leslie Patricelli explore opposites. . . . Clever pairings, bold graphic art, and an expressive toddler in diapers make the concepts fun.” — Publishers Weekly Ladies are big, but ladybugs are little. Heads are big, but toes are little. Illustrated in a bright, graphic style, Leslie Patricelli’s bald, hilariously expressive baby acts out each pair of opposites with comically dramatic effect.
Horsey Up and Down - An interactive opposite book from Caroline Jayne Church! Join two loveable kids as they gallop up, down, fast, and slow with horsey toys big and small in this adorable introduction to opposites. With novelties on every page, young readers can move riders up and down on the carousel, pet fluffy toy horses, and even open the farm door to see horsey sleeping in her cozy stall. This hands-on, rhyming story from Caroline Jayne Church will rein children in and have them neighing for more!
Big Bear, Small Mouse - “A big bear and a small mouse discover all of the opposites between their animal friends”—
Hello Knights! - New from beloved author Joan Holub, Hello Knights! is a fun, playful board book about unexpected friendship! Knights run up. Knights run down. Take the queen her royal crown. Knights march here. Knights march there. Take the king his underwear. Perfect for reading out loud, Joan Holub’s hilarious text and Chris Dickason’s lively illustrations will have little ones huff-puff laughing as the knights and dragons run up and down the castle wall. A clever, interactive approach to first concepts, this board book series also introduces important “next-step” concepts like opposites in a hilariously engaging way.
Shapes, Opposites and More - Featuring bright colors and a variety of familiar objects and animals to count, this is the perfect early concept book for pre-schoolers.
Hello, World is an exciting board book series that pairs early learning concepts with colorful, stylish illustrations of cities around the world.
London can be rainy, or it can be sunny. Some Buckingham Palace guards are big, and others are little. Explore opposites through the sights of London in this gorgeous board book!
Birds sing, zebras run, and whales spout in this delightful follow-up to Look Look!, which has sold nearly 50,000 copies. Bold, black-and-white illustrations offer the clean shapes and strong contrasts best suited to young babies’ developing minds.The warm, simple text makes this a perfect first book for sharing with a little one who’s just beginning to look and learn. An ideal shower gift that’s sure to become a favorite with baby.
This photo-illustrated gem teaches the youngest of children about opposites using examples from the animal kingdom. Families who love nature and the world’s wild places will enjoy sharing these animal opposites.
From the creator of the Geisel Honor winner Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run! comes another irresistible tale that perfectly illustrates the humor of opposites. A cat stops. The dog goes. Dog says yes! Cat… no. In the vein of Tom and Jerry, Road Runner, Bugs Bunny, and other classic cartoons, Stop, Go, Yes, No! features an adorably enthusiastic dog and a less-enthusiastic cat on a chase full of silly and exciting turns, with a heartwarming twist. Don’t miss this funny picture book about opposites from celebrated New Yorker cartoonist Mike Twohy.
Lift the flaps to learn about opposites from the lovable dogs in this humorous board book. A small green dog runs across the page — but a lift of the accordion flap stretches him out into a long, lanky pup. Dogs of all shapes and sizes transform into surprising new forms in this vibrant, interactive play on opposites.
Monster Mayhem - Jeremy and Justin are twins, but they couldn’t be any more different from each other. Jeremy is a risk taker who likes to get his hands dirty; Justin prefers to read, focus, and get all his facts straight before jumping in. But they do have one important thing in common- They both love video games. When Jeremy wins a cereal-box charm that brings his favorite video game to life, villains and all, he finds that he’s in way over his head. Justin knows everything there is to know about the rules of the game-he read the handbook, of course-and Jeremy isn’t afraid to try new things. Can these two mismatched brothers work together to beat the video game that has become their life?
Nom Nom Opposites - Nom Nom Opposites gives young minds food for thought—literally! Kids who love Shopkins and Num Noms will enjoy learning their opposites with the help and encouragement of adorable picnic food characters found throughout. Even the book feels like food packaging with an acetate window on the front cover hinting at the delicious contents inside. It’s food. It’s education. It’s cute. It’s Nom Nom Knowledge!
EVITA - Introducing Spanish/English bilingualism, Lil’ Libros encourage parents to read to their children at the earliest age—focusing on subjects they are familiar with, while making it fun and rewarding for both parent and child.
Opposites: Early Learning at the Museum - Using amazing objects from the British Museum, this series of captivating board books encourages children to engage with early learning concepts. Inquisitive toddlers will enjoy learning their ABCs, 123s, opposites, and colors with gorgeous photographic images on every page.
Croc is grumpy. Ally is happy. Croc sees a problem. Ally finds a solution. The best friends overcome their differences as they go for a swim, shop for hats, and deal with a big bug
A black-and-white board book just right for baby’s eyes
There’s a world of wonder outside baby’s window in this fourth board book in the popular Look, Look! series. In striking black-and-white images perfect for infant eyes, ladybugs fly, cars zoom, and clouds float. With bold, simple text and art, this board book makes an ideal learning experience for very young babies and a perfect shower gift.