Best Kids Books About Playing

29 Kids Books About Playing

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
I Can Be Anything book
#1
I Can Be Anything
Written by Jerry Spinelli and illustrated by Jimmy Liao
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

When I grow up, what shall I be? This exuberant book offers up everything from a paper plane folder to a puppy dog holder, from a silly joke teller to a snowball smoother. Newbery-Award winning author Jerry Spinelli's simple and charming rhymes are accompanied by internationally-renowned illustrator Jimmy Liao's vibrant and fantastical illustrations. This book is an imaginative joyride about hopes and dreams, and a reminder of all the possibilities life has to offer. So, what do you want to be? Remember—you can be anything!

What To Do With a Box book
#2
What To Do With a Box
Written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Chris Sheban
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

If you give a child a box, who can tell what will happen next? It may become a library or a boat. It could set the scene for a fairy tale or a wild expedition. The most wonderful thing is its seemingly endless capacity for magical adventure, a feature imaginatively captured in cardboardesque art by Chris Sheban and rhythmically celebrated in this poetic tribute by renowned children's author Jane Yolen.

Bruno's Box book
#3
Bruno's Box
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

'My name is Bruno, and this is my box It's not just an ordinary box though, I can be whatever I like'. Leap into Bruno's world, where you can be a racing driver, or an astronaut, a pirate or even a dinosaur.

Hide and Seek book
#4
Hide and Seek
Written and illustrated by Polly Noakes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

A meadow is the perfect place to play hide and seek - there are bridges to creep under and masses of wildflowers to use for cover. In grass high enough to conceal a bear, the protagonist must use all of her senses to track her animal companions! She can smell them, and hear them, but she can’t quite find them. Can you spot the stealthy wolf on each spread? Will the girl find her friends, or will the wolf find her first?|Readers can join in the game of hide and seek by searching for the wolf on each spread.|The protagonist uses her senses to determine where her friends are hiding. The book can be used to promote the benefits of focusing on the sounds and sights around you.

Daydreaming book
#5
Daydreaming
Written and illustrated by Mark Tatulli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

An ordinary day turns extraordinary through a child's unstoppable daydreaming, from creator of comic strips Lio and Heart of the City.

One More Dino on the Floor book
#6
One More Dino on the Floor
Written by Kelly Starling Lyons and illustrated by Luke Flowers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It's a hip-hopping, foot-stomping, hand-clapping, finger-snapping good time when the dinosaurs go out on the dance floor! One by one (and all the way up to ten), the dinosaurs get their groove on in this delightful counting book! With bright and colorful illustrations and fun, rhythmic text, young readers will be tapping their feet to the Jurassic beat!

Be a Star, Wonder Woman! book
#7
Be a Star, Wonder Woman!
Written by Michael Dahl and illustrated by Omar Lozano
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

"Wonder Woman created by William Moulton Marston."

Bumpety, Dunkety, Thumpety-Thump! book
#8
Bumpety, Dunkety, Thumpety-Thump!
Written by K. L. Going and illustrated by Simone Shin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Two toddlers go on a bumpety berry hunt in this darling picture book that’s perfect for preschoolers. Wagon on gravel goes bumpety-bump. Pebbles in the pond fall plunkey-plunk. Toes in the grass dance thumpety-thump. Bumpety-plunkety-thumpety-thump! Join two sweet siblings as they explore their backyard, get deliciously creative in the kitchen, and then spend a cozy evening preparing for bed. Along the way they’ll get muddy and messy and hungry and sleepy—just as all little ones do.

Lazybones book
#9
Lazybones
Written and illustrated by Claire Messer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Good ol’ Lazybones, Robert Exelby Perdendo, is the master of all things lazy. Long walks in the park?! Psh! Who needs them? But when all attempts to avoid his latest dreaded “walkies” fail, Lazybones soon discovers something new and exciting along the way—a lovable pug ready to play!

Bad Kitty Does Not Like Video Games book
#10
Bad Kitty Does Not Like Video Games
Written and illustrated by Nick Bruel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

All Kitty wants to do is play her favorite video game. But Kitty has been playing her video game for FIVE hours. Now it's time for Kitty to: go outside, draw a picture, read a book, do anything other than play video games. Kitty doesn't want to do any of these things. . . but eventually she does anyway, and discovers that some things are way more fun than video games.

Miss Fox's Class Shapes Up book
#11
Miss Fox's Class Shapes Up
Written by Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Anne Kennedy
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Miss Fox’s students are too tired and cranky to get through the day! It’s up to Miss Fox and her new wellness regimen to help them eat better, exercise, and get more sleep! Kids will learn ways to stay healthy and bring fitness into their everyday lives.

Unstoppable Max book
#12
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.

Ta-Da! book
#13
Ta-Da!
Written by Kathy Ellen Davis and illustrated by Kaylani Juanita
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

What makes a good story? One little girl thinks it's a princess with magical powers that can—ta-da!—overcome any obstacle. Her friend thinks it's—dun dun duh!—a combination of dragons, pirates, and fire that cause total chaos. But as their stories intertwine, these two young storytellers soon learn that a good story needs both conflict—dun dun duh!—and resolution—ta-da! An irresistible celebration of imaginary play, storytelling, and the joys of collaboration, this gorgeous picture book features two strong voices throughout, making it the perfect read-aloud.

My Daddy is a Silly Monkey  book
#14
My Daddy is a Silly Monkey
Written by Dianne Hofmeyr and illustrated by Carol Thompson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

My daddy is a great big bear. He gets out of bed and grumbles and grouches, scratches and yawns! This charming picture book for younger children portrays a day in the life of a dad and daughter in a single-parent home, as they get up, have breakfast, go to school, go swimming, make dinner and prepare for bedtime. Dad is a great big bear, a silly monkey, a crocodile, an octopus and, at bedtime, a scary monster for a little while - but in the end it's Daddy being Daddy that the little girl loves best.

Nellie Belle book
#15
Nellie Belle
Written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Mike Austin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Nellie Belle, a puppy, has fun from morning to night.

County Fair book
#16
County Fair
Written by Laura Ingalls Wilder and illustrated by Jody Wheeler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s an exciting day for Almanzo as the Wilder family visits the county fair in this second My First Little House Book adapted from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s classic Farmer Boy. There are contests, races, and good things to eat, and Almanzo can’t wait to see what the judges think of his special pumpkin. Jody Wheeler’s luminous illustrations bring Laura’s beloved farmer boy to life.

Playdate book
#17
Playdate
Written by Maryann Macdonald and illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A picture book with minimal text and maximum impact, as portrayed through both the well-chosen words and the fun-filled, evocative illustrations.

It's Good to Have a Grandma book
#18
It's Good to Have a Grandma
Written by Maryann Macdonald and illustrated by Priscilla Burris
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Children and grandmothers love playing together, eating together--just being together. Every time is a special time, for both. This book captures the special moments without sentimentality, but with warmth and love.

It's Good to Have a Grandpa book
#19
It's Good to Have a Grandpa
Written by Maryann Macdonald and illustrated by Priscilla Burris
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Children and grandfathers love playing together, eating together--just being together. Every time is a special time, for both. This book captures the special moments without sentimentality, but with warmth and love.

The Pawed Piper book
#20
The Pawed Piper
Written by Michelle Robinson and illustrated by Chinlun Lee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Calling all kittens! A little girl longing for a pet of her own gets a bit more than she bargained for in this cat-filled celebration. A small girl wants a cat of her very own: a furry fluffball to cuddle, just like the one in her book or her grandmother's cat, Hector. So she lays a trail: balls of wool, saucers of milk, cardboard boxes, and anything else that could lure a feline friend. And who should arrive the next morning but somebody furry, warm, soft, and so very purry. It's Hector, along with dozens of other cats. The girl is happy as can be, but when "LOST CAT" posters show up all over town, she realizes her plan might have worked a little too well. Will she have to give all the cats back? Will she ever get a cat of her own to love? Sweet and playful, Michelle Robinson's tale of wish fulfillment will strike a chord with anyone who has ever yearned for a pet, while Chinlun Lee's exuberantly illustrated felines will delight cat lovers of all ages.

Unstoppable Me book
#21
Unstoppable Me
Written by Susan Verde and illustrated by Andrew Joyner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

This lyrical picture book about a little boy with boundless energy celebrates the exuberance of an active child. I am movement Heat Static electricity Fueled by food And powered by PLAY! Unstoppable Me is about the sort of energetic child we all know and love—full of fun and play and a bit exhausting! In this book, we see an unstoppable little boy run, jump, and soar through his day. He takes a little time to refuel, then he's back at it—zooming and zipping around. This poetic, joyful book—filled with illustrations as bright and energetic as the boy himself— is a celebration of the active child.

My First ABC book
#22
My First ABC
Written and illustrated by Shirley Hughes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

K is for Katie and O is for her baby brother, Olly, as Shirley Hughes's beloved pair introduce ABCs in everyday settings that little ones will recognize. From airplanes high in the sky to zzzzz for sleepy time, Katie and Olly's daily pastimes offer plenty of ways to learn their letters. There's L for the leaves you can wade through when they fall from the trees, P for the play-group where it's fun to jump on big cushions, and V for the vacuum cleaner that vroom-vroom-vrooms when Dad cleans the carpet. Narrated in Katie's voice and depicting the simple pleasures of a familiar world, My First ABC shows both upper- and lowercase letters and ends with an alphabet on the final spread illustrated with an alternate set of images.

Soccer Expert book
#23
Soccer Expert
Written by Stacy McAnulty and illustrated by Deborah Hocking
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Max knows a lot about soccer. After all, he's been playing it for almost three weeks! So he's pretty much an expert. Here Max shares his one-of-a-kind helpful tips including how to warm up (stretch, twirl, somersault), who's who on the field (the ref is the guy in yellow with the whistle-you should not bring your own whistle), and what to do with your hands since you can't touch the ball (wave at fans, hide them in your shirt, play itsy-bitsy spider).But could Max possibly be forgetting something very important? Full of humor, energy, and warmth, Max Explains Everything- Soccer Expert is the perfect read aloud for novice players as well as for fellow "kid experts" on the game.

You're Just What I Need book
#24
You're Just What I Need
Written by Ruth Krauss and illustrated by Julia Noonan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Join the fun as a mother and child play a loving game of hide-and-seek in this charming hardcover reissue of Ruth Krauss's delightful story, originally titled The Bundle Book. As baby hides beneath the soft blanket, Mother tries again and again to guess what in the world the bundle could be. Brought to life with soft and playful full-color artwork by Julia Noonan, this heartwarming classic is perfect for parents and young children to share.

Who Has Wiggle-Waggle Toes? book
#25
Who Has Wiggle-Waggle Toes?
Written by Vicky Shiefman and illustrated by Francesca Chessa
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Preschoolers and kindergartners learn about their bodies in a joyous, playful, kinetic way! Who has wiggle-waggle toes? I do. Who has flip-flop feet? I do! The adorable characters in this book knock their knockabout knees, stomp their flip-flop feet, shimmy their big bold bottoms, and more! Illustrations place characters in cute costumes and fun settings that will fascinate and delight young children. A perfect preschool and kindergarten package!

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