100 of The Best Picture Books: Our Favorites

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Pictures books are one of my favorite ways to connect with my kids. I’ve found that there is nothing more powerful for parent-child bonding than pulling up your child’s favorite picture book and snuggling in together as you read. Not only that, but the time you spend reading picture books with your kids plants the seed of early literacy, helps your kids learn vocabulary, and instills a love of reading that can last a lifetime. Not only do the best picture books help you connect with your kids, they also help parents broach uncomfortable subjects, share life lessons, and create a lifelong love of reading. Our kids love it when we read with them! Having the best picture books can help. I’ve compiled a list of our family’s favorite picture books. I hope you love them too!

The Importance of Picture Books in Childhood

Dive into the world of picture books with your kids. These books are important tools to help you shape your kids young minds. Picture books are not just stepping stones in the development of reading skills but are also essential in creating the fabric of your child’s imagination and moral compass. Here are some of my favorite reasons to read picture books with your kids. The best picture books will provide:

  • Building Blocks for Reading: Kids who are read to from the time they are babies are better prepared to begin reading when the time is right. They’ll learn vocabulary words, the flow of reading, and even just how books work.
  • Gateway to a Richer Vocabulary: it is said that kids who are read to before kindergarten learn up to a million more words than their peers who are not read to in early life.
  • Lessons in Empathy: Stories are a great way to teach your kids about empathy and emotions. Journeys, like those found in The Giving Tree or Goodnight Moon, nurture empathy and understanding, setting the groundwork for your child’s emotional intelligence.
  • Bridges for Bonding: Sharing a classic story is more than reading; it’s an experience that strengthens the bonds between you, creating memories that last a lifetime. My oldest son has never been a cuddler, but when I read to him, he’ll snuggle in close. Reading picture books has become a way of bonding and connecting for us.
  • Spark for Creativity: The colorful illustrations and compelling stories in picture books help your child’s imagination! Picture books can encourage your child to think outside the box and dream big.
  • Lessons on difficult topics: Have you ever wanted to talk to your kids about sex, drugs, pregnancy, adoption, or another difficult topic? Read them a book! There are books on virtually any topic. Picture books are a great way to teach them about these topics.
Little African-American girl reading book on grass in park

Finding The Best Picture Books

Let’s face it, there are thousands and thousands of wonderful picture books out there! It can sometimes feel a little overwhelming to know which picture books to choose. I am a firm believer in letting kids choose picture books that excite them. I also know that sometimes kids choose books that are slow are look interesting but really aren’t that fun to read. As a parent, I find it helpful to have a few ideas of books that might be fun to read with my kids. When we go to the library, I can choose a few that I know will be great, and then I can let my kids pick a few that they’ll like too! I’ve compiled this list to help you

Our Favorite Picture Books

Whether it’s your first time or you’ve read it a dozen times, the best picture books keep your kids excited about reading. Here’s a list of our favorite picture books. Some of them are classics that have been around for ages, while others are fun new finds.

  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. My oldest son has always loved this book. He like to “roar his terrible roar”!
Where the Wild Things Are[WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE][Paperback]
  • MauriceSendak (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang.
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Grumpy Monkey
  • Hardcover Book
  • Lang, Suzanne (Author)
  • Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. Rhyming and life lessons about trying new things…yes please!
Green Eggs and Ham Special Edition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Seuss, Dr. (Author)
  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. This is a classic from my childhood. I wouldn’t necessarily say that this book is a picture book like you are used to, but it can captivate kids of any age.
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Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings
  • Hardcover Book
  • Silverstein, Shel (Author)
  • Pirates Love Underpants by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort.
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Pirates Love Underpants (The Underpants Books)
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Pig The Stinker by Aaron Blabey. These Pig the Pug books are laugh out loud funny! There are several, so be sure to look for more from this author.
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Pig the Stinker (Pig the Pug)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Blabey, Aaron (Author)
  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
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Goodnight Moon Milestone Edition: Book and Milestone Cards
  • Brown, Margaret Wise (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney. My daughter loves this book so much. It’s been a family favorite ever since our oldest was born.
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Guess How Much I Love You
  • Hardcover Book
  • McBratney, Sam (Author)
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • Now even younger children can follow the little green caterpillar as he eats his way to becoming a beautiful butterfly in this sturdy board book
  • Great for early development
  • Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
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Madeline
  • Hardcover Book
  • Ludwig Bemelmans (Author)
  • There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a …. by Lucille Colandro. There are a on of these books and each one is just as cute as the next. My kids always want to know what the old lady will swallow next!
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There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick!
  • Lucille Colandro (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Curious George by H.A. Rey. I love Curious George so much! It’s one of my favorite classics.
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Curious George Classic Collection
  • Hardcover Book
  • Rey, H. A. (Author)
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
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  • If you Laugh, I’m Starting Over by Chris Harris. I love seeing my kids try not to laugh!
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If You Laugh, I’m Starting This Book Over
  • Hardcover Book
  • Harris, Chris (Author)
  • Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
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Love You Forever
  • A young woman holds her newborn son And looks at him lovingly.
  • Softly she sings to him: “I’ll love you forever I’ll like you for always As long as I’m living My baby you’ll be.”
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
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The Tale of Peter Rabbit: A Story Board Book
  • Potter, Beatrix (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • See You Later, Alligator, by Sally Hopgood.
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See You Later, Alligator
  • Hardcover Book
  • Hopgood, Sally (Author)
  • Corduroy by Don Freeman
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Corduroy
  • Freeman, Don (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Pete the Cat by James Dean. I think we’ve probably read every single Pete the Cat book available. Each one is sweet and full of fun.
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Pete the Cat: Pete at the Beach (My First I Can Read)
  • Dean, James (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon. This is one of my son’s favorite books. It has a wonderful moral of the story.
A Bad Case of Stripes (Scholastic Bookshelf)
  • Full color illustrations.
  • Shannon, David (Author)
  • No, David! by David Shannon. All of my kids like this book! It’s relatable and oh, so fun!
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No, David!
  • No, David!
  • Hardcover Book
  • Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss.
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Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
  • Brand New in box. The product ships with all relevant accessories
  • Hardcover Book
  • Owl Babies by Martin Waddell.
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Owl Babies
  • Waddell, Martin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems.
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Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
  • The pigeon really wants to drive the bus
  • What will he try to get you to let him drive it
  • Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola
Strega Nona
  • Literature Favorites Strega Nona
  • Tomie dePaola (Author)
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
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Harold and the Purple Crayon (Purple Crayon Books)
  • Johnson, Crockett (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault. This books is a great introduction to the alphabet for younger kids!
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Bill Martin Jr. (Author)
  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookiel by Laura Joffe Numeroff 
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
  • For Mac system 7.0 or later (OSX in CLASSIC OS)
  • Interactive book
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. We read this book even when it’s NOT Christmastime. Our youngest is obsessed!
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See by Bill Martin Jr.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?. by Bill Martin, JR.
  • Carle Eric (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
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Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
  • Brand New in box. The product ships with all relevant accessories
  • Hardcover Book
  • The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
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  • Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
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Make Way for Ducklings
  • McCloskey, Robert (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • How to Catch a . . . by Adam Wallace. Our kids really like these books. This author has different ones for different holidays, etc.
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How to Catch a Dinosaur
  • Hardcover Book
  • Wallace, Adam (Author)
  • The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen
The Ugly Duckling (minedition Classic)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Andersen, Hans Christian (Author)
  • The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
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The Going To Bed Book
  • This product will be an excellent pick for you.
  • It is durable and long lasting
  • Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker. My construction vehicle loving son LOVES these books.
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Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site
  • Hardcover Book
  • Rinker, Sherri Duskey (Author)
  • The Book That Can Read Your Mind by Marianna Coppo.
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The Book That Can Read Your Mind
  • Hardcover Book
  • Coppo, Marianna (Author)
  • Knight Owl by Christopher Denise.
  • Little Green Donkey by Anuska Allepuz.
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Little Green Donkey
  • Hardcover Book
  • Allepuz, Anuska (Author)
  • Hop on Pop by Dr. Suess. Dr. Suess is a master of word play. This is a great book for beginning readers.
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Hop on Pop: The Simplest Seuss for Youngest Use
  • Combines phonics and word recognition
  • Highly recommended
  • Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd
Hairy MacLary from Donaldson’s Dairy
  • Lynley Dodd (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Attack of the Underwear Dragon by Scott Rothman. Our 5 year old is obsessed with this book right now. It’s hilarous!
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Attack of the Underwear Dragon
  • Rothman, Scott (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • You are Special by Max Lucado 
You Are Special (Max Lucado’s Wemmicks) (Board book) – Common
  • Max Lucado (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson. This book is so cute, and then once you finish, you can watch the short film that was made based on this book!
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Room on the Broom
  • Donaldson, Julia (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Richard Scarry’s Best Storybook Ever! by Richard Scarry
  • Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
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Amelia Bedelia
  • Hardcover Book
  • Parish, Peggy (Author)
  • Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor. Our daughter LOVES Fancy Nancy. It’s so fancy!
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Fancy Nancy
  • Hardcover Book
  • O’Connor, Jane (Author)
  • The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
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The Rainbow Fish
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Olivia by Ian Falconer
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Olivia
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Falconer, Ian (Author)
  • The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper
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The Little Engine That Could (Original Classic Edition)
  • The story of the blue locomotive who exemplifies the power of positive thinking
  • Author: Watty Piper
  • Llama, Llama, Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
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Llama Llama Red Pajama and 19 Other Favorites: Llama Llama Mad at Mama; Llama Llama Misses Mama;…
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Anna Dewdney (Author) – Anna Dewdney, Cassandra Campbell (Narrators)
  • Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss. This is a major favorite in our house. You’ll love it even more if you listen to this amazing Fox in Socks rap when you are finished.
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Fox in Socks (Beginner Books)
  • A collection of tongue twisters that is an amusing exercise for beginning readers.
  • This Fox is a tricky fox. He’ll try to get your tongue in trouble.
  • We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen. All of our kids have loved this book. There is something sweet and really cleaver about this family going on a bear hunt together.
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
  • Rosen, Michael (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard
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Miss Nelson Is Missing!
  • Allard Jr., Harry G. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin
Click, Clack, Moo/Ready-to-Read Level 2: Cows That Type (A Click Clack Book)
  • Cronin, Doreen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Chrysanthemum: A First Day of School Book for Kids
  • Henkes, Kevin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
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The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
  • Scieszka, Jon (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
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The Gruffalo
  • Donaldson, Julia (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak. Laugh out loud funny!
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The Book with No Pictures
  • The Book with No Pictures
  • Hardcover Book
  • Duck for President by Doreen Cronin
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Duck for President (A Click Clack Book)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Cronin, Doreen (Author)
  • Elephant and Piggie by Mo Willems. These Elephant & Piggie books are great for beginning readers, but all of my kids love when I read these to them!
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  • I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
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I Want My Hat Back
  • Hardcover Book
  • Klassen, Jon (Author)
  • The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers
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The Incredible Book Eating Boy
  • Hardcover Book
  • Jeffers, Oliver (Author)
  • Don’t Eat Bees by Dev Petty
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  • The Good Egg by Jory John. Great life lessons. There are several books written by this author that our family loves.
  • A Friend for Dragon by Dav Pilkey. This is another great book for beginning readers, but fun to be read aloud to as well.
A Friend for Dragon: An Acorn Book (Dragon #1) (1)
  • Pilkey, Dav (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Linda Williams (Author) – Cecelia DeWolf (Narrator)
  • Storm is Coming by Heather Tekavec
Storm Is Coming!
  • Tekavec, Heather (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • The Adventures of Taxi Dog by Debra Barracca
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The Adventures of Taxi Dog
  • Hardcover Book
  • Barracca, Debra (Author)
  • Mrs. Biddlebox by Linda Smith
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Mrs. Biddlebox (GOLDEN KITE AWARDS (AWARDS))
  • Hardcover Book
  • Smith, Linda (Author)
  • That’s Me Loving You by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
That’s Me Loving You
  • Rosenthal, Amy Krouse (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev
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Strictly No Elephants
  • Hardcover Book
  • Mantchev, Lisa (Author)
  • Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
  • Hardcover Book
  • Lovell, Patty (Author)
  • Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
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  • The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld
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The Rabbit Listened
  • Hardcover Book
  • Doerrfeld, Cori (Author)
  • Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson
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Bear Snores On
  • Hardcover Book
  • Wilson, Karma (Author)
  • We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins
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We Don’t Eat Our Classmates: A Penelope Rex Book
  • Hardcover Book
  • Higgins, Ryan T. (Author)
  • Attack of the Underwear Dragon by Scott Rothman
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Attack of the Underwear Dragon
  • Rothman, Scott (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Plant a Kiss by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
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Plant a Kiss Board Book
  • Rosenthal, Amy Krouse (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Last Stop On Market Street by Matt de la Pena
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Last Stop on Market Street
  • Hardcover Book
  • de la Peña, Matt (Author)
  • Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen
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Library Lion
  • Knudsen, Michelle (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett
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Extra Yarn: A Caldecott Honor Award Winner
  • Hardcover Book
  • Barnett, Mac (Author)
  • Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman
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Wolfie the Bunny
  • Hardcover Book
  • Dyckman, Ame (Author)
  • The Serious Goose by Jimmy Kimmel
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The Serious Goose
  • Hardcover Book
  • Kimmel, Jimmy (Author)
  • The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, Marichelle Daywalt, et al. We’ve loved all the crayons books from these authors.
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The Day the Crayons Quit
  • Funny back-to-school story.
  • Duncan’s crayons quit coloring. Crayons have feelings, too.
  • Walter the Farting Dog by William Kotzwinkle , Glenn Murray , et al
  • Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin. This book used to be our oldest sons favorite book. We even had a birthday party based on it! So funny! There is also a second book!
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Dragons Love Tacos
  • Hardcover Book
  • Adam Rubin (Author)
  • Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle. If you have a little boy, you have to read the Little Blue Truck books! There are several based around different holidays, etc. These might be a personal favorite from me, simply because all of our kids have loved them.
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Little Blue Truck
  • Hardcover Book, Little Blue Truck Alice Schertle Author Jill McElmurry Illustrator Children’s Books Toddlers Trucks Cars Animals Kids
  • Hardcover Book
  • Over, Bear! Under, Where? by Julie Hedlund
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Over, Bear! Under, Where?
  • Hardcover Book
  • Hedlund, Julie (Author)
  • Journey by Aaron Becker
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Journey (Aaron Becker’s Wordless Trilogy, 1)
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Hardcover Book

Tips for Building a Lifelong Love of Books

Not sure how to encourage your kids to love the best picture books? You can create a lifelong love of reading and books with the following tips:

  • Choose Books Your Kids are Interested In: Pick books that match your child’s interests or life experiences.
  • Balance Classics and New Finds: Mix enduring favorites like Where the Wild Things Are with newer stories to refresh the reading experience.
  • Add Excitement to Story Time: Reading Green Eggs and Ham comes alive when you share it with excitement! Read the voices! Get creative!
  • Establish a Reading Ritual: Make classics like Goodnight Moon a regular part of bedtime routines.
  • Empower Their Choice: Let your young reader pick their next book. They’ll feel in control.
  • Dive into the Story: Explore messages and themes you’d like to teach your kids.
  • Include Interactive Books: Younger readers especially love interactive books. So choose a book that allows kids lift a flap or push a button.
  • Explore Library Collections: Leverage libraries as a resource to turn book selection into an adventure.
  • Showcase Your Love for Reading: Lead by example; read your own books and show your kids how you love reading.
  • Embrace Diverse Stories: Introduce picture books from various cultures to expand your child’s worldview and empathy.

No matter which picture books you choose, spending time reading with your kids is always a win.

Read also: Seven Amazing Benefits of Reading to Your Kids.

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