Here are ten of our family’s favorite classic picture books. These are tried and true—I’ve read each of these books over and over and over and guess what? I still love them.
Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton
Sandra Boynton is known for her hilarious and silly texts—and this one is no exception! She uses lots of fun animals with lots of silly sounds, many of which are not the traditional sounds we expect. Cows may “moo” in her story, but pigs might say “la la la!” It’s a great book to encourage fun and silliness while helping to develop a love of reading aloud and sharing stories! This has been a favorite of all my kids.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is a classic and one of our favorite letter-learning books. The rhythm is so fun! This is one of those books I can recite because we’ve read it so many times. It’s about a bunch of letters who all decide to climb into the coconut tree. But “...will there be enough room?” Readers will delight in this book as each letter is brought to life with simple but bright and bold illustrations!
No, David! by David Shannon
Kids can’t help but laugh at David’s silly antics in No, David! Based on a book he wrote when he was a child that consisted entirely of the words “no” and “David,” author David Shannon wrote No, David! as a means of “celebrating those familiar variations of the universal ‘no’ that we all hear while growing up.” Throughout this book, David gets into lots and lots of trouble by doing things like tracking mud in the house, running through the streets naked, playing with his food, breaking things, playing ball in the house, and so much more! My kids love David’s mischievous ways and are grateful they aren’t the ones in trouble!
Baby Beluga illustrated by Ashley Wolff
This is such a fun book to read or sing, as it depicts Raffi’s beloved song about the “baby beluga in the deep blue sea.” With beautiful illustrations full of fascinating creatures, in addition to the baby beluga and his mama, this was a favorite of my youngest son, and we sang/read it night after night.
Rosie's Walk by Pat Hutchins
In this charming book, Rosie the Hen enjoys a relaxing walk around the farm. Little does she know that a sneaky fox is behind her the entire time, just waiting to make his move! Readers will enjoy Rosie’s oblivious nature, as they “see” the fox she cannot and his many attempts to capture her. They will also delight in all of the humorous ways the fox’s plans are spoiled! Although the text is minimal, the book’s illustrations keep readers engaged in this delightful story.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
This is a classic book that is, to me, the epitome of what a picture book should be. Eric Carle uses simple text and beautiful collage illustrations to tell the story of the life cycle of a caterpillar. My kids especially love all the food the caterpillar eats, complete with tiny ‘eaten’ holes throughout. The beauty of this simple book is that it also reinforces concepts such as the days of the week, numbers 1-5, fruits, colors, and so much more!
Ten Apples Up On Top! by Dr. Seuss
In this story, animals try to balance apples on their head, ultimately competing and one-upping each other. With its fun illustrations and the ridiculous numbers of apples involved, your kids will be sure to enjoy the pictures while counting the apples! And in classic Dr. Seuss style, its rhythm and jaunty rhymes make it a fun read.
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
In If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, a small mouse is given a cookie. This leads him to make many more requests—resulting in naps, cleaning, and a giant art project! In addition, the illustrations are rich with color and detail. We love the cause and effect in this story and how it returns to the beginning at the end. There are also several more books in this series to enjoy. Don’t miss out!
We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
This is one of our all-time favorites. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt follows five siblings who decide to go on a bear hunt. Along the way, they adventure through long, wavy grass, a river, mud, and more until they finally reach the bear cave. Your little ones will enjoy the fun pattern and rhythm to the text, and may even be able to “read” along! There are also plenty of onomatopoeias (sound words) to read and say, and it’s fun to do hand motions with each one. With alternating black & white and color illustrations, this is a really fun read (and sometimes act!)-aloud.
Brown Bear, Bear, What Do you See? by Bill Martin Jr.
If you haven’t already read this book to your little one— please do so now! This book is a favorite of almost all children who read it! Between the patterned text, beautiful illustrations, and gorgeous creatures, your kids will enjoy reading this again and again. It’s also a great book for learning animals and colors. And you may even find your little ones “reading” it on their own, too!
I hope you enjoyed our family’s favorite classic picture books!
And in case you missed it, check out our previous Top 10 Christmas Book list!