Picture Books for PreK to 1st Grade

Our youngest readers are the prime targets for many picture books; however, older kids will love these favorites too!
Affiliate links are included. Summaries are from Amazon.com

Great Picture Books for PreK to 1st Grade 4 year olds 5 year olds 6 year olds

51u8L2sOnUL._SY492_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Orion and the Dark by Emma Yarlett
Orion is scared of a lot of things, but most of all he’s scared of the dark. So one night the Dark decides to take Orion on an adventure. Emma Yarlett’s second picture book combines her incredible storytelling and artwork with die-cut pages that bring the Dark to life.


511BIqGP4aL._SY376_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Wait by Antoinette Portis
As a boy and his mother move quickly through the city, they’re drawn to different things. The boy sees a dog, a butterfly, and a hungry duck while his mother rushes them toward the departing train. It’s push and pull, but in the end, they both find something to stop for.

Acclaimed author/illustrator Antoinette Portis’ signature style conveys feelings of warmth, curiosity, humor and tenderness in this simple, evocative story.


511GNmy2raL._SX397_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
The Whisper by Pamela Zagarenski
Step inside the pages of a little girl’s magical book as she discovers the profound and inspiring notion that we each bring something different to the same story. Two-time Caldecott Honor artist Pamela Zagarenski debuts as an author in this tender picture book about the joy of reading.


511V106f+0L-1._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson
Kadir Nelson, acclaimed author of Baby Bear and winner of the Caldecott Honor and the Coretta Scott King Author and Illustrator Awards, presents a resonant, gently humorous story about the power of even the smallest acts and the rewards of compassion and generosity.

With spare text and breathtaking oil paintings, If You Plant a Seed demonstrates not only the process of planting and growing for young children but also how a seed of kindness can bear sweet fruit.


512gtbguCrL._SX497_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry and Tom Lichtenheld
When Stick rescues Stone from a prickly situation with a Pinecone, the pair becomes fast friends. But when Stick gets stuck, can Stone return the favor?
Author Beth Ferry makes a memorable debut with a warm, rhyming text that includes a subtle anti-bullying message even the youngest reader will understand. New York Times bestselling illustrator Tom Lichtenheld imbues Stick and Stone with energy, emotion, and personality to spare.


513+MgLD+0L._SX495_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman and Zachariah OHora
The Bunny family has adopted a wolf son, and daughter Dot is the only one who realizes Wolfie can–and might–eat them all up! Dot tries to get through to her parents, but they are too smitten to listen. A new brother takes getting used to, and when (in a twist of fate) it’s Wolfie who’s threatened, can Dot save the day?


518gVkN9VaL._SX359_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Ballet Cat and the Totally Secret Secret by Bob Shea
Ballet Cat and Sparkles the Pony are trying to decide what to play today. Nothing that Sparkles suggests–making crafts, playing checkers, and selling lemonade–goes well with the leaping, spinning, and twirling that Ballet Cat likes to do. When Sparkles’s leaps, spins, and twirls seem halfhearted, Ballet Cat asks him what’s wrong. Sparkles doesn’t want to say. He has a secret that Ballet Cat won’t want to hear. What Sparkles doesn’t know is that Ballet Cat has a secret of her own, a totally secret secret. Once their secrets are shared, will their friendship end, or be stronger than ever?


15937128.jpg
Maria Had a Little Llama by Angela Dominguez
Everyone knows about Mary and her little lamb. But do you know Maria?

With gorgeous, Peruvian-inspired illustrations and English and Spanish retellings, Angela Dominguez gives a fresh new twist to the classic rhyme. Maria and her mischievous little llama will steal your heart.


5156+sfoVhL-2._SX386_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
The Night World by Mordicai Gerstein
Everyone in the house is sleeping, but outside, the night world is wide-awake.

It’s a wonderful night to explore!
Perfect for bedtime, this book from Caldecott Medalist Mordicai Gerstein celebrates the secrets of the night world and the joys of the sunrise.

31QgJ-FzcYL._SY295_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Who Done It? by Olivier Tallec
In this charming book, each page asks the reader a question about the lineup of characters featured on the spread. Sharp eyes and keen observation are necessary. There’s only one right answer, and it’s not always easy! Kids will love learning early concepts like expressions and positions as a natural consequence of their hunt for clues in the details of the lineup. It’s a book for all audiences: the seek-and-find call to action on every page makes Who Done It? a wonderful lap or parent read, while the whimsical art, distinctive horizontal format, and hip exposed board ensures this book will be equally appealing as engaging coffee table décor.


41BPx9Tw4KL._SX371_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Imaginary Fred by Eion Colfer and Oliver Jeffers
A quirky, funny, and utterly irresistible story from Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers, two of the finest children’s book creators on the planet.

Did you know that sometimes, with a little electricity, or luck, or even magic, an imaginary friend might appear when you need one? An imaginary friend like Fred.

Fred floated like a feather in the wind until Sam, a lonely little boy, wished for him and, together, they found a friendship like no other.

The perfect chemistry between Eoin Colfer’s text and Oliver Jeffers’s artwork makes for a dazzlingly original picture book.


51-F9HNXg8L._SX342_BO1,204,203,200_
Up in the Garden, Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner
In this exuberant and lyrical follow-up to the award-winning Over and Under the Snow, discover the wonders that lie hidden between stalks, under the shade of leaves . . . and down in the dirt. Explore the hidden world and many lives of a garden through the course of a year! Up in the garden, the world is full of green—leaves and sprouts, growing vegetables, ripening fruit. But down in the dirt exists a busy world—earthworms dig, snakes hunt, skunks burrow—populated by all the animals that make a garden their home.


41l5WOd1tcL-1._SX381_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Max the Brave by Ed Vere
Max is a fearless kitten. Max is a brave kitten. Max is a kitten who chases mice. There’s only one problem-Max doesn’t know what a mouse looks like! With a little bit of bad advice, Max finds himself facing a much bigger challenge. Maybe Max doesn’t have to be Max the Brave all the time…

Join this adventurous black cat as he very politely asks a variety of animals for help in finding a mouse. Young readers will delight in Max’s mistakes, while adults will love the subtle, tongue-in-cheek humor of this new children’s classic.


51aenAlpJ5L._SY492_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
One Day, The End by Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Fred Koehler
“One day. . . I went to school. I came home. The end,” says our storyteller—a girl with a busy imagination and a thirst for adventure. The art tells a fuller tale of calamity on the way to school and an unpredictably happy ending. The genius of this picture book is that each illustration captures multiple, unexpected, and funny storylines as the narrator tells her shorter-than-ever stories, ending with “One day. . . I wanted to write a book.” An original and incredibly deep combination of text and art invites readers to make up stories of their own.


51CeOKIjwsL._SX384_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
The Odd One Out: A Spotting Book by Britta Teckentrup
Which bird has caught the worm? Where is the queasy monkey? And can you spot the scaredy-cat? Never has a search-and-find game been so pleasing to the eye. Each spread features fun rhyming couplets, beautiful and complexly patterned artwork, and a hidden surprise. A stylish title from the talented Britta Teckentrup, presented in an elegant format.


51F1gTWhbAL-1._SX408_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Beyond the Pond by Joseph Kuefler
A stunning picture book about the power of imagination, perfect for fans of Extra Yarn and Journey, from debut author-illustrator Joseph Kuefler.

Just behind an ordinary house
filled with too little fun,
Ernest D. decides that today will be the day he explores the depths of his pond.

Beyond the pond, he discovers a not-so-ordinary world that will change him forever.


51FC2+Eej+L._SY494_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
I Don’t Want to Be a Frog by Dev Petty and Mike Boldt
Fans of Mo Willems’s Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! and Jon Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back will love meeting this willful young frog with a serious identity crisis. Frog wants to be anything but a slimy, wet frog. A cat, perhaps. Or a rabbit. An owl? But when a hungry wolf arrives—a wolf who HATES eating frogs—our hero decides that maybe being himself isn’t so bad after all. In this very silly story with a sly message, told in hilarious dialogue between a feisty young frog and his heard-it-all-before father, young readers will identify with little Frog’s desire to be something different, while laughing along at his stubborn yet endearing schemes to prove himself right.


51Fg2ChjzML._SX421_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Little Tree by Loren Long
In the middle of a little forest, there lives a Little Tree who loves his life and the splendid leaves that keep him cool in the heat of long summer days. Life is perfect just the way it is.

Autumn arrives, and with it the cool winds that ruffle Little Tree’s leaves. One by one the other trees drop their leaves, facing the cold of winter head on. But not Little Tree—he hugs his leaves as tightly as he can. Year after year Little Tree remains unchanged, despite words of encouragement from a squirrel, a fawn, and a fox, his leaves having long since turned brown and withered. As Little Tree sits in the shadow of the other trees, now grown sturdy and tall as though to touch the sun, he remembers when they were all the same size. And he knows he has an important decision to make.


51IJjwW9liL._SX496_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Friendshape by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld
The bestselling creators of EXCLAMATION MARK! introduce a triangle, circle, square, and rectangle who celebrate the gift of friendship.

Friends shape who we are. They make us laugh. They fill us with fun. They stand by us during life’s up and downs. And even when we disagree with our friends, if they’re tried-and-true, they don’t stay bent out of shape for long. That’s the beauty of a good buddy. This joyous book rejoices in the simple beauties of friendship, and reminds readers of all ages that it’s good to have a group of pals.


51x5ykFQg7L._SY448_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
In a Village by the Sea by Muon Van and April Chu
Written in a spare, lyrical style using fresh, evocative imagery, In a Village by the Sea tells the story of longing for the comforts of home. A perfect book for teaching about diverse cultures and lifestyles through rich pictures and words, moving from the wide world to the snugness of home and back out again.


51jPTytrhaL._SX497_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
I Am Yoga by Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds
An eagle soaring among the clouds or a star twinkling in the night sky . . . a camel in the desert or a boat sailing across the sea—yoga has the power of transformation. Not only does it strengthen bodies and calm minds, but with a little imagination, it can show us that anything is possible.

New York Times bestselling illustrator Peter H. Reynolds and author and certified yoga instructor Susan Verde team up again in this book about creativity and the power of self-expression. I Am Yoga encourages children to explore the world of yoga and make room in their hearts for the world beyond it. A kid-friendly guide to 16 yoga poses is included.


51LHl2fZATL._SX412_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Thank You and Good Night by Patrick McDonnell
Patrick McDonnell’s first bedtime book captures the magic of a sleepover with friends, and reminds us to cherish life’s simplest pleasures. During a fun pajama party, three animal friends dance and play, but at last everyone is getting sleepy. Is it time for bed yet? Not before taking the time to say thank you for the day, the night, and good friends.


51VqwYVMuwL._SX415_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc
One autumn day, a lion finds a wounded bird in his garden. With the departure of the bird’s flock, the lion decides that it’s up to him to care for the bird. He does and the two become fast friends. Nevertheless, the bird departs with his flock the following autumn. What will become of Lion and what will become of their friendship?


51W+-TrvlbL._SX333_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Uni the Unicorn by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Brigette Barrager
In this clever twist on the age-old belief that there’s no such thing as unicorns, Uni the unicorn is told there’s no such thing as little girls! No matter what the grown-up unicorns say, Uni believes that little girls are real. Somewhere there must be a smart, strong, wonderful, magical little girl waiting to be best friends. In fact, far away (but not too far), a real little girl believes there is a unicorn waiting for her. This refreshing and sweet story of friendship reminds believers and nonbelievers alike that sometimes wishes really can come true.


51XeNr1lx2L._SX388_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
The Adventures of Beekle The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat
This magical story begins on an island far away where an imaginary friend is born. He patiently waits his turn to be chosen by a real child, but when he is overlooked time and again, he sets off on an incredible journey to the bustling city, where he finally meets his perfect match and-at long last-is given his special name: Beekle.


51Y79K9IQ0L._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins
Who knew that cakes were so rude?! In this deliciously entertaining book, a not-so-sweet cake—who never says please or thank you or listens to its parents—gets its just desserts. Mixing hilarious text and pictures, Rowboat Watkins, a former Sendak fellow, has cooked up a laugh-out- loud story that can also be served up as a delectable discussion starter about manners or bullying, as it sweetly reminds us all that even the rudest cake can learn to change its ways.


51zUtsATPsL-1._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Supertruck by Stephen Savage
When the city is hit by a colossal snowstorm, only one superhero can save the day. But who is this mysterious hero, and why does he disappear once his job is done?


61BRmcpGPAL-1._SY450_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Toys Meet Snow by Emily Jenkins and Paul O. Zelinsky
Lumphy, StingRay, and Plastic—the toys from the beloved chapter books Toys Go Out, Toy Dance Party, and Toys Come Home—are back in a glorious full-color picture book, perfect for gift-giving this holiday season. Acclaimed author Emily Jenkins and Caldecott Medal–winning illustrator Paul Zelinsky have created a book destined to become a classic.

Children who have loved listening to the Toys trilogy, as well as those meeting the toys for the very first time, will be thrilled to see Lumphy, StingRay, and Plastic venture outdoors to play in the snow. Together the toys build a snowman, make snow angels, and, when day is done, head back inside their cozy house and wait for the return of the Little Girl.


61o-eULVflL-1._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick and Sophie Blackall
In 1914, Harry Colebourn, a veterinarian on his way to tend horses in World War I, followed his heart and rescued a baby bear. He named her Winnie, after his hometown of Winnipeg, and he took the bear to war.

Harry Colebourn’s real-life great-granddaughter tells the true story of a remarkable friendship and an even more remarkable journey–from the fields of Canada to a convoy across the ocean to an army base in England…

And finally to the London Zoo, where Winnie made another new friend: a real boy named Christopher Robin.

Here is the remarkable true story of the bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh.


61zhXsicyUL._SX390_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Peace is an Offering by Annette LeBox and Stephanie Graegin
Join this group of neighborhood children as they find love in everyday things—in sunlight shining through the leaves and cookies shared with friends—and learn that peace is all around, if you just look for it. With rhyming verse and soft illustrations, this book will help families and teachers look for the light moments when tragedy strikes and remind readers of the calm and happiness they find in their own community every day.


51LKwkYBZIL._SX375_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall
Red has a bright red label, but he is, in fact, blue. His teacher tries to help him be red (let’s draw strawberries!), his mother tries to help him be red by sending him out on a playdate with a yellow classmate (go draw a nice orange!), and the scissors try to help him be red by snipping his label so that he has room to breathe. But Red is miserable. He just can’t be red, no matter how hard he tries! Finally, a brand-new friend offers a brand-new perspective, and Red discovers what readers have known all along. He’s blue! This funny, heartwarming, colorful picture book about finding the courage to be true to your inner self can be read on multiple levels, and it offers something for everyone!


51M75O9LD0L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_
The Girl and the Bicycle
 by Mark Pett
A little girl sees a shiny new bicycle in the shop window. She hurries home to see if she has enough money in her piggy bank, but when she comes up short, she knocks on the doors of her neighbors, hoping to do their yardwork. They all turn her away except for a kindly old woman.


514TikhmbnL-1._SX427_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Hooray for Hat! by Brian Won
Elephant wakes up grumpy—until ding, dong! What’s in the surprise box at the front door? A hat! HOORAY FOR HAT! Elephant marches off to show Zebra, but Zebra is having a grumpy day, too—until Elephant shares his new hat and cheers up his friend. Off they march to show Turtle! The parade continues as every animal brightens the day of a grumpy friend. An irresistible celebration of friendship, sharing, and fabulous hats.


51-xUGTf54L._SX404_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
You Are (Not) Small by Anna Kang and Christopher Weyant
Two fuzzy creatures can’t agree on who is small and who is big, until a couple of surprise guests show up, settling it once and for all!

The simple text of Anna Kang and bold illustrations of New Yorker cartoonist Christopher Weyant tell an original and very funny story about size—it all depends on who’s standing next to you.


51Am9jGlb1L._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Award-winning author and illustrator Ashley Spires has created a charming picture book about an unnamed girl and her very best friend, who happens to be a dog. The girl has a wonderful idea. But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy, and the girl tries and fails, repeatedly.


51EtyWx6akL._SY385_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Gravity by Jason Chin
As in his previous books, RedwoodsCoral Reefs, and Island, Jason Chin has taken a complex subject and made it brilliantly accessible to young readers in this unusual, innovative, and very beautiful book.


51xXd20Z2wL._SY395_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke
When Julia and her walking house come to town, she likes everything about her new neighborhood except how quiet it is! So Julia puts a sign up: “Julia’s House for Lost Creatures.” Soon she’s hosting goblins, mermaids, fairies, and even a dragon. Quiet isn’t a problem anymore for Julia…but getting her housemates to behave themselves is!

The simple, sweet text of this picture book by New York Times Best-Selling Zita the Spacegirl author/illustrator Ben Hatke is perfectly balanced by his lush, detailed, immersive watercolor illustrations.


619IbdUtRLL._SY425_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Wild by Emily Hughes
“You cannot tame something so happily wild.”

In this beautiful picture book by Hawaiian artist Emily Hughes, we meet a little girl who has known nothing but nature from birth—she was taught to talk by birds, to eat by bears, and to play by foxes. She is unashamedly, irrefutably, irrepressibly wild. That is, until she is snared by some very strange animals that look oddly like her, but they don’t talk right, eat right, or play correctly. She’s puzzled by their behavior and their insistence on living in these strange concrete structures: there’s no green here, no animals, no trees, no rivers. Now she lives in the comfort of civilization. But will civilization get comfortable with her?


51l18dT+fCL._SX470_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Sparky by Jenny Offill and Chris Appelhans
The ingenious author of 17 Things I’m Not Allowed to Do Anymore and a brilliant illustrator and production designer of the Coraline movie have created a hilarious, touching picture book perfect for young animal lovers. Like the Caldecott Medal-winning Officer Buckle and Gloria, Sparky stars a pet who has more to offer than meets the eye. When our narrator orders a sloth through the mail, the creature that arrives isn’t good at tricks or hide-and-seek . . . or much of anything. Still, there’s something about Sparky that is irresistible.


51lEYr-WGNL._SY422_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein
Meet Beatrice Bottomwell: a nine-year-old girl who has never (not once!) made a mistake. She never forgets her math homework, she never wears mismatched socks, and she ALWAYS wins the yearly talent show at school. In fact, Beatrice holds the record of perfection in her hometown, where she is known as The Girl Who Never Makes Mistakes. Life for Beatrice is sailing along pretty smoothly until she does the unthinkable–she makes her first mistake. And in a very public way!


51p7-+bcE8L._SX478_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
In My Heart: A Book of Feelings by Jo Witek and Christine Roussey
Happiness, sadness, bravery, anger, shyness . . . our hearts can feel so many feelings! Some make us feel as light as a balloon, others as heavy as an elephant. In My Heart explores a full range of emotions, describing how they feel physically, inside. With language that is lyrical but also direct, toddlers will be empowered by this new vocabulary and able to practice articulating and identifying their own emotions. With whimsical illustrations and an irresistible die-cut heart that extends through each spread, this unique feelings book is gorgeously packaged.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s