25 Must Read Picture Books

Because I Said So because i said so

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By Rudeysroom

I make it no secret that I’m a book nerd.

The magic between the pages of a good book sucks me in. So much so, that as a child my mom often found me hiding behind our love-seat couch, next to the heating vent, pouring over a book.

I particularly liked a recent email from my friend, the school librarian: What is Your Favorite Childhood Book?

Her question got the juices flowing: What are the books I so loved as a child? What are the books I’ve discovered as a teacher? What are the books I want to be sure to share with my girls?

Her email and subsequent display case inspired me to create a list of 25 Must Read Picture Books. I love children’s literature, so to narrow my list was a challenge. I could go on and on, adding and adding.

I have preschooler and a second grader, so I decided to list only picture books. You won’t find the outstanding chapter books for your fourth grader—the books, only a blink away from Veronica, my oldest. (It’s my hope she’ll want to do some as a read-aloud before stealing away to her bed.)

These books are for all ages, for the ages. Don’t let the pictures dissuade you. There may be pictures, but they are purposeful and beautiful. We can all read thousands of words, no doubt. Let’s relish in this amazing literature, even if it’s in the form of fewer words.

My 25 Must-Read Picture Books:
The Kissing Hand

Miss Nelson Is Missing!

Where the Wild Things Are

The Mitten

Miss Rumphius

Love You Forever

The Monster at the End of This Book


Ruby's Wish


The Giving Tree

Harold and the Purple Crayon

The Little Prince

The Sweetest Fig

The Snowy Day

Oh, The Places You'll Go!

A Pocket for Corduroy

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Caps for Sale

Are You My Mother?

Curious George

Bread and Jam for Frances and for a today’s version try Little Pea.

Here are two of my favorite when I was kid. My parents still have them at their house and I pull them out to read to the girls every time we visit:

“There Are Rocks in My Socks!” Said the Ox to the Fox and We Were Tired of Living in a House (I think this book in part inspired my love of travel, adventure!)

What books do you read over and over again with your kiddos? Is there a book that you especially ate up as a little? A possible tell is what book you gift to a expecting mom.

I’d love for you to share—and keep the list growing in the comments. My favorites were the first and the last ones on this list.

P.S. Two of my current faves are This Is Not My Hat and The Day the Crayons Quit. Snatch them both up and I promise you won’t be disappointed.



About the Author

Because I Said So

'Because I Said So' is a 200 words or less short piece related to a theme. To submit your own 'BISS', click on "submit a story" from the website.

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