Picture Books

Once upon a time.... may be the oldest trick in the writer's bag, but we still fall for it—especially if it's accompanied by pictures. There's a sense in which all picture books are fairy tales (even the ones that take place in New York City or a log cabin) simply because they're able to transport us in a way words alone can't. We become part of the story viscerally, sensing the subtleties of mood and place and texture.

Not all picture books are created equal, of course. We don't go in for VeggieTales, or Disney, or Sesame Street (etc. etc.), preferring the more classic style (like Caldecott winners) and newer ones that are more artistic (as opposed to merely visual). The only thing a second-rate illustration can do is make you mourn the preeminence of Saturday morning cartoons, whereas a good one has the capacity to take you inside.

We're not trying to be snobs about this, but if we offer our children picture books to read and look at, we want them to be of the highest quality. We want the text to be excellently written, the plot well-crafted, the illustrations rich and vibrant. There's a very real sense in which a child's imagination is formed by the things he or she sees as a small human, and if they only get to look at poor drawings there's a pretty good chance their creative powers will end up severely limited.

If you've encountered the illustrations of Trina Schart Hyman, Robert McCloskey, Maurice Sendak, or Michael Morpurgo, you'll know what we're talking about. Good picture books have a way of showing us things we've always seen or imagined a little differently, tilting the canvas of the familiar to make it seem a little less so, more wild, more mysterious, more real.

Which is precisely why they're such a great way to introduce kids to reading. They don't have to know what the words say to get the gist of the story, yet when they do begin to learn what the words say, it's easier for them to grasp the meaning since they're already familiar with the basic premise. Many kids have learned to read this way, and we suspect many more will do so in the future.

That is, if they have access to quality picture books at a young age. We like them proliferating throughout the house like small landforms, squeezing out of bookcases, turning up beneath the couch and on top of dressers. Just remember—they aren't only for children. In fact, adults often need them more, to connect with their progeny, to recapture a sense of youth, or simply to rest when words stop making sense and only pictures are able to communicate.

When we say "picture book," there are a couple of things we aren't talking about: first, illustrated fiction. A great book, primarily text with illustrations here and there, are not the same as picture books, which focus on the artwork. Second, we don't include here non-fiction. There are lots of excellent science, math, biographical, and other types of picture books—we have plenty—but they are in separate sections (see below).

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
Did you find this review helpful?
1,207 Items found Print
Active Filters: 2nd grade (Ages 7-8)
101 Favorite Stories from the Bible
by Ura Miller
from New Leaf Press
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Bible Stories for Kids (Location: J1A-BIB)
$14.99
2017 Caldecott Bundle
for Nursery-5th grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
20th-Century Children's Book Treasury
by Janet Schulman
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
for Preschool-3rd grade
in Picture Book Treasuries (Location: PIC-TRE)
$38.24
26 Fairmont Avenue
by Tomie De Paola
from Puffin Books
for 2nd-5th grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
26 Fairmount Avenue
by Tomie De Paola
from Scholastic Inc.
for 2nd-4th grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
by Dr. Seuss
from Random House
for 2nd-4th grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$14.44
A is for Adam
by Ken Ham, Mally Ham
from Master Books
for 1st-2nd grade
in Worldview & Apologetics for Kids (Location: BIB-WVAPK)
$14.44
A is for Africa
by Ifeoma Onyefulu
Reprint from Puffin Books
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Alphabet & Counting Books (Location: PIC-ALPH)
A is for Aloha
from Sleeping Bear Press
for Nursery-2nd grade
in Alphabet & Counting Books (Location: PIC-ALPH)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
A Story, A Story
by Gail E. Haley
Reprint from Aladdin Paperbacks
for Preschool- 3rd Grade
1971 Caldecott Medal winner
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$6.79
ABC Bunny
by Wanda Gág
from University of Minnesota
Word Books for 1st-3rd grade
1934 Newbery Honor Book
in Alphabet & Counting Books (Location: PIC-ALPH)
$12.71
ABC of Fashionable Animals
by Cooper Edens, Alexandra Day & Welleran Poltarnees
from Simon and Schuster
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Alphabet & Counting Books (Location: PIC-ALPH)
ABCs For Boys
by Michael Kracht
Fir from Majella
for Nursery-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
Abuela's Weave
by Omar S. Castaneda
Revised ed. from Lee & Low Books
for 1st-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
Action Bible
New from David C. Cook
for 2nd-6th grade
in Bible Stories for Kids (Location: J1A-BIB)
$27.99
Adèle & Simon in America
by Barbara McClintock
1st edition from Farrar, Straus and Giroux
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
$10.00 (1 in stock)
Adelita
by Tomie DePaola
Reprint from Puffin Books
for Nursery-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$6.79
Adventures of Tom Thumb
by Charlotte Craft
First Edition from HarperCollins
for Nursery-2nd grade
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop
from Henry Holt and Company
Fairy Tales, Fables, and Legends for 1st-5th grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$9.34
Aesop's Fables
by Retold & Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
1st Ed. from Chronicle Books
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$16.99
Aesop's Fables for Children
by Aesop & Milo Winter
Pap/Com from Dover Publications
for 2nd-5th grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
Ahoy There, Little Polar Bear
by Hans de Beer
Fir from Scholastic Inc.
for Preschool-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Albert
by Donna Jo Napoli
from Sandpiper Books
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$6.79
Albert the Albatross
by Syd Hoff
from HarperCollins
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
by Judith Viorst
from Atheneum
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$7.64 $4.00 (1 in stock)
Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse
by Leo Lionni
Reissue from Dragonfly Books
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
1970 Caldecott Honor Book
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$6.79
Alexander, Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday
by Judith Viorst
from Scholastic Inc.
for 1st-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$2.50 (1 in stock)
Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday
by Judith Viorst
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Alexander, Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday
by Judith Viorst
from Atheneum
for 1st-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Alexander, Who's Not (Do you hear me? I mean it!) Going to Move
by Judith Viorst
from Scholastic Inc.
for 1st-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Alfie and the Big Boys
by Shirley Hughes
Reprint from Red Fox
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$8.49
Alfie and the Birthday Surprise
by Shirley Hughes
Reissue from Red Fox
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
Alfie Gets in First
by Shirley Hughes
Reprint from Red Fox
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$8.49
Alfie Gives a Hand
by Shirley Hughes
Reprint from Red Fox
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$8.49
Alfie Weather
by Shirley Hughes
New from Red Fox
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$8.49
Alfie Wins a Prize
by Shirley Hughes
Reissue from Red Fox
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
Alfie's Alphabet
by Shirley Hughes
from Red Fox
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
Alfie's Christmas
by Shirley Hughes
from Red Fox
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$9.34
Alfie's Feet
by Shirley Hughes
Reprint from Red Fox
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$8.49
Alfie's Numbers
by Shirley Hughes
from Red Fox
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
All About Corduroy
by Don Freeman
from Barnes & Noble
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
All the Places to Love
by Patricia MacLachlan
from HarperCollins
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$15.29 $12.00 (1 in stock)
All the Small Poems and Fourteen More
by Valerie Worth
from Sunburst Book
Lyrical Poetry for Preschool-4th grade
$8.49 $5.00 (1 in stock)
All Those Secrets of the World
by Jane Yolen
1st edition from Little, Brown & Company
for Preschool-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah
by Emily Jenkins
from Schwartz & Wade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$15.29
Always Room for One More
by Sorche Nic Leodhas
from Henry Holt and Company
for Preschool-3rd grade
1966 Caldecott Medal winner
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$9.34
Amber on the Mountain
by Robert A. Duncan, Tony Johnston
from Puffin Books
for 1st-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$5.94
Amelia Bedelia
An I Can Read Book Level 2
by Peggy Parish
from HarperCollins
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in I Can Read Books (Location: O5B-EAR)
$4.24 $2.50 (2 in stock)
Amelia Bedelia
by Peggy Parish
Revised from HarperCollins
for Preschool- 3rd Grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$2.50 (1 in stock)
America's Paul Revere
by Esther Forbes
from Sandpiper Books
Biography for 2nd-6th grade
in Biographies (Location: O1A-BIO)
$11.04
1234567891011121314151617181920...>>