20 Great Picture Books for Every Home Library

 (Written by thechildrensblog.com, this article was originally published at MomsCharlotte.com)

 

How do you build a great home library for your children? The answer is simple but abstract at the same time; a great library is built, one book at a time. What happens after your child outgrows the bountiful selection of board books you received even before he or she was born? Classics such as Goodnight Moon and Pat the Bunny have made the rotation countless number of times, and now you and your child (maybe you, more than your child) are ready to delve into the realm of picture books. You want to be extra careful in choosing, because their future success hinges on these early life decisions.  All joking aside, not every book you choose for your home library will be a good book, age appropriate, or even an instant favorite. But this is really part of the process. Not every book needs to be a classic, what is more important is to offer your child a wide selection of books to choose from that stimulates their mind and heart. As their interests develop, their accessibility to those topics and characters they are interested in will foster a love for reading. Often, a book with no interest now may come back to be a favorite in a few years. Picture books, in particular, will tend to be a fixture in your home library longer than you may expect. Generally, the text in picture books will be too difficult for beginning readers and so you will find yourself reading these to your child long after they begin to read themselves. Also, you may be pleasantly surprised to hear your child’s request for a read aloud of their favorite picture book long after they have learned to be independent readers. Fewer moments are more nostalgic than reading Library Lion to your 9 year old and remembering the first time you read it to them 5 years ago. Here is a selection of 20 amazing picture books that would be a solid addition to any home library.

 

OnceIAteaPie1.Once I Ate a PieBy Patricia MacLachlan and   Emily MacLachlan Charest, illustrated by Katy Schneider Celebrated Newberry Medal   winner Patricia MacLachlan brings the loving, loyal and sometimes mischievous   personalities of dogs to the center stage in this heartwarming book. Perfect   for dog lovers and a great introduction to poetry for children. 
 BigRedLollipop2.Big Red LollipopBy Rukhsana Khan, illustrated   by Sophie Blackall Anyone with a sibling will   relate to this story of sibling rivalry and birth order nonsense. Further   introspection reveals the growing pains of an immigrant family as they   assimilate into their adopted land. Readers of Ivy and Bean will also   recognize Sophie Blackall’s adorable caricatured illustrations.
 theemptypot3.The Empty PotBy Demi A beautiful adaption of a   Chinese fable about inner strength and honesty. The illustrations and story   are beautifully simple but the lessons are complex.
knufflebunny4.Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary TaleBy Mo Willems Mo Willem’s classic tale of   Trixie and her beloved Knuffle Bunny. Every parent has been there, the moment   when the most important object in your child’s short life goes missing.   Thankfully, in this story, there is a happy ending. Be sure to check out Knuffle   Bunny Too and Knuffle Bunny Free as well.
 sickdayforamos5.A Sick Day for Amos McGeeBy Philip Stead, illustrated by   Erin E. Stead A touching and beautifully   illustrated example of how one good deed deserves another and the importance   of friendships and kindness.
 georgeandmartha6.George and MarthaBy James Marshall What happens when you tell   stories about two hippos who happen to be best friends? Hilarity. James   Marshall’s stories and illustrations about George and Martha will have you   and your child rolling in laughter every time.
diaryofawombat7.Diary of a WombatBy Jackie French, illustrated   by Bruce Whatley An adorable tongue-in-cheek   account of a typical week in the life of a slow-moving, huggable Australian   wombat.
lionandthemouse8.The Lion and the MouseBy Jerry Pinkney A beautiful wordless adaption   of one of Aesop’s most well-known and beloved fables. The illustrations are   expressive and striking. 
streganona 9.Strega NonaBy Tomie dePaola A classic series by master   author and illustrator Tomie dePaola. Strega Nona (“grandma witch”) gives Big   Anthony fair warning not to touch the pasta pot but Big Anthony is determined   to make his own magic.
 whereisthegreensheep10.Where is the Green SheepBy Mem Fox, illustrated by Judy   Horacek A delightful rhyming book that   your child will memorize and enjoy for years.
 thethreequestions11.The Three QuestionsBy Jon J Muth What is the best time to do   things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do?  Jon Muth adapts Tolstoy’s three most   important questions into a stunning and thought provoking book about   mindfulness and relationships, relevant for adults and children.
 scaredysquirrel12.Scaredy SquirrelBy Melanie Watt Scaredy Squirrel is afraid of   everything. Melanie Watt conveys the seriousness of anxiety and worry in a   humorous and endearing way via a charming squirrel.
 chrystanthemum13.ChrysanthemumBy Kevin Henkes What happens when the perfect   baby with a perfect name starts school and gets teased for being different?   School becomes difficult and life becomes complicated for Chrysanthemum, who   eventually realizes that being different can be celebrated.  Acclaimed author and illustrator Kevin   Henkes tells a sensitive story about the delicate topic of being different in   an especially beautiful way.
 librarylion14.Library LionBy Michelle Knudsen,   illustrated by Kevin Hawkes An all-time favorite about a   kind and sometimes misunderstood lion who is welcomed at the most welcoming   of places, the library. It is a heartwarming and gentle story about   stereotypes, friendships, and heroism.
 olivia15.OliviaBy Ian Falconer Olivia is a lovable piglet,   reminiscent of Eloise of The Plaza Hotel. She is spunky, full of energy and   never runs short on finding enthusiastic adventures.
avisitorforbear16.A Visitor for BearBy Bonnie Becker, illustrated   by Kady MacDonald Denton An enigmatic bear and a   tenacious mouse are the perfect pair in this endearing and humorous series   about friendship. 
thekissinghand17.The Kissing HandBy Audrey Penn, illustrated by   Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak The perfect book for children   starting a new adventure and suffering from separation anxiety. Audrey Penn   address the topic in a gentle, heartwarming and sensitive way through the   eyes of a nervous raccoon and his nurturing mother.
thepencil18.The PencilBy Allan Ahlberg, illustrated   by Bruce Ingman This is a clever book about the   adventures of a creative pencil that gets itself into a bit a trouble.   Children and adults will appreciate and understand the irony and will enjoy   reading it over and over again.
forjustoneday19.For Just One DayBy Laura Leuck, illustrated by   Marc Boutavant Enter this whimsically   illustrated book and your child will begin the game of imagining themselves   as variety of animals. The bright and captivating illustrations make it easy   for children to imagine the possibilities.
 themanwhowalkedbetweenthetowers20.The Man Who Walked Between the TowersBy Mordicai Gerstein An entertaining and inspiring   recount of Philippe Petit’s 1974 World Trade Center tightrope walk. Children   will be captivated by the daring and dramatic feat told through equally   dramatic and beautiful illustrations.

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