60+ Not-to-be-Missed Picture Books: The Grand Finale!

We adults introduce children to books for a variety of reasons. We introduce children to books to teach them to read, to teach them about subjects they are interested in, and, occasionally, to impart life lessons. I embarked upon this 60 Not-to-be-Missed Picture Books project because I did not want to loose sight of introducing children to great books for the sake of introducing children to great books.


For the past year, I have been sharing five Not-to-be-Missed Picture Books on the first of each month. Taking on this 60 Not-to-be-Missed Picture Books project has ensured that there have been five books on our shelf each month that are the best of the best (in my humble opinion).

A couple months ago, I invited readers to suggest 10 favorite books that should be included on the list. To those of you who shared book recommendations, thank you! It has been very fun to read your lists of recommended books!

Today, I get to share with you the complete list of the 60 Not-to-be-Missed Picture Books arranged by age as well as the 10 books that readers most frequently recommended. For the complete list of books with descriptions, see 60 Not-to-be-Missed Picture Books.

Not-t0-be-Missed Books for Toddlers

  • The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss and Crockett Johnson. Ages 1+
  • Mr. Gumpy’s Outing by John Burningham. Ages 1+
  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. Ages 1+
  • Barnyard Banter by Denise Fleming. Ages 1+
  • The Daddy Book by Todd Parr. Ages 1+
  • Peek!: A Thai Hide-and-Seek by Minfong Ho and Holly Meade. Ages 2+
  • “Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” Said the Sloth by Eric Carle. Ages 2+
  • Max Found Two Sticks by Brian Pinkney. Ages 2+
  • My Spring Robin by Anne Rockwell. Ages 2+
  • Creature by Andrew Zuckerman. Ages 2+
  • Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson. Ages 2+
  • Ben’s Trumpet by Rachel Isadora. Ages 2+
  • Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert. Ages 2+

Not-to-be-Missed Books for Preschoolers

  • George and Martha by James Marshall. Ages 3+
  • The Curious Garden by Peter Brown. Ages 3+
  • Fredrick by Leo Lionni. Ages 3+
  • Vera’s Baby Sister by Vera Rosenberry. Ages 3+
  • Crictor by Tomi Ungerer. Ages 3+
  • Spring is Here by Taro Gomi. Ages 3+
  • I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child. Ages 3+
  • A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead and Erin Stead. Ages 3+
  • Owl Moon by Jane Yolen and John Schoenherr. Ages 3+
  • Knuffle Bunny Too by Mo Willems. Ages 3+
  • Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey. Ages 3+
  • Crazy Hair Day by Barney Saltzberg. Ages 3+
  • Elena’s Serenade by Campbell Geeslin and Ana Juan. Ages 3+
  • Snow by Uri Shulevitz. Ages 3+
  • Toot & Puddle: You Are My Sunshine by Holly Hobbie. Ages 3+
  • Press Here by Herve Tullet. Ages 4+
  • A Birthday for Frances by Russell Hoban. Ages 4+
  • Olivia Forms a Band by Ian Falconer. Ages 4+
  • Rechenka’s Eggs by Patricia Polacco. Ages 4+
  • Fish is Fish by Leo Lionni. Ages 4+
  • Galimoto by Karen Lynn Williams. Ages 4+
  • The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons. Ages 4+
  • Stella: Star of the Sea by Marie-Louise Gay. Ages 4+
  • Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel. Ages 4+

Not-to-be-Missed Books for School-Aged Kids

  • Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig. Ages 4+
  • Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan and Sophie Blackall. Ages 4+
  • Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes. Ages 4+
  • The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein. Ages 4+
  • Boundless Grace by Mary Hoffman. Ages 4+
  • Art and Max by David Wiesner. Ages 4+
  • Ruby’s Wish by Shirin Yim Bridges and Sophie Blackall. Ages 4+
  • Wolves by Emily Gravett. Ages 5+
  • Can You Whistle, Johanna? by Ulf Stark. Ages 5+
  • Enemy Pie by Derek Munson. Ages 5+
  • The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers. Ages 5+
  • The Subway Mouse by Barbara Reid. Ages 5+
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Ages 5+
  • I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen. Ages 5+
  • Are We There Yet? by Alison Lester. Ages 5+
  • Mapping Penny’s World by Loreen Leedy. Ages 5+
  • Zen Shorts by Jon Muth. Ages 5+
  • This is London by M. Sasek. Ages 5+
  • Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin. Ages 6+
  • Linnea in Monet’s Garden by Cristina Bjork and Lena Anderson. Ages 6+
  • Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine and Kadir Nelson. Ages 7+
  • Fox by Margaret Wild. Ages 7+
  • Grandpa’s Angel by Jutta Bauer. Ages 7+

10 More Books That You Definitely Should Not Miss

These 10 books were recommended by my book-loving and discerning readers! I did not set out to choose 10 books from your recommendations, but 10 books jumped out at me. There were 3 books and 7 authors that you told me repeatedly I should have included on the 60 Not-to-be-Missed Picture Books list.

The GruffaloThe Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. “Walk further into the deep dark wood, and discover what happens when the quick-thinking mouse comes face to face with an owl, a snake and a hungry gruffalo…” *


Owl BabiesOwl Babies by Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson.  “A charming, reassuring book for any child who has ever worried about Mummy leaving them alone.”


The Very Hungry CaterpillarThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. “Its imaginative illustration and clever cut-out detail charts the progress of a very hungry caterpillar as he eats his way through the week.”

BeeguBeegu by Alexis Deacon. “This [is a] simple, bittersweet picture book that shows us our world through the three eyes of an innocent outsider with the help of stylish art and a wry, understated text.”

Brown Bear Brown Bear
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.
“On each page, we meet a new animal who nudges us onward to discover which creature will show up next: ‘Blue Horse, Blue Horse, What do you see? I see a green frog looking at me.'”


A Bit LostA Bit Lost by Chris Haughton. “Uh-oh! Little Owl has fallen from his nest and landed with a whump on the ground. Now he is lost, and his mommy is nowhere to be seen!…A cast of adorable forest critters in neon-bright hues will engage little readers right up to the story’s comforting, gently wry conclusion.”

Green Eggs and HamGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. “Sam-I-Am mounts a determined campaign to convince another Seuss character to eat a plate of green eggs and ham.”



Harry the Dirty DogHarry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion. “Harry is a white dog with black spots who loves everything . . . except baths. So one day before bath time, Harry runs away…”



Mog the Forgetful CatMog the Forgetful Cat by Judith Kerr. “Mog always seems to be in trouble because she is such a very forgetful cat. But one night, when an uninvited visitor turns up at the house, Mog’s forgetfulness comes in very handy!”


The Snail and the WhaleThe Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. “One tiny snail longs to see the world and hitches a lift on the tail of a whale. Together they go on an amazing journey, past icebergs and volcanoes, sharks and penguins, and the little snail feels so small in the vastness of the world. But when disaster strikes and the whale is beached in a bay, it’s the tiny snail who saves the day.”

* The book descriptions here come from Goodreads. Click on the bookcover images to read more about these books on Goodreads.

You may also be interested in:

This entry was posted in Ages 1+, Ages 2+, Ages 3+, Ages 4+, Ages 5+, Ages 6+, Ages 7+, Ages 8+, All Ages and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to 60+ Not-to-be-Missed Picture Books: The Grand Finale!

  1. Story Snug says:

    This is such a wonderful list of books. We already have several of the books in our collection but I’ll definitely be back to look for more. Thank you Amy for putting it together (and all the other great lists)!

  2. I loved this series of posts. The picture book selection was spot on with lots and lots of favorite books of ours! I’m a little sad it’s ending!

  3. Hi Amy, just wanted to let to know that I mentioned/recommended your site on my blog post for today…”I follow this wonderful blog titled DELIGHTFUL CHILDREN’S BOOKS where you can find Amy (the blog author) and her extensive work and insight on the best books by ages, subjects, genre…” Thank You, read you soon, Alexandra

  4. sharann says:

    Great list! I pinned it to help me reach my 300 Picture Books in 2013 reading challenge. Thanks!

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 )

Connecting to %s