Children's Books Early Elementary (K-1-2) Reading & Literacy

100 Classic Children’s Picture Books

100 Classic Children's Picture Books 2

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Snuggling up to read some of the classic children’s picture books with a small child is truly one of life’s simple pleasures. Exploring a world full of adventure, kindness, courage, and truth broadens her understanding of life itself.

As a former elementary school teacher and ardent picture book lover, I already had a large collection of picture books when I was ready to begin homeschooling my daughter, Caroline. But I knew there were many other books out there I didn’t want us to miss.

So I began researching reading lists from books, authors and organizations I considered trustworthy.

This classic picture books list is the result of that quest.

Classic Children’s Picture Books

The resources I utilized included:

While this is not an exhaustive list of books, it will provide an excellent starting point for reading a wide variety of quality picture books during the kindergarten year.

I have included links directly to Amazon to make it easy to research the books. Some books were not on Amazon, but might be available through your local library or through another service such as Alibris, ebay, or other local used bookseller.

All books should be reviewed to determine if they meet your family’s guidelines for quality reading. There are books on the list I have not read and there are books on the list that I personally don’t like. But I wanted to provide a variety of ideas because families and children are all quite different in terms of what they enjoy. So please do not consider the inclusion of a book or link in this list an endorsement of everything there.

Classic Picture Book List


A Child’s Garden of Verses, Robert Louis Stevenson (illustrated by Eulalie, Jessie Wilcox Smith, or Alice and Martin Provenson)

A Child’s Book of Art: Discover Great Paintings, Lucy Micklethwait

A Fly Went By, Mike McClintock

A Pocket for Corduroy, Don Freeman

A Treasury of Mother Goose Rhymes, Linda Yeatman

A Tree Is Nice, Janice May Udry

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

All About Alfie, Shirley Hughes

Angus and the Ducks, Marjorie Flack

Are You My Mother?, P.D. Eastman

Arthur’s Chicken Pox, Marc Brown

Ask Mr. Bear, Marjorie Flack


Barn Dance!, Bill Martin, Jr.

Beatrix Potter illustrated books such as Beatrix Potter: The Complete Tales

Bedtime for Frances, Russell Hoban

Blueberries for Sal, Robert McCloskey


Caps for Sale, Esphyr Slobodkina

Capyboppy, Bill Peet

Chewy Louie, Howie Schneider

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Bill Martin, Jr.

City Mouse – Country Mouse (And Two More Mouse Tales From Aesop), John Wallner

Corduroy, Don Freeman

Curious George, H.A. Rey


Danny and the Dinosaur, Syd Hoff

Dr. Seuss’s ABC, Dr. Seuss


Each Peach Pear Plum, Janet and Allan Ahlberg

Eric Carle’s Animals Animals, Eric Carle


Family-Time Bible in Pictures, Kenneth Taylor

First Thousand Words, Heather Amery

Frederick, Leo Lionni

Frog and Toad Are Friends, Arnold Lobel

Froggy Gets Dressed, Jonathan London


Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown

Good-Night, Owl!, Pat Hutchins


Harry the Dirty Dog, Gene Zion

Hattie and the Fox, Mem Fox

How Do You Lift a Lion?, Robert E. Wells


If You Give a Moose a Muffin, Laura J. Numeroff

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Laura J. Numeroff

If You Give a Pig a Pancake, Laura J. Numeroff

If You Take a Mouse to the Movies, Laura J. Numeroff

Is a Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is?, Robert E. Wells

It Looked Like Spilt Milk, Charles G. Shaw


Jump, Frog, Jump!, Robert Kalan


Little Bear, and additional Little Bear titles by Else Holmelund Minarik


Madeline, Ludwig Bemelmans

Make Way for Ducklings, Robert McCloskey

Mary Had a Little Lamb, Sarah Josepha Hale

May I Bring a Friend?, Beatrice Schenk de Regniers

May We Sleep Here Tonight, Tan Koide

Mind Your Manners, Peggy Parish

Miss Rumphius, Barbara Cooney

Moses in the Bulrushes, Warwick Hutton

Mushroom in the Rain, Mirra Ginsburg

My First Bible in Pictures, Kenneth Taylor, illustrations by Richard and Francis Hook

My Little Golden Book About God, illustrated by Eloise Wilkin


No Roses for Harry!, Gene Zion


Old Mother Hubbard, Alice and Martin Provensen

On Market Street, Anita Lobel

One Monday Morning, Uri Shulevitz

One Morning in Maine, Robert McCloskey


People, Peter Spier

Poems and Prayers for the Very Young, Martha Alexander

Eloise Wilkin’s Poems to Read to the Very Young, illustrated by Eloise Wilkin


Richard Scarry’s Best Storybook Ever!, Richard Scarry

Richard Scarry’s Please and Thank You Book, Richard Scarry

Rosie’s Walk, Pat Hutchins

Roxaboxen, Barbara Cooney

Rumpelstiltskin, Cliff Moon


Stone Soup, Marcia Brown

Stories from Around the World, Heather Amery


The Big Red Barn, Margaret Wise Brown

The Big Snow, Berta and Elmer Hader

The Biggest Bear, Lynd Ward

The Boy Who Wouldn’t Go to Bed, Helen Cooper

The Carrot Seed, Ruth Krause

The Case of the Hungry Stranger, Crosby Bonsall

The Cat in the Hat, and other books by Dr. Suess

The Children’s Book of Virtues, William J. Bennett

The Chick and the Duckling, Mirra Ginsburg

The Classic Tales of Brer Rabbit, Joel Chandler Harris

The Doorbell Rang, Pat Hutchins

The Fox and the Crow, Val Biro

The Gingerbread Boy, Retold by Richard Egielski

The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot , Alice and Martin

The Llama Who Had No Pajama: 100 Favorite Poems, Mary Ann Hoberman

The Lion and the Mouse, adapted by Mary O’Toole

The Lion Storyteller Bedtime Book, Bob Hartman

The Little Engine That Could, Watty Piper

The Little House, Virginia Lee Burton

The Little Red Hen, Paul Galdone

The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook, Joyce Lankester Brisley

The Monkey and the Fisherman, Val Biro

The New Baby Calf, Edith Newlin Chase and Barbara Reid

The Ox-Cart Man, Barbara Cooney

The Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg

The Princess and the Pea, Cliff Moon

The Rooster Crows: A Book of American Rhymes and Jingles, Maud and Miska Petersham

The Runaway Bunny, Margaret Wise Brown

The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats

The Story about Ping, Marjorie Flack

The Story of Babar, Jean de Brunhoff

The Story of Ferdinand, Munro Leaf

The Story of Little Babaji, Helen Bannerman

The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter

The Tale of Three Trees, illustrated by Angela Elwell Hunt

The Three Billy Goats Gruff, Margaret H. Lippert

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle

The Year At Maple Hill Farm, Alice and Martin Provensen

Then and Now, Heather Amery

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, Simms Taback

Things People Do, Anne Civardi

Tikki Tikki Tembo, Arlene Mosel


Uncle Wiggily’s Story Book, Howard R. Garis


Wake Up, Sleepy Bear, Christine Morton-Shaw

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Michael Rosen

What’s Smaller Than a Pygmy Shrew?, Robert E. Wells

What’s Under the Sea?, Sophy Tahta

Where’s My Teddy?, Jez Alborough

Where’s Spot?, Erin Hill

Why Do Tigers Have Spots?, M. Unwin

Winnie-the-Pooh Series, A. A. Milne

Wynken, Blynken, & Nod, Eugene Field or illustrators Susan Jeffers or Barbara Cooney


Collection of classic stories and folktales such as The Little Red Hen, The Gingerbread Man, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Collection of Aesop’s Fables

Mother Goose Collection

Illustrated Classic Poetry for Children

Discover classic children's picture books perfect for kindergarten and early elementary students. These carefully selected book are positive and uplifting!


Sallie-Schaaf-Borrink-060313-B-250x250I’m Sallie and I help people create a cozy life that surrounds them and their loved ones with peace, understanding, and joy. By cultivating a cozy home, we create a haven of rest and growth for every area – parenting, education, marriage, and faith. Welcome! ♥

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