For the Mind

The Ultimate List of Picture Books


This list is constantly, constantly updated over the years! It’s an actively growing list! Check back often.

When it comes to children’s picture books, I like to consider myself an archeolibrarianologist. I’ve spent quite a few years digging up good books at the library, on the internet and other places, and now I’m sharing them with you!

Picture books really inspire me when I draw, and also inspire me to pursue my future book writing/illustrating projects. So below is a long list of some of the best picture books for kids which I found over the years. These books have great illustrations and fun stories for children and adults alike. The list is in alphabetical order for all OCD people out there 😉

As you can see by scanning the list, there are historical story books, biographies, science, and beautifully illustrated books. Feel free to comment and recommend other books you don’t see on the list.

My #1 Favorite Children’s book (wink, wink)

Princess of the Reformation: Jeanne D’Albret (A true story)
and the book trailer


A Bear in War by Stephanie Innes

A Big Cheese for the White House: The True Tale of a Tremendous Cheddar by Candace Fleming and S.D. Schindler

A Book for Black-Eyed Susan (Tales of Young Americans) by Judy Young, Doris Ettlinger

Abe’s Honest Words by Doreen Rappaport

Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books by Kay Winters

A Christmas Like Helen’s by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock

Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine by Laurie Wallmark 

Adèle & Simon by Barbara McClintock

Adèle & Simon in America by Barbara McClintock

A Fair Bear Share by Stuart J. Murphy 

A Fine Dessert: four centuries, four families, one delicious treat by Emily Jenkins

A hero and the holocaust : the story of Janusz Korczak and his children by David A. Adler

A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women by Lynne Cheney 

A lucky dog: Owney, U.S. Railmail Service mascot by Dirk Wales

A New Coat for Anna (Dragonfly Books) by Harriet Ziefert

A Pioneer ABC by Mary Alice Downie, Mary Jane Gerber

Abbie against the storm : the true story of a young heroine and a lighthouse by Marcia Vaughan

Abe’s fish : a boyhood tale of Abraham Lincoln by Jen Bryant

All the Way to America: The Story of a Big Italian Family and a Little Shovel by Dan Yaccarino

Alice from Dallas  by Marilyn Sadler 

An Orange for Frankie by Patricia Polacco

Apples to Oregon: Being the (Slightly) True Narrative of How a Brave Pioneer Father Brought Apples, Peaches, Pears… by Deborah Hopkinson and Nancy Carpenter

Ask Me by Bernard Waber

A Symphony for the Sheep by Cynthia Millen

Aunt Pitty Patty’s Piggy by Jim Aylesworth

Ballots for Belva: The True Story of a Woman’s Race for the Presidency by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and Courtney Autumn Martin

Bear in the Air  by Susan Meyers

Boom Town by Sonia Levitin and  Bowman Smith

Boss of the Plains: The Hat that Won The West by Laurie Carlson

Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming

Brave Harriet : the first woman to fly the English Channel by Marissa Moss ; illustrated by C.F. Payne

Breaking into Print: Before and After the Printing Press by Stephen Krensky

By the Dawn’s Early Light: The Story of the Star-Spangled Banner by Steven Kroll and Dan Andreasen

Camping with the President by Ginger Wadsworth

Charley’s First Night by Amy Hest

Christmas around the world by Mary D. Lankford

Christmas farm by Mary Lyn Ray

Colonial voices: hear them speak by Kay Winters and Larry Day

Come See the Earth Turn by Lori Mortensen and Raul Allen

Covered Wagons, Bumpy Trails by Verla Kay and S. D. Schindler

Cowboy Slim by Julie Danneberg, Margot Apple

Cowboys and Cowgirls: YippeeYay! by Gail Gibbons

Daisy Saves the Day by Shirley Hughes

Dear Mr. Washington by Lynn Cullen

Dreaming of America: An Ellis Island Story by Eve Bunting

Eleanor  by Barbara Cooney

Elsie’s bird by Jane Yolen

Everything but the Horse by Holly Hobbie

Every Cowgirl Loves a Rodeo by Rebecca Janni

F is for Firefighting by Dori Hillestad

Fannie in the Kitchen: The Whole Story from Soup to Nuts of How Fannie Farmer Invented Recipes with Precise Measurements by Deborah Hopkinson, Nancy Carpenter

Fantastic Flights: One Hundred Years of Flying on the Edge by Patrick O’Brien

Farmer George plants a nation  by  Peggy Thomas

Flight of the Honey Bee by Raymond Huber

Fly Cher Ami, Fly! : The Pigeon Who Saved the Lost Battalion by  Robert Burleigh

For the love of music: the remarkable story of Maria Anna Mozart by Elizabeth Rusch

Friend on Freedom River (Tales of Young Americans) by Gloria Whelan, Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen

Galileo’s Leaning Tower Experiment by Wendy Macdonald

Gazpacho for Nacho by Tracey Kyle

George Washington by Cheryl Harness

Gingerbread for Liberty by Mara Rockliff

Gravity by Jason Chin

Greatest Skating Race: A World War II Story from the Netherlands by Louise Borden

Halley Came to Jackson by Mary Chapin Carpenter, Dan Andreasen

Handel who knew what he liked by M.T. Anderson

Harriet You’ll Drive me Wild by Mem Fox

Here Comes Darrell by Leda Schubert

Home on the Range by Deborah Hopkinson

Homespun Sarah by Verla Kay and Ted Rand

How Does the Ear Hear? And Other Questions about The Five Senses by Melissa Stewart

I, Galileo  by  Bonnie Christensen

In the land of milk and honey by Joyce Carol Thomas

It’s a snap! : George Eastman’s first photograph by Monica Kulling

It’s Milking Time by Phyllis Alsdurf

I, Vivaldi by Janice Shefelman

Journey to America  by Sonia Levitin

Journey to Ellis Island by Carol Bierman

Junkman’s Daughter (Tales of Young Americans) by Sonia Levitin, Guy Porfirio

Kisses on the Wind by Lisa Moser

Laundry Day by Maurie J. Manning

Let’s Build a Clubhouse by Marilyn Singer and Timothy Bush 

Little Red Riding Hood by Jerry Pinkney

Mailing May by Michael O. Tunnell and Ted Rand

Mary’s first Thanksgiving : an inspirational story of gratefulness by Katy-Jo Wargin

Make Way for Ducklings (Viking Kestrel picture books) by Robert McCloskey

Marvelous Mattie: How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventor by Emily Arnold McCully

Mirette & Bellini cross Niagara Falls by Emily Arnold McCully

Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully

Miss Birdie Chose a Shovel by Leslie Connor

Miss Moore thought otherwise : how Anne Carroll Moore created libraries for children by Jan Pinborough

Mitchell’s License by Hallie Durand

Mozart The Wonder Child by Diane Stanley 

Mr. Ferris and His Wheel by Katheryn Gibbs

My Grandfather’s Coat by Jim Aylesworth

My great-aunt Arizona by AlGloria Houston

My heart glow : Alice Cogswell, Thomas Gallaudet, and the birth of American sign language by Emily Arnold McCully

Mysterious patterns : finding fractals in nature by Sarah C. Campbell

N.C. Wyeth’s pilgrims by Robert San Souci

Noah’s Ark by Jerry Pinkney

Once Upon a Farm by Bob Artley 

Organs! How they work, fall apart and can be replaced (gasp!) by Nancy Winslow Parker

Our Abe Lincoln by Jim Aylesworth

Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall, Barbara Cooney

Papa and the Pioneer Quilt by Jean Van Leeuwen

Papa Piccolo by Carol Talley

Peanut Butter and Jellyfish  by Jarrett J. Krosozcka

Peppe the Lamplighter by Elisa Bartone, Ted Lewin

Pilgrim Cat (Albert Whitman Prairie Books) by Carol Antoinette Peacock, Doris Ettlinger

Queen Victoria’s Bathing Machine by Gloria Whelan

Revolutionary John Adams by Cheryl Harness

Rose Blanche by Christophe Gallaz and Roberto Innocenti

Running with the Horses by Alison Lester

Sarah Gives Thanks: How Thanksgiving Became a National Holiday by Mike Allegra, David Gardner

Sea clocks : the story of longitude by Louise Borden

Shooting at the stars : the Christmas truce of 1914 by John Hendrix

Shooting for the moon : the amazing life and times of Annie Oakley by Stephen Krensky

Sir Cumference and All the Kings Tens: A Math Adventure by Cindy Neuschwander 

Sisters of Scituate Light by Stephen Krensky and Stacey Schuett

Sky Boys: how they built the Empire State Building by Deborah Hopkinson & James E. Ransome

Sleepytime Me by Edith Hope Fine

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and Mary Azarian

Spuds by Karen Hesse and Wendy Watson

Steam, Smoke and Steel: Back in Time with Trains by Patrick O’Brien 

Stormys Hat Just Right for a Railroad Man

Story of the Orchestra  by Robert Levine and Meredith Hamilton

T is for Time by Marie and Roland Smith

That Book Woman by Heather Henson

That’s What I’d Do by Jewel

Tattered Sails by Verla Kay and Dan Andreasen

Tenth Avenue cowboy by Linda Oatman High

Thanksgiving Treat by Catherine Stock

The All I’ll Ever Want Christmas Doll by Patricia C McKissack

The Bobbin Girl by Emily Arnold McCully

The boy who fell off the Mayflower or John Howland’s Good Fortune by P.J. Lynch

The boy who loved math : the improbable life of Paul Erdos  by Deborah Heiligman

The Buffalo Storm by Katherine Applegate and Jan Ormerod

The camping trip that changed America  by Barbara Rosenstock

The Candymaker’s Gift: The Legend of the Candycane by Haidle, Helen

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski

The Crossing by Donna Jo Napoli

The Dog Who Belonged to No One by Amy Hest

The Elevator Man by Stanley Trachtenberg

The Gardener  by Sarah Stewart

The Gingerbread Cowboy by Janet Squires

The glorious flight : across the Channel with Louis Blériot by Alice and Martin Provensen

The Golden Plate by Bernadette Watts

The Gunniwolf by Wilhelmina Harper

The Honeybee Man by Lela Nargi

The Journey of the One and Only Declaration of Independence by Judith St. George

The Last Train by Gordon Titcomb

The Last Brother: A Civil War Tale (Tales of Young Americans) by Trinka Hakes Noble, Robert Papp

The Life and Times of the Honeybee by Charles Micucci

The Light of the World by Katherine Paterson

The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton

The man who made time travel  by Kathryn Lasky

The matchbox diary by Paul Fleischman

The Milkman’s Boy by Donald Hall and Greg Shed

The Orange Shoes by Trinka Hakes Noble, Doris Ettlinger

The Pen that Pa Built by David Edwards

The Poppy Lady by Barbara Elizabeth Walsh

The Promise Quilt by Candice F. Ransom, Ellen Beier

The Queen’s Hat by Steve Anthony

The Scarlet Stockings Spy (Tales of Young Americans) by Trinka Hakes Noble, Robert Papp

The secret box  by Barbara Lehman

The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman

The story of Salt by Mark Kurlansky 

The Story of the Incredible Orchestra by Bruce Koscielniak

The Town that Fooled the British by Lisa Papp

The Very First Thanksgiving Day  by Rhonda Gowler Greene 

They’re Off! The Story of the Pony Express by Cheryl Harness

Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman

Tiny creatures: the world of microbes by Nicola Davies

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons by Anna Harwell Celenza

What To Do About Alice?: How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy! by Barbara Kerley

Worst of Friends: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and the True Story of an American Feud by Suzanne Tripp Jurmain 

The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark by Carmen Agra Deedy, Henri Sorensen

Those Rebels, John and Tom by Barbara Kerley and Edwin Fotheringham

To fly : the story of the Wright brothers by Wendie Old

Warm as Wool by Scott Russell Sanders

Whatever Happened to the Pony Express? by Verla Kay

What Lincoln Said by Sarah L. Thomson

When Jessie Came Across the Sea by Amy Hest and P.J. Lynch

William’s House by Ginger Howard

Why is the Sea Salty? And other questions about oceans by Benjamin Richmond

Willy & Max : a Holocaust story by Amy Littlesugar

Write On, Mercy! The Secret Life of Mercy Otis Warren by Gretchen Woelfle 

11 thoughts on “The Ultimate List of Picture Books

  1. Wow when you said list you weren’t kidding! I need to print this, my kids are obsessed with books but they take a lot of wear and tear so I’m constantly replacing. 🙂

    1. Hi Mother of 3,

      Yes, I agree, there are sooo many great picture books out there! I have a constant stack at home of 20-40 picture books we have borrowed from the library. I’m always on the lookout for great books, so I keep updating this list! Which are some of your favorites that are listed here? 🙂

    1. Hi Annie!

      I’m really, really glad you like this list and for your feedback! I always loved coming across links with great resources/lists, and I thought this would be something useful for a lot of people, and your comment makes me feel happy that I didn’t do it in vain!

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