Picture Books

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The Hungary Caterpillar, By Eric Carle
Ages: 1-4 years old

This book tells the story of a little caterpillar who has just hatched from an egg and is very hungry. Through colorful pictures we get to see all of the food that the caterpillar eats.
In this book children are able to learn about nature and the life cycle of a caterpillar. This book also helps children learn about counting and the days of the week since we are able to count how much food the caterpillar eats and on what days he eats the food. At the end of the book we get to see the caterpillar turn into a beautiful butterfly and kids will love the colors of the butterfly’s wings.

This is a great book to read during the spring since you and your child might start seeing some caterpillars and butterflies when you are outside. This classic book will become a favorite in your home. The Very Hungry Caterpillar can be found in your local library and is also available as an e-book.

RainstormBy Barbara Lehman
Picture Book: ages 3-6 years old

Rainstorm is a picture book with no text. The story is told entirely through illustrations, which makes it an excellent early literacy choice. You and your child can look at the pictures and talk about what is happening–you create the story together.

The story starts: it is a rainy day, and a bored little boy wanders around his house. He finds a mysterious key, and when he discovers what it unlocks–a whole world of adventure opens up. It’s amazing what an imagination can do, and this story creates a lovely blend of the real and the dreamy.

Recommended by Marni Port, Child & Teen Services Manager: “The watercolor and ink illustrations are clean and crisp, vivid and engaging. The pictures evoke a feeling of whimsical adventure. Enjoy!”

The Color KittensBy Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrated by Alice Provensen and Martin Provensen
Picture Book: ages 3-6 years old

Two fun loving kittens–the Color Kittens–discover many different colors. They paint the world pink and green and blue…and all the colors of the world. Published more than 50 years ago, this Little Golden Book Classic is much loved and still popular today.

One member of our staff says, “Oh, did I love this book as a toddler. My dad read it to me over and over again. The poetry is so fun, and I loved the purple page the best!”

NothingBy Jon Agee
Picture Book: ages 3-6 years old
2008 ALA Younger Readers Notable Book

When Suzie, the richest lady in town, shows up at Otis’ antique store, she demands that he sell her “nothing”. She has lots of things, but has never had “nothing” and is willing to pay for the experience!

The shopkeepers in town are thrilled with Suzie’s new interest in nothing–and soon all the townspeople are buying…nothing. Jon Agee writes, “Soon the whole town was in a frenzy! Nothing sold like nothing before!”

Does the obsession last? Or do Suzie and the townspeople realize that sometimes, something is worth having? Read this enjoyable book and find out!

Recommended by: Marni Port, former Child & Teen Services Manager  “The drawings are simple and fun. The colors are vibrant and the story very funny.”

 Swimmy, By Leo Lionni
Picture Book: ages 3-6 years old
Caldecott Honor Book
ALA Notable Book NY Time Best Illustrated Book of the Year

Swimmy is a fish, the lonely survivor after a big tuna fish eats the rest of the fish in his school. Setting out on his own, he explores the big ocean. He eventually meets new companions and figures out a way they can all avoid being eaten by another big fish. The language is poetic, and the illustrations will take your breath away.

Bunny Money, By: Rosemary Wells
Picture Books: ages 3-6 years old

Bunny Money is a cute story that can help your child learn to count! Ruby and Max are bunnies who start out their day with ten “Bunny Money” dollars.

Ruby is determined to buy their Grandmother a music box. However, after an exciting day in the city, the money is almost gone! What will Ruby and Max get their Grandmother?

This is a great picture book that incorporates images that your children can count. It also includes an activity where your child can make their very own Bunny Money!

Recommended by: Bernie Dorsey, Conscious Fathering Founder, “My son adored this book! Her carried it under his arm. If you caught him, you would have to read it to him.”

A is for AngryBy Sandra Boynton
Picture Book: ages 3-8 years old

Sandra Boynton has created a fun-filled journey through the alphabet. Her drawings are full of energy, humor, and creativity. A very engaging alphabet book that you will have fun reading with your child.

Recommended by: Janelle Durham, Great Starts Trainer “Each page has a letter, an adjective, and an animal: H is for Hungry Hippopotamus, J is for Jazzy Jaguar, etc. It’s especially fun to read it out loud if you read each page in the tone of voice that reflects the adjective be bashful on the B page, sleepy on the S page, and LOUD on the L page!”

Zin, Zin, Zin, A Violin, By Lloyd Moss
Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
Poetry/Picture Book: ages 3-6 years old

Through luscious verse, we learn about musical groups and instruments. And ode, really, to the instruments that make up an orchestra. And yet, also a lovely, simple counting book. Beautifully written, with drawings that flow like a simple, classic melody.

Recommended by Christine Stoll, Development Coordinator: “The boys and I loved this colorful picture book with it’s wonderful rhyming story about an orchestra. It provides a great introduction to musical instruments and counting, and it’s so much fun to read together! In fact, at age 4, [my older son] had it memorized and “read” the book everyday to his baby brother.”

Truck, By Donald Crews
Picture Book: ages 3-6 years old
Caldecott Honor Book

This wordless picture book is filled with road signs and vehicles of all shapes, sizes and colors. Follow the big, red truck as it makes it way through the city streets. And guess what’s inside the truck…bicycles!

Recommended by Margaret Edgar, Family Help Line Manager: Donald Crews is an author who creates beautifully illustrated, true picture books. You’d swear these books were animate. They are bright and lively and easy for toddlers to sit for- especially little boys. Some of my other favorites are PARADE, HARBOR, FREIGHT TRAIN, and FLYING.”

The Lonely Doll, By Dare Wright
Picture Book: ages 3-6 years old

Edith is a lonely doll, living in a nice house all by herself. All she wants are friends to play with. Then one day two teddy bears arrive (Mr. Bear and Little Bear) and Edith is never lonely again. Follow her adventures as Edith and the Bears go to the beach, the park, fishing–and of course get into a bit of trouble!

Dare Wright’s photographs illustrate the book. Edith the Doll and the (teddy) bears are dressed and posed in creative setting, making this book an instant classic by the famous photographer and former model Wright. The Lonely Doll is the first in a series of charming books about Edith and her friends.

Recommended by Marni Port, Child & Teen Services Manager: This book is unique, and was actually one of my little sister’s favorite childhood books. You will be enchanted with both the story and the pictures.

Harold and the Purple CrayonBy Crockett Johnson
Picture Book: ages 3-6 years old

Young Harold sets off on an adventure, bringing with him only two things: his imagination, and a purple crayon. A moonlit path, a field and forest, a scary dragon, and much more. You can explore with Harold as he draws his fantasy world. His magical adventure has inspired readers for generations.

Recommended by David Cahn, Development Assistant & Assistant Great Starts Registrar: “I have a place in my heart for Harold and the Purple Crayon for the simple illustrations and wildly imaginative premise. It’s fun and exciting for kids to watch Harold go and draw everything on his little adventure. What a better way to encourage imaginative play and drawing than with this classic book!”

Cars And Trucks And Things That Go, By Richard Scarry
Picture Book: ages 3-6 years old

The Pig family takes a road trip, and what a road trip it is! Travel along with them and see all the many things “that go”. Silly, engaging, creative pictures of trucks, cars, bikes, and a bunch of vehicles you may never have seen before now. This book was first published in 1974 and is still a top choice for toddlers. Your child will be drawn into the book, finding interesting details that bring them back again and again. The more they look, the more they find on each page.

Our reviewer says: “My son can sit and look at the creative, silly drawings in this book forever. Each page is like eye candy! What other book has cars designed like pickles, hammers, bananas, and other household items. Have you ever seen a worm with a bowtie and one shoe? Or how about that little gold bug hiding on each page? Ridiculous fun!!”

Abuela, By Arthur Dorros
Illustrated by Elisa Kleven
Picture book: ages 3-7 years old

Abuela is a beautifully written and illustrated story about a girl and her Abuela–grandmother. Interweaving Spanish words and phrases within the story, we follow along as the little girl imagines what multicultural city. The language is poetic, the illustrations vivid and detailed. Absolutely beautiful.

Reviewer comment: “The whole story is a lovely illustration of a child and her grandmother enjoying life together. Great for a family like ours that is English speaking, but has a grandmother who is a native Spanish speaker.”

Ira Sleeps Over, By Bernard Waber
Early Reader/Picture book: ages 4-7 years old

Ira is invited to his first sleep over, and boy is he excited. That is, until his sister asks if he’ll bring his teddy bear with him. Well should he? Will his friend Reggie make fun of him? (“Yes”, says his sister). Will he be able to sleep without his teddy bear? (“No,” says his sister.) What should he do? Ira changes his mind from “yes” to “no” and back and forth again. Follow along on Ira’s and Reggie’s sleep over, and find out if the teddy bear joins Ira or not. Maybe, just maybe…other people sleep with teddy bears too…

Recommended by Margaret Edgar, former, Family Help Line Manager: “I love the way this book captures the excitement of a first sleepover and reassures readers that they are not alone when it comes to bedtime fears. It is a little slice of life that all children can relate to and is told in language and illustrations that will captivate a young audience.”

Rosie’s Walk, By Pat Hutchins
Picture Book: ages 3-5 years old

Rosie the hen sets out for a walk. Unknown to her, the fox sets out behind her! Rosie wanders leisurely, unaware of the fox’s pursuit. Each place she goes the fox is sure to catch up with her! But somehow, each and every place she walks, the fox is thwarted. And Rosie continues on, blissfully unaware of her narrow escapes.

Told in few words, there are many opportunities in this story for a parent/reader to have conversations about what is happening through the pictures.

Good Night, Baby, By Clara Vulliamy
Picture Book: ages 2-4 years old

A simple picture book about a lovely nighttime routine. Baby and Mom pack toys away, take a bath, put on jammies, and get ready for sleep. Lovely, cozy, simple rhymes to describe a realistic end of day ritual.

Recommended by Kathy Zeisel, Parents as Teachers Coordinator: “It’s a well worn book that I’ve used with many ages, and it’s a favorite of all.”

Where is Baby’s Belly Button? By By Karen Katz
Picture Book: 1-4 years old.

This adorable book is an extended game of peek-a-boo. Easy to lift flaps make this an ideal book for a young child to participate while being read to. Don’t be surprised if your toddler wants to find your belly button when the story is over!

Recommended by Marni Port, Child & Teen Services Manager: “This book is so cute; after I read it I immediately wanted to find a baby so that I could play peek-a-boo!”

Me…Jane, By Patrick McDonnell
Caldecott Honor Book
Ages 2 and up

Patrick McDonnell’s non-fiction picture book is a breezy tale of Jane Goodall’s childhood love of the outdoors, animals, scientific observation and learning. McDonnell’s simple yet evocative illustrations, pared with a few of Goodall’s childhood sketches and notes, are mixed with a couple real photos of Jane with chimps. The result is a lovely tale of a little girl with a stuffed chimpanzee who dreamt of helping animals, and grew up to see her dreams come true.