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Best Childrens Picture Books

Published Feb 23, 2015 | Updated Feb 19, 2020

I’m picky when it comes to the books I like to read my children (2 girls 5 & 8 years old). They need to be well written and illustrated, creative and interesting, as well as relevant to our lives. I’d like to share with you some of our family favorites for best childrens picture books. Most libraries in San Francisco and the Bay Area carry these authors.

David McPhail

Author David McPhail has written and illustrated some lovely books that encapsulate the virtues of kindness, love, and compassion. Most of his childrens picture books are catered to a younger audience (ages 3-5), but they are so lovely that my eight year old daughter still enjoys them. His books include Sisters, Pigs Aplenty Pigs Galore, Edward and the Pirates, and many other titles. Two of our favorites are:

Mole Music, which is about this lonely mole who learns to play the violin. As he learns how to play his instrument, he impacts the world above in a powerful way without knowing it. For children between 4-8 years old.

The Teddy Bear, which is a story about a little boy who loses his teddy bear, and learns about compassion in the process. For children between 4-6 years old.



Author Aliki is also the illustrator of more than fifty books for children that are treasured by readers all over the world. Her many well-loved titles include My Visit to the Zoo, My Visit to the Aquarium, My Visit to the Dinosaurs, Wild and Woolly Mammoths, Tabby, and Those Summers. Two of our family favorite Aliki books are:

Feelings and Manners, both of which are humorous, enjoyable to read, and well illustrated. These two childrens picture books are excellent resources to have in the home when it comes to talking to your children about social etiquette. For children 4-8 years old.

Eliza Kleven

Author Eliza Kleven is another one of my favorite authors and illustrators. Her best childrens picture books include: The Lion and the Little Red Bird, The Friendship Wish, The Paper Princess, The Apple Doll, and Ernst. Her collage like illustrations are intricate, playful, and captivating. Our favorite is:

The Paper Princess is a beautiful, whimsical, and engaging story about a paper princess who is blown away from her maker. Over a meadow and a river she flies, to a carnival and a town, until finally she finds her way home. For children 4-8 years old.

Jane Ray

Author Jane Ray is an amazing illustrator and author. I own three of her books: Can you Catch A Mermaid?, The Dolls’ House Fairy, & The Apple Pip Princess. Her stories have subtle but significant messages about things such as the environment, friendship, and family. They are truly a delight to read for parent and child alike. Our two favorites:

The Dolls’ House Fairy is a story that does a wonderful job of celebrating the beauty of imagination while touching on family illness. Any child who enjoys playing ‘dolls’ would enjoy the magic found in this book. For children 4-8 years old.

Can You Catch A Mermaid? is a lovely story about friendship, loss, and love. For children 4-8 years old.

If you want to add to your own home collection, you can usually find cheap copies of these childrens picture books on Amazon, though your local library is a great resource for those who don’t enjoy reading the same book over and over again.

Happy Reading!

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