Books are the one thing that can assure proper edutainment, especially when it comes to kids younger than five years. And sometimes, simply reading aloud a story isn’t captivating enough for a child. That is where picture books are your best friends. So below, we’ve compiled a list of books that combine fascinating rhymes with colorful illustrations to make for an ideal story time.
1. 13 Sculptures Children Should Know
13 Sculptures Children Should Knowis 45 pages of 13 fantastic sculptures that each play an important role in the story. These include works from all over the world, such as those by Niki de Saint Phalle, Rodin, and Michelangelo. The book is filled with colorful and exciting visuals that easily catch the imagination and help children comprehend art.
2. A Moat is Not a Goat
A Moat is Not a Goatcontains 13 beautiful poems about everyday activities that will especially be enjoyed by little girls. It comes with magnificent illustrations that represent cultural and social diversity. The book’s theme is to celebrate young girls in a manner that will educate and empower them regarding their status in the world.
Abracazebrafeatures the story of a sleepy town that becomes alive when the mysterious Abracazebra arrives in town. Her magic shows enchant everyone except Goat, who finds himself grumpy about the attention Abracazebra has gained. It is a gorgeously illustrated picture book that tells us that feeling jealous is normal and doesn’t always have to be inappropriate.
4. The Adventures of Holly Holstein
The book The Adventures of Holly Holstein tells the story of a little girl Mika who visits her Grandma on her birthday. On Grandma’s farm, a baby calf is born whom Mika names Holly. The book is an elegant introduction to the peaceful flow of life on a farm and to the first few days of a calf’s life. It contains many pictures throughout to make the reader feel relatable to the narrative.
5. The Adventures of Onyx and The Guardians of the Straits
Based on the true-life experiences of Tyler Benson (the author),The Adventures of Onyx and The Guardians of the Straitstells the story of a brave dog on a Coast Guard ship on a dark, stormy night. As one of the two men to be rescued falls into the water, the dog risks her life in a heroic and successful attempt to save him and earns her fellow humans’ respect.
6. Baby Unplugged
Author and pediatrician Dr. John Hutton praises the thrill and significance of real-life experiences for a child in Baby Unplugged.The idea is that every once in a while, we should unplug technology and allow kids to familiarize themselves with the real world and real people. The text combines colorful illustrations and rhymes in a kid-friendly pattern.
7. A Bad Case of Stripes
Little Camilla Cream loves lima beans, unlike her friends. A Bad Case of Stripestells the story of how she avoids lima beans to be like her friends and wakes up one day to find colored stripes all over her body. The book firmly delivers the important message that it is fine to have unique opinions and not be like everyone else.
8. Beast Friends Forever
All the animals in the jungle are roaring their approval for Beast Friends Forever. The book is filled with addicting poems of various lengths and displays wonderfully intricate illustrations to keep any reader engaged. It also introduces kids to an assortment of animals such as peacocks, seagulls, raccoons, and anteaters, to name a few.
9. Beatrix Potter & the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig
The award-winning historical fiction writer Deborah Hopkinson takes readers into the home of the animal-loving artist Beatrix Potter of 19th century England. Beatrix Potter & the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig makes for an excellent read-aloud thanks to its light-hearted and friendly writing style. The book makes use of watercolors to captivate young and adult minds alike.
10. The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving
Meet the Sister and Brother bear cubs in The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving, each of whom intends to spend Christmas money on themselves rather than on their sibling. However, something special happens during the Christmas Eve Pageant that teaches the significance of “giving” instead of only “getting.”
11. Billy and The Monster Who Ate All the Easter Eggs
Billy and The Monster Who Ate All the Easter Eggspokes the imagination with the tale of Billy and The Monster’s visit to Grandma Chocalicious for Easter. They end up eating a little too much of Grandma’s delicious Easter eggs and get a bellyache. The story’s ultimate lesson is practicing moderation and how too much of anything can be unpleasant.
12. The Blue Daisy: A Lesson in Gratitude
When the sun shines down hot on the blue daisy, she prefers to stay in the shade and out of daylight. The Blue Daisy: A Lesson in Gratitudetells the story of how a little flower starts to lose hey delicate petals and vibrant colors as she refuses to come out in the sun. The moral is to appreciate whatever you have, even if it feels a little uncomfortable.
13. Boris and Bella
Bella, the slimy and messy monster, and Boris, the tidy and immaculate ghoul, must learn to compromise each other for the upcoming epic Halloween party in Boris and Bella. The book manages to bring the reader into the Halloween mood using a warm and fun narrative without being too scary or gruesome.
14. Bowtie Brownlee Goes to School
It’s the first day of kindergarten and also Bowtie Brownlee’s first day at a new school. Bowtie Brownlee Goes to Schoolfinds Bowtie coming across a fellow kid that is mean to him because of his bowtie. He then runs into another boy who is nice to him instead. He learns that for every person who doesn’t like your bowtie, there is someone who appreciates you for who you are.
15. Am I an Insect? (Budding Biologist)
A biologist mom (Kristine Duehl) and an artist mom (Katy Castronovo) come together in Am I an Insect? (Budding Biologist)to teach kids and grown-ups alike how to tell if something is an insect. It depicts fascinating pictures of nature and challenges the reader to guess if something’s an insect or not.
16. The Boy Who Spoke to God
Niko is a boy who lives in a place where different people worship different gods. So when God visits Niko in a dream, he lets the people know that God looks like a little bit of what each group believes in. While introducing the reader to different cultures, The Boy Who Spoke to Godultimately teaches us to always value the personal beliefs of others.
17. The Bug Barians
The Bug Bariansillustrates an adventurous journey undertaken by Viking bugs using wonderful art and prose that will keep kids engaged and excited. The story introduces many characters with fancy names and diverse personalities to demand the full attention of the listener.
18. Bedtime Mischief
Follow the whimsical journey of a little girl in Bedtime Mischiefwho spreads mischief around her house to delay bedtime. The book gives vibes of adventure and provides kids with creative ideas for when they are feeling mischievous. It also subtly delivers the message to make a habit of cleaning up our mess ourselves
19. Captain Crossbones in The Treasure Hunt
Captain Crossbones the Pirate goes on an adventure to find a treasure in Captain Crossbones in The Treasure Hunt. As he reaches the island, he finds that a surprise is waiting for him in the treasure chest. The adventure is delivered through cleverly rhyming verses that go perfectly with everybody’s favorite pirate accent.
20. Come Back Dear Sun
It’s daytime in Come Back Dear Sunand the sun is missing in the sky. Kaylee and her friends meet up with the moon to help find the sun. The moon tells them that since no one comes to play out anymore, the sun has gone to a place where she can be more appreciated. It is now up to the kids to convince the sun to come back to their sky.
21. Cutest Animals Collection (National Geographic Kids)
Cutest Animals Collection (National Geographic Kids)introduces kids to some other adorable animals that deserve an affectionate “aww!” besides puppies and kittens. From penguins and polar bears to monkeys and generally any animal baby, the book is filled with cuddly photographs and fascinating facts of all kinds.
22. The Day No One Played Together
The bookThe Day No One Played Together is about two sisters who want to play but disagree on what to play. Will they have to play alone or come up with another solution? The story teaches the essential lesson every child needs to learn; compromising with the wants of others.
23. Daylight Starlight Wildlife
Wendell Minor, America’s renowned wildlife and landscape painter, puts together a life-like collection of paintings in Daylight Starlight Wildlifeto inform us about the animals we are constantly surrounded by. It is a beautiful and educational piece of writing that will make for a unique bedtime story.
24. Doyli to the Rescue
Doyli is a 10-year old who lives in a small village in Peru. Doyli to the Rescue (Saving Baby Monkeys in the Amazon)introduces us to her life as an animal activist. Along with her uncle, she rescues and nurtures endangered monkeys. The narrative intelligently educates the reader by laying out delightful visuals and leaves children with an excellent role model to idealize.
25. Druscilla’s Halloween
Druscilla’s Halloweenfollows the tale of Druscilla, the ancient witch whose knees are now sore, and her cat Drizzle. The book uses decent pictures to depict the activities of Druscilla as she searches for new and creative tricks to give a good scare to unsuspecting children.
26. An Earth Child’s Book of the Year
An Earth Child’s Book of the Yeartells kids about the months of a year and different seasons by taking them on a fantastic magical journey. The book is simple-to-learn, makes use of beautiful rhymes, and depicts colorful pictures to make for a melodic and educative read.
27. Elijah Makes New Friends
Elijah, a young boy, meets three friends who are all different from one another in Elijah Makes New Friends. A chubby and bespectacled boy, a lonely girl who dresses strangely, and a boy in a wheelchair get to spend time with Elijah. In the end, Elijah learns that even though people may look unfamiliar, everybody can be a friend if you get to know them.
28. Jim & The Special Stethoscope
Dr. Jim & The Special Stethoscope takes the reader into the town of Polestock and introduces them to a doctor who can hear the thoughts of animals using a special stethoscope. Cats, dogs, kangaroos, frogs, snakes, hamsters, and countless other cuddly animals visit the doctor to express their concerns and get to feel better.
29. A Color Game for Chester Raccoon
A Color Game for Chester Raccoonaims to solve the common issue of over-boredom faced by every child by introducing a simple and entertaining activity. It involves seeking out different colors in familiar places. The book is a kid-friendly read with whimsical writing and bright illustrations depicting raccoons in a forest theme.
30. Children’s Activity Atlas
A fact-filled book to build children’s appreciation for geography and culture, Children’s Activity Atlascomes with 12 illustrated maps. The content is educational in an engaging way, informing the reader about the seven continents, their wildlife, architecture, and culture.
31. Emma and Snowbell
Emma and Snowbellis filled with magical songs as Emma and her friends hop onto the back of Santa’s reindeers and take in the marvelous sight of the world far below. The rhymes, sung in the pattern of “Jingle Bells,” and the colorful illustrations come together to celebrate the merry holiday season.
32. Falling Rock
Falling Rockis a special book that combines Native American culture with modern-day settings to deliver a tale of friendship, mysticism, and dream. Falling Rock, a First Nations boy, dearly loves his horse Runs Like Thunder. The story follows the boy in his years-long search for his horse while introducing us to new characters and absorbing themes.
33. Flight of the Mite
Flight of the Mitefeatures an adorable mite as she gazes upon the star-filled night sky, humbled and thrilled by the vastness of the world. In her desire to explore the unknown, she meets an old mite and learns how the wind can take her to new places on dandelion seeds. The story finds the mite meeting special creatures who tell that imagination is the greatest gift of all.
34. The Fox and the Fawn
A little lost fawn, his Mom, and a clever fox make up the thrilling tale in The Fox and the Fawn. Even if a bit harsh, the book teaches a vital life lesson of why we should not trust strangers. It contains beautiful illustrations throughout and builds a powerful theme that makes for a fascinating bedtime story.
35. Funny Farm
Edward, the city dog, can’t get used to farm life and keeps falling asleep or messing up whenever he tries to help his family in Funny Farm. He is a hard-working dog who brings a smile to everyone’s face and is the heart of this humorous and cozy tale.
36. GG and Mamela
A great-grandma and her great-granddaughter, GG and Mamela, respectively, love spending time together, making breakfast soup, and reading stories. One day GG gets ill and is sent to a hospice, and soon it is time for the final goodbye. It is a touching and heart-warming tale that thoughtfully introduces the concept of dying and how to cope with it.
37. Gingerbread Baby
Gingerbread Babyis an adorable story of a Gingerbread Bread who has escaped from the oven. The little boy Matti has to come up with a plan to catch the baby as he runs all around the town mischievously, staying out of the reach of everyone.
38. The Girl Who Cannot Eat Peanut Butter
The Girl Who Cannot Eat Peanut Butteris about a girl who often gets upset because of her allergy to peanut butter. But soon, she realizes that there’s nothing to be sad about as everyone in her class has something unique about them. It’s a rhyming book that takes a positive approach to the stigma of food allergies and how to deal with them.
39. Hamilton Troll Meets Barney Bee
A friendly troll makes friends with a rather plump, pollen-eating bee and learns all the fun facts there are to bees in Hamilton Troll Meets Barney Bee. While educating the troll, Barney the Bee is eating so much that his little wings will soon no longer support him. It’s now Hamilton the Troll’s turn to teach Barney the importance of good nutrition and healthy exercise.
40. Henry the Blowfish
Henry the Blowfish has been assigned the task to blow up heart balloons. However, one day he loses his job for blowing up too many balloons and goes away. He then sets out on a new journey as he befriends two boys and helps them win an upcoming race. Though a bit lengthy, the book is ultimately filled with many adventurous and emotional themes kids will easily empathize with.
Hookitty-Tookitty-Tah is a clever wizard who has to outsmart an evil dragon threatening a nearby town’s lives. It is a creative take on the classic dragon story using rhyming verse and vibrant illustrations to deliver the simple yet frequently-ignored message of not eating too many sweets.
42. Hope Learns to Jump Rope
Hope is a little girl who has lost her determination to learn to jump rope after a few failed attempts. The story Hope Learns to Jump Ropesees Hope’s Mom and a magical fairy encourage her to keep on trying. She eventually becomes skilled at rope jumping and proudly displays her abilities to her new friends at school.
43. How the Moon Regained Her Shape
Listen to the tale of the moon in How the Moon Regained Her Shape as one night she happens to come across the sun who tells her no one loves her. Saddened, the moon loses her light and the will to roam the skies at night. The writing combines incredible metaphors and visuals to the moon phases to talk about bullying and how one can become “full” again.
44. I am Martin Luther King, Jr
The New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer adds a new book to the series Ordinary People Change the World – I am Martin Luther King, Jr. This time, Brad talks about the young and adult the life of MLK Jr. He touches on many different topics such as justice, peace, and love in a deep yet easy-to-understand tone.
45. I and the Great Divide
One day, the little letter “i” finds his Mom and Dad “n” and “t” fighting with each other. Thinking it’s her fault, she tries to be good and, when that fails, she pretends to be bad. However, “n” finally decides to go live with two other letters. This makes “i” understand that parents sometimes live away from each other but will always love her. The book is wonderfully illustrated and tackles a complicated matter effectively.
46. The Idea Tree
A brave tree ponders what it would be like to turn one of his leaves yellow but is afraid of what the other trees will think of him. However, surprisingly, his fellow trees follow his lead, and soon the forest sees the fantastical origin of Fall. The Idea Treeconveys the positive ideology of pioneering, confidence, and anti-bullying.
47. It’s Weird to Grow a Beard
It’s Weird to Grow a Beardis filled with a variety of poems of different lengths. Some of them are silly and fun, while others contain a subtle life lesson. All of them have cheeringly colorful illustrations, lovely rhymes, and entertaining themes.
48. Japanese Children’s Favorite Stories
A collection of 20 short Japanese folk tales, Japanese Children’s Favorite Stories was originally published in 1953 but contains timeless lessons for all cultural settings. The tales included are of magic and fantasy creatures and make for a captivating read-aloud lasting each from five to ten minutes.
49. P. Trouble
After moving to a new town, Little Johnny Lippett finds that he is lonely all time. Soon, however, he finds himself a new best friend in a stray puppy. J.P. Troublepays tribute to the many phases that children go through when relocating – loneliness, rejection, new friendships, and loyalty.
50. The World is so Wide
For every letter of the alphabet, award-winning author Jess Rush introduces a non-conventional career option that most children would never have thought of. Every work is equally important. The World is so Wideconsists of beautiful illustrations and rhymes to talk about future careers in a fun and exciting manner.
It is important to try new genres and different writing prose when searching for the next children’s book. Every story is unique, and we hope that some of these are the perfect match for your kid’s imagination.