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24 Great Pictures Book As Gifts For Kids

Looking for a simple and useful gift idea for young children that’s not just another toy? You can never go wrong with picture books, and here are 24 picture books that parents and kids will love.

Check out this list of great books any child will love as gift for their birthday, a special occasion, or just because.

Over the last few months, T and J have been invited to a host of birthday parties. As I’ve shared previously, I have mixed feelings on birthday parties for little kids when they don’t know the difference.

My boys now are getting old enough that they get excited about and appreciate the parties, but I still have ambivalence about the right gift that isn’t just another toy that will clutter up theirs family’s playroom.

This weekend and next weekend, J has two parties to attend. Particularly because it was right after Christmas, I decided to ask the parents when I RSVP’d if they had any gift preferences or suggestions. Surely they’d just received plenty of toys over the holidays. I didn’t mind buying a gift as long as it was something the child would actually (or hopefully) use.

I ended up deciding to buy three books for each child. J isn’t old enough to pick something out for his friend, so it was up to me anyway. I gathered a collection of some of our favorites. If you’re looking for some good books for kids that both the child and parent are sure to love, consider these:

24 Great Picture Books That Make Perfect Gifts For Kids

Previously by Allan Ahlberg

This story blends together a handful of classic stories but adds a twist of telling the story backwards. I’m a big fan of books that creatively weave together famous characters from other stories.

Age 4-8 | Page 32

Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar
This story blends together a handful of classic stories but adds a twist of telling the story backwards. I’m a big fan of books that creatively weave together famous characters from other stories.

Age 2-10 | Page 40

Don’t Push The Button by Bill Cotter
I heard about this book for a while and didn’t pay much attention because I thought it sounded a little stupid. After receiving it as a gift and watching my sister read it to my boys, I really liked how it gave them a chance to interact and connect in a fun way over a story that asks the reader to engage with each page. It’s cute and a great addition to any bookshelf.

Age 4-8 | Page 32

Jellybeans and the Big Camp Kickoff by Laura Numeroff
I grabbed this off the library shelf somewhat on a whim. It looks like a book that’s a little “girly” but it’s totally not and my boys love this book. They ask for it almost every night at bed. The author has written a series of books about four girls who are all so different but go together great (just like different flavors of Jellybeans). We have read this one and others in the series and the boys enjoy all the stories a lot.

Age 5-7 | Page 32

Pete The Cat and The Missing Cupcakes by James Dean
This series of books is pretty well-known. Some of the stories are great while others aren’t my favorites. This one though is probably my favorite of the bunch. Pete and his friends make cupcakes only to realize they are being stolen. They have to follow clues to find the thief. It has a nice moral about forgiveness and redemption that I like too.

Age 4-8 | Page 40

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
I love both the story and the illustrations in the book about a giraffe who doesn’t believe he can dance. A little grasshopper lets him in on a secret that totally changes his mind and makes him so much happier. Another good moral at the end of this story.

Age 4-8 | Page 32

Toy Boat by Randall de Sève
When a little boy and his favorite toy boat get separated during a wind storm, the little boat realizes just how much he loves the boy and being in a comfortable home. I love the illustrations in this book as well as the sweet story.

Age 3-7 | Page 40

The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
My sister brought this book home over Christmas, and I immediately loved it when I read it to my boys and their cousins at bedtime. It’s a well-written story of a fish that’s always glum. The author successfully weaves in some pretty advanced vocabulary in a rhyming pattern, most of which my boys have already memorized.

Age 0-4 | Page 34

Is There Really A Human Race by Jamie Lee Curtis
With a twist on words, Curtis asks a series of questions essentially about the purpose of life but written in a way that resonates with kids. It rhymes (which I like) and has engaging, bright illustrations as well. Definitely a favorite (and of course, with another great message at the end).

Age 4-8 | Page 40

The Big Hungry Bear by Audrey Wood
This was my sister’s favorite book when she was little, and she still loves it. It has just enough suspense for little kiddos with a sweet ending about shared strawberries.

Age 2-4 | Page 32

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
This book is a classic and one I remember from my childhood. It’s well written and such a nice story about how happiness comes from sharing and having friends.

Age 4-8 | Page 32

The Way I Feel by Janan Cain
Full of bright and colorful illustrations, a little girl talks about all the feelings she has throughout the day and what triggers each of them. In the end, she tells the listener that it’s ok to feel a lot of different things at different times.

Age 3-8 | Page 32

Tickle Monster by Josie Bissett
This book reads as if it’s talking to the child and encourages interaction between the child and the reader. As you can imagine, my boys are always laughing by the time we’re done reading this book.

Age 4-8 | Page 36

Thirsty Baby by Catherine Ann Cullen
A cute story about a little baby who drinks up just about everything around him.

Age 2-4 | Page 32

Love by Matt de la Pena

Love comes in so many different forms. In this story, the narrator shows the reader how we show love to important people in our family and our communities in so many different ways. Love arrives in our life through words, through actions, through connections with others, and more. The rhythmic writing pairs beautifully with the gorgeous illustrations.

Age 2 – 6 yrs | Pages 40

Song of the River by Joy Cowley

One little boy who lives in the forest near a stream longs to see the sea. One day, he follows the stream as it becomes a babbling brook, turns into a river, and eventually flows out into the sea. His dream comes true as he takes in the breadth of the ocean and grows even more enamored with the water that starts as a tiny stream near his house. I absolutely loved this book and thought it had great illustrations.

Age 5 – 8 yrs | Pages 32

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

This is a lovely story about a little boy who lives in a city of concrete and bricks, void of nature’s beauty. One day, on his adventures, he finds a few little plants struggling to survive near old, unused railroad tracks. He decides to start caring for the plants and begins to grow a garden.

His garden flourishes and, ultimately, he shares the beauty of his curious garden with so many other dwellers in his city. This book shows how cities can think green and support beautiful vegetation and plant life if they think about solutions creatively. 

Age 4 – 8 yrs | Pages 40

The Boy Who Spoke To The Earth by Chris Burkhard

When a young boy asks the Earth where he can find happiness, the Earth responds and agrees to show him the way. The boy rushes excitedly through the landscapes that make the Earth most proud—the ocean, the cliffs, the forest, the desert, the mountains, and the top of the world. But the boy soon realizes happiness is much harder to find than he expected.

The amazing illustrations are based on photographs taken by the author, Chris Burkhard. He used his professional photography travels to inspire a book that shared the multitude of beautiful places on our planet with young readers.

Age 2 – 6 yrs | Pages 42

Sulwe by Lupita N’yongo

Sulwe’s skin is the colour of midnight. She’s darker than everyone in her family and everyone at school.

All she wants is to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. She goes to great lengths to lighten her skin in the hopes of feeling more beautiful. 

Then a magical journey through the night sky opens her eyes and shows her how beautiful and important darkness is. Readers enjoy a whimsical and heartwarming story to inspire children to see their own unique beauty, even if it’s not what conventional beauty standards might expect.

Age 3 – 8 yrs | Pages 48

On a Magical Do-Nothing Day by Name?  Beatrice Alemagna

Boredom is a blessing as the young girl in this book comes to find out. After her mom tells her to put away her video games, she heads outside on a rainy day in search of something to do. Despite her expectations, she finds life and magic in so many unexpected places. 

This story encourages young readers to look for interesting and exciting things beyond screens, out in nature, and even in bad weather. With open eyes and a welcoming heart, you never know what you will find.

Age 4 – 8 yrs | Pages 48

Elephant & Piggie: The Complete Collection by Mo Willems

Elephant and Piggie books are super fun and great for early readers. Not only do they offer silly interactions between the two main characters that make you giggle, but the books often come back to the important shared friendship between Elephant and Piggie. My boys loved these books when they were about three to six years old. While the full collection is a bit expensive for a gift, any of the books can be purchased individually as well. 

Age 3 – 6 yrs | Pages 1600

Change Sings by Amanda Gorman

From the poetic prowess of Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet, this story followed a young girl who leads a cast of characters on a musical journey. They learn that they have the power to make big and small changes in the world, in their communities, and, most importantly, in themselves.

The illustrations are vibrant and gorgeous and complement the beautiful poem that flows from page to page. I love that this book conveys to readers their unique and individual ability to be changemakers in their own worlds.

Age 3 – 8 yrs | Pages 32

Home In The Woods By Eliza Wheeler

This gorgeously illustrated book tells the story of six-year-old Marvel, her seven siblings, and their mom who must find new beginnings after their father dies. Deep in the woods of Wisconsin, they move into a meager tar-paper shack. 

The reader follows the family through the seasons of the first year during which it’s a struggle to maintain their home and gather enough to eat. But each season also brings more love and happiness. The children always find a way to have fun and the family finds joy in being together in nature. Slowly, their little shack starts feeling like a true home–warm, bright, and filled up with warmth.

Age 5 – 8 yrs | Pages 40

The Magical Yet by Angela DiTerlizzi

Increasingly, educators and parents prioritize the importance of a growth mindset over a fixed mindset. It’s important for kids (and adults) to know that just because they can’t do something now, doesn’t prohibit them from learning how to do it going forward. 

With fun illustrations and a rhyming cadence, this book encourages readers to remember the power of Yet. The main character struggles to do many things until she meets the magical Yet. Yet shows her how she can be a dreamer and a doer and learn how to accomplish all sorts of things she sets her mind to.

Age 4 – 8 yrs | Pages 40

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