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100+ Essential Picture Books for Children-Part 4

Not all picture books are created equal, and not all of them are essential to a child’s literary heritage. Here are our top picks for the most essential picture books for the young. It is just a start and the best part is you can check out 60 books with your Richland Library card, and when you've finished this list, just call your closest Richland Library location, and the staff will recommend more titles for your child.


My Car by Byron Barton
Amazon Says: With prose as clean as Sam's the narrator's shiny engine, Byron Barton, the celebrated creator of numerous picture books for very young children, including Trucks, My Bus, and more...
Amazon Says: With prose as clean as Sam's the narrator's shiny engine, Byron Barton, the celebrated creator of numerous picture books for very young children, including Trucks, My Bus, and Building a House, explores transportation, the parts of a car, signs and signals, night and day, community, and occupations. Bright, graphic artwork invites readers to count, name colors and shapes, and follow Sam and his car as they drive through a bustling world from Sam's home in the country to his job in the city. The surprise ending is a gem! "For young children intrigued by cars, this book is simply wonderful."—ALA BooklistSupports the Common Core Standards less...
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The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
Amazon Says: Clement Hurd redrew some of his pictures for this new edition of the profoundly comforting story of a bunny’s imaginary game of hide-and-seek and the lovingly steadfast moth more...
Amazon Says: Clement Hurd redrew some of his pictures for this new edition of the profoundly comforting story of a bunny’s imaginary game of hide-and-seek and the lovingly steadfast mother who finds him every time. "Best of the Best" Children's Books 1966–1978 (SLJ) Outstanding Children's Books of 1972 (NYT) less...
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Mr. Gumpy's Motor Car by John Burningham
Amazon Says: When Mr. Gumpy decides to go for a ride in his bright-red car, everyone wants to come along -- a rabbit, a cat, a dog, a sheep, chickens, a calf, a goat, and a boy and girl. " more...
Amazon Says: When Mr. Gumpy decides to go for a ride in his bright-red car, everyone wants to come along -- a rabbit, a cat, a dog, a sheep, chickens, a calf, a goat, and a boy and girl. "All right," says Mr. Gumpy. "But it will be a squash." So they all squash in and, for a while, chug along happily. Then it starts to rain, and the car becomes stuck in the mud. Who will help Mr. Gumpy push the car out? "Not me," says each passenger. In the end, however, they all have to help, and a wonderful time is had by all.John Burningham, twice winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal for his outstanding illustrations, has written a simple story of delightfully understated humor and illustrated it in his most enchanting style. less...
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Mr. Gumpy's Outing by John Burningham
Amazon Says: This is the story of what happens when Mr Gumpy takes all his friends on an outing in his boat. Winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal. more...
Amazon Says: This is the story of what happens when Mr Gumpy takes all his friends on an outing in his boat. Winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal. less...
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The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle
Amazon Says: A board book edition of the best-selling story features thermographic pages and a raised spider web children can feel for themselves, which complement the book's colorful coll more...
Amazon Says: A board book edition of the best-selling story features thermographic pages and a raised spider web children can feel for themselves, which complement the book's colorful collages and easy, rhythmic text. -Ingram less...
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Amazon Says: The classic first story about literature’s most beloved pachyderm. After his mother is killed by a hunter, Babar avoids capture by escaping to the city, where he is befriend more...
Amazon Says: The classic first story about literature’s most beloved pachyderm. After his mother is killed by a hunter, Babar avoids capture by escaping to the city, where he is befriended by the kindly Old Lady. He becomes educated and cultured and, upon his return to the great forest, is crowned King of the Elephants. Translated from Jean de Brunhoff's original French, the adventures of the world's most popular elephant and his friends have enchanted an three generations. Delightfully amusing illustrations make this short collection of classic Babar tales a book to treasure for children young and old. less...
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Amazon Says: When Strega Nona leaves him alone with her magic pasta pot, Big Anthony is determined to show the townspeople how it works in this classic Caldecott Honor book from Tomie dePa more...
Amazon Says: When Strega Nona leaves him alone with her magic pasta pot, Big Anthony is determined to show the townspeople how it works in this classic Caldecott Honor book from Tomie dePaola. Strega Nona—"Grandma Witch"—is the source for potions, cures, magic, and comfort in her Calabrian town. Her magical everfull pasta pot is especially intriguing to hungry Big Anthony. He is supposed to look after her house and tend her garden but one day, when she goes over the mountain to visit Strega Amelia, Big Anthony recites the magic verse over the pasta pot, with disastrous results. In this retelling of an old tale, author-illustrator Tomie dePaola combines humor in the writing and warmth in the paintings as he builds the story to its hilarious climax. less...
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Petunia by Roger Duvoisin
Amazon Says: When Roger Duvoisin first introduced children to his proud and silly goose, Petunia, in 1950, it was love at first sight. Those children have grown up, but Petunia is every bi more...
Amazon Says: When Roger Duvoisin first introduced children to his proud and silly goose, Petunia, in 1950, it was love at first sight. Those children have grown up, but Petunia is every bit as fresh and funny and muddled as the day she was born. In this, the first of the series of classic books featuring the silly goose, Petunia finds a book—and, deciding that if she owns a book she must be wise, dispenses hilariously mistaken advice to the other animals in the farmyard. With its gentle lesson and the kind of humor that kids love best, this new edition of a beloved classic will delight and inspire a whole new generation of readers. less...
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Black Magic by Dinah Johnson
Amazon Says: Black is a look, a taste, a speed, an emotion. It’s the surprising stripes on a zebra, the taste of dark chocolate, the scary, exciting feeling of going inside a tunnel, and more...
Amazon Says: Black is a look, a taste, a speed, an emotion. It’s the surprising stripes on a zebra, the taste of dark chocolate, the scary, exciting feeling of going inside a tunnel, and a mother’s voice as her daughter falls asleep. In this celebration of the African American spirit, Dinah Johnson and R. Gregory Christie paint a picture of “black” that is vivid, varied, and proud. less...
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A Hole Is to Dig by Ruth Krauss
Amazon Says: What would you say about eye-brows? Miss Krauss and the many children who made suggestions, re-visions, additions (and subtractions) to this book say, "Eyebrows are to go ove more...
Amazon Says: What would you say about eye-brows? Miss Krauss and the many children who made suggestions, re-visions, additions (and subtractions) to this book say, "Eyebrows are to go over eyes." A face? "A face is something to have on the front of your head." Also, "a face is so you can make faces." Hands? Well, hands are to hold. And also "a hand is to hold up when you want your turn." "A party is to say how-do-you-do and shake hands" and also "a party is to make little children happy." Of course, a brother is to help you, a package is to look inside, arms are to hug with, and a book is to look at.And children will take this book of words and pictures to their hearts. less...
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Frog Went A-Courtin' by John Langstaff
Amazon Says: “A favorite old nursery ballad now appears in resplendent new dress. . . . Illustrator Feodor Rojankovsky somehow manages to combine quaintness with sophistication and his d more...
Amazon Says: “A favorite old nursery ballad now appears in resplendent new dress. . . . Illustrator Feodor Rojankovsky somehow manages to combine quaintness with sophistication and his doughty frog, the coy mouse . . . and others make charming company.”--The New York Times Book Review less...
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Over in the Meadow by John Langstaff
Amazon Says: The old animal counting song. “Numbers for knee highs couldn’t be more fun. . . . Also has music for the song at the end. . . . Feodor Rojankovsky’s charming illustratio more...
Amazon Says: The old animal counting song. “Numbers for knee highs couldn’t be more fun. . . . Also has music for the song at the end. . . . Feodor Rojankovsky’s charming illustrations are in full color and black and white.”--Kirkus Reviews This title has been selected as a Common Core Text Exemplar (Grades K-1, Read-Aloud Poetry). less...
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Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco
Amazon Says: In a true story, Pinkus Aylee, a black Union soldier, finds Sheldon Curtis left for dead and carries him home to be tended by his mother, but when the two boys attempt to rejo more...
Amazon Says: In a true story, Pinkus Aylee, a black Union soldier, finds Sheldon Curtis left for dead and carries him home to be tended by his mother, but when the two boys attempt to rejoin the Union troops, they are captured and sent to Andersonville Prison. less...
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Crictor by Tomi Ungerer
Amazon Says: ‘A highly diverting picture book about an agreeable pet boa constrictor that earns the affection and gratitude of a French village.’ —BL. ‘Children will love it.’ more...
Amazon Says: ‘A highly diverting picture book about an agreeable pet boa constrictor that earns the affection and gratitude of a French village.’ —BL. ‘Children will love it.’ —H. Notable Children's Books of 1940–1959 (ALA)1959 Fanfare Honor List (The Horn Book)A Reading Rainbow Selection1958 Children's Spring Book Festival Prize (NY Herald Tribune) less...
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Jumanji 30th Anniversary Edition by Chris Van Allsburg
Amazon Says: Over thirty years ago, Peter and Judy first found the game—Jumanji—with the instructions that once the game is started, it must be finished or it will go on forever—and more...
Amazon Says: Over thirty years ago, Peter and Judy first found the game—Jumanji—with the instructions that once the game is started, it must be finished or it will go on forever—and it was then, with this same wonderment, readers found Jumanji, too. Since its original publication, Jumanji has been honored with many awards, including the Caldecott Medal, and in 1996, the surreal story was adapted to fit the big screen. This special edition of Jumanji contains a CD of the renowned actor Robin Williams reading the timeless tale. less...
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The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
Amazon Says: For twenty years, The Polar Express has been a worldwide bestseller and Christmas classic. A perfect keepsake for any family, this beautiful edition can be handed down to each more...
Amazon Says: For twenty years, The Polar Express has been a worldwide bestseller and Christmas classic. A perfect keepsake for any family, this beautiful edition can be handed down to each new generation of readers. In 1986 The Polar Express was awarded the prestigious Caldecott Medal and hit the New York Times bestseller list. Since that time, more than six and a half million copies have been sold, and every December it faithfully reappears on national bestseller lists. In 2004, The Polar Express became a blockbuster holiday movie. The DVD release in 2005 assures, that like the book, the movie will become a holiday classic. less...
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Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh
Amazon Says: One day three white mice discover three jars of paint--red, blue, and yellow. Both parents and children alike will appreciate this lighthearted presentation of a lesson in col more...
Amazon Says: One day three white mice discover three jars of paint--red, blue, and yellow. Both parents and children alike will appreciate this lighthearted presentation of a lesson in color. “Walsh’s cut-paper collage illustrations have bold colors and just the right simplicity for the storyline. A real charmer that’s great fun as well as informative.”--School Library Journal less...
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The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward
Amazon Says: Johnny Orchard brings home a playful bear cub that soon becomes huge and a nuisance to the neighbors. more...
Amazon Says: Johnny Orchard brings home a playful bear cub that soon becomes huge and a nuisance to the neighbors. less...
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Amazon Says: New York City and its famed Metropolitan Museum of Art provide the setting for a crazy collision of art and city life in this inventively illustrated picture book. It all star more...
Amazon Says: New York City and its famed Metropolitan Museum of Art provide the setting for a crazy collision of art and city life in this inventively illustrated picture book. It all starts with a little girl?s trip to view the museum?s treasures and the parallel journey of her runaway yellow balloon. Floating down Fifth Avenue, past Central Park, bumping into a very silly tea party at the Plaza Hotel, and even adding to a tumultuous performance at the Metropolitan Opera, the balloon becomes part of a hilarious panorama of scenes that seem to mirror the paintings and sculpture raptly viewed by the wide-eyed little girl. The result is an illuminating exploration of how life can be captured with both the blink of an eye, and the stroke of a brush. Real-life sisters Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman and Robin Preiss Glasser pooled their skills, ideas, and memories to create this very special collaboration. Ms. Glasser is the illustrator of Judith Viorst?s Alexander, Who?s Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move. Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman lives in New York City. Robin Preiss Glasser lives in Newport Beach, California. less...
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More More More, Said the Baby by Vera B. Williams
Amazon Says: Here are Little Guy, Little Pumpkin,and Little Bird. Their grownups love them. So will you. more...
Amazon Says: Here are Little Guy, Little Pumpkin,and Little Bird. Their grownups love them. So will you. less...
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Silly Sally by Audrey Wood
Amazon Says: Dance a jig with a silly pig. Play leapfrog with a silly dog. And that's just the beginning of all the fun! Come along and join Silly Sally and her outrageous friends as they more...
Amazon Says: Dance a jig with a silly pig. Play leapfrog with a silly dog. And that's just the beginning of all the fun! Come along and join Silly Sally and her outrageous friends as they parade into town in a most unusual way. "Exploding with whimsy, humor, and zest. . . . Be prepared to read this one a thousand times!"--Booklist (starred review) less...
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The Napping House by Audrey Wood
Amazon Says: A cozy bed, a snoring granny, a dreaming child, a dozing dog, a snoozing--WAIT! There's a surprise in store, and little ones will want to discover it over and over again. So p more...
Amazon Says: A cozy bed, a snoring granny, a dreaming child, a dozing dog, a snoozing--WAIT! There's a surprise in store, and little ones will want to discover it over and over again. So pull on your sleeping cap and snuggle in for a timeless cumulative tale that's truly like no other. Don and Audrey Wood's beloved picture book has sold more than one and a half million copies. To celebrate its birthday, the original hardcover book now has a fresh new design for both the jacket and interior, and the reproduction of the illustrations has been enhanced to better match the original artwork. A CD is tucked into a sleeve on the inside the front cover. The music, originally produced in 1989, is based on the book and was written and performed by children's musicians Carl and Jennifer Shaylen. The CD begins with a reading of the story and follows with six original songs that are just as fun, jaunty, and sweet as the book itself. less...
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The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson
Amazon Says: Clover's mom says it isn't safe to cross the fence that segregates their African-American side of town from the white side where Anna lives. But the two girls strike up a frie more...
Amazon Says: Clover's mom says it isn't safe to cross the fence that segregates their African-American side of town from the white side where Anna lives. But the two girls strike up a friendship, and get around the grown-ups' rules by sitting on top of the fence together. With the addition of a brand-new author's note, this special edition celebrates the tenth anniversary of this classic book. As always, Woodson moves readers with her lyrical narrative, and E. B. Lewis's amazing talent shines in his gorgeous watercolor illustrations. less...
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Crow Boy by Taro Yashima
Amazon Says: "A shy mountain boy in Japan leaves his home at dawn and returns at sunset to go to the village school. Pictures and text of moving and harmonious simplicity".--Saturday Revie more...
Amazon Says: "A shy mountain boy in Japan leaves his home at dawn and returns at sunset to go to the village school. Pictures and text of moving and harmonious simplicity".--Saturday Review. Caldecott Honor Book. Full-color illustrations. less...
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