With so many picture books for children in the market these days, it can get a little confusing looking for exciting reads that are both educational and fun. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Where the Wild Things Are, and The Giving Tree are all classic picture books that have fascinated young readers over decades. To help you further, we've listed 10 amusing children's picture books packed with cheerful personalities, enchanting stories, and vibrant drawings that will leave your kids entertained and inspired.
Jumanji is a 1981 classic children's picture book that is the inspiration behind the now popular movie franchise of the same name. Featuring beautiful illustrations by author Chris Van Allsburg, the story follows brother and sister Peter and Judy Shepherd as they go about playing a jungle-themed game called Jumanji. Intrigued by the instructions that say, "Do not begin unless you intend to finish," the siblings soon find themselves trapped in a bizarre world where every event and animal in the game comes to life. Filled with moments of adventure, danger, and excitement, Jumanji is a thrilling picture book meant for the entire family.
It wouldn't be fair to make a list of picture books for children and not include one by Dr. Seuss. The Lorax is amongst his most loved works that come with his trademark artistic style and set of eccentric characters. The story also has a message to protect and save our environment. Witty, poetic, and a masterpiece in subtly educating children about conservation, The Lorax is both thought-provoking and engaging.
The children of Room 207, taught by the lovely Miss Nelson, a pushover some might say, are the naughtiest in the school. One day, when Miss Nelson doesn't come to class and is substituted by the strict, no-nonsense Miss Viola Swamp, the kids realize how much they miss their former teacher. As the classmates go about searching for Miss Nelson, they fail to notice that there is something strangely familiar about Miss Swamp. An incredible story that encourages children to appreciate their teachers, the three-book Miss Nelson collection is one of the most-loved children's picture books ever.
A book about identities lost and found told through the eyes of children, the story of Unhei, who has moved to the US from Korea, is something kids of all ages can relate to. Afraid that children won't be able to pronounce her Korean name, Unhei asks her classmates to help her come up with an American name, by putting suggestions in a jar. That is until one of them finds out the true meaning of her real name. The Name Jar is a heartwarming children's picture book that talks about friendship, accepting changes, and being proud of our unique heritage.
Children's picture books need not always have a message. Sometimes, they can just be an enjoyable read that talks about everyone's favorite day, their birthday. Ten Rules of the Birthday Wish is a cheerful and humorous book, brimming with illustrations featuring animals and insects, that lists down the essential rules to making a birthday wish. From singing Happy Birthday "happily and loudly and definitely off-key" to keeping "your wish quiet," Ten Rules of the Birthday Wish is ideal for an early morning read on your little one's special day.
Ned's adventure to reach a surprise party that is "thousands of miles away" from his home in New York is both quirky and full of thrilling moments. The simple language of Remy Charlip's comical picture book is perfect for beginners, whereas the illustrations have an unassuming, sometimes minimalistic beauty about them. It's also quite brilliant how Charlip switches from color to black and white, depicting fortunate and unfortunate events during the journey. Fortunately is undoubtedly one of the most delightful children's picture books to come out in the last decade.
When we talk about classic children's picture books, Harry the Dirty Dog often gets a mention. Published in 1956, the book was first released in black and white, with later editions having color added to the animated drawings. Harry is a happy-go-lucky dog who hates baths. He leaves home one day to avoid washing. Outside, he plays around the railroad and the construction site until he transforms "from a white dog with black spots to a black dog with white spots." But when his family fails to recognize him, upon his return, Harry realizes that maybe taking a bath isn't all that bad. If you enjoy Harry's adventure, pick up the rest of the four-book Harry series, all of which are barkingly funny picture books for kids.
Children love scary tales, and Creepy Pair of Underwear is perfect for storytelling time on Halloween. One day, out on a shopping trip, Jasper rabbit makes his mom buy him a pair of "Creepy Underwear." Soon, he realizes that the underwear won't leave him alone. Jasper goes about trying to get rid of the green, glowing undies, any way possible. But, they somehow always come back, even from China, that too with a souvenir. Fear not, though, for this terrific picture book for children ends on a happy note, as Jasper soon discovers that the underwear is useful for something completely different.
Big beautiful pictures and bright, colorful pages by Chris Chatterton welcome readers to the world of Gus, a cranky, sausage-loving dog who'd best be left alone. However, life throws a curveball when a new puppy suddenly turns Gus' world upside down. A story about compromise, sharing, and friendship, This is Gus is a quick read meant for young and dog-loving readers.
Room on the Broom is a multi-award-winning children's picture book that won its readers' hearts upon its first publication in 2001. The book tells the story of a witch and her cat, who pick up a dog, a bird, and a frog for a joyride on her broom. Then, disaster strikes and their newfound friendship is put to the test as they fight off a dangerous dragon. Told in rhymes, Room on the Broom will have children cheering for this unlikely group of characters who come together to save the witch most unexpectedly.