Both the release of A Child of Books and a new school year got me thinking about wonderful picture books that celebrate reading. So here goes—some of my favorites that say cheers to a good book, to reading, to story itself:
A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston.
“We’re made from stories.” And many of the book’s extraordinary illustrations are made from the typeface of beloved ones. Stories make life exuberant, colorful, and imaginative. Come see.
Just right for a struggling reader who needs a kind, quiet ear in order to overcome the worry of not getting words right.
There is a special moment of finding a book just for you and this book imagines what it must feel like to be found.
Surf’s Up by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Daniel Miyares.
The surf may be up, but when you’re in the middle of a good book (or in this case, a classic one), you just can’t be torn way. And your friends may get hooked too.
This is Sadie by Sara O’Leary and Julie Morstad.
Sadie is sometimes The Mad Hatter, or Mowgli, or on an adventure riding a white horse. You can be those characters too and step into stories with your imagination.
This is Not a Picture Book by Sergio Ruzzier.
This will convince a kid they can read a book that’s not a picture book (by using a picture book to do it!). Always Ruzzier’s quirky, wonderful illustrative charm.
Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree by Naoko Stoop.
A reading nook turns into library with the help of friends. After all, “It is good to share books.”
How to Read a Story by Kate Messner, illustrated by Mark Siegel.
The nuts and bolts of how to go about it.
The Story Blanket by Ferida Wolff and Harriet May Savitz, illustrated by Elena Odriozola.
This is really a story about kindness, sharing, and community, but it all starts with how the children gather on that blanket to listen to Babba Zarrah’s stories.
Let Me Finish by Minh Lê, illustrated by Isabel Roxas.
A plea against spoiler alerts, taken to great lengths. (p.s. I’ve made a reading glasses craft for this one.)
Mom, Dad, Our Books, and Me by Danielle Marcotte, illustrated by Josée Bisaillon.
Celebrating all the different kinds of reading one can do—where and how and what. Read the sky! Read a book! Read a cookbook! In a hammock. In a waiting room. In a kitchen.
Books Always Everywhere by Jane Blatt, illustrated by Sarah Massini.
An adorable ode to reading for the youngest set. “Book park/book shop/book start/book stop.”
The Whisper by Pamela Zagarenski.
A book about the magic of reading a wordless book in a book with words. A story in a story that empowers readers to invent their own.