For The Love Of Books | My Collection Of Kids Picture Books

It should be no surprise by this point that I am an avid reader and lover of books

I also happen to have a growing collection of children's picture books that I display on a shelf outside my office. Every time I walk down the hallway into my office I walk by these books, sometimes stopping to open a page and see what pops up - I never know when I might see or read something that sparks a story within myself that I'm able to then bring into my own work. I consider these to be "my" books but kids do check them out from time to time. 

One of my favorite ways to collect these kinds of books is when I travel. I picked up a couple of them when I visited Magnolia and others are from smaller, independent bookstores I enjoy visiting when I travel. 

What I look for in picture books: 

  • educational (facts + information)
  • inspirational (cool illustrations) 
  • encouraging adventure (bring on the travel)

I wanted to share these with you now because books like this make awesome gifts. Below you'll find an exterior photo along with one interior photo that gives you an idea of what the inside looks like. 

Enjoy! 

This is How We Do It by Matt Lamothe | An illustrated version of Day In The Life focusing on seven different kids/places in the world? Yes, please. This is a fantastic book showing how different a day can look for kids around the world via the lens of things like how they get to school/transportation, what they eat, how they play, etc. 

This Is New York by Miroslav Lasek | Just love. I basically want the whole collection of these books. 

This Is Paris by Miroslav Sasek | One of my dreams is to take the kids to Paris so you'll see a few books about Paris in my collection. 

A Walk In Paris by Salvatore Rubbino | I love variety in illustrations and the "sightseeing" nature of this one. 

Everything & Everywhere by Marc Martin | This is one of my most recent additions and it quickly became a favorite for the illustrations which are just so cool. I love learning about other cultures and what makes places unique. When I first got this one I had the best time going through the entire thing page by page.  

You Belong Here by M.H. Clark, Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault | This is one that I picked up at Magnolia when I was visiting last spring. I love the sentiment of inclusion and the beautiful illustrations. This one is more of a story than most of the other fact-based ones I gravitate towards. 

The 50 States by Gabrielle Balkan, Illustrated by Sol Linero | This is a long time favorite that I've sent to family members for the holidays before (and bought a copy for the McKercher's when we first met). Give me all the facts paired with cool illustrations. 

We Are The Change | This book includes words from Eleanor Roosevelt, Maya Angelou, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr alongside illustrations from a wide variety of present day illustrators (including one of my favorites Lisa Congdon which is likely one of the reasons I heard about this in the first place). 

Birds And Their Feathers by Britta Teckentrup | This is the other book I picked up earlier this year from Magnolia and I vividly remember picking it up and thinking about how cool it is that we can be inspired by so many different things in this world. In my workshops I like to talk about becoming a translator of ideas and I regularly challenge myself to find inspiration in new places - reading books gives me new ideas for ways of seeing the world. 

Just seeing that this author/illustartor has another one about eggs. Into my Amazon cart it goes. 

National Parks Of The USA by Kate Siber, Illustrated by Chris Turnham | This is another recent addition to my collection and I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I totally want to visit all the National Parks and I'm all in regarding the amazing illustrations and details in this one. 

Okay my friends! That's a look at my current collection. 

Do you have a favorite picture book that you love? Share it in the comments. Picture books aren't just for kids!

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31 thoughts

  1. Jwymore says…
    11/19/2019

    These are great and a great reminder that we can still enjoy children’s books! I am definitely going to have to get the National Parks book! We also love Unusual Creatures and Extraordinary People by Michael Hearst, Maps and Under Water/Under Earth by A. Mizialinska, and Timeline by Peter Goes. All wonderfully illustrated.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      11/19/2019

      Oh cool! I'll check those out!

  2. PoochPatrol says…
    11/19/2019

    i love the simplicity and message of The Giving Tree. All three of my children have been gifted this book.

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. virginiegoujon says…
    11/19/2019

    Now I might need some of those. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. carrieW says…
    11/19/2019

    Books are so important, and picture books are just so great to have around. When we give presents to younger friends, I have each of my kids pick out one of their favorites from that age period (they are now 18-23) and write a little note about why it was their favorite. My kids love it, and so do the recipients. Makes it even more meaningful. Love that you shared this. Plus, it reminded me to record that little story.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. paulainauckland says…
      11/20/2019

      oh I love this idea.

  5. lohersh says…
    11/19/2019

    As a former children's librarian, I'm always on the lookout just like you for books full of information, topics to pique curiosity, promote open-mindedness, multiculturalism, diversity, inclusivity, equality and justice, and appreciation for the arts, beauty, and nature. Not to mention amazing illustrations!

    Just came across this one last weekend for my grandson - it's terrific! When the Stars Come Out: Exploring the Magic and Mysteries of the Nighttime by Nicola Edwards (Author), Lucy Cartwright (Illustrator).

    The Variety of Life is a great book about the "glorious celebration of diversity within the Animal Kingdom" by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Lorna Scobie. Amazon says, "There is something to delight on every page with fascinating facts about mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects. This exquisite book will encourage children to treasure the world's biodiversity and help to stop it slipping away". My kind of book!

    And you MUST check out Hello World: A Celebration of Languages and Curiosities! Amazon says: "With more than 150 languages, flaps to guide you through pronunciations, and features on hieroglyphs, sign languages, and different writing systems, a world of exploration is at your fingertips". AWESOME!! And Ali, Eugene library has this one if you want to check it out!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      11/19/2019

      These are so great - thank you!

  6. lkfisher says…
    11/19/2019

    Thanks for sharing! I'm adding some of these titles to my collection for sure. A few fiction books I love are The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle and They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel.

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. paulainauckland says…
    11/19/2019

    For kid's picture book fiction, I love Sandra Boynton for the littlest ones and move on up to David Melling (there's people reading him on YouTube, so you can get an idea of the detail in his art, plus the storyline. Our fav when Daddy was away working was The Kiss That Missed:

    One night, the king's kiss to the prince got away. It flew out the window into the forest. The king sent a knight to the dark forest to find the kiss, but the task proved to be easier said than done. Would he succeed in bringing back the kiss?

    https://www.rif.org/literacy-central/book/kiss-missed for heaps of resources.

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. lohersh says…
    11/19/2019

    Ok, I can't resist sharing a few more because I have SO many favorites when it comes to Kid Lit. Check these out too:

    A Year Full of Stories: 52 classic stories from all around the world by Angela McAlistair. The book is broken into 12 chapters, for each of the 12 months of the year, and the stories are matched to internationally celebrated dates! (These are all folk tales and legends).

    City Atlas: Travel the World with 30 City Maps by Georgia Cherry and Martin Haake. Amazon says: "Fabulous detail, key landmarks, famous people, iconic buildings and cultural icons for all the family to enjoy. A search-and-find game on every page helps young readers to explore every city and spot the hundreds of details that makes each place unique".

    LOTS by Marc Martin. "In this wonderfully illustrated celebration of the world we travel far and wide - to Hong Kong, the Amazon, Antarctica, India - from the villages, towns and cities where most people live, to the deserts and vast oceans that cover the surface of the planet. There is so much to discover - lots of people, lots of places, lots of different landscapes and cultures".

    And I REALLY loved this book: The Hello Atlas by Ben Handicott and Kenard Pak. "Look into the lives of children all over the world with this book that celebrates one of humanity's greatest achievements: written and verbal language. Including fully illustrated word charts, featuring children depicted in their home country, doing ordinary things, this book features more than 100 languages, from well-known and lesser known indigenous languages that introduce us to some of the world's most remote communities". You can even download the free app to hear more than 100 different languages!

    Another great series of informational books are by Julia Rothman - Farm Anatomy, Food Anatomy, and Nature Anatomy. She encourages kids to learn about the "parts and pieces" of rural life, our edible world, and the natural world!

    Also check out The Big Book of Bugs, The Big Book of Beasts, The Big Book of Birds, and the Big Book of Blue by Yuval Zommer for some wonderful, whimsical illustrations!

    I'll stop for now. :)

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. w33blegurl says…
      11/20/2019

      We also have LOTS and it is such a lovely book, I'd also recommend it! :)

  9. Gladdie says…
    11/19/2019

    Ali
    Ali, this is so lovely of you. Many thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. gina200 says…
    11/19/2019

    I love picture books but haven’t updated our collection recently. I definitely gravitate more toward fiction. My son was a huge fairy tale fan so I think we have every version written about The Three Pigs. We loved The Three Pigs by David Wiesner, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, by Jon Scieszka and The Three Little Pigs, by Steven Kellogg among others Also Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson, Kiss Good Night by Amy Hest and of course Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendek. I’ve discovered the Bruce books recently starting with Mother Bruce by Ryan T Higgins and they are adorable.

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. keanes2v2v says…
    11/19/2019

    i agree that we can all enjoy chilidren's picture books. There is a wealth of Australian authors that produce amazing picture books - the quality of production is fabulous. Try "Possum Magic" by Mem Fox as a beginning. Shaun Tan has picture books more suitable for adults. Bob Graham, Alison Lester, Aaron Blabby, Margaret Wild and Pamela Allen to name a few of my favourites. These all fit your criteria for purchase.

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. lohersh says…
      11/19/2019

      Love Mem Fox!!

    2. paulainauckland says…
      11/20/2019

      I love Pamela Allen! Who Sank the Boat? :)

  12. Honeymoon says…
    11/19/2019

    I love Gavin Bishop's "Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story" and actually any books that he has illustrated are just beautiful. He has recently won the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement - Non Fiction (https://www.thebigidea.nz/stories/announcing-the-prime-ministers-awards).

    I love that he includes his family history in his books.

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Ladamscs says…
    11/19/2019

    Check out author Diana Aston!!! Her books teach about nature and the drawings are gorgeous!
    Titles include
    *a sed is sleepy
    *a nest is noisy
    *an egg is quiet
    *a butterfly is patient
    Let me know what you think!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. glenys says…
    11/19/2019

    I have started a similar collection...waiting for grandchildren! I have started purchasing from different cities around the world when we travel. My last purchase was from the JFK Presidential Museum and Library in Boston, which was an amazing place to visit. Have a look at "When Jackie saved Grand Central: The True Story of Jacqueline Kennedy's Fight for an American Icon" by Natasha Wing. The illustrations by Alexandra Boiger are beautiful. We are from Australia and visited Boston with our son, who is living and studying in New York, so it was a nice book to remember that trip.

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Ladamscs says…
    11/19/2019

    Oops-should be seed not sed

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Leah_Sells says…
    11/19/2019

    Love this!

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. tinka323 says…
    11/20/2019

    Ali, if you haven’t already you might want to check out Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo. They set up a Kickstarter campaign that I donated to for the first volume so I received a couple copies, one of which I gifted my niece last year for Christmas. They have a second volume that I haven’t looked at yet but some of the reviews I’ve seen say it’s not as good as the first although the artwork of both is fabulous.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      11/20/2019

      Yes! We have those in the girls room - they love them!

  18. swimfin says…
    11/20/2019

    The last children's book I bought (for myself) was Tomie dePaola's Quiet. Love the main message, being quiet, and all the messages about what we see//hear//notice when we are quiet.But the colors are soft and restful - 'quiet'. The last leaf of the book (where the Library of Congress # is located says, "For all those who know the beauty of Quiet and pass it on to others."

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. swimfin says…
    11/20/2019

    Ali - Have you seen Britta Teckentrup's book, The Egg? The drawings are just gorgeous and so easily translatable to scrapbook layouts. I love the page with all the eggs in a grid (box). Soft colors. So beautiful.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      11/20/2019

      I just ordered it!

  20. northcarmen says…
    11/20/2019

    A couple we have loved are “A Fine Dessert”, which is a story of how the same dessert - blackberry fool - is made by several generations (and the endpapers are painted with blackberry juice!) and “Hooray for Diffendoofer Day”, which was based on story notes by Dr. Seuss about an unusual school, and created by Lane Smith and Jack Prelutsky.

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. bkwpotter says…
    11/20/2019

    I fell in love with Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o at my daughter's book fair this fall. It's gorgeous and has a beautiful story. My youngest is 8 now and I have little reason to keep buying picture books. But I love them and doubt I'll be stopping anytime soon

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. carrieelias says…
    11/21/2019

    Wild Animals of the North by Dieter Braun has fantastic graphics and also teaches about each animal....I just bought this for a friend who homeschools.

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. grammatransformed says…
    11/27/2019

    I am a Gramma that still loves children's illustrated books. I have many I enjoy. Who comes to mind first is Patricia Polacco. She tells heart warming stories with beautiful illustrations.

    Reply 0 Replies

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