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13 Picture Books for Graduation

Have you given a picture book as a graduation book?

It’s a popular tradition to give a picture book to high school graduates, but it’s equally delightful to give one to a kindergarten graduate!

And I know many parents pick a graduation book and then have their children’s teachers sign it each year from preschool through senior year and then gift it to their child at graduation!

No matter how you’re planning to use, any of these titles make a perfect graduation book.

graduation book

13 Great Graduation Book Titles

Journey by Aaron Becker
This stunning wordless picture book shows a little girl drawing a door that opens into a magical world where she learns to be creative and brave and cooperative. It’s a visual DELIGHT.



What If…  by Samantha Berger, illustrated by Mike Curato
A little girl loves to create and imagines that, even if her beloved art supplies were gone, she’d find new ways to express her creativity. I love this optimistic way of looking at challenges and setbacks as new ways to explore and create.



Yay, You! : Moving Up and Moving On by Sandra Boynton
How can you not love a book by Sandra Boynton? For a child who grew up with Barnyard Dance or Pajama Time, this book is the perfect way to celebrate their achievements and successes, plus the many good things that lay ahead.



Parker Looks Up by Parker Curry and Jessica Curry, illustrated by Brittany Jackson
I love this bright and beautiful picture book about a little girl who visits the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC and sees the portrait of Michelle Obama. This gorgeous painting unlocks her imagination and she sees all the possibilities for her own future!



The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin
This is probably among the most popular graduation book options – it’s such a beautiful book about all the possibilities a parent sees as they look at their child and the future stretching out before them.




Remarkably You by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Patrice Barton
Every single one of us is different and the world needs us all – whether we’re quiet or exuberant, tall or short, going off to the other side of the world or staying close to home. And this book celebrates every one of us for being who we are.



Wherever You Go by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
Graduation is the starting line of many new adventures and this beautifully illustrated book explores the many possibilities there are ahead, from the familiar to the unknown, all of them magical and special.



I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
We all have so many wishes for our children – things we hope they experience, ways they learn and grow, and so much more. This book beautifully and exuberantly brings all those wishes together in one delightful graduation book.



All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Marla Frazee
My aunt gave me a copy of this picture book and I’m just absolutely obsessed with this beautiful Caldecott picture book. It starts in the early morning and goes through the evening focusing on all the beauties of the world and the importance of family and friends. Truly exceptional.



Ideas Are All Around by Philip C. Stead
If you’ve ever let your mind wander, making connections you’ve never seen before and noticing tiny details, this is that in book form. The author and his dog take a walk through the neighborhood seeing all sorts of fun things and discussing the world around them and realizing that ideas are truly everywhere.



Because by Mo Willems, illustrated Amber Ren
This book by the beloved Mo Willems shows the chain reaction that one decision or circumstance can make, all leading up to a stunning wonderful ending (or beginning?) for a young child who attends a musical performance that changes her life.



The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael López
Sometimes you might feel out of place, especially when you encounter new beginnings (which you certainly will in the experiences that follow a graduation). But if we can reach out to those around us, there are endless new opportunities for connection.



What Do You Do With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada, illustrated by Mae Besom
In the beginning, an idea may feel uncomfortable and new. But as you learn more about it, you realize it might be worth keeping around. And despite the naysayers who are confused or surprised by this idea, if you keep nurturing it, eventually the world might realize too how valuable this idea is.



And if you’d like a printable copy of this list that you can take to your library or screenshot on your phone for easy access, just pop in your email address below and it’ll come right to your inbox!


Any other suggestions for the perfect graduation book? I’d love to hear!


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  1. I got the Nancy Tillman book “I Knew You Could Do It” to start for my preschooler. Her books are so beautiful and full of animals for my animal lover.

  2. I am excited to look at a few of these books I’ve never heard of. A book that I have teachers sign for my daughter is Dear Girl by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.

    1. I love this! I have had all of kids’ teachers sign a copy of Oh, the Places You’ll Go…but regardless of what book you choose, I think it is so fun to have a book with notes from all of your children’s teachers. My oldest graduated last year (and my second graduates next year…) and my oldest absolutely loved her book!

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