It’s the eighth annual 100 Picture Books list!
My favorite thing is checking out a gigantic stack of picture books from the library and then snuggling up on the couch with a child or two – even my older girls are drawn in and often can be found hanging over the back of the couch so they can see the pictures too.
There are the picture books that passed both adult and child muster and that are a delight to read over and over again.
There are fiction and non-fiction titles, funny and tear-jerking ones, bright colorful ones and subdued, sweet ones.
I hope it helps you discover new favorite titles and authors and illustrators!
Pop in your email address and I’ll send you a PDF version with all the titles and all the covers of these picture books for kids so you can print it out and take it along to your library or bookstore or check them off as you read them this summer!
(And you can also see all the previous lists here, if you’d like even more options!)
The 2022 100 Picture Books List
- Invasion of the Unicorns by David Biedrzycki. Special Agent Bubble07 poses as a stuffed unicorn and infiltrates the home of a little Earthling girl. His mission? To decide if his team of alien unicorns should invade earth. But it’s hard not to be won over by storytime, snow days and snuggles. I LOVED this clever picture book.
- Negative Cat by Sophie Blackall. The boy in this story picked out the most perfect cat – Max. But after he brings him home he gets nothing but negative cattitude. Everyone else in the family quickly gives up on Max and they decide to rehome him, but at the last minute, the boy discovers that Max loves books and convinces his family to let Max stay.
- Ready for the Spotlight by Jaime Kim. This winsome story is one that is very relatable with themes of sibling rivalry, dance and finding your own talents. I loved the sweet big sister in this one and her willingness to look past her younger sister’s jealousy.
- Strollercoaster by
- Nicky & Vera: A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued by Peter Sís. Nicholas Winton (Nicky), was an Englishman that went to Prague in 1938 to help evacuate almost 700 children to safety in England before Czechoslovakia was invaded by the Germans. Vera was one of those children whose lives was saved. He kept completely quiet about his heroic acts for decades – I cried reading this one in the library.
- All From a Walnut by Ammi-Joan Paquette, illustrated by Felicita Sala. This sweet story shares the tender tale of the cycle of life through a girl, Emilia, her Grandfather, and a Walnut tree. It teaches that the best things grow with time and that our loved ones are always a part of us even when they aren’t with us anymore.
- Almost Always Best, Best Friends by Apryl Stott. This book has truly stunning illustrations and stories the sometimes tricky to navigate situation of having two best friends. Read along as Poppy, Clementine and Georgia learn how to share their feelings and build an even better friendship than before.
- Fluffy McWhiskers Cuteness Explosion by Stephen W. Martin, illustrated by Dan Tavis. Poor Fluffy is an adorable kitten. So adorable, in fact, that anyone who sees her will spontaneously explode into balls of sparkles and fireworks. This is extremely troubling and she decides she can’t be around anyone anymore. Tally LOVED this one and I read it to her dozens of times.
- Bear Is a Bear by
- Elefantastic: A Story of Magic in 5 Acts: Light Verse on a Heavy Subject by
- Big Dreams, Small Fish by Paula Cohen. Shirley has big ideas on how to help with the family store in their new to them country. The problem is they don’t seem to want her help. Shirley gets her chance one fateful day to put her ideas into practice and, surprise, she’s a terrific saleswoman!
- The Katha Chest by
- Acorn Was a Little Wild by Jen Arena, illustrated by Jessica Gibson. Acorn longs for adventure from his high perch in his oak tree. His thrill-seeking adventures come to a halt when a squirrel buries him, but he realizes he just has to change from the inside out.
- Off-Limits by Helen Yoon. Who hasn’t had the urge to enter the off-limits room? It’s easy to relate to the little girl in this book who desperately wants to discover what is behind the closed door of her dad’s office. She finally gets her chance to explore the magical wonderland of office supplies and indulge in a little harmless just-for-once breaking rules. The surprise ending on this one is the best.
- Hope at Sea: An Adventure Story by
- Gladys the Magic Chicken by Adam Rubin and Adam Rex. From the same author of Dragons Love Tacos, get ready to laugh along with this hilarious story about Gladys, a magic chicken- or is she? The characters in this book seem to have all their wishes come true when Gladys is around. I don’t often recommend an audio version of a picture book but this one is a homerun.
- The Monster in the Bathhouse by Sina Merabian. Three boys set out to find who -or what- left the big mess in the Bathhouse. This adapted Persian myth is set in an Iranian bathhouse on the day before Nowruz, the Persian New Year.
- Mina by
- Ben and Emma’s Big Hit by Ben loves baseball and doesn’t like reading. But he uses the determination and perseverance he learns through baseball to overcome his troubles with dyslexia and then challenges his teacher to overcome HER insecurities by playing some baseball.
- Peanut Gets Fed Up by
- A Crocodile in the Family by In the Australian bush, a family of birds come across a lonely egg and decide to take it home with them. They are all surprised when it hatches and it’s a crocodile! But they decide to adopt the baby crocodile as one of their own simply “because he belongs”.
- Chez Bob by
- Solitary Animals: Introverts of the Wild by
- Out on a Limb by
- The Treasure Box by
- Can Sophie Change the World? by
- Watercress by
- Dancing with Daddy by
- Napoleon vs. the Bunnies by
- How to Hug a Pufferfish by Ellie Peterson. Hugging a pufferfish can be, well, down right prickly. But in this book his friends learn the best way to show Pufferfish some love and respect his personal space. Aside from being amusing on its own, it is also a great introduction to body autonomy for kids.
- Little Blue Bunny by
- Me and Ms. Too by
- Way Past Jealous by
- Good Job, George! by
- A Bear to Share by
- Dumplings for Lili by
- The Great Zapfino by
- Not That Pet! by
- Cat Problems by
- Lambslide by
- Thunder and the Noise Storms by
- John’s Turn by
- Knight Owl by
- Shy Willow by
- Gibberish by
- Chester van Chime Who Forgot How to Rhyme by
- Help Wanted, Must Love Books by
- A Friend for Yoga Bunny by
- Out into the Big Wide Lake by
- The Doghouse by
- Lissy’s Diary by
- Perdu by
- Camilla, Cartographer by
- This Book Will Get You to Sleep! by
- Paletero Man by
- Awake by
- Somewhere in the Bayou by
- Heads and Tails: Underwater by John Canty. This is a fun interactive book where you get to follow the clues (and the tails) on each page to guess what animal is next. My girls LOVE this one.
- The Runaway Pea Washed Away by Kjartan Poskitt, illustrated by Alex Willmore. This delightfully silly book shares the experience of a runaway pea that has bounced off the plate and right down the drain. Will he be ‘grum-pea’ or find the whole thing an exciting adventure?
- The Smile Shop by Satoshi Kitamura. A small boy has save all his pocket money and today’s the day he’ll buy something special just for himself, but things quickly take a turn for the worse when he loses his change down the drain. He looks up and sees a store called the Smile Shop. Could this be the exact thing he needs to cheer himself up?
- Bindu’s Bindis by Supriya Kelkar, illustrated by Parvati Pillai. Bindu loves her bindis and the many creative shapes they come in. She loves the way they help her feel connected to her Nani who live in India, but is coming for a visit. Bindu and Nani embrace the way they stand out from the crowd and proudly wear their bindis.
- Oona and the Shark by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Raissa Figueroa. Oona is a creative, invention-making mermaid who loves sharing her inventions with her friends. Stanley Shark is the one sea creature that doesn’t appreciate Oona’s big, bold, and loud inventions. This doesn’t stop Oona from trying to be friends with Stanley.
- Sometimes All I Need is Me by Juliana Perdomo. This book is about a young girl who learns that everything she needs- courage, joy, peace and love- is already inside of her. Charming illustrations highlight themes of resiliency, mindfulness and self-care.
- Dear Librarian by Lydia M. Sigwarth, illustrated by Romina Galotta. Five year old Lydia and her family had to leave their home and hop around living with different family members. Nothing was permanent, until one day Lydia’s mom took her to the Library. At the library, Lydia found a special spot and made a new friend, the librarian. This is based on a true story and it’s SO sweet.
- Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit! by Lorna Scobie. Rabbit loves being an only child (er, only rabbit). But when her parents start producing more and more rabbits, she’s not so sure about life with so many siblings. The good news is that the fox next door LOVES all these new rabbits.
- Judge Juliette by Laura Gehl, illustrated by Mari Lobo. Juliette loves being the judge. She’s smart and fair and happy to make decisions. Until her parents both start arguing for a cat versus a dog. How is she going to decide?
- Capybara is Friends with Everyone by Maddie Frost. Capybara has thousands of friends. He’ll do anything for anyone, no matter what it costs him. Until he meets someone that doesn’t seem to want to be friends and he learns an important lesson about what real friendship looks like.
- Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn by Shannon Hale and Leuyen Pham. A cute little kitten longs to be a unicorn but her friends laugh at her attempts to dress the part. Until a unicorn comes along with a secret.
- Imagine a Wolf by Lucky Platt. When you imagine a wolf, you’re probably thinking about the one that ate Little Red Riding Hood or tried to huff and puff a house down. But what if you’re imagining it all wrong?
- You See a Zoo, I See… by Mike Downs, illustrated by Maureen O’Brien. When you go to the zoo, you might see some animals doing funny things, but someone who knows the zoo well sees a whole bunch of things you miss!
- Molly on the Moon by Mary Robinette Kowal, illustrated by Diana Mayo. If you were on the moon, you wouldn’t have a lot of toys. Maybe only one special toy. And when your little sibling tried to take it, it’s going to be tricky to find a solution.
- The Librarian’s Stories by Lucy Falcone, illustrated by Anna Wilson. In a town that’s bombed, there isn’t much light and happiness left. Until the librarian takes a seat in the square and begins reading out loud.
- Moth & Butterfly: Ta Da! by Dev Petty, illustrated by Ana Aranda. Moth and Butterfly are best friends and very similar. But after they come out of their cocoons they’re a bit different – can they still be friends?
- The Gift by Alain Serge Dzotap, illustrated by Delphine Renon. The best birthday gift is a pen from his dad who promises he’ll show his son what magic is held within it. If you have a child just learning to write, this is a delightful story of the magic of a pen!
- The Little Forest Keepers by Mary Lundquist. When the summer sunshine gets too hot, this wintery picture book is just the way to cool off with Ash and Pudd who take care of all their woodland friends, including a strange new creature who appears one day.
- Brave Enough by Rob Justus. Little Brother is terrified of monsters which seem to be everywhere. But Big Sister is sure he’s wrong – there aren’t any monsters! And she’s going to take him on adventure to prove him wrong. But . . .is he wrong?
- Out of Nowhere by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros. Caterpillar and Beetle are the best of friends, spending every day together. Until one morning Caterpillar disappears and Beetle sets out to find his beloved friend.
- Sometimes It’s Bright by Annie Ruygt. When Ronan and her mother spend the afternoon in the city, there is so much brightness coming from everywhere. But when they get home, she discovers she can bring that brightness into the world too!
- Millions of Maxes by Meg Wolitzer, illustrated by Micah Player. Max loves his name and especially his parents calling him “the one and only Max.” But then he goes to the playground and discovers . . .he’s not the only Max.
- My Best Friend by Miguel Tanco. A dog is a man’s (or in this case, child’s) best friend. And even better? The child is the dog’s best friend!
- Chickens on the Loose by Jane Kurtz, illustrated by John Joseph. This high energy picture books follows a flock of chickens that have escaped from their home and are now running about town as one person after another tries to catch them.
- The Doll by Nhung N. Tran-Davies, illustrated by Ravy Puth. Based on a true story, a young girl arrives in a new country with nothing and is offered a doll which she treasures for years. Decades later, she’s able to share a doll with another new refugee child arriving in a strange country.
- A Grandma’s Magic by Charlotte Offsay, illustrated by Asa Gilland. Is there anything more magical than a grandmother? Even when she’s not there, she leaves behind a special bit of love.
- Counting to Bananas by Carrie Tillotson, illustrated by Estrela Lourenço. Along the lines of the wacky Nothing Rhymes with Orange, this one is a slapstick rip-roaring counting book that was a delight to read aloud.
- Ruffles and the Red, Red Coat by David Melling. Ruffles is a little dog who does NOT care for his new red coat. But when he gets soaked in a puddle it seems like the coat might have its uses after all.
- James’ Reading Rescue by
- Who is it, Whoodini? by
- People Are Wild by
- Holi Hai! by
- Walk Your Dog by
- Raj and the Best Vacation Ever! by
- Milk and Juice: A Recycling Romance by
- Balloons for Papa: A Story of Hope and Empathy by
- Mommy’s Hometown by
- Vampire Vacation by
- They Call Me River by
- The Collectors by
- A Home Named Walter by
- If You Live Here by
- This Is a Gift for You by Emily Winfield Martin. This is just the sweetest picture book about all the good things in life – it’s a perfect follow-up to her beloved The Wonderful Things You Will Be.
if you liked this post about 100 picture books for kids, you might also like these other posts:
- The 2022 Summer Camp Reading Chart
- The Best Picture Books to Read Aloud in a Classroom
- 6 Simple Tips for Reading Aloud to Multiple Children
Thanks for this list, Janssen! I also recommend: The Boy With Flowers in His Hair by Jarvis and Rodney Was a Tortoise by Nan Forler. My two favorites this year!