Encore! Picture Book Picks: Storytime Favourites


A read aloud can make or break the success of a storytime. I’ve had those storytimes where, just a few lines into a picture book I can tell it’s going to be a clunker with the kids. The sweating begins, the voice becomes uncertain and it…doesn’t…go….well…and you’re dying a slow death on stage. But when a read aloud goes well- the kids are enchanted, engaged, and excited? YESYESYES.

Here, in no particular order, are picture books I have personally used during toddler and preschool (and up) storytimes that have become my Most Valuable Players. Some authors appear multiple times, some are classics, some are new, and some are just pure fun:

I’ll Wait, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett, illus. Jon Klassen
Look, Look Again by Agnese Baruzzi (board book)
The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton
Stanley’s Diner by William Bee
Stanley’s Garage by William Bee (any of the ‘Stanley’ books!)
Blown Away by Rob Biddulph
Everyone Is Yawning by Anita Bijsterbosch
I Need a Hug by Aaron Blabey
I’m Bored by Micheal Ian Black, illus. Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Shapes, Reshape!: A Minibombo Book by Silvia Borando
Open Very Carefully: A Book With Bite by Nick Bromley, illus. Nicola O’Byrne
Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illus. Clement Hurd
This Book Just Ate My Dog! by Richard Byrne

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell (one of my favourite felt stories!)
The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (a favourite felt story as well!)
From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
Arctic Animals by Tad Carpenter (board book)
There’s a Bear on My Chair by Ross Collins
Peck, Peck, Peck by Lucy Cousins
Oink-a-Doodle-Moo by Jef Czekaj

Dragon Was Terrible by Kelly DiPucchio, illus. Greg Pizzoli
What Pet to Get? by Emma Dodd
One Day, the End.: Short, Very Short, Shorter-Than-Ever Stories by Rebecca Kai Dotlich, illus. Fred Koehler
Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman, illus. Zachariah OHora

Olivia by Ian Falconer (and other Olivia titles)
Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
Barnacle is Bored by Jonathan Fenske
We All Count: A Book of Cree Numbers by Julie Flett (board book)
Box by Min Flyte
Thank You Bear by Greg E. Foley
Don’t Worry Bear by Greg E. Foley
The Cat’s Pyjamas by Catherine Foreman
Where Is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox, illus. Judy Horacek 

Peep and Egg: I’m Not Hatching by Laura Gehl, illus. by Joyce Wan
I Spy With My Little Eye by Edward Gibbs (any of the ‘I Spy’ series)
Old MacDonald Had a Truck by Steve Goetz, illus. Eda Kaban
Cat Knit by Jacob Grant

Who’s Hungry? by Dean Hacohen, illus. Sherry Scharschmidt
Go! Go! Go! Stop! by Charise Mericle Harper
Bernice Gets Carried Away by Hannah E. Harrison
Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
Butterfly, Butterfly: A Book of Colors by Petr Horacek
The Mouse Who Ate the Moon by Petr Horacek
Puffin Peter by Petr Horacek

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers
The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers
Goodnight Already! by Jory John, illus. Benji Davies
I Love You Already! by Jory John, illus. Benji Davies
Penguin Problems by Jory John, illus. Lane Smith

Open This Little Book by Jesse Klausmeier, illus. Suzy Lee
Duck Sock Hop by Jane Kohuth, illus. Jane Porter

The Black Rabbit by Philippa Leathers
Chicken in Space by Adam Lehrhaupt, illus. Shahar Kober
I Will Not Eat You by Adam Lehrhaupt, illus. Scott Magoon
Please, Open This Book! by Adam Lehrhaupt, illus. Matthew Forsythe
Warning: Do Not Open This Book! by Adam Lehrhaupt, illus. Matthew Forsythe
Noni the Pony by Alison Lester
Where is Tippy Toes? by Betsy Lewin

The Wish Tree by Kyo Maclear, illus. Chris Turnham
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? by Bill Martin Jr., illus. Eric Carle (classic felt story)
Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson
Touch the Brightest Star by Christie Matheson
A Perfectly Messed-Up Story by Patrick McDonnell
1 Big Salad: A Delicious Counting Book by Juana Medina
The Cow Who Climbed a Tree by Gemma Merino
The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water by Gemma Merino
Night Animals by Gianna Merino
Too Tall Houses by Gemma Merino
Grumpy Pants by Claire Messer

A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na
Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit: A Book of Changing Seasons by Il Sung Na
The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff, illus. Felicia Bond (terrific as a felt story as well)

Use Your Imagination by Nicola O’Byrne

Winter, Winter, Cold and Snow by Sharon Gibson Palermo, illus. Christina Song
I Don’t Want to be a Frog by Dev Petty, illus. Mike Boldt
The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli
Good Night Owl by Greg Pizzoli
The Baby That Roared by Simon Puttock, illus. Nadia Shireen

Ernest, the Moose Who Doesn’t Fit by Catherine Rayner
Huff & Puff by Claudia Rueda
Bunny Slopes by Claudia Reuda
Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds, illus. Peter Brown

Sylvie by Jennifer Gordon Sattler
There Are Cats in This Book by Viviane Schwarz
Duck on a Bike by David Shannon
Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? by Susan A. Shea
I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry (great felt story as well)
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina (even more fun as a felt story!)
Ol’ Mama Squirrel by David Ezra Stein
The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone, illus. Michael J. Smollin

Boo Hoo Bird by Jeremy Tankard
Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard
Hoot Owl: Master of Disguise by Sean Taylor, illus. Jean Jullien
Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy by Jan Thomas
Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas
The Doghouse by Jan Thomas
What Will Fat Cat Sit On? by Jan Thomas (yes, pretty much any of Thomas’ books!)
Press Here by Herve Tullet

If I Had a Gryphon by Vikki VanSickle, illus. Cale Atkinson
Bedtime for Monsters by Ed Vere
Max the Brave by Ed Vere

Noisy Touch and Feel: Cow Says Moo by Libby Walden, illus. Amanda Enright (board book)
The Whale in My Swimming Pool by Joyce Wan
That Is Not a Good Idea! by Mo Willems
The Duckling Gets a Cookie?! by Mo Willems
The Pigeon Needs a Bath! by Mo Willems (any Pigeon book, really!)
Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson, illus. Jane Chapman (most of the Bear books work well!)
Quackers by Liz Wong
The Napping House by Audrey Wood, illus. Don Wood (also great as a felt story!)

How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? by Jane Yolen, illus. Mark Teague

Note: I hope to update this list as my reading and storytimes continue.
Last edited: March, 2017

Author: michelle@fabbookreviews

Reference & Children's Librarian. Reader. Reviewer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.