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Pre-K

14 Clever Picture Books for Kids
(and Their Parents)

by Iva-Marie Palmer

clever-picture-books-for-kids
Photography by Seana Williamson

Before my son was born — no, check that — before I ever even thought about having a child, I knew I wanted to have a reader. When I pictured my future children, it was always an image of a sweet-faced boy or girl, cuddled up alongside me, a book open before us.

Serene, right?

But that fantasy only goes so far once the reality of storytime sets in. Kids choose favorite books to read again and again . . . and again, and in my son’s case, it was a book of trucks with no storyline whatsoever.

This was NOT what I’d imagined.

So what a relief it was to find I Want My Hat Back, a silly, clever, slightly naughty tale that I didn’t mind revisiting. Yup, quirky tales with a touch of humor are the cure for storytime ennui.

Here’s a list of some of my faves, plus top picks from other parents I know.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2015 and updated in 2022.