18 Amazing Picture Books You Won’t Mind Reading Over and Over Again
by Devon A. Corneal
A while back, I wrote a piece about how reading the same story over and over again is great for your kids. What is great for kids, however, can drive parents absolutely bonkers. Hearing the same story every single night for a month can make even the most bookish parent want to give up reading forever. One way to stave off boredom and make sure you still enjoy sharing stories with your kids? Having a host of board and picture books at your fingertips. We’ve collected some tried-and-true, parent-loved read-aloud favorites for you, so all you have to do is sit back and start reading!
Dragons Love Tacos
Tacos, parties, and dragons go together better than cookies and milk. But dragons and salsa? Not so much. Kids and parents alike never tire of reading about these mythological animals chowing down on their favorite snack. The spicy fun continues in Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The classics are classics because they satisfy our every desire. The Very Hungry Caterpillar has it all — a simple story, gorgeous illustrations, sturdy flaps for little hands, and an adorable animal every child can relate to.
Uni the Unicorn
With its stunning artwork and heartfelt story celebrating the magic of childhood imagination, it’s no wonder this picture book is a favorite of young readers. And with a unicorn as the main character, chances are excellent that your child will ask you to read it on repeat.
Food and read-aloud books are like peanut butter and jelly — the perfect combination of sweet and satisfying. Leslie Patricelli is the queen of board books for the youngest readers, who will squeal with delight at the simple text and silly pictures in this story. Read this one with some of your favorite yummy snacks.
Jon Klassen’s Hat Box
Simple illustrations and wry humor make the books in Jon Klassen’s Hat Box a sure-fire win with you and your kids. You’ll love reading these humorous stories about animals and their misadventures with hats — whether they’ve lost one, found one, or (gasp!) stolen one.
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
The rhythm of this fantastic book will keep your kids clapping and chanting along as one family takes an adventure and finds an unexpected surprise at the end of it.Preorder from:
La Princesa and the Pea
Expect to hear cries of "again!" from your little ones when you reach the last page of La Princesa and the Pea. You won't mind granting their request — this bilingual retelling is as fun to read aloud as it is to listen to thanks to its charming rhymes, fun rhythms, and great illustrations.
If Grumpy Monkey isn’t your favorite children’s book curmudgeon, he will be soon. You and your kids will love reading about this cranky primate so much that he’ll start making regular appearances in your bedtime reading stack. You’ll also enjoy reading the rest of the books in the Grumpy Monkey series.
The Monster at the End of This Book
Long before Press Here, The Monster at the End of This Book encouraged kids to participate in reading. Grover warns kids over and over not to turn the next page for fear of meeting a monster, which, of course, only encourages them to.
The Book with No Pictures
Obviously, a picture book without pictures is going to be a fabulous read. This book requires energy, enthusiasm, and a willingness to look (and sound) silly. Go ahead, dive right in and see how often your kids start to demand this one at storytime.
The Day You Begin
Everyone feels like an outsider sometimes, and Jacqueline Woodson’s heartfelt book reminds readers that their differences make them unique. With its messages of courage, hope, and resilience, The Day You Begin is the perfect book to share with your child before every unfamiliar experience.
Llama Llama Red Pajama
There’s always a little drama and an important lesson in Llama Llama books, and this one is no different. The cadence of this story makes it perfect for reading aloud, and the story is one attention-seeking children will understand and grow to love.
With over 18,000 5-star ratings on Amazon, this modern classic has become a bedtime favorite for kids everywhere. You’ll adore this entertaining story of a mouse using his wits and imagination to fend off predators. Chances are, your kids will also love it and want to read it every night.
Have you ever been reading to your kids and they interrupt you? Not once, but multiple times? Doesn’t that make you nuts? If so, this is the story for you. Kids will smile in recognition when you tell them the story of one very excited chicken who just can’t seem to stay quiet.
In a tall house in Paris, all covered with vines, you’ll find the precocious and independent Madeline — part adventurer, part little girl who brings spunk and confidence to her little corner of the world. I dare you not to memorize this story along with your kids.
The Day the Crayons Quit
What would happen if one day, all the crayons up and quit? No more coloring! No more drawings! No more homemade birthday cards! Hopefully, young Duncan can figure out why the crayons left and how to get them back. Hilarious and captivating, The Day the Crayons Quit will definitely become a read-aloud favorite.
The Last Stop on Market Street
This bestselling and heart-warming picture book has won several awards, including the Newbery Medal and a Caldecott Honor. Themes of kindness, positivity, and looking on the bright side make this book easy to reach for again and again.
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole
Anytime you get Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen together, you get a picture book that can hold up through multiple readings. In this story, two young boys dig a hole in their backyard, hoping to find something extraordinary. Readers of all ages will enjoy the clever humor in this story about a favorite childhood activity.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2018 and updated in 2021.