The kids and I pored through our shelves of picture books and painstakingly narrowed it down to some of our very favorites. (There are too many great ones to choose from!) We wholeheartedly recommend these to you, especially if you have children at home that are 4 to 8 years old. I noticed we tend toward true stories, but there's a bit of everything on this list. If you're just building your library, take a look at these!
+ The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross
by Carl Laferton. This is part of a series of picture books called "Tales that Tell the Truth" that beautifully portrays stories from the Bible, and this one is my favorite. There's an emphasis in this book on the temple curtain tearing in two when Jesus died, removing the centuries-long barrier between God and man, and it brings me to tears every time. I highly recommend any book in this series as an effortless way to teach your children about God and celebrate his work through Scripture. Close runners up in this series would be The Friend Who Forgives, The One O'Clock Miracle,
and The Storm That Stopped,
but they're all so good.
+ Lost in the Library
by Josh Funk. This story about Patience and Fortitude - the two lion statues that guard the New York Public Library - is charming and imaginative and has the sweetest ending. It also has the most delightful rhyme, which my kids really enjoy.
+ Last Stop on Market Street
by Matt de la Peña. As CJ rides the bus across town every Sunday, he gleans wisdom from his wise grandmother. This book teaches compassion and the power of perspective, and I love it for that.
+ The Little House Picture Books
, adapted from Laura Ingalls Wilder books. We're currently reading through the Little House series
by Laura Ingalls Wilder, but these were the perfect introduction to the Little House series. Gorgeous illustrations and stories that coincide with the books but are short enough for a younger audience. You can buy the books individually like we did, but I've linked to the treasury which contains 6 of them in one book.
+ When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree
by Jamie L.B. Deenihan. This is currently the most requested picture book on our shelf. The story is laugh-out-loud funny and encourages children to put down electronic devices and use their imaginations instead. Yes and amen!
+ A Sick Day for Amos McGee
by Philip C. Stead. This book is destined to be a classic. Amos McGee, the local zookeeper, is visited by his animal friends when he's at home sick. It's a tender story and beautifully written and illustrated. Perfect to read on a sick day.
+ Home in the Woods
by Eliza Wheeler. This is new to us and, again, is based on an inspiring true story of a widow and her 8 children who make a home out of their shack in the woods. They are innovative and resilient and their story is captivating.
I hope these give you a great starting point! I always recommend looking for books on Better World Books
first as they offer great discounts on gently used books. Happy reading!