Check out these long picture books for kids who can’t get enough of a good story!
Does your child want to keep reading long after the story has ended? Do you just need something a little longer to get them through a car ride or entertain them so you can check one more thing off your list? From fairy tales and digital board books to simple graphic novels and more, these longer illustrated children’s books will keep your kid busy and satisfy their inner bookworm all at the same time—all while getting them ready for even longer texts like chapter books. Check out some of our favorite long picture books below, both on and off our platform!
Best Long Picture Books on Epic
Written by: Amanda Noll, Shari Dash Greenspan
Illustrated by: Howard McWilliam
When Ethan can’t sleep, he doesn’t count sheep. He recites the alphabet! But his ABCs are a little different. For this monster-loving kid, each letter stands for a part of a monster’s anatomy. A is for Arms, B is for Belly, C is for Claws, and D of course, is for Drool. By the time he gets to Y he’s yawning. In this colorful, 26-letter long picture book, your 3-5-year old will get a huge kick out of pointing out the silly attributes, from spikes and wings to stupendously strange noses and earlobes. This zany Read-To-Me is perfect first book or bedtime story.
Written by: Jordan Scott
Illustrated by: Sydney Smith
In this touching and uplifting story, a boy shares his struggles with stuttering, and how his dad helps him find comfort and perspective on a “bad speech day.” After a particularly tough day, his father takes him for a walk along the river to help him get the words flowing. And the boy finds his voice in the calm water and rapids as they bubble and whirl against the shore. This is a soothing, reassuring book to share with early readers when they feel lonely or unable to fit in. If your kid enjoys this picture book, they might also like the animated version on Epic.
Written by: Tom Angleberger
Illustrated by: Dan Santat
Once upon a time there was a princess in a race car who made a pit stop… and then her Fairy Godmother told her she was in last place! Her Royal Highness has to gear up for a mad dash to the finish line and win the race. Your young reader will delight in familiar folktale characters like the tortoise and the hare, wicked witches and more while celebrating girl power in this light-hearted fractured fairy tale from the author of the bestseller “Origami Yoga” (A great choice for keeping your kid busy for hours with fun Star Wars-themed activities).
Written by: Sandy Hurt
Illustrated by: Xindi Yan
Sylvia Rose loves visiting the animals and trees of the forest, especially her favorite cherry tree. But the tree, rooted in the earth, can’t explore everything with her. So Silvia and her animal friends set out to uproot the cherry tree. The pair travel the world and take in all the sights, from the Eiffel Tower to the Sydney Opera House, each sight more amazing than the last. But what will the animals of the forest do without the tree’s life-giving resources? Will. it give up its freedom and return to help sustain the creatures of the forest? This magical rhyming tale will educate your kid about our ecosystem in a way that will delight their imagination and fill them with an appreciation for the importance of home.
By: Tom Angleberger
Want to give your kid a fun intro to music history? Start with a “Rich Dude” who keeps the whole town awake with his hollering because he can’t sleep, and you have a recipe for hilarious fun. This zany, nontraditional yet true story follows a young musician named Goldberg as he tries desperately to lull the cranky Rich Dude to sleep. But the Rich Dude shouts for Goldberg each night, waking up the whole town. As the town gets sleepier and sleepier and grumpier and grumpier, in comes Bach to save the day! This silly tale makes for a perfect read-aloud introduction to classical music and history.
Written by: Tracy Newman
Illustrated by: Abigail Halpin
Before becoming one of the greatest violinists of all time, Itzhak Perlman was the child of an immigrant family from Tel Aviv. Enchanted by the music he heard from his kitchen radio, he begs his parents for a violin. He takes to the instrument like magic. Then after nearly dying from polio and becoming disabled for life, his violin sustains him and he perseveres. At 13, his gift is so well known that he performs at the Ed Sullivan Show. This beautiful book will give your kid a glimpse into the life of this famous virtuoso while teaching them about music and the value of perseverance.
Written by: Ashley Spires
Illustrated by: Ashley Spires
Meet Burt the June beetle. He may not be able to carry 50-times his weight like, say, an ant. Maybe he can’t release a bad smell like a stink bug. But he can chase porch lights. Does that count as a bug superpower? Maybe not, but when other types of bugs get into trouble that even their superpowers can’t get them out of, Burt is there to save the day. This great book is filled with humor, adorable comic-book style illustrations and even some fun insect facts.
The Other Side (Animated Book & Audiobook)
By: Jacqueline Woodson
A young African-American girl named Clover is told by her mom that it isn’t safe to cross the fence that segregates their side of town from the white side, but she’s befriended a white girl named Anna who lives there. Wanting to spend time together without breaking their parents’ rules, the friends decide to get around them by sitting on top of the fence together. This animated version of the moving book beautifully celebrates friendship and overcoming obstacles to find common ground.
Feathered Serpent and the Five Suns (Animated Book)
By: Duncan Tonatiuh
This artful, brightly illustrated picture book brings an ancient Mesoamerican creation myth to life in a way that intrigues young readers. It starts when the gods of Mesoamerica set out to create humans and follows their attempts through the ages. Quetzalcóatl, also known as the Feathered Serpent, persists long after the other gods have given up and embarks on a dangerous quest. With simple yet sweeping storytelling, this book makes for an epic introduction to ancient mythology for little ones.
By: Torben Kuhlmann
In this third book in Torben Kuhlmann’s Mouse Adventure series, countless bookstore-dwelling mice eagerly await their chance to scurry out and into a hole at the far end of the shop to The University of Mice. There, a young mouse shares a diary note from his ancestor revealing a lost treasure in a sunken ship. With the help of his professor and another mouse he builds a vessel capable of carrying them to the very depths of the sea to find it. Will they get to the “bottom” of this mystery?
Written by: Caren Stelson
Illustrated by: Akira Kusaka
This moving picture book depicts the true story of Nagasaki atomic bomb survivor, Sachiko Yasui. A young girl at the time, Sachiko and her family was just half a mile from where the bomb fell on August 9, 1945. Despite surviving the blast, over time her family experiences devastating loss. But after fleeing and returning to Nagasaki two years later, they make a remarkable discovery. A delicate serving bowl made by her grandmother, and that once served their daily meals, has remained completely intact. It comes to serve as a symbolic vessel of peace, hope and new traditions. This heart-breaking tale delivers a message of peace to kids and lessons for the future. It comes to serve as a symbolic vessel of peace, hope and new traditions. This heart-breaking tale delivers a message of peace to kids and lessons for the future.
Henry’s Freedom Box (Animated Book & Audiobook)
By: Ellen Levine
In this Caldecott Honor Book, Henry is born into a slave family, but dreams of freedom. Deep down he knows that his life should belong to nobody other than him, and when he finds out that his family has been sold, he decides to act. Armed with heroic bravery and strength, Henry risks everything as he climbs into a wooden box and mails himself north to experience freedom for the first time. This inspiring true story tackles the painful topic of slavery in American history in a way that helps kids understand the importance of equality and standing up for what is right.
Written by: Marcia Schonberg
Illustrated by: Kandy Radzinski
In this unique alphabet book for budding inventors (or invention enthusiasts), your kid will learn about everything from the development of bicycles and computers to simple things like zippers. They’ll discover the story behind a plethora of everyday gadgets and doodads that we take for granted, as well as the big thinkers and circumstances behind them. Plus, they’ll get some fun answers to common questions like, “what is actually the mother of invention?” “What is the story behind the phrase, “the real McCoy”? This is just one of a series of books in this enriching series. You can also find “B is for Buckeye: An Ohio Alphabet” on Epic.
By: S. D. Nelson
At 12 years old, Conall has already worked in the coal mines of West Virginia for two years. Each day, he rides an elevator down a mine shaft deep underground and spends his hours carting coals from one seam to the main shaft. One day his brother, along with other miners, become trapped and it’s up to Conall and his mule, Angel, to save them. Using actual photos and original artwork, the author evokes the perilous realities of child labor in the coal mining industry. This remarkable piece of historical fiction will give your kid a powerful glimpse into the poverty, and grueling and dangerous work conditions that other children have faced throughout history.
By: Flora Delargy
Many kids are familiar with the tragic story of the Titanic, but less is known about the Carpathia and its heroic journey to rescue passengers from the doomed ship in the dark, frigid waters of the North Atlantic. This beautifully illustrated picture book tells the story of the crew and the little ship, and how after receiving a distress call in the middle of the night, it navigated treacherous ice fields and ultimately rescued 705 passengers. Written and illustrated by Flora Delargy, whose grandfather and great grandfather worked in the Belfast Shipyards where the Titanic was built, this book shows kids in vivid detail what took place on this eerie, fateful night, while teaching them about fascinating maritime concepts like morse code, navigation tools and crew roles.
By: Francesca Sanna
This illuminating children’s book for older kids and middle-grade readers tells the stories of true refugee journeys from around the world. With beautiful illustrations and simple text, it reveals the turmoils and tragedies of the current refugee crisis in an age-appropriate way. Inspired by the accounts of two refugee girls she met in Italy, the author was inspired to share their journeys, and many others, and their hopes, dreams and incredible strength in a way kids can understand.
Want more to sate your kid’s appetite for long picture books? Here are a few the best books off our platform, all available on Amazon.
- “After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Again,” by Dan Santat
- “The Storyteller,” by Evan Turk
- “Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth,” by Oliver Jeffers
- “The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors,” by Drew Daywalt
That’s our list of long picture books! For more amazing picture books to share with your kid on Epic, check out our posts: “Best Picture Books to Read Aloud With Your Kids” and “15 Most Popular Picture Books.”