Check out the best children’s picture books available on Epic!
We’ve recommended a lot of amazing children’s picture books over the years. From children‘s literature classics and board books for little ones, to longer books for older kids, you can find something for everyone right here. So why not keep your kid reading this summer and all year long with some of the most popular, best-selling and award-winning picture books of all time? Below, we‘ve rounded up the most must-read picks from our book lists for you to share with your kids on Epic—plus a few available off our platform.
Check out the best children’s picture books below! You‘ll find books for kids of all ages, listed from youngest to oldest.
Best Children’s Picture Books on Epic
Written by: Bill Martin Jr.
Illustrated by: Eric Carle
Ages: 4 & under
From author Bill Martin Jr. and late illustrator of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” Eric Carle comes this endearing animal book for early readers. With rhythmic text and the delightful, boldly colored collage illustrations Carle is known for, this endearing Read-To-Me book teaches little ones how to identify colors while building vocab and word recognition by looking at a cascade of animals and birds.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Animated book)
Written by: John Archambault, Bill Martin, Jr
Illustrated by: Lois Ehlert
Ages: 4 & under
“A told B, and B told C, I’ll meet you at the top of the coconut tree!”
All the letters of the alphabet race up a coconut tree in this zany rhyming children’s picture book. This video version of the bestselling picture book is so much fun, you’ll find yourselves laughing to the rollicking words again and again. And if your kid loves this, they might also like the counting book, “Chicka Chickadee’s 1 2 3,” available on Epic in video and audiobook format.
Pete the Cat: A Pet for Pete (Read-To-Me)
By: James Dean
In this installment of the popular Pete the Cat series, Pete can’t wait to get his first pet. He visits the pet store and gets a goldfish, which he names Goldie. He then paints a cool painting of Goldie, and everyone wants one on their own! The problem is, Pete has homework to do and doesn’t have time to make them. This beginning reader is a great conversation starter about balancing fun and responsibility for young kids.
By: Beatrix Potter
Beatrix Potter’s “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” is among the most beloved classic stories of all time. Your kid can follow the mischievous Peter as he (despite his mother’s warnings) raids Mr. McGregor’s garden for some yummy veggies. It’s all in good fun until he gets caught. The simple illustrations and traditional language will transport your kid into another time as they read this timeless classic.
Written by: Sherri Duskey Rinker
Illustrated by: Tom Lichtenheld
One of our favorite children’s picture books is “Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site.” This soothing bedtime story is about hard-working trucks saying goodnight after a long day. The vibrant illustrations and gentle rhyming text will delight your truck-crazy tot as they drift off to sleep. They might like to fall asleep to the animated story book version, too. And fans of the series can find several other installments on Epic, including “Mighty, Mighty Construction Site” and “Road Crew, Coming Through!”
Harold and the Purple Crayon (Read-to-Me)
By: Crockett Johnson
This beloved classic storybook about a little boy and his magical purple crayon has been handed down from bookshelf to bookshelf for generations. Now the Read-To-Me version is available on Epic to help send your own little one off to dreamland. Adult fans will remember Harold’s fateful moonlight walk when, using his enormous purple crayon, he draws a wondrous world through forests and distant seas and more. Simple illustrations and verses make it easy for young readers to follow the story, and with its soothing, dreamlike tone, this is the perfect tale to share with little ones before bedtime. If your kid enjoys this, you can also Find the audio version of “Harold’s Fairy Tale” on Epic.
By: David Ezra Stein
High on our list of children’s picture books is the hilarious yet instructive “Interrupting Chicken.” This Caldecott Medal Honor book winner is about a young chicken who continually interrupts her father as he’s trying to read a bedtime story. Hilarity ensues as the interrupting chicken jumps (uninvited) into the stories of Chicken Little, Little Red Riding Hood and other well-known tales that her father is trying to read to her. This laugh-out-loud story is a fun, non-preachy way for parents to teach their kids about etiquette.
Written by: Adam Gustavson
Illustrated by: Adam Gustavson
This isn’t your average bedtime book! Join a zany group of froggies as they hop, have burping contests, play accordion, perform underwater ballet and do just about anything but go to bed. Your little one will love the hilarious illustrations as the antics get more and more outrageous. For any parent whose kids come up with wild excuses to avoid bedtime, this is an over-the-top fun way to get ‘em willingly off to snooze-town.
Thump, Quack, Moo (Animated book)
Written by: Doreen Cronin
Illustrated by: Betsy Lewin
Farmer Brown and the farm animals are at it again! This time, he is getting ready for the annual Corn Maze Festival, and he wants to build a Statue of Liberty corn maze. In this followup to the acclaimed ”Click, Clack Moo: Cows That Type,” the farmer gets his animal friends to help set up. Soon has the farm is a-thumping with activity! But wait, what is Duck up to? Does Farmer Brown get what he wants? This zany tale is just as tongue-in-cheek enjoyable as “Click, Clack, Moo.” If your kid is into the Farmer Brown’s Barnyard series, you can find an animated version of “Click, Clack, Moo: I Love You” on Epic.
Big Bad Bubble (Animated book)
Written by: Adam Rubin
Illustrated by: Daniel Salmieri
Bubbles are harmless, right? They can even be fun! But for the monsters of La La Land, this delicate, shimmery little ball is an object of terror. It’s especially scary when the monster Yerbert tells fearsome stories of the bubbles‘ chilling habits to two other monsters, causing them to run off in tears (what happens when a bubble pops?!). But with encouragement from your kid and the narrator, the monsters are able to overcome their fears. This funny and relatable book will teach your kid how to conquer their own fears, and to embrace new and unfamiliar things. If your kid enjoys this quirky animated book, they‘ll love others from Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri on Epic, including “Dragons Love Tacos,” “Secret Pizza Party,” “Those Darn Squirrels” and more.
Dragons Love Tacos (Animated picture book)
Written by: Adam Rubin
Illustrated by: Daniel Salmieri
Speaking of “Dragons Love Tacos!” From the creators of the hilarious hit “Secret Pizza Party,” comes this #1 New York Times bestselling cautionary tale about what can go wrong when you don’t listen to good advice.
When a young boy ignores a warning against feeding dragons spicy food and serves hot salsa at his party, serious mayhem ensues. After the boy realizes his mistake (and his house is destroyed), he must work together with the dragons to rebuild. The boy shows kindness, empathy and humility when calling on his dragon friends to help him.
The narration is cheeky and direct, and guaranteed to get laughs from parents and kids of all ages. If your kid likes this animated picture book, check out these funny books by the same creators, “Dragons Love Tacos 2” and “Secret Pizza Party” on Epic.
Written by: Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrated by: R. Gregory Christie
Set in 19th-century Louisiana, this Caldecott Honor winnertells the little known true story of enslaved people finding hope and joy even under the most oppressed conditions. All week long, they labor all day, with the exception of Sundays, when they worship in the mornings. But in the afternoons they can gather with free Blacks at Congo Square. Here they can sing and dance, set up a market, play music and forget their struggles for just a little while. The beautiful illustrations and simple rhymes make it easy for even little readers to understand. And the lyrical language makes it a great choice for a read-aloud.
Written by: Amanda Noll
Illustrated by: Howard McWilliam
Ages: 7 & Under
He’s got a monster under his bed, alright, and he’d sure love to find him. A boy who loves monsters draws a picture and compares the sketch with an assortment of silly monsters, until he finds the perfect match—his beloved stuffed green monster toy. This is a fun, imaginative way for kids to practice comparing colors, not to mention checking whether tails are long or short, if claws are scratchy or if teeth are sharp.
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 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!
Written by: Robert Munsch
Illustrated by: Sheila McGraw
Get the tissues handy and snuggle up with this nostalgic, heartwarming picture book. At times filled with funny antics and at other times touching and sweet, this beautiful book tells the story of a mother’s love for her child from cradle to adulthood. It culminates in a gentle twist that reveals the enduring, lifelong and tenderly reciprocal bond between parents and their children. The soothing rhythmic prose makes this one of the best read-alouds of all time, especially as you’re tucking your little one into bed.
Written by: Jory John
Illustrated by: Pete Oswald
This New York Times bestseller is about a bad seed. A baaaaaaaaaad seed. He has a bad temper, bad manners and a bad attitude. He cuts in line, rudely stares and doesn’t listen. One day, this very bad seed has a change of heart and decides he wants to be happy. But he may have to change his attitude and behavior to make that happen. Reminiscent of the classic, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” this funny yet touching tale shows kids that positive change is possible through will, acceptance and embracing the right frame of mind.
Where the Wild Things Are (Animated book)
By: Maurice Sendak
Adult fans of the classic kids’ book, “Where the Wild Things Are,” will remember Max, whose imagination transports him far away to a magical forest filled with wild things after he threatens to eat his mother (eek!) and she sends him to bed without supper. Fortunately, the wild things don’t eat Max, and instead make him their king. In the end Max realizes that king or not, he still needs the love of his parents. The story teaches even older kids about love, family and that it’s okay to have strong feelings as long as you treat others with love and respect.
Henry’s Freedom Box (Animated Book & Audiobook)
By: Ellen Levine
In this Caldecott Honor Book, Henry is born into a slave family, but he 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 a way that helps kids understand the importance of equality and standing up for what’s 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.
Are you looking for more of the best children’s picture books of all time? Check out these timeless and popular favorites available off our platform, all on Amazon.
By: Don Freeman
In this time-honored staple of children’s literature, a little bear named Corduroy has been on the store shelf for a long time. He meets a little girl named Lisa, who loves him instantly, despite the fact that he’s a little worn and missing a button. Corduroy knows he’s the bear for her and sets out in the middle of the night to fix himself up and be the bear she deserves.
Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!
By: Mo Willems
From the brilliant creator behind “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” and many other laugh-out-loud titles in this lesson-laden series comes “Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late.” This time, as the bus driver gets ready for bed he begs young readers NOT to let the pigeon stay up. Of course the pigeon tries to talk his way into getting his way (“I hear there’s a good show about birds on TV tonight,” he says). His efforts mirror the antics little ones use to try to get out of bedtime, until he finally falls asleep.
By: Margaret Wise Brown
A little bunny, tucked away and ready for sleep, says goodnight to all the familiar things in its softly lit room. “Goodnight room, goodnight moon,” and everything from the clocks and his socks, to the mittens and the kittens. With its melodic word sequences and gentle imagery, “Goodnight Moon” has lulled generations of sleepy tots to sleep. This classic bestseller is the perfect first book and bedtime story for your young reader or pre-reader.
Green Eggs and Ham
By: Dr. Seuss
“I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-am.”
“Green Eggs and Ham” is among the most beloved, time-honored children’s picture books of the past 6 decades. Filled with whimsical rhymes and tongue-twisters, kids can spiritedly read out loud and list all the great places you could enjoy green eggs and ham. With its silly narration and simple language, it’s a perfect first book to share with your little one.
Written by: Julia Donaldson
Illustrated by: Axel Scheffler
This brightly illustrated book follows a little mouse as he encounters first a hungry fox, then an owl and a snake in the deep, dark woods. Knowing he could become a meal, the mouse invents a monster he calls the gruffalo to scare them off. He cleverly describes the gruffalo’s terrible claws, tusks and jaws, knobbly knees, turned-out toes, and other frightful features. But imagine his surprise when he meets a real gruffalo.
Think picture books are just for little kids? Think again! Learn more about why picture books are for everyone, grownups included in this post: “Picture Books: Just for Kids?”