These are the 15 best picture books for elementary students, and we own all of them on our own shelves at home. I hope you find some new inspiration!
I’d like to mention that several of these were discoveries made by receiving the Amazon Book Box. It’s a really outstanding book subscription. You won’t get books you already have because they choose awesome new releases. We LOVE Amazon book box!
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The Best Picture Books for Elementary Students
Harriet Gets Carried Away
This is a wonderful, daydreamy book about a little girl in costume getting carried off by penguins. Will she make it home by the time her birthday party begins? Side note: Harriet has two daddies, so it can open the door for conversation about different kinds of families. This book is best for Pre-K – 2nd graders.
Cars and Trucks and Things that Go
If you’ve got a little kid obsessed with ALL vehicles, this is the book for you! It’s so random and silly, and the plot gets lost. But there’s so much to look at! This book is best for Pre-K – 2nd graders. It’s not great for a read aloud with a large audience, because you need the picture cues to really follow along. I also wouldn’t use it to teach plot! It’s a classic, nevertheless.
President Taft is Stuck in the Bath
This ridiculous book is our all time favorite. I love to read it out loud and the kids think it’s hysterical. My third graders were obsessed with it, too! I think the sense of humor in the book lends itself really well to upper elementary, although younger kids with a quick wit could handle it.
Got an early, advanced reader? Check out this post: Your 4 Year Old Can Read: Now What?!
Ready for more? Check out this post: Our All Time Favorite Chapter Books for 2nd Grade Girls.
This one is pretty advanced, but it’s a GREAT conversation starter if you have little girls. These women are all heroes in our home! The book is listed as Pre-K – 2, but I disagree with that assessment. I don’t know many 1st and 2nd grade girls who would be ready for the way the information is presented and the super high vocabulary. I like this book better for 3rd-5th graders.
You can’t have a round up of your favorite children’s books and leave off Mo Willems – specifically Knuffle Bunny, our favorite one. Knuffle Bunny, the protagonists’ beloved stuffy, gets left at the laundromat down the street. It’s a hard day, but a happy ending. This book is best for Pre-K – 2nd graders because of the content, but I’ve had 4th and 5th graders get a kick of out Mo Willems. It’s a cute story for any age.
This book is storytelling genius. Bruce and the goslings are just so lovable and the problems he encounters trying to parent them will make any mother laugh out loud. My kids love it, too! The book is just fine for kids as young as pre-K, but your average 5th grader will find it hilarious, too. The humor is a bit sophisticated for younger kids.
Check this out! Our favorite educational toys and games are here.
Scholastic has a post about the best picture books for elementary students, too. Check it out if you need even more ideas!
I plan to update this regularly as Turkey Burger discovers new books. I hope your kiddo enjoys them, too!