Literary Pursuits

10 Favorite Picture Book Series

I absolutely love to read aloud and always have. It’s so much fun to share a favorite picture book with a child. If there’s a little kid around and we have time, I’m likely to grab a book and say, “Wanna hear a story?”

I’m always a little hesitant to choose favorites–of anything–because I’m afraid once I’ve declared my favorite I’ll think of something else I like better. However, I was recently asked for some book recommendations for children, which reminded me that I have been meaning to compile some lists of my all-time favorites. My plan is for this to be an ongoing series, so if I remember others I can always add them later, right?

For this list, I’m going to define picture books as books that are meant to be read aloud to pre-readers. I also love reading “early reader” books to young children, but I’ll make a separate list of those.

Many of the books on this list are ones I remember reading when I was growing up–often aloud to my younger siblings. A few are more recent than that. All of them are books I read to my own children. As far as I know, they are all still in print and readily available. Your library probably has most of them.

10 Favorite Picture Book Series

Listed in alphabetical order by author’s last name, because goodness knows I can’t rank them in order of favorites! Can you?

Disclosure: The links below are affiliate links to Amazon where I might earn a small commission should you choose to purchase.


By Ludwig Bemelmans. Rhyming stories about a little girl who lives in a French boarding school with 11 other little girls.

Mike Mulligan and more

By Virginia Lee Burton. Classic vintage stories about big machines with lovely illustrations.

Babar the Elephant

By Jean De Brunhoff. Fantastic stories about an elephant king and his family.

Frances the Badger

By Russell Hoban. Frances is a decidedly opinionated little “girl” with typical little girl problems in a traditional family. I love the little songs she makes up.

Ducklings and more

By Robert McCloskey. The illustrations are wonderful!

If You Give a…

By Laura Joffee Numeroff. Fun “circular” stories. They weren’t around when I was growing up, but my children enjoyed them.

Curious George

By H.A. and Margret Ray. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve read the Curious George books over the years. The original classics listed below are the best! More have been written but somehow they don’t have the charm of these original stories.

Busytown and more

By Richard Scarry. More than storybooks, the detailed illustrations in Richard Scarry’s books are great for little kids to pore over by the hour. Little boys especially enjoy them.

Minerva Louise

By Janet Morgan Stoeke. This is a series I discovered when I was hosting our public library story time when my girls were preschoolers. Minerva Louise is a hen who comes to some very silly conclusions. The stories are great for lots of giggles.

Harry the Dirty Dog

By Gene Zion. For dog lovers, about a cute family dog who hates baths.

Which picture books do you remember from your childhood? What are your favorites from this list?


  • Kristen

    My favorite when I was a kid was a Little Golden Book – A Home for a Bunny. My kids are into the Busytown books right now because we found a Busytown series on Amazon Prime. And we read the If You Give….books last year as part of our language arts curriculum.

  • Laura Noelle

    Aw almost all of those were some of my favorites as a child and I love reading to my daughter now! I also had never heard of Minerva Louise- I’ll have to check the library for that one.

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