Real Parenting: Finding Just the Right Picture Book for Your Preschooler

Credit: Waldemar Brant

Finding Just the Right Picture Book for Your Preschooler

by S.M. Ford

There are picture books on almost any topic you can think of—some are fiction; others nonfiction. It’s fun to go to the library and grab a stack, but sometimes you need something on a specific topic for your preschooler. As Steven Moffat said, “The misconception about children's fiction is that it's lightweight or fluffy. It's about really big and important things…Everything is big and important to a child, so their stories are about big and important events.”

Today I thought I’d offer a selection that you may find helpful for your children. I’m listing my choices under subject headers. The books are fiction unless marked with a -NF for nonfiction.


A Friend for Henry (Chronicle Books, 2019)

by Jenn Bailey and illustrated by Mika Song

This heartwarming picture book is perfect for the child struggling to make a friend. It’s also a great read for those who wonder why someone else is different.

The Hug (Faber & Faber, 2019)

by Eoin McLaughlin and illustrated by Polly Dunbar

This darling book is about a hedgehog needing a hug. No one wants to hug him until he finds his perfect match. Read the book the other way and it’s from the tortoise’s viewpoint.

Business Pig (Sterling Children's Books, 2018)

by Andrea Zuill

Everyone notices there’s something different about Jasper. He just doesn’t fit in with the rest of the pigs. When he wants to be adopted, he has a different approach, too.


No More Noisy Nights (Flashlight Press, 2017)

by Holly L. Niner and illustrated by Guy Wolek

Jackson’s noisy neighbors are keeping him awake. He comes up with creative solutions so he can sleep.

Hoot & Honk Just Can’t Sleep (Sterling Children’s Books, 2017) by Leslie Helakoski

Hoot and Honk are in the wrong nests and can’t sleep. Only their proper nests are the right beds.


Hammer and Nails (Flashlight Press, 2016)

by Josh Bledsoe and illustrated by Jessica Warrick

Darcy’s day is ruined when her friend is sick. Her father comes up with a plan for them both to get what they want.

A Unicorn Named Sparkle (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2016)

by Amy Young

Lucy sees an ad for a unicorn for 25 cents and sends away for one. But Sparkle does not live up to her expectations.


Mouseling's Words (Clarion Books, 2017)

by Shutta Crum and illustrated by Ryan O'Rourke

Mouseling doesn’t want to leave home. Until he learns there are more words out in the world.


Wordy Birdy (​Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 2018)

by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Dave Mottram

Wordy Birdy is too busy talking. But an almost disaster makes her aware of how she needs to listen, too.


Button and Bundle (Alfred A. Knopf, 2019)

by Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan and illustrated by Gillian Flint

This is the story of two little girls who are best friends. Button has to move away, but finds even though she’ll never forget Bundle, she can make new a new friend.


The Quickest Kid in Clarksville (Chronicle Books, 2016) by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Frank Morrison

Alta is looking forward to seeing Wilma Rudolph, the fastest woman in the world. But when another girl comes along, there’s going to be trouble.


Bernice Gets Carried Away (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2015) by Hannah E. Harrison

Bernice is not in a good mood. Everyone at the birthday party is getting good things, except her.


The Rough Patch (Greenwillow Books, 2018)

by Brian Lies

Evan and his dog do everything together. Especially in Evan’s garden. But when Evan loses his companion he hacks down the garden and lets it grow ugly. Eventually, a proper garden plant slips in and Evan begins to tend it like he should.


· A Might Girl has a longer list of books to consider. Here’s a link to the preschool category where you can select topics.

· We Are Teachers has a list of 50 picture books about emotions.

· 16 Books That Model Empathy and Compassion for Young Readers from Read Brightly.

· Top 23 Picture Books to Teach Your Kids About Honesty from the Bookroo Crew.

If you don’t find what you are looking for, google “picture books about” and enter your topic such as sharing, or baths, etc.

About the Author

SM Ford is a Pacific Northwest gal, who has also lived in the Midwest (Colorado and Kansas) and on the east coast (New Jersey). She and her husband have two daughters and two sons-in-law and three grandsons. She can't figure out how she got to be old enough for all that, however.

Sue likes traveling and animals, especially those in the cat family, and has a dog and cat who own her.

She loves kids and writing. You can find out more about her at her website or on Twitter.

You can read Sue’s “Real Parenting” column on the 4th Thursday each month here at Mustard Seed Sentinel.

#PictureBooksAbout #ChildrensBooks #PictureBooks #ChildrensPictureBooks

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