Must-have Picture Books You May Not Have Heard Of

best children's books

One of my favorite parts of being a librarian is adding new books to the collection. I spend hours looking through all the publisher catalogs, reading reviews and new book lists. I order most of my books through Titlewave and they have some amazing tools and resources. And when the books are delivered I'm like a little kid on Christmas morning.

But the sad reality is, I always end up with a book list totaling thousands of dollars more than what I can actually afford. So then I spend many more hours paring the list down to get the most "bang for my buck". 

Since I do spend so much of my time doing this, I thought I would share some of the books that I feel are "must have" for any elementary library or classroom.  Most of these books are ones that my students have really loved. They are not necessarily award winners (although some are) but ones that engage students, make them laugh, make them think and most of all make them want to check them out.

Since this list could easily have a thousand books on it, I decided to write several blog posts including picture books, chapter books, series and nonfiction.  Of course there are books that overlap and can be on several lists. And I am only including books that have been published in the past three years (for the most part).

You can download the complete list here. Below are several that are at the top of my list. (This post does contain affiliate links.)

Creepy Pair of Underwear!
Red: A Crayon's Story
Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel
Peanut Butter And Jellyfishes: A Very Silly Alphabet Book 
The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors
If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't!
Hensel and Gretel: Ninja Chicks

best children's books

What are some of your favorite picture books? Leave a comment below and tell us. Next I'll give you my top choices for chapter books and series.


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