5 Must-Read Inspirational Picture Books

In a chaotic world, we can always depend on the purity and simplicity of children’s picture books. They can communicate with children in a special way that, sometimes, no one else can. I love picture books that entertain, but those with meaning and inspiration for a child to absorb have a special place in my heart.

Here are several of my recent favorites!

Dear Girl

Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Paris Rosenthal and illustrated by Holly Hatam

There are lots of things a little girl needs to know about navigating the world around her! And Dear Girl covers a little bit of everything. It tells girls to be thankful for things that make them different, like freckles, birthmarks and red hair and gives them permission to feel every type of emotion. (As a mother of a 9-year-old, I know how many emotions a little girl can have!).

Girls can be silly and carefree, but they also can be brave and stern when they need to be. This sweet book does a nice job of tying it all together.

Available in hardback at Watermark Books for $17.99


The Wonderful Things You Will Be

Written and illustrated by Emily Winfield Martin

This one gave me tingles. Written from the viewpoint of a mother, this #1 New York Times Bestseller is a heartfelt testimony to everything a mother wonders, hopes and dreams about her child.

Mother sees all the good her child will do in the world and she tells him all the things she knows he’ll be—like clever and kind. With dreamy illustrations and melodic rhyming, this one is sure to be a feel good for you and your child.

“When nights are black and when days are gray – you’ll be brave and bright so no shadows can’t stay.”

Available in hardback at Barnes and Noble for $16.19

Be Brave Little One

Written and Illustrated by Marianne Richmond

Be Brave Little One encourages kids to be brave, but not necessarily for the things you would expect. It says to “be brave to be scared” and “mess up before you retry.” We can’t prevent children from being scared or messing up, but we can help prevent them from viewing them as failures when they’re just a normal part of life!

I appreciate the book’s juxtaposition between extremes, like being brave enough to explore and brave enough to relax in the coziness of home. Be Brave Little One gives kids permission to feel whatever they need to feel in that moment!

Available in hardback at Barnes and Noble for $16.19

What Do You Do With An Idea

Written by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae Besom

This book is a gem that every child (and adult) must read! An idea is personified by an awkward Humpty-Dumpty-like egg that follows a little boy around. He calls it “strange” and “fragile,” which ideas can certainly be. He feels self-conscious about his idea following him around because he’s unsure of what people will think. At one point, the boy almost abandons his idea, but he can’t help but feel that it’s special. As the boy’s bond with his idea grows, the illustrations start to burst with color.

What do You Do With An Idea is a beautiful story about nourishing and championing our ideas. It’s also a New York Times Best Seller and a Gold Recipient of the Independent Publishers Book Awards if you need any more of a nudge.

Available in hardback at Watermark books for $16.95

I Like Myself!

Written by Karen Beaumont and illustrated by David Catrow

Every kid should practice saying “I like myself!” This spirited book, written from a little girl’s perspective, has a fresh take on positivity. The girl loves everything about her body and embarrasses her imperfections (shouldn’t we all?).

The spunky illustrations match the tone of a book that celebrates the confidence and silliness of a child.  

“I Like Myself” is available as a lap board book at Barnes and Noble for $10.79



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