Must Read Classic Picture Books

25 March, 2024

It’s pretty special to share stories with your children that you enjoyed reading as a child. But are they as good as you remember? We’ve picked out five books that are SO good, your kids are sure to love them too.


Setting aside time each day to read with your child will make learning to read so much easier for them, as well as being a special time for you to share together. We’ve chosen stories that have been much-loved by children for many years. You may already have a few on your shelves, otherwise, plan a special visit with your child to your local bookshop or pop these titles on hold at your local library where your child can borrow ALL the books on their wishlist!


The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This book ticks so many boxes. It introduces the lifecycle of a caterpillar, the days of the week, counting and even the benefits of eating healthy food! Kids love lifting the flaps and counting the fruits the caterpillar munches through each day. There’s a lovely double-page butterfly illustration at the end which is a perfect prompt to make your own butterfly artwork with paint splodges.They’re so easy and so much fun! The Very Hungry Caterpillar is written and illustrated by Eric Carle, published by Penguin.

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

This is a relatively new addition to the ranks of classic books, being published in 2008, but it absolutely is a gem. It celebrates babies everywhere and is a delight to read aloud with a gentle rhythm, repetition and an invitation to count baby’s ten little fingers and toes. Honestly, who can resist those teeny, tiny toes?!  A little bit of trivia for you – this book was part of Australia’s gift to Prince William and Princess Kate when baby George was born. Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes is written by Mem Fox, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury and published by Walker Books.

How the Birds got their Colours

This Dreamtime story is a great way to introduce First Nations culture to little readers. It’s written as it was told by Mary Albert of the Bardi people to Aboriginal children in Broome, sharing the story of the dove who hurt his foot and the vibrant colours that burst from the sore, splashing all the other birds and giving them their colourful marks. How the Birds got their Colours is told by Mary Albert, compiled by Pamela Lofts and published by Scholastic.


Dear Zoo

Every page of this simple story features an irresistible lift-the-flap that kids just love to open again and again. The first time you read it, little ones can have fun guessing which animal will be in the box sent from the zoo. The next time, they can test their memories and look for visual clues like the size and shape of the container. In no time, they’ll be “reading” the phrase “I sent him back” as it’s repeated throughout the story. Dear Zoo is created by Rod Campbell, published by Simon and Schuster.


Harry the Dirty Dog

Children love this story about Harry, the dog who ran away so he didn’t have to take a bath. The story has a wonderful rhythm, making it a joy to read aloud. There’s plenty to talk about in the pictures, as Harry runs amok, gradually changing from a white dog with black spots, to a black dog with white spots! Harry the Dirty Dog is written by Gene Zion, illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham, published by Harper Collins.

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