Hello Friends, and welcome to my favorite category: children’s picture books.

These beautiful creations are too often dismissed as “just a kid’s book”, when they deserve to command much more respect. A good picture book must tell the best story in a tiny space; and the illustrations must not only support the story, but also dazzle on their own merit. These are the books our youngest citizens will beg to have read to them over and over again; they are deeply formative, and should be the very best.

So in all humility I offer this list, with apologies to many other excellent titles. These are in no particular order, save only the first: it should be issued to every child at birth.

Miss Rumphius

This is the classic story of how one woman chose to make the world more beautiful. With utterly perfect text and illustrations, it charges each reader to do the same. An absolute must for every home… and I don’t just mean those with small children.

Saint George and the Dragon

This adaptation from Book I of The Faerie Queene tells a classic rendering of the tale. The themes found in Hyman’s brilliant illustrations are unmatched.

The Blessing Cup

Companion to The Keeping Quilt, this is more than the (true!) story of one poor Jewish family facing persecution and finding kindness; it is the story of everyone who comes to America seeking freedom.

The Little House

This sweet story not only respects Nature’s seasons and the passing of time; it understands what makes a house a home.

The Runaway Bunny

A mother’s love follows her little one wherever he might go in this wondrously-illustrated tale of devotion.

Ox-Cart Man

Hard work and simplicity are represented in the annual cycle of a self-sufficient, early-American farming family.

Brother Sun, Sister Moon

Saint Francis’ Canticle of the Sun is adapted for children and matched with stunningly-detailed papercut illustrations.

To Everything There Is A Season

The famous verse from Ecclesiastes is breathtakingly illustrated with scenes from around the world and across time. Unfortunately this title is hard to find new, but worth getting used.

Love Is…

I Corinthians 13 is demonstrated with thoughtful illustrations of what love looks like, and what it doesn’t. Also unfortunately out of print; be sure to get a used hardbound edition.

The Story of Ferdinand

This lighthearted account of the bull who would not fight reminds everyone to choose the better path (and have black-and-white illustrations ever been such fun?).

May these treasured stories grace your life, and bring virtue to your family. Watch out for chapter books coming tomorrow, and sign up to receive emails so you never miss a post.

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