Classic Picture Books

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff
—Holly Hartman

A six-year-old who crashes parties at New York's posh Plaza Hotel. A talking dog and her astonished family. Verse about evil weevils and gymnastically gifted spiders. Is this the stuff of literature that captivates readers across the generations? Why yes. Although these books may start out on the children's shelves of libraries and bookstores, they are enjoyed by readers of all ages who appreciate witty stories and original art.

Polkabats and Octopus Slacks
  • Click Clack Moo by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin
    Things are never the same after Farmer Brown's cows get their hooves on an old typewriter—and start to send him demanding memos.
  • D'Aulaire's Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire
    This classic work pairs dramatic and often funny tales of love, magic, greed, and trickery with unforgettable illustrations.
  • Eloise by Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight
    Eloise lives in the Plaza Hotel, where she pours water down the mail chute, "sklathes" along the halls, and scams treats by pretending she is an orphan.
  • I, Crocodile by Fred Marcellino
    Napoleon's pet crocodile enjoys being "The Darling of the Empire" until the emperor's craving for crocodile pie threatens his reptile paradise.
  • Insectlopedia by Douglas Florian
    Short poems about insects and spiders are accompanied by fascinating images of collage and paint on paper bags.
  • Martha Calling by Susan Meddaugh
    When Martha Dog eats alphabet soup, the letters go to her brain instead of her stomach, giving her the gift of speech.
  • Polkabats and Octopus Slacks by Calef Brown
    Nonsense poems and colorful paintings pay tribute to such unlikely subjects as "Kansas City Octopus" and "Funky Snowman."
  • The Shrinking of Treehorn by Florence Parry Heide and Edward Gorey
    Treehorn grows smaller each day, but his plight is ignored by all; "Nobody shrinks," says his father, while his teachers scold him for being unruly.
  • The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
    With stories like "Little Red Running Shorts" and "The Really Ugly Duckling," this zany collection twists your favorite fairy tales.
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
    Clad in his wolf suit, Max visits the marvelous "wild rumpus" that has enchanted children and adults for nearly 40 years.
Sources +