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The Best Picture Book

Last updated on August 12, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Picture Books and dug through the reviews from 77 of the most popular review sites including Good Reads, Books That Heal Kids, What Should Danny Do, Good Books For Catholic Kids, The Plot Bunny, Kirkus Reviews and more. The result is a ranking of the best Picture Books.

Best Picture Book

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Our Picks For The Top Picture Books

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and The Sorcerers Stone

Overall Take

J.K. Rowling’s "Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition" has detailed, fascinating pictures for readers to enhance their imaginations. The book also contains a captivating storyline for young adults to escape to while reading. Phenomenal pictures, excellent plot and lovable characters complement each other for a fantastic picture... Read More

Experts Included
DWYM Entertainment Experts plus Hypable, Forwards and Bookwords, Adventures of a Bibliophile, DOGO Books, Ericka Rheanne, In Libris Veritas and 4 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Target.
Pros
" The illustrations are so beautiful in this new edition that to go back to the originals would feel like downgrading my phone. Sure, those original books will always hold sentimental value, but as people who’ve already read those copies numerous..."
Cons
"Some of the punctuation is a little weird"
  The Best Value

Giles Andreae

Giraffes Can't Dance

Overall Take

Giraffes Can’t Dance" by Giles Andreae is an absolute joy to read to little ones. This book captivates your smallest listeners, and with a rhyming scheme throughout, your little one might even catch on to the story after just a few reads. This book is must-have for your child’s library.

Experts Included
DWYM Entertainment Experts plus Present Senses, Little Parachutes, Kindermusik, Kid’s Book Review, Looking Glass Review, NJ Kids and 2 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Toppsta and Target.
Pros
" The book is written in four-line stanzas and the second and fourth lines have ending words that rhyme. I do love a good rhyming book- as it keeps the story flowing and engaging."
Cons
"It is doubtful the very young will understand the true message (indeed, this is a weighty topic for even older children), but still the idea that Gerald lacks confidence"

Drew Daywalt

The Day the Crayons Quit

Overall Take

Take your child’s imagination to the next level with the super fun picture book, "The Day the Crayons Quit" by Drew Daywalt. This story will enhance your listeners' exploration of colors in a fashion that no one else has devised. Even adults will enjoy reading this children's picture book.

Experts Included
DWYM Entertainment Experts plus Good Reads, Common Sense Media, Kid’s Book Review, Book Page, Kirkus Reviews, Looking Glass Review and 6 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" The Day the Crayons Quit is wildly imaginative and loads of fun. It has a youthful sensibility that kids will relate to, but it's so clever that adults won't mind reading it over and over again."
Cons
"The volume of text may make this a little challenging for younger readers to tackle alone."

Adam Rubin

Dragons Love Tacos

Overall Take

"Dragons Love Tacos" by Adam Rubin comes packed with stunning illustrations and playful words that roll off the tongue and into the listener’s imagination. The expressive display of the dragon as the pages turn also keep your onlookers hooked. This picture book makes a fun accompaniment to your kid's bedtime. Read More

Experts Included
DWYM Entertainment Experts plus Good Reads, Common Sense Media, The Children’s Book Review, Wired, Brightstar Bedtime Stories, Kirkus Reviews and 3 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" DRAGONS LOVE TACOS is delightful, silly fun from start to finish."
Cons
"A wandering effort, happy but pointless."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the picture books available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

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77

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Good Reads, Books That Heal Kids, What Should Danny Do, Good Books For Catholic Kids, The Plot Bunny.

47,323

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Toppsta, Walmart, Target.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Picture Books and also dug through the reviews from 77 of the most popular review sites including Good Reads, Books That Heal Kids, What Should Danny Do, Good Books For Catholic Kids, The Plot Bunny, Kirkus Reviews and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Picture Books.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and The Sorcerers Stone

Our Expert Score
9.6
10 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.8
2,908 user reviews
Our Take

J.K. Rowling’s "Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition" has detailed, fascinating pictures for readers to enhance their imaginations. The book also contains a captivating storyline for young adults to escape to while reading. Phenomenal pictures, excellent plot and lovable characters complement each other for a fantastic picture book experience.

What other experts liked
The illustrations are so beautiful in this new edition that to go back to the originals would feel like downgrading my phone. Sure, those original books will always hold sentimental value, but as people who’ve already read those copies numerous...
- Hypable
October 27, 2015 | Full review
The book is incredibly well-made: Every page is glossy and thick. It’s a solid hardback and the spine didn’t crease or fold even when I had this gigantic book flopped open on my lap.
- Forwards and Bookwords
October 20, 2015 | Full review
I must say, the illustrations are gorgeous! They are a combination of sketches and watercolor that suits the book so perfectly. I thought the portrayals of the characters, particularly Harry and Ron, were perfect. And while there were a few...
- Adventures of a Bibliophile
I really enjoyed his illustrations and it was interesting to see how he interpreted the looks of people, places, and objects described in the book without letting the movies affect his interpretations of such things. The illustrations weren’t just drawn...
- Ericka Rheanne
January 7, 2019 | Full review
The illustrations themselves are gorgeous and I think that Kay really knocked it out of the park with his interpretations and art style. I spent a ton of time simply staring at each one looking for all the small details...
- In Libris Veritas
November 5, 2015 | Full review
This is the type of Harry Potter collectible that is completely and utterly worth the cost. The illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is stunningly imagined. The book is quite large – roughly 11 x 10 –...
- Read Breathe Relax
October 31, 2015 | Full review
I like that picture. The cover. It’s cool.
- The Overstuffed Bookcase
Jim Kay has done a masterful job with the illustrations. They are beautiful. I am amazed that he has managed to create these images. They are wholly new, yet at the same time remain true to both the drawings in...
- Whimpulsive
The illustrated edition was phenomenal. Jim Kay’s portrayal of Hogwarts, the characters and everything else were spectacular.
- Literary Distractions
January 22, 2016 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
Some pages hold only text.
- Hypable
October 27, 2015 | Full review
Some of the punctuation is a little weird
- Forwards and Bookwords
October 20, 2015 | Full review
I’ve noticed that, as I study literature and publishing, I’ve become more critical of books, so these are probably not things everyone would notice. But I do want to mention them. First of all, there is a typo on page...
- Adventures of a Bibliophile
The one image I had issue with, and yes there was only one, was the image that of Snape. I just didn’t get the potions room…it looked less like a dark, dank, apothecary and more like a chamber of horrors.
- In Libris Veritas
November 5, 2015 | Full review
On the inside, it’s not as Americanized as the other non-illustrated editions that were published in the US. Yes, the stone is called the “Sorcerer’s Stone” and not the “Philosopher’s Stone” like in the UK versions, but other than that,...
- The Overstuffed Bookcase

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Giles Andreae Giraffes Can’t Dance

Our Expert Score
10.0
8 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.2
3,869 user reviews
Our Take

Giraffes Can’t Dance" by Giles Andreae is an absolute joy to read to little ones. This book captivates your smallest listeners, and with a rhyming scheme throughout, your little one might even catch on to the story after just a few reads. This book is must-have for your child’s library.

What other experts liked
The book is written in four-line stanzas and the second and fourth lines have ending words that rhyme. I do love a good rhyming book- as it keeps the story flowing and engaging.
- Present Senses
We loved the humorous rhyme that this book is written in, and the positive moral messages.
- Little Parachutes
Giraffes Can’t Dance engages the reader from the very first page and then tugs at the heartstrings because of the teasing and bullying that Gerald endures.
- Kindermusik
September 27, 2017 | Full review
The rhymes makes for easy reading and children will love and laugh at the pictures showing animals doing all manner of unusual things.
- Kid's Book Review
April 27, 2010 | Full review
If we were all the same, the world would be a rather dull place. Thankfully, we all sense and experience things in our own unique ways, which means that we don’t all dance, speak, sing, or create art in the same way. In this picture book, children meet a giraffe...
- Looking Glass Review
Giraffes Can’t Dance is a small board book with a big message.
- NJ Kids
The illustrations in this book are amazing; they are rich in colour and fill each double page. The colours used capture the warmth and vibrant nature of Africa. The pictures mainly show the various animals and show the time of day in the story. The attention to detail is incredible;...
- The Home Of Sir Forum
November 2, 2008 | Full review
Giraffes Can’t Dance has a fun, rhyming pattern that is great for younger children to follow, in addition to the story’s wonderful theme of perseverance and overcoming adversity.
- Bennett's Book Reviews
January 14, 2019 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
It is doubtful the very young will understand the true message (indeed, this is a weighty topic for even older children), but still the idea that Gerald lacks confidence
- NJ Kids

Overall Product Rankings

1. J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and The Sorcerers Stone

Overall Score: 9.7
Reviews Included: 13

2. Giles Andreae Giraffes Can’t Dance

Overall Score: 9.5
Reviews Included: 11

3. Drew Daywalt The Day the Crayons Quit

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 14

4. Adam Rubin Dragons Love Tacos

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 11

5. Adir Levy What Should Danny Do?

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 6

6. Mo Willems Waiting Is Not Easy!

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 7

7. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Animals

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 6

8. Andrea Beaty Rosie Revere, Engineer

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 12

9. Herve Tullet Press Here

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 11

10. Ashley Spires The Most Magnificent Thing

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 11

Our Picture Book Buying Guide

There is nothing like enjoying the fascination of a child when you read to them from a picture book. Whether you cozy up under a blanket on a couch or read by a flashlight in a tent, your audience is sure to find joy in reading their favorite picture book over and over again. Picture books are a great combination of beautiful art (art is in the eye of the beholder) and compelling prose. There are only a few things that a good picture book needs, and you will certainly know when you’ve found a good one!

As a reader and true appreciator of a picture book, you’ll automatically find several things that make you love a picture book. First is the story. There is nothing better than a good story, and if it is good, it will certainly stick in your mind and keep you wanting to read the same book time after time. Kids often hold on to stories that are relatable — like “Goodnight Moon,” which is a story of something they can easily identify in the sky when they say goodnight.  On the other hand, picture books for young adults or teens might have a story of things that are out of this world and magical, such as “Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone: Illustrated Edition.”

Next, readers and onlookers alike will find that when the words and the art perfectly complement each other, the picture book will be a winner. In “The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt, you’ll find a kid-friendly storyline with child-like drawings for the pictures. This children’s book masters the playful give and take of the words with the pictures.

Lastly, the best picture books will yield that encore shouting from your little ones when you get to the end. That yearning for a reread is a surefire sign of a fantastic picture book. You will find that in “Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andreae and “Dragons Love Tacos” by Adam Rubin.

Find that fun reading time with your kiddos when you pull these awesome picture books off the bookshelf and snuggle in for some quality time with them.

DWYM Fun Fact

The first children’s book with illustrations was “Orbis Sensualium Pictus” or “The World of Things Obvious to the Senses Drawn in Pictures.” It was written in 1658 by John Comenius, a Czech native. He wrote it in Latin, but with excellent drawings throughout of the most common things known to man, from animals to insects, scenery and even breathe from a man’s mouth. It was quite popular and became implemented in some schools as well.

Although it was popular then, most homes do not contain a copy of this book for their children. Research from 2001 shows that “The Poky Little Puppy” by Janette Sebring Lowrey was the number one selling picture book in history with over 14,800,000 copies sold (at that point). This book was atop a list with books by multiple famous authors such as Dr. Seuss, J.K. Rowling and Beatrix Potter.

The Picture Book Tips and Advice

  • One thing to keep in mind when buying a good picture book is your audience. Do your kids like a specific topic such as animals, vehicles or insects? And always keep their age in mind as you look for a good picture book.
  • Read the book summary before buying it to give you an idea of the story, and flip through the pages to check out the art.
  • Look for reviews from other readers.
  • Use your best resources: family and friends’ suggestions.
  • Make a visit to your local library and ask a librarian for suggestions. If your kiddo loves a book you read from the library, you can buy it to add to your child’s personal library.
  • Interactive picture books are a fantastic way to get children to love picture books. Even if the book doesn’t have flaps or touch-and-feel features, you can make a book interactive by asking the child to find a hidden object or dance like the characters in the book. Make it fun for them so they want to read the book again.

About The Author

Genevieve Nino
Genevieve Nino 

Genevieve Nino a professional writer located in the Topsail Island area of North Carolina. Her writing career started in 2014 as a travel writer. Since then, she has written in multiple niches including business reviews, parenting, hospitality and weddings. A few of the sites she has written for include Wedding Wire, The Knot, Go Banking Rates and Reservation Counter, just to name a few.