Must Have Picture Books

I’m linking up with Michelle at the blog The Teacher Wife. She is having a fun linking party on must have picture books! It was very hard to choose, but you can read my top five picks below!
Must Have Picture Books - Young Teacher Love by Kristine Nannini
1.) Old Jake’s Skirts By: Anne C. Scott
This book is a wonderful book about a scruffy old man that keeps to himself and is a bit of a loner, until the day he receives an unexpected surprise. The story turns quickly as Old Jake transforms and changes his loner ways. This book is awesome for teaching inferring through dialogue and character change. My kids loved the way I gave old Jake a southern twang when I read it to them!

Must Have Picture Books - Young Teacher Love by Kristine Nannini

2. Henry’s Freedom Box By: Ellen Levine
Does this story even need an introduction? This story is a dramatic tale of slave who mails himself to freedom. It truly tugs at the heart strings, and my students love it. I used this picture book to teach questioning and predicting this past year and the discussions this book led us to were amazing!

Must Have Picture Books - Young Teacher Love by Kristine Nannini

3.) The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere  By: Henry Wadsworth
I was so surprised when I found reading this book. It is a picture book that is written as poetry. There are so many metaphors and read between the lines moments for your kids to infer. It also was a wonderful way to bring literacy into my social studies lessons. You can read more about how I used this book in a lesson HERE.

Must Have Picture Books - Young Teacher Love by Kristine Nannini

4.) The Sweetest Fig By: Chris Van Allsburg
Chris Van Allsburg is one of my favorite authors. I tell this to my students often, and they usually can guess by the time we have read almost all of his books over and over again. I used the Sweetest Fig to teach inferring this year, and I absolutely love to use fun voices while reading this one to my kids.

Must Have Picture Books - Young Teacher Love by Kristine Nannini

5.) The Garden of Abdul Gasazi By: Chris Van Allsburg
Another one of my favorites by my favorite author. I taught this book over a couple different days and used it as part of an author study as well. I even used this book to teach point of view and perspective of characters and how a story would change depending on the point of view the story was told in. My kids loved it!

Must Have Picture Books - Young Teacher Love by Kristine Nannini


  1. Henry’s Freedom Box is one of my very favorites. I read it every year! I’m not familiar with the last two by Chris Van Allsburg, but I’m pretty sure everything that man touches turns to gold in the literary world, so I will be checking those out for sure!

    The Teaching Thief

  2. I love using picture books in my classroom also. Great suggestions, I will add them to my collection. The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere is in our reading series. We read it several times. It teaches so much. Do you use Reading Street?

  3. I love Chris Van Allsburg, but I haven’t read those two books yet. I’ve used The Wretched Stone to teach inference and the kids loved it!

  4. Love your book list! I will be working with low readers grades 3-5, so I really appreciate finding quality picture books that are geared more toward an older student.

    The Dalton Gang

  5. Laura- No Reading Street- we are free to teach reading however we choose. Which can be AWESOME and overwhelming at the same time! Everyone else- thank you so much for your kind words and most importantly, thank you so much for becoming a follower!!

  6. I love “Henry’s Freedom Box!” I need to make sure that I do a read aloud with that during the upcoming school year!

    Make sure to stop by and enter my giveaway

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