What quality makes a picture book memorable? What causes adults to pause and become lost in memory at a display in a bookstore window?

What makes a three-year-old return again and again with the same book clutched tightly for bedtime reading? What quality makes the grown-up eager to comply?

It’s an elusive thing, really, the qualities that bring a kids’ book to touch us, teach us, make us laugh. It’s something we are going to explore over the next 31 days.

31 Days of Kids' Books for Everyone

We have chosen for you 31 picture books — books we felt were worthy to include and worthy to be read again and again. In no particular order, here are some of the criteria we used in our selection process.

  1. An enjoyable story. It might be funny, informative, or moving, but we looked for stories that offered enjoyment to readers of all ages.
  2. Compelling artwork. From interesting artistic techniques to bright and zany cartoons, we tried to find books where the artwork was just a little more than average.
  3. Read-aloud-ability. (Oh yes, I made that up.) Our goal was to find books easy and fun to read out loud and share as a family. Captivating rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, metaphor, word play — the best children’s books are as carefully crafted as the great literature.
  4. Appeal to a wide range of ages. We wanted kids’ books that adults wouldn’t mind reading again and stories that even the littlest ones will be interested in.
  5. Something new. While a few may be sprinkled in, you will find many wonderful classic picture books not on this list. We wanted to find some fresh choices and new ideas for you to enjoy.

Kids’ Book Activities

Each day we will introduce you to a new book with all the important info and a brief summary. In addition to telling you how the book charmed us, we will also provide three to five activities that might be fun to do after reading the book.

While there will be a sprinkling of crafts, we tried to focus our choices on a variety of options like videos, companion book selections, and the occasional learning activity.

Day 1: A Frog in the Bog

Day 2: The Blizzard’s Robe

Day 3: Do YOU Have a Hat?

Day 4: Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow

Day 5: God Gave Us Heaven

Day 6: Aliens Love Underpants

Day 7: Red Berry Wool

Day 8: The Minpins

Day 9: East Dragon, West Dragon

Day 10: Who Wants Arthur?

Day 11: Fannie in the Kitchen

Day 12: Noah’s Ark

Day 13: Sleep Big Bear, Sleep!

Day 14: Spring Thaw

Day 15: One Giant Leap

Day 16: Ben’s Trumpet

Day 17: The Contest Between the Sun and the Wind

Day 18: Salt in His Shoes

Day 19: The Story of Creation

Day 20: Dogger

Day 21: Volcano Wakes Up

Day 22: The Pencil

Day 23: Sleep Like a Tiger

Day 24: Edgar Allan Poe’s Pie

Day 25: How to Dig a Hole to the Other Side of the World

Day 26: The Miracles of Jesus

Day 27: Pumpkin Jack

Day 28: Leaf Trouble

Day 29: Dahlia

Day 30: Beautiful Oops

Day 31: Vulture View

As the fall weather grows cooler, snuggle up with a good book and something fun to do. Be sure to pin this post, as each day we will add another book to the list of new favorites we create right here. Or better yet, subscribe by email so you never miss a thing.

Pam Barnhill

Pam is the author of The Your Morning Basket Guide and Plan Your Year: Homeschool Planning for Purpose and Peace. She also is the host of three popular  podcasts -- The Homeschool Snapshots Podcast, Your Morning Basket, and The Homeschool Solutions Show. She lives in the Deep South with her husband and three kids, where she is the go-to lady for great curriculum recommendations or a just a pep talk on a rough day.