Picture Books for Older Students

Picture books play an important role in promoting literacy, and reading for pleasure. Older students from middle grade to high school can also enjoy picture books that deal with more complex ideas or themes. Here is a list of titles that will lead your students into discussions about equity, perseverance, diversity and other big ideas.

Book cover of EXTRA EXTRA FAIRY-TALE NEWS FROM HIDDEN
EXTRA EXTRA FAIRY-TALE NEWS FROM HIDDEN
By: alma ada | Published: July 2007

When the residents of Hidden Forest wake up and open their morning papers, they are in for a surprise. An enormous beanstalk has mysteriously sp...

When the residents of Hidden Forest wake up and open their morning papers, they are in for a surprise. An enormous beanstalk has mysteriously sprouted outside of Jack Blake's house, and Jack is nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, Pinocchio and Half-Chicken have set out on adventures of their own, and Tortoise and Hare are off to the races. Will they all find their happy endings? Hidden Forest News has got the scoops. Written and laid out in newspaper format, this installment in the enchanting Hidden Forest series has received a new twist from Alma Flor Ada and Leslie Tryon. All of your favorite fairy-tale characters from Dear Peter Rabbit; Yours Truly, Goldilocks; and With Love, Little Red Hen are back, but this time they are hitting the presses and making headlines!

  • ISBN
    9780689825828
  • Binding
    Hardcover
  • Category
    Picture Book
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$22.99
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Book cover of RETURN
RETURN
By: aaron becker | Published: August 2016

Third book in a wordless trilogy that began with Journey.

Theme: Wordless

  • ISBN
    9780763677305
  • Binding
    Hardcover
  • Category
    Picture Book
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Book cover of QUEST
QUEST
By: aaron becker | Published: August 2014

Aaron Becker, creator of Journey, a Caldecott Honor book, presents the next chapter in his stunning wordless fantasy. A king emerges from a hidden ...

Aaron Becker, creator of Journey, a Caldecott Honor book, presents the next chapter in his stunning wordless fantasy. A king emerges from a hidden door in a city park, startling two children sheltering from the rain. No sooner does he push a map and some strange objects into their hands than he is captured by hostile forces that whisk him back through the enchanted door. Just like that, the children are caught up in a quest to rescue the king and his kingdom from darkness, while illuminating the farthest reaches of their imagination. Colored markers in hand, they make their own way through the portal, under the sea, through a tropical paradise, over a perilous bridge, and high in the air with the help of a winged friend. Journey lovers will be thrilled to follow its characters on a new adventure threaded with familiar elements, while new fans will be swept into a visually captivating story that is even richer and more exhilarating than the first.

Theme: Wordless

  • ISBN
    9780763665951
  • Binding
    Hardcover
  • Category
    Picture Book
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Book cover of JOURNEY
JOURNEY
By: aaron becker | Published: September 2013

A 2014 Caldecott Honor Book Follow a girl on an elaborate flight of fancy in a wondrously illustrated, wordless picture book about self-determinat...

A 2014 Caldecott Honor Book Follow a girl on an elaborate flight of fancy in a wondrously illustrated, wordless picture book about self-determination — and unexpected friendship. A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart’s desire? With supple line, luminous color, and nimble flights of fancy, author-illustrator Aaron Becker launches an ordinary child on an extraordinary journey toward her greatest and most exciting adventure of all.

Theme: Wordless

  • ISBN
    9780763660536
  • Binding
    Hardcover
  • Category
    Picture Book
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Book cover of IMAGINE
IMAGINE
By: raul colon | Published: September 2018

An ALA Notable Book A New York Public Library Best Book for Kids A Bookpage Best Book “This fine book provides not only exposure to art&...

An ALA Notable Book A New York Public Library Best Book for Kids A Bookpage Best Book “This fine book provides not only exposure to art…but also an example of a boy—a boy of color, a boy in America—with a passion for fine art.” —The New York Times “The prosaic world of the city boy we meet…is transformed into a realm of wonder not by a quirk of quantum physics but by exposure to fine art.” —The Wall Street Journal “A joyful, wordless exploration of artistic discovery.” —Shelf Awareness (starred review) “Colon’s latest again challenges readers to discover inspiration through ingenious means…beautifully euphoric.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “Captures the drama of a personal artistic experience and the lasting impact it can have…compelling…an irresistible invitation to creativity.” —School Library Journal (starred review) “A delightful wordless tribute to the arts with a magical touch.” —Booklist (starred review) “Colón’s vibrant scenes make it clear that visiting works of art can breathe magic into the everyday and inspire further creativity afterward.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review) Six starred reviews for New York Times bestselling artist Raúl Colón’s wordless picture book about a visit to the museum and the power of art and imagination, which “hums with and jubilation” (The Horn Book, starred review). After passing a city museum many times, a boy finally decides to go in. He passes wall after wall of artwork until he sees a painting that makes him stop and ponder. Before long the painting comes to life and an afternoon of adventure and discovery unfolds, changing how he sees the world ever after.

Theme: Wordless, Diversity

  • ISBN
    9781481462730
  • Binding
    Hardcover
  • Category
    Picture Book
List Price:
$23.99
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$4.80
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Book cover of WHERE HAPPINESS BEGINS
WHERE HAPPINESS BEGINS
By: eva eland | Published: August 2020

Happiness is a character which comes and goes, and is sometimes hard to find, but frequently it begins with your family and friends, and it can lead y...

Happiness is a character which comes and goes, and is sometimes hard to find, but frequently it begins with your family and friends, and it can lead you home.

  • ISBN
    9780593127704
  • Binding
    Hardcover
  • Category
    Picture Book
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Book cover of WHEN SADNESS IS AT YOUR DOOR
WHEN SADNESS IS AT YOUR DOOR
By: eva eland | Published: January 2019

A comforting primer in emotional literacy and mindfulness that suggests we approach the feeling of sadness as if it is our guest. Sadness can be sc...

A comforting primer in emotional literacy and mindfulness that suggests we approach the feeling of sadness as if it is our guest. Sadness can be scary and confusing at any age! When we feel sad, especially for long periods of time, it can seem as if the sadness is a part of who we are--an overwhelming, invisible, and scary sensation. In When Sadness Is at Your Door, Eva Eland brilliantly approaches this feeling as if it is a visitor. She gives it a shape and a face, and encourages the reader to give it a name, all of which helps to demystify it and distinguish it from ourselves. She suggests activities to do with it, like sitting quietly, drawing, and going outside for a walk. The beauty of this approach is in the respect the book has for the feeling, and the absence of a narrative that encourages the reader to "get over" it or indicates that it's "bad," both of which are anxiety-producing notions. Simple illustrations that recall the classic style of Crockett Johnson (Harold and the Purple Crayon) invite readers to add their own impressions. Eva Eland's debut picture book is a great primer in mindfulness and emotional literacy, perfect for kids navigating these new feelings--and for adult readers tackling the feelings themselves!

Theme: Mental Health & Wellness

  • ISBN
    9780525707189
  • Binding
    Hardcover
  • Category
    Picture Book
List Price:
$23.99
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$4.80
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Book cover of USHA & THE STOLEN SUN
USHA & THE STOLEN SUN
By: bree galbraith | Published: March 2020

Usha lives in a town where the sun hasn't shone for as long as anyone can remember. Only her grandfather remembers its brilliance and tells Usha stori...

Usha lives in a town where the sun hasn't shone for as long as anyone can remember. Only her grandfather remembers its brilliance and tells Usha stories about the time before other people took the sun away, building a wall to keep it all to themselves. So Usha decides to do something and sets off in search of the sun. When at last Usha reaches the wall, she tries to kick it down, climb it, yell her way through it--but the bricks don't budge. It's only after remembering her grandfather's words and hearing voices on the other side of the wall that cunning Usha changes her plan to make sure her voice is heard. She shares her grandfather's stories, even the ones that rightfully make her angry, and piques the curiosity of the people on the other side until they are inspired to remove the bricks, one by one to better hear what Usha has to say. Because Usha didn't give up, they bring the wall down.

Theme: Social Justice , Activism

  • ISBN
    9781771472760
  • Binding
    Hardcover Canadian
  • Category
    Picture Book
List Price:
$19.95
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$3.99
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Book cover of AFRICVILLE
AFRICVILLE
By: shauntay grant | Published: September 2018

Finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award, Young People's Literature - Illustrated Books. When a young girl visits the site of Africville, ...

Finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award, Young People's Literature - Illustrated Books. When a young girl visits the site of Africville, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the stories she's heard from her family come to mind. She imagines what the community was once like - the brightly painted houses nestled into the hillside, the field where boys played football, the pond where all the kids went rafting, the bountiful fishing, the huge bonfires. Coming out of her reverie, she visits the present-day park and the sundial where her great- grandmother's name is carved in stone, and celebrates a summer day at the annual Africville Reunion/Festival. Africville was a vibrant Black community for more than 150 years. But even though its residents paid municipal taxes, they lived without running water, sewers, paved roads and police, fire-truck and ambulance services. Over time, the city located a slaughterhouse, a hospital for infectious disease, and even the city garbage dump nearby. In the 1960s, city officials decided to demolish the community, moving people out in city dump trucks and relocating them in public housing. Today, Africville has been replaced by a park, where former residents and their families gather each summer to remember their community.

Theme: Historical Fiction, Black History

  • ISBN
    9781773060439
  • Binding
    Hardcover Canadian
  • Category
    Picture Book
List Price:
$18.95
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$3.79
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Book cover of I LOST MY TALK
I LOST MY TALK
By: rita joe | Published: October 2019

I lost my talk The talk you took away When I was a little girl At Shubenacadie school. One of Rita Joe's most influential poems, "I...

I lost my talk The talk you took away When I was a little girl At Shubenacadie school. One of Rita Joe's most influential poems, "I Lost My Talk" tells the revered Mi'kmaw Elder's childhood story of losing her language while a resident of the residential school in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia. An often quoted piece in this era of truth and reconciliation, Joe's powerful words explore and celebrate the survival of Mi'kmaw culture and language despite its attempted eradication. A companion book to the simultaneously published I'm Finding My Talk by Rebecca Thomas, I Lost My Talk is a necessary reminder of a dark chapter in Canada's history, a powerful reading experience, and an effective teaching tool for young readers of all cultures and backgrounds. Includes a biography of Rita Joe and striking colour illustrations by Mi'kmaw artist Pauline Young.

Theme: Indigenous

  • ISBN
    9781771088107
  • Binding
    Hardcover Canadian
  • Category
    Picture Book
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Book cover of AUNT PEARL
AUNT PEARL
By: monica kulling | Published: August 2019

Aunt Pearl arrives one day pushing a shopping cart full of her worldly goods. Her sister Rose has invited her to come live with her family.? Six-year...

Aunt Pearl arrives one day pushing a shopping cart full of her worldly goods. Her sister Rose has invited her to come live with her family.? Six-year-old Marta is happy to meet her aunt, who takes her out to look for treasure on garbage day, and who shows her camp group how to decorate a coffee table with bottle caps. But almost immediately, Pearl and Rose start to clash - over Pearl's belongings crammed into the house, and over Rose's household rules. As the weeks pass, Pearl grows quieter and more withdrawn, until, one morning, she is gone.? Acclaimed author Monica Kulling brings sensitivity to this story about homelessness, family and love, beautifully illustrated in Irene Luxbacher's rich collage style.

Theme: Poverty

  • ISBN
    9781773061535
  • Binding
    Hardcover Canadian
  • Category
    Picture Book
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Book cover of DREAMERS
DREAMERS
By: yuyi morales | Published: September 2018

Winner of the 2019 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award! A New York Times / New York Public Library Best Illustrated Book of 2018 In 1994, Yuyi Mo...

Winner of the 2019 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award! A New York Times / New York Public Library Best Illustrated Book of 2018 In 1994, Yuyi Morales left her home in Xalapa, Mexico and came to the US with her infant son. She left behind nearly everything she owned, but she didn't come empty-handed. She brought her strength, her work, her passion, her hopes and dreams. . . and her stories. Caldecott Honor artist and six-time Pura Belpré winner Yuyi Morales's gorgeous picture book Dreamers is about making a home in a new place. Yuyi and her son Kelly's passage was not easy, and Yuyi spoke no English whatsoever at the time. But together, they found an unexpected, unbelievable place: the public library. There, book by book, they untangled the language of this strange new land, and learned to make their home within it. Dreamers is a celebration of what migrantes bring with them when they leave their homes. It's a story about family. And it's a story to remind us that we are all dreamers, bringing our own gifts wherever we roam. Beautiful and powerful at any time but given particular urgency as the status of our own Dreamers becomes uncertain, this is a story that is both topical and timeless. The lyrical text is complemented by sumptuously detailed illustrations, rich in symbolism. Also included are a brief autobiographical essay about Yuyi's own experience, a list of books that inspired her (and still do), and a description of the beautiful images, textures, and mementos she used to create this book. A parallel Spanish-language edition, Soñadores, is also available. A 2019 Boston Globe - Horn Book Honor Recipient An Anna Dewdney Read Together Honor Book An instant New York Times bestseller, with seven starred reviews Named a Best Book of 2018 by Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Shelf Awareness, NPR, the Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, Salon.com-- and many more! A Junior Library Guild selection A Eureka! Nonfiction Honoree A Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon title Recipient of the Flora Stieglitz Strauss Award A Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year A CLA Notable Children's Book in Language Arts

Theme: Immigration, Diversity

  • ISBN
    9780823440559
  • Binding
    Hardcover
  • Category
    Picture Book
List Price:
$24.99
Discount:
$5.00
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Book cover of SAY SOMETHING
SAY SOMETHING
By: peggy moss | Published: April 2004

The girl in this story sees it happening, but she would never do these mean things herself. Then one day something happens that shows her that being a...

The girl in this story sees it happening, but she would never do these mean things herself. Then one day something happens that shows her that being a silent bystander isn't enough. Will she take some steps on her own to help another kid? Could it be as simple as sitting on the bus with the girl no one has befriended (and discovering that she has a great sense of humor)? Resources at the end of the book will help parents and children talk about teasing and bullying and find ways to stop it at school. One child at a time can help change a school.

Theme: Bullying issues, Character Education

  • ISBN
    9780884482611
  • Binding
    Hardcover
  • Category
    Picture Book
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$22.95
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Book cover of 3 QUESTIONS
3 QUESTIONS
By: jon muth | Published: April 2002

Based on a story by Leo Tolstoy. A young boy asks: When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do? F...

Based on a story by Leo Tolstoy. A young boy asks: When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do? Find out what he learns in this charming, lyrically told story

Theme: Advanced Picture Book

  • ISBN
    9780439199964
  • Binding
    Hardcover
  • Category
    Picture Book
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$22.99
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Book cover of WATER WALKER
WATER WALKER
By: joanne robertson | Published: September 2017

The story of a determined Ojibwe Grandmother (Nokomis) Josephine Mandamin and her great love for Nibi (water). Nokomis walks to raise awareness of our...

The story of a determined Ojibwe Grandmother (Nokomis) Josephine Mandamin and her great love for Nibi (water). Nokomis walks to raise awareness of our need to protect Nibi for future generations, and for all life on the planet. She, along with other women, men, and youth, have walked around all the Great Lakes from the four salt waters, or oceans, to Lake Superior. The walks are full of challenges, and by her example Josephine invites us all to take up our responsibility to protect our water, the giver of life, and to protect our planet for all generations.

Theme: Indigenous, Environment

  • ISBN
    9781772600384
  • Binding
    Hardcover Canadian
  • Category
    Picture Book
List Price:
$16.95
Discount:
$3.39
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