15+ Picture Books I’m Saving for the Grandkids

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Are your children old enough yet that you are starting to stockpile things for your grandkids? I’ve got a tiny little pair of shoes that both my girls wore, a rattle that all three of the kids loved, and the toy barn that probably every American kid has had at one time or another. I think we even managed to keep up with all the animals. We’ve got a great Noah’s Ark, too.

High pile of hardcover books

photo credit alberto g from flickr

Then, there are the books. I’ve got a collection that I can’t wait (well, okay, I can wait) to read to my grandkids some day. There are those that my grandmother read to me, those that my mom read to me, and new ones that my kids and I discovered. I’ve narrowed it down to 15 or so of my favorites for this list…and I’m sure there are plenty I’m forgetting.


Alexander, the Red Horse with Green Stripes – This may be my favorite picture book of all time. My mom used to read it to me. She sold her copy in a yard sale before my kids were born. I snatched up a replacement copy when I found it at a used bookstore and all of my kids have had it read to them dozens of times. Brianna used to repeat it, verbatim, long before she could read the words.

Officer Buckle and Gloria – This is probably one of Megan’s favorite pictures book of all time and definitely in my top 10. The illustrations make the book. Check out our suggestions for activities to do with Officer Buckle and Gloria.

The Monster at the End of This Book – I discovered this book at my aunt’s house when we went for Christmas one year. I used to read it to my younger sister and cousins all. the. time. It got to the point where I didn’t even need to look at the words. If you ever run into me somewhere, just ask. I can probably recite it to you. My kids probably can, too.

The Puppy Twins – This one is out of print. I searched and searched for it online over 20 years ago and finally found it. I paid $15 for a book that has $0.39 printed on the cover. My grandmother read this one to me. My mom and I could both say the first part of it from memory.

Crazy but true story, before Brianna was born, Brian and I had a fur-baby – a hyper cocker spaniel puppy. When I would start reciting The Puppy Twins to him, from memory, he would lay perfectly still, with his head on my shoulder, until I was done. Yes, really.

Button Soup – It has to be the Disney version, but this is another one that I read to my one cousin (he and his older brother are more like brothers than cousins to me) nearly every time he was at my house. It became one of my kids’ favorites, too.

All of the Frances books – I loved them. My girls loved them. Bedtime for Frances is probably my favorite, followed very closely by Bread and Jam for Frances, which I always read in the same sing-song voice in which it’s read in the audio version.

The Story of Ferdinand – My mom read it to me. I read it to my girls. Josh didn’t care for it, but I hope my grandkids will.

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel – This one makes the list simply because it’s the first book that Josh ever sat and listened to all the way through. The boy never did care for books, but he’d always sit still for this one…and it’s long.

Ladybug on the Move – This is a “first-generation” favorite. It was discovered when I used to take Brianna to story time at the library. One of its best features is that it comes with a little die-cut ladybug that goes in and out of the pages.

Too Much Noise – Another one from “back in the day” that I quote often. Here’s a little trip down memory lane: remember those Scholastic book order forms you’d bring home from school? That’s where my original copy of Too Much Noise came from.

Rosie’s Walk – Remember this one? Very few words. Great illustrations.

All the Pinkerton books – We didn’t discover Pinkerton until Megan was little. She loves him. Even Brianna, who was a little too old to really get into the Pinkerton books by the time we found them, says if she ever gets a great Dane, she’s going to name him Pinkerton.

All of the Little Critter books – These were discovered when my sister was little. Even though I was 9 years older, I’d still come into her room at bedtime to hear the Little Critter books. All of my kids enjoyed these.

Louella Mae, She’s Run Away! – We have Story Time at the library to thank for this one, too. I can still hear our sweet children’s librarian’s voice every time I read it.

I Love You, Stinky Face – A new favorite greatly loved by Megan.

Frisker – Read to me by my grandmother. Loved by my children.

The Teddy Bear Twins – Another grandmother-read favorite that I could recite by heart to my kids, even if I hadn’t gotten the copy off my grandmother’s bookshelf shortly before she passed away.

I hope, when I have grandkids, that they all live close enough for me to read to them in person. If they don’t, though, I’ve tucked away an idea from a magazine for how to share books with grandkids who live far away.

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  1. We are definitely saving “Guess How Much I Love You.” I probably read that to my kids almost every night for a year at one point.

  2. The Monster At the End of the Book was my favorite as a small child. It got to the point where the adult reading to me just had to turn pages as I would “read” to them. I think it even went to show and tell in kindergarten. That copy was WORN out by the time I grew out of it. When I found a copy when my son was a baby I didn’t even look at the price (thankfully it was cheap). Now he randomly quotes bits and pieces and helps me read it. Granted, it’s not his favorite, but I’m glad he’s enjoying something I loved when I was his age.

  3. I love Monster at the End of this Book. Our copy is missing its back cover but I just added a new one onto my Amazon wishlist 😉 The other books I’ve saved are The Sandra Boynton books especially the Barnyard Dance. My beloved Paddington Books are also in the box “For the Grandkids.”

  4. There are so many books I’m saving or want to share with future grandkids. Rather than fill comments with a hugely long list I’ll just mention the first title that leapt into my mind – Debi Gliori’s No Matter What. Lovely picture book that I read aloud to my youngest at least once a night for years.

  5. I’m quite excited to see books I’ve never heard of which I will definitely be looking into. Shhh, don’t tell Gary though, or he’ll not let me near a book store or the computer this side of Christmas. We might have too many books (according to him)!
    I’d second Carol’s choice. Guess How Much I Love You is a regular on my night time read alouds and for years was read to my older one (who were younger then) every single night. In fact they had a copy each, which are torn and dog-eared now, that we are wrapping this Christmas as presents. I don’t think I’ve ever got through a reading of it without my voice breaking through emotion. Stunning book.

  6. I love this list and the idea behind it! I have lots and lots of books that I am saving to have around for the grandkids!

    Just today, a blogger asked about favourite Golden Books and I replied with The Monster at the End of This Book. Such a classic! Gotta love that one! We also have I Love You Stinky Face pretty far up on our list. Some of these I’ve actually never heard of but will have to look up.

  7. I was just discussing A Bargain For Frances and Bread and Jam for Frances with some author friends this weekend!

    I love Phyllis Root’s Rattletrap Car and the now out-of-print Underground Train by Mary Quattlebaum. Both have fabulous rhythm — the kind of thing you’ll recite to your kids in the grocery store and find yourself still saying long after they’ve outgrown picture books.

  8. I love booklists! I actually can’t stand a couple of the ones you listed here, but I love how individual people’s lists are and how there are always a couple I have forgotten or haven’t heard of. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I will probably go back to teaching after my homeschooling journey is over (sniff), so no picture books are allowed to leave our house. However, there are a few that will be put away for the grands: The Hello Goodbye Window, The Ox-Cart Man, and The Park Book.

  10. I’m already at the stage where I’m sharing books with my granddaughters. I read them the ones their mama loved, plus a few others: Corduroy, Peter Rabbit Collection, At Grammy’s House, Friend Dog, Goodnight Moon, Babar and many others. It’s so fun to relive the memories with them!

  11. I hadn’t heard of many of these except Button Soup (thank you for sharing that, I had forgotten all about it!), little critters, and the Frances books. 🙂 One of my top books to save would be Little Bear – really wonderful memories of reading those as a little one!

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