Best Books for Storytime

Storytime is a staple of teachers and librarians: gathering kiddos at the rug, welcoming them by name with a song or rhyme, opening a book, and inviting them to explore a new world. We've gathered a few of our upcoming picture books that we know will make for the perfect storytime read! Check out more information on each book below and download our storytime guide for activities to do before and after reading.

Looking to Shake Up Your Storytime by making it more inclusive? In addition to the books on this list, check out our downloadable Shake Up Your Storytime guide for even more storytime books and ideas!

Explore the Titles

Ursula finds confidence in seeing the world her own way in another innovative, flipped-format picture book from Caldecott Honoree and Geisel Award winner Corey R. Tabor. 

Ursula is a happy catfish, swimming through a shimmering river with weeds waving above and a sky full of scrumptious bugs below. 

Then one question turns her world upside down. 

Is left right? Is right wrong? Which way even is up? 

Children will love turning the book upside down and back again as they follow Ursula’s humorous journey to self-discovery.

Author Carlos Matias and Ezra Jack Keats Award–winning illustrator Gracey Zhang deliver a stunning picture book based on a finalist in the New York Times Metropolitan Diary “Best of the Year,” about a young boy in the city who tries his best to avoid spending his precious quarters on tempting local treats in case of an “emergency.” A poignant, cheeky tale perfect for fans of Matt de La Peña, Antwan Eady, and Jacqueline Woodson.  

Ernesto has waited his whoooole life to become a niño grande. A big boy. Now he’s finally old enough to walk the six blocks to school without his parents.

Every morning, his mom hands him a shiny new quarter and reminds him they’re for emergencies. If Ernesto needs her, she’s only a pay phone call away. But each day reveals a tempting new treat to enjoy with his friends: crisp packs of baseball cards, arcade games, hot tamales, and fresh juices! Ernesto has the coins jingling in his pocket, so how will he choose to spend them?   

From breakbeat poet and playwright Idris Goodwin and celebrated artist Lorraine Nam comes a whimsical, irresistible rhyming read-aloud empowering kids to embrace their imagination. Perfect for fans of The Year We Learned to Fly and Boxitects.

It seems your home is just

walls, windows, and doors,

but take a closer look

it's that and so much more!

One rainy day, a kid opens their closet to discover a teleportation chamber. In the adventure of make-believe that follows, we are invited to see our homes as more than places to live—they are vessels for creativity and joy.

Don't miss the long-awaited companion to Not a Box, winner of a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Award. This picture book with its visual humor and simple dialogue is great for fans of Mo Willems and Crockett Johnson.

Bunny wants to build a cardboard city.

Bunny stacks one cardboard box on top of another and another.

Bunny doesn't want any help. Bunny doesn't need any help, either.

But what's a cardboard city without friends?

Written and illustrated with the same delightful simplicity that made Not a Box such a hit, the playtime possibilities of a stack of boxes and friendship will inspire and excite any child who has ever journeyed into the world of make-believe.

I scream! You scream! Pete screams for ice cream!

The Just Chillin’ ice cream truck is coming today and Pete the Cat can't wait. He runs as fast as he can to find the truck. It's getting late, but his friends need his help.

Will Pete take a little time out of his day to help his friends?

Follow Pete the Cat as he learns that it's always cool to be kind.

From the authors of the #1 New York Times bestselling Pete the Cat series, James and Kimberly Dean, this picture book is reminiscent of Pete favorites like Magic Sunglasses and perfect for fans of Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang.

Don't miss Pete's other adventures, including Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes, Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons, Pete the Cat Saves Christmas, Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses, Pete the Cat and the Bedtime Blues, Pete the Cat and the New Guy, Pete the Cat and the Cool Cat BoogiePete the Cat and the Missing CupcakesPete the Cat and the Perfect Pizza Party, Pete the Cat: Crayons Rock!, Pete the Cat’s Groovy Imagination, and Pete the Cat Plays Hide-and-Seek.

Storytime Guide

Click the image below to download your free guide to these books with activities for before and after reading!

More Great Storytime Titles