12 Picture Books with Truly Amazing Illustrations

In picture books, the art is only half the story -- but what a half! Eye-catching illustrations draw young readers in and lead them through the storytelling to encounter characters loaded with personality and landscapes and skyscapes realistic or imaginary. From prancing peacocks to the man in the moon, a classic fairy tale to a wordless fantasy journey, our list has exceptional books to captivate kids. For other artful options, check out our lists of Caldecott Medal and Honor Books and Wonderful Wordless Books.

Browse 12 Picture Books with Truly Amazing Illustrations

Flora and the Peacocks Book Poster Image
Gorgeous look at negotiating a three-way friendship.
By Molly Idle
(2016)
(2016)
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Hello Hello Book Poster Image
Intro to wildlife at risk celebrates animals of all stripes.
By Brendan Wenzel
(2018)
(2018)
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The Lion and the Mouse Book Poster Image
Retold fable with out-of-this-world art; a true keepsake.
By Jerry Pinkney
(2010)
(2009)
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All the Way to Havana Book Poster Image
Celebration of Cuban family and ingenuity has gorgeous art.
By Margarita Engle
(2017)
(2017)
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Blue Sky White Stars Book Poster Image
Stirring, poetic take on America and flag has majestic art.
By Sarvinder Naberhaus
(2017)
(2017)
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Little Elliot, Big City Book Poster Image
Isolated elephant finds pal in sweet tale with dazzling art.
By Mike Curato
(2014)
(2014)
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The Man in the Moon: The Guardians of Childhood Book Poster Image
Adventures of young Man in the Moon a perfect bedtime read.
By William Joyce
(2011)
(2011)
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Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters Book Poster Image
Picture book bio of blues great has dazzling art.
By Michael James Mahin
(2017)
(2017)
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Ocean Meets Sky Book Poster Image
Boy remembers his grandfather in magical, visual tale.
By Terry Fan, Eric Fan
(2018)
(2018)
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Robinson Book Poster Image
Magical story and art take readers on island adventure.
By Peter Sis
(2017)
(2017)
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Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut Book Poster Image
Joyful, foot-tapping celebration of fresh haircut, culture.
By Derrick Barnes
(2018)
(2017)
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Journey Book Poster Image
Enchanting art, wordless fantasy lead kids to tell story.
By Aaron Becker
(2013)
(2013)
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