32 Picture Books About Readers, Reading, and Books

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One of our goals as librarians, teachers, and parents is that the children in our lives become skilled readers who understand what they read and learn to love reading.

Today, I’m sharing my favorite picture books about learning to read, readers, reading, and books. Share these with your children, read with your students, or give them as gifts to your bookish friends with kids. I hope they inspire lots of reading! 

Picture Books About Reading and Books

Table of Contents
  1. Readers and Reading
  2. Books

Picture Books About Readers, Reading, & Learning to Read

Mentor Texts to Launch Reading WorkshopHow to Read a Story by Kate Messner, illustrated by Mark Siegel
In simple steps, learn how to become a reader — from finding a story and a reading buddy to reading the story out loud to your buddy in a loud, clear voice.

Books About Readers, Reading, and Books
How to Read a Book
by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
A luminous, whimsical celebration of the reader’s life with lyrical text, evocative images, and captivating typography. “Squeeze every morsel of each plump line until the last drop of magic/drips from the infinite sky.” Sweet’s layered collages pop with neon color and vibrant images while Alexander’s prose creates rich mental images. This is a dazzling book you’ll want to savor again and again.

How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills
Rocket is a dog who accidentally becomes a bird’s reading student when he’s nearby the bird’s “school.” Rocket isn’t interested in learning to read until he hears the bird read a story about an unlucky dog missing his favorite bone. Rocket learns the alphabet, letter sounds, and how to read words. Eventually, the bird must fly south for winter but will return for more reading.

How to Teach Your Slug to Read by Susan Pearson
If you can teach a slug to read, you can teach anyone to read. Surprisingly, slugs learn to read just like people do. First, you read out loud to him. Then, you point to repeated words. Then, you can attach labels to the slug’s favorite things. The most important part of the process is to have patience with your slug.

Wolf by Becky Bloom
Wolf can’t believe that the farm animals aren’t scared of him. They don’t even look up from their books to see that Wolf is about to eat them! So, upon further investigation, Wolf tries to learn to read, too. He practices and starts out with just the basics. Then Wolf decides to go to the library and buy a book for himself. Soon Wolf discovers that practice makes him better and reading books makes him new friends.

The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read by Curtis Manley and Katie Berube
Nick does everything with his cats — except read books. That’s why Nick decides to teach his cats to read, too. Verne, the cat, is interested but Stevenson, the cat, is not. Until . . . Nick discovers Stevenson’s drawing. All Stevenson needs are words, and he’s written his own story to read.

The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers
Henry doesn’t like to read books–he likes to EAT them! And the more he eats, the smarter he gets. But he gets sick from eating too fast. Will Henry learn to READ the books instead? Silly, clever, and poignant– we love this book!

Read the Book, Lemmings! by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Zachariah OHora Foxy’s book specifically says that lemmings (small, fuzzy, illiterate rodents) do not jump off cliffs. As soon as he tells the lemmings who are on his arctic ship, they all JUMP off the boat. EVEN THOUGH THE BOOK SAYS they don’t jump off cliffs. Foxy realizes that they’ll never understand lemming behavior if they don’t read the book. Clearly, he needs to teach them how to read. Quirky and hilarious.

Lupe Lopez Reading Rock Star by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo and Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Joe Cepeda
Lupe is in the “bad” reading group. So she fake reads or makes excuses. She even quits her band. But one day after school, she notices the musicality of the sounds of words, in particular, their beats. Before long, she finds the beats of each sound and can sound out the words! Before long, she’s reading words and sentences. Lupe rejoins the band and remembers to ask for help when she needs it.

Little Red Reading Hood and the Misread Wolf
by Troy Wilson, illustrated by Ilaria Campana
Red likes to read, and she uses the knowledge from her books on how to handle life’s situations. For example, when you encounter a wolf, maintain eye contact and slowly back away! And in this retold fairy tale, Red reads a story to Grandma, Wolf, and the Woodcutter.

books about learning to read
I Do Not Like Books Anymore by Daisy Hirst
Natalie and Alphonse are siblings who love books… until Natalie gets her first reading-by-herself book which is boring. Her frustration is relatable — both with the often boring easy readers (gak!) as well as the patience and practice required for improving. Natalie makes up her own story which her dad writes down.

Let Me Finish! by Minh Le, illustrated by Isabel Roxas
Don’t you hate it when people interrupt you when you’re reading? Worse yet, when they ruin the story by telling you what happens!? If so, then you’ll love this hilarious story about just that. Unfortunately, this harassed reading boy just can’t escape the animals who want to tell him everything. And the ending? Well, I won’t tell you. Wouldn’t want to spoil it now would I?

books about readingWild About Books by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Marc Brown
Molly the bookmobile librarian drives to the zoo and helps all the animals find a book they’ll like. And soon, the animals are wild about books! Rhyming and playful.

Madeline Finn and the Library Dog by Lisa Papp
What a sweet story of love and success learning to read! (Okay, I admit to shedding a tear or two. Because dogs. And books. . .) Madeline really wants to be a better reader, but reading just doesn’t click until she meets a beautiful white dog named Bonnie who helps Madeline build her confidence in reading.

Read! Read! Read! by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, illustrated by Ryan O’Rourke
The poet celebrates a child’s life filled with reading and the culture of reading! “A book gives you a double life. / It builds a treehouse in your head / a haven you can climb to / when you wish to get away.” The poems show kids reading while eating and at school, readers transported and affected by stories, and readers researching and remembering.  “And as I chew I read. / And as I read I chew.

The Highest Mountain of Books in the World by Rocio Bonilla
In a wonderful example of books taking us places, Lucas discovers that even though he can’t fly physically, stories take him to other countries, discover interesting things about history, and imagine worlds that don’t exist.

Bunny’s Book Club by Annie Silvestro, illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss
Bunny loves books so much he figures out a way to sneak into the library — through the book return chute. When his friends discover him reading, they want to go, too. What will the librarian do when she discovers the book-loving animals? Give them all library cards, of course!

Thesaurus Has a Secret by Anya Glazer
Thesaurus is a dinosaur who loves words — and something secret, too: reading. When the other dinosaurs find Thesaurus reading, he’s worried about what they will think but they want to hear the rest of the story– and it helps them become readers themselves.

Miss Brooks Loves Books! (and I don’t) by Barbra Bottner, illustrated by Michael Emberley
Miss Brooks the library loves books A LOT.  Missy says she’ll never love books like Miss Brooks. And she doesn’t. Even the books her mom reads to her. UNTIL…she reads a book about a warty ogre called Shrek–she loves it! Apparently, even ogres like Missy can find something at the library.

You are a Reader! You Are a Writer! by April Jones Prince, illustrated by Christine Davenier
You scan and spy letters and words, practice, grow, and fly. You read stories and recipes, labels and maps. You love drinking up stories. You are a reader…and a writer! You find ideas and write with juicy words and details that show. You journal, letter write, sing, and storytell because you are a writer…as much as you are a reader. With jaunty rhymes and cheerful illustrations, this is a wonderful book that you can flip and read one way or the other — two in one!

Picture Books About Books

books about books
Franklin’s Flying Bookshop
by Jen Campbell, illustrated by Katie Harnett
Franklin the dragon scares everyone he meets until he meets Luna, a girl who loves books and stories just as much as him. Together they decide to open a flying bookshop on Franklin’s back. They show people the wonder of stories.

books about reading and books
Give Me Back My Book!
by Travis Foster and Ethan Long
Whose book is it? Two friends argue over a green book with letters and chapters and illustrations until a bookworm grabs it from them both. The friends must work together to get back their book with a little book trickery of their own. Book lovers will appreciate the devotion to a favorite book and the joy of sharing a book together.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
by William Joyce, illustrated by Joe Bluhm
Morris Lessmore loved books and his orderly life. But, a wild wind blows everything topsy-turvy, including the words in his books. He meets a flying lady pulled by books who gifts Morris a good book that leads him to a library of winged books. These flying books read to him and are his faithful companions as he writes stories and grows older. Pensive, whimsical, and emotionally resonant.

This Book Just Ate My Dog!
by Richard Byrne
Bella takes her dog for a stroll across the page –when the dog disappears into the book! Bella investigates because this book is very naughty. Your kids will laugh through this entire story, and help get everything out of the book.

The Liebrary by Amanda Pearlstein and Howard Pearlstein, illustrated by Maren Amini
I love this funny satirical story about not believing everything you read…Because when this family starts believing all the lies from the lie-brary book, things get completely wild and crazy. Imagine candy for breakfast, driving at age six, insulting your neighbors, and ignoring alligator signs…well, after a day of misadventures, the children learn a valuable lesson. What will it teach you?

This is a Story by John Schu, illustrated by Lauren Castillo
From the words on a page to the books on the shelf, when humans need help connecting, books can help. Readers with questions and imaginations and hearts that grow find connection and understanding in books at the library. “A story helps us understand everything,” explains the author. The warm illustrations show a sea horse-loving girl and other readers enjoying, learning, and wondering as they read books at the library.

Make Way for Readers
by Judy Sierra and G. Brian Karas
The animal readers and their books join Miss Bingo, the storytime flamingo, for a rollicking time of story and movement. Even when little Annabelle’s toe is stepped on, her friends make her smile again by telling her a story. Younger children will enjoy this sweet celebration of storytime and stories!
Bear's House of Books
Bear’s House of Books
by Poppy Bishop, illustrated by Alison Edgson
Book-loving friends, Fox, Rabbit, Hedgehog, and Mouse, go on a book hunt and low and behold, find a book, a fantastic story about a dragon. They realize it belongs to Bear so they take it to his house where they discover — MORE BOOKS and no Bear– so they curl up and start reading. But what will happen when Bear returns home?

Have a Look, Says Book.
by Richard Jackson, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
A girl and her father sit in a cozy chair and open a book then, travel through the pages where all the book things introduce themselves, describing what they’re like. The girl and her father meet everything and are cozy.
Hug This Book
Hug This Book
by Barney Saltzberg, illustrated by Fred Benaglia
What are you to do with this book? Hug it, wrap it in a sweater (if it gets chilly), tell it a story, read it upside down, and take a nap with it, there are many, many things you can do with this book! Whimsical and enchanting, this is a wonderful celebration of books.

BookSpeak! Poems About Books
by Laura Purdie Salas, illustrated by Josee Bisaillon
I love this book! Salas writes 21 fun, funny, delightful poems about books. You’ll read poems from the perspective of a character, about what happens in the bookstore at night, or how the book sees the reader.

Hooray for Books
by Brian Won
Turtle can’t find his favorite book anywhere. He wonders if he shared it with a friend but Zebra, Owl, Giraffe, and Elephant don’t have it, but Lion does. All the animals share about their favorite books, then decide to have story time to read each other’s favorites. Hooray for books indeed.
Noteworthy Fall 2017 Picture Book
The Book of Gold
by Bob Staake
The Book of Gold shows readers that discovering books and curiosity is the best treasure one could have!

A Child of Books
by Oliver Jeffers, illustrated by Sam Winston
Travel over mountains of make-believe, lose yourself in forests of fairy tales and live in a home of invention. This is a whimsical trip showing you belong to the stories you read. Captivating illustrations are made from words and phrases– big, small, curvy, cave-like –from familiar stories adorn each page along with book spines, watercolor art, and ink drawings.
Picture Books About Books
Books Always Everywhere
by Jane Blatt, illustrated by Sarah Massini
A beautifully illustrated book about books! Book wide, book tall, . . . book start, book stop, . . . book rainy, book sunny. Reading this feels like I’m in a wonderful library or bookstore. Lovely.
Mentor Texts to Launch Reading Workshop
We’re Going on a Book Hunt
by Pat Miller, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott
Hunting for books means you need one that is not too hard or too easy but just right. This could be a decent introduction for a lesson on book choice and/or just-right books.

Read Island
by Nicole Magistro, illustrated by Alice Feagan
In this rhyming story, see a welcoming island of stories. Animals from the Pacific Northwest area of British Columbia arrive to read and listen to stories.

Good Night Little Bookstore
by Amy Cherrix, illustrated by E.B. Goodale
Sweet, rhyming, and gentle — say goodnight to the bookstore– to the door chime and picture books, the mysteries and recycling, the cat and the keys. This would make a lovely gift for any book-loving friend.

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