As the Director of Children’s Ministries at my church, I have scoured the Christian picture book world over the past 12 years, looking for excellent books to recommend to “my” families.
As a mom, I have read bazillions of library books and learned which ones truly engage children.
As a writer, I have sluiced through hundreds of the top books, both Christian and secular, figuring out what makes them good and why kids like them.
You, dear reader, get to take advantage of my years of research!
What follows is a list of THE best Christian picture books on the market today. In fact, if you bought all 10, I have no doubt that you would have a fantastic library of books that your kids would come back to repeatedly, and that you would enjoy reading to them.
Now, I know there are a lot of great books out there.
(don’t believe me? Check out my book review YouTube channel!)
I picked these ones specifically, because separately they are amazing, but together, they create a multi-faceted picture of God, the plan of salvation, and how this makes a difference in our lives today. None of the books overlap, and none of these are basic Bible stories you could find for cheaper in a compilation children’s Bible.
Here are the qualifications for each individual book:
1) God is the focus
I have read some great allegorical and metaphorical books, but since young kids aren’t able to think abstractly, I think these books have limited value for them. (They DO have value, but more for older kids, or as books they remember later in life, when they finally connect the dots.) The books on my list all talk explicitly about God and provide spiritual value to your kids NOW.
2) Good for multiple ages, both genders
There are a lot of fabulous faith-based books that are about trucks and princesses, but I wanted your library to appeal to ALL your kids.
Also, I chose books that aren’t (a) preschool-y or (b) contain so much text that the average 4 year old couldn’t handle it. Again, I want this library of books to appeal to ALL your kids. (well, at least the ones age 3-10!)
3) Emphasis on God’s grace
No legalistic books allowed! These books all showcase God’s incredible love and grace, making your child WANT to know and obey Him.
4) Engaging story
What’s worse than a boring kids book? An ANNOYING kids book! You won’t read it to your kids if you don’t like it too. Am I right?? Each of these stories is engaging for kids AND adults. Almost all of these books have made me choke up when reading them, so I know they’re well-written and speak to a heart-need.
5) Excellent illustrations
I have found a lot of books with a TON of text and totally boring illustrations. You can have the awesomest story in the world, but if the illustrations are sparse or boring, no kid is going to want you to read it to them.
Those are my super-picky criteria for a great Christian kids book. If you think they sound like your cup of tea, you’re ready to get my awesome list! Enter your details here or click on the picture and I’ll send it right over.
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