20+ Beautiful Children’s Books with Stunning Illustrations

Illustrated books are gorgeous for children. I have curated 20+ beautiful children's books with remarkable stories and beautiful illustrations.

The best books are always children’s books. Sometimes you pick up children’s books for the story; however, sometimes, the illustrations grab you. Illustrations make the books gorgeous for children. Furthermore, kids obsess over certain children’s books, and you will read them again and again and to infinity and beyond. The best illustrations in children’s books stay with us for life.

What makes children’s books high-quality?

It is no surprise that the pictures inform your child’s first impression of a book, so choosing books with wonderful illustrations is a perfect place to start. Like a piece of art, a good children’s book is greater than the sum of its parts. Illustrations inspire a child’s imagination, and in high-quality picture books, the illustrations really contribute as much as the story shared. Their illustrations are truly works of art, representing a range of artistic mediums and styles. 

We’re living in a golden age of young-adult literature when readers of every generation equally adore books ostensibly written for teens. Here, I have curated 20+ must-read children’s books not just because of their remarkable stories but also because they feature beautiful illustrations. Your children will never be tired of reading these stories and looking at these beautiful illustrations. Or you can get some of these books as Audiobook, so your child can have a story time in your car. You can try Audible here for free!

* You should also check my other book list for your child, 30+ Best Inspiring Math Books for Children.

Oliver Jeffers’ “Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth” is a heartwarming and thought-provoking book that tackles the complexities of our world in an easy-to-understand way. The book is written from a father’s perspective, explaining the world to his two-month-old child. It covers everything from the big picture of our universe all the way down to the day-to-day happenings of life.

The first thing that stands out about this book is Oliver Jeffers’ artwork. His illustrations are breathtakingly beautiful and capture the essence of our planet perfectly. As you flip through each page, you’ll find yourself marveling at all the different shapes, sizes, and colors of people and animals that inhabit our world. From blue people to giant whales, every page is filled with something new and exciting.

But it’s not just the art that makes Here We Are so special; it’s also the message behind it. Through his writing, Jeffers reminds us of how small we really are in comparison to the vastness of space. He highlights just how unique and precious our planet is and urges us to take care of it. This powerful message serves as a reminder that we have a responsibility to protect our home.

One of my favorite parts about Here We Are is how it encourages empathy towards others. By showcasing all the different types of people who exist on Earth, Jeffers teaches us to appreciate diversity and understand that despite our differences, we’re all connected by living on the same planet together.

Another great aspect of “Here We Are” is its accessibility for children. The language used in the book is simple enough for kids to understand without being too simplistic or condescending. It’s a book that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, making it perfect for families to read together.

Overall, “Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth” is a must-read for anyone who wants to appreciate the beauty of our world and understand their place within it. The combination of stunning artwork and powerful messages makes this book a true gem. By reading this book, we’re reminded of the importance of taking care of our planet and treating each other with kindness and empathy. It’s a book that will leave you feeling grateful for what you have and motivated to make a positive impact in the world.

The world is abuzz with the sounds of nature’s hardest workers, and Kirsten Hall’s book, The Honeybee, speaks for them. In this delightful picture book, Hall takes readers on a journey from the flower to the hive and back again, introducing us to the crucial role that bees play in our environment. With rich language and stunning illustrations by Quebec illustrator Isabelle Arsenault, The Honeybee strikes an ideal balance between fact and fiction that will satisfy both young readers at bedtime and teachers in the classroom.

Kirsten Hall’s language in The Honeybee is as lively as a hive buzzing with activity. Her use of rhymes and repetition makes this picture book a joy to read aloud, capturing the attention of children and adults alike. From the beginning of the narrative to its end, Hall’s writing creates a sense of perpetuity that mirrors nature’s cycles perfectly.

Quebec illustrator Isabelle Arsenault brings Hall’s words to life with her signature mixed-media style. Using gouache and pencil, Arsenault creates stunning images that are predominantly yellow and black but accented with pops of blue and fuchsia flora. Her illustrations capture the beauty of nature while also showcasing the importance of bees in our ecosystem.

Hall and Arsenault are an ideal match for one another, each taking their work to new heights. Their collaboration ensures that neither text nor images overshadow one another; instead, they work together seamlessly to create a beautiful storybook experience.

The Honeybee balances fact with fiction perfectly. It provides enough scientific detail about bees’ roles in our ecosystem without overwhelming younger readers or detracting from the story itself. This balance makes it an ideal resource for parents or educators looking to teach children about environmentalism in a fun way.

In conclusion, Kirsten Hall has created a remarkable picture book in The Honeybee. It introduces young readers to the crucial role that bees play in our environment while also capturing their attention with lively language and stunning illustrations. Hall and Arsenault’s collaboration is a perfect example of how text and images can work together seamlessly, creating a beautiful storybook experience that will delight children and adults alike. The Honeybee is a must-read for anyone looking to teach children about environmentalism or simply enjoy a delightful bedtime story.

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse is quickly becoming one of the best kid’s books around! The friendly relationship between The Boy and his unlikely buddies, The Mole, The Fox, and The Horse, provide a wonderful message of encouragement for young readers.

With an unexpected combination of humor and insight, Charlie Mackesy’s delightful story will help your child navigate uncertain times with optimism and hope. Now that one of the most endearing groups of friends has entered your child’s life get ready for some old-fashioned fun!

In the bustling literary world, children’s picture books often craft the tales of imagination, wonder, and the power of discovery. “On a Beam of Light” by Jennifer Berne, sweetly accompanied by Vladimir Radunsky’s artwork, sidesteps the average storybook and dives deep into the past of one of the world’s most renowned geniuses, Albert Einstein, to reveal that every journey of discovery has humble beginnings. The narrative teaches young minds and reminds adults that it is not just knowledge but questions and uninhibited curiosity that drive real understanding.

“In the year that Einstein was born, 1879, the electric light bulb was not yet a household item. Cars and airplanes were still just a dream, and the atoms that we are all made of were a mystery.” This captivating introduction invites readers into a world on the brink of unimaginable innovation, with a baby Einstein poised to contribute his share of the stars. It continues to narrate a most curious child, silent with strangers, yet bubbling with an inner universe of thoughts. His first encounter with a compass underlines the essence of his life’s work—understanding those invisible forces that guide our world.

Einstein’s fascination with the compass leads him to question the source of the needle’s unwavering direction. In his mind’s eye, he is already on a beam of light, racing alongside these invisible rays to understand the Sun’s secrets. It’s a testament to the book‘s ability to capture the essence of childhood curiosity—an open heart to the world’s marvels.

The Poetry of Numbers and Silenced Curiosity

Entering school, Einstein is confronted with authority that does not appreciate the depths of his inquiries. He is told to follow the curriculum and relinquish his persistent questioning. Yet, as “On a Beam of Light” illustrates, the young Einstein refuses to be molded into someone he is not, much like the particles he’d one day study—always in motion and unstoppable.

Despite being labelled slow and simple-minded by teachers, Einstein’s love affair with numbers becomes his solace. He unravels the poetry within their patterns, foreseeing the lyrical beauty in their logic—another thematic magnification of the book‘s core message: the importance of looking beneath the surface, questioning and listening to one’s inner voice.

The Solitude of Brilliance

Einstein’s journey to his general theory of relativity was a solitary one. After he leaves school and at odds with traditional academics, he finds work at a patent office, a seemingly mundane role. Yet, it is this solitude that nurtures the brilliance behind Einstein’s most revolutionary thoughts. His mind becomes a kaleidoscope of hypothetical scenarios, all due to that one moment with a compass in his hand.

The book portrays this time in his life with nuance, illustrating that sometimes stepping out of the limelight can be the spark we need to ignite real innovation. Radunsky’s illustrations accompany the narrative beautifully, allowing the reader to almost overhear the synaptic crackling that indicates another grand idea is in formation.

Einstein’s True Measure: The Unanswered Questions

While “On a Beam of Light” ends almost poetically with the acknowledgment of Einstein’s death, it does so with an important but subtle message. His true measure, perhaps, is not in the theories he exhaled into the world but in the questions he left for future minds. Einstein bequeathed us with intellectual puzzles to unravel, trails of light to continue chasing, and a mantle of curiosity to carry forward.

This final narrative embellishment not only honors Einstein’s legacy but it prompts the reader. Each of us holds the potential to craft our story and leave an indelible mark in the grand narrative of knowledge. “On a Beam of Light” is a celebration of a life lived intensely and questions asked fearlessly.

Fostering Young Minds: A Path to Einstein’s Story

The value of “On a Beam of Light” extends beyond its eloquent retelling of Einstein’s early life. It encapsulates a lesson vital for educators and parents—to foster an environment that encourages inquiry and honors the unique path of each child’s intellect. Its pages resonate with the inner child in every adult, calling them to remember the awe of a first discovery or the satisfaction of an answered “why.”

The illustrations, too, play a pivotal role on this journey. They are more than mere visual companions—they are guides through the labyrinth of Einstein’s mind. A playful mix of wit and art, they underscore the idea that insights and inspiration can come from the most unexpected places.

For educators, “On a Beam of Light” is a resource not only for storytelling but for planting the seeds of perseverance and the drive for understanding. And for parents, it is a subtle reminder that in a child’s laughter or in a seemingly simple question might reside the future’s solutions.

Diving into the Cosmic Pool of Curiosity

In a world that often prizes answers, “On a Beam of Light” encourages the celebration of the question. It teaches children that in the very act of wondering lies the key to unlocking life’s greatest mysteries. It implores educators to cultivate not only a generation of knowledge bearers but a clan of undeterred thinkers.

Berne’s narrative expertise and Radunsky’s tender illustrations are in perfect harmony, their voices joining in a crescendo that resonates with the sound of a child’s laughter in the hallways of academia. Together, they deliver a tale that’s as much an instruction manual for the curious mind as it is a love letter to the future. And just like the man himself, the book embodies the spirit that true intelligence does not reside in knowing everything but in realizing there is everything to know.

Conclusion: “On a Beam of Light” as an Ongoing Narrative

Reading “On a Beam of Light” is not a passive activity. It is an adventure—pacing the floors of an intellectual home, turning the pages of history that not just document moments but transcend them into legends. It brims with life lessons; not the pedantic kind but the sort that whispers in one’s ear, giving every person who encounters it the courage to light up their own path.

As the last page turns, an enlightened phrase hangs in the air: “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The most important thing is not to stop questioning.” In the universe, the echoed laughter of a boy who dared to ponder without bounds still reverberates.

Educators and parents, take note: “On a Beam of Light” is not just a story of a past shining luminary but a lantern guiding the way for the curious minds of the future. It is a testament to every child who ever wondered and a celebration of those who decided to pursue the unknown.

Ultimately, “On a Beam of Light” transcends the narrative of Albert Einstein’s childhood into a universal anthem for the lively spirit that resides within all children and, when nurtured, can light the most incredible journeys.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” written by Lewis Carroll, is not only a masterpiece of children’s literature but a brilliant concoction of imagination and mathematics. This novel, celebrating its 150th anniversary, reveals itself as much more than just a story of a girl in a fantastical world; it’s a math novel cleverly disguised within the whimsical narrative.

Carroll, with a background in mathematics, weaves abstract thinking and complex ideas into the very fabric of Wonderland. From the enigmatic Cheshire Cat discussing infinity, to the Queen’s croquet game reflecting the randomness of numbers, the reader—whether young or old—is subtly introduced to mathematical concepts throughout Alice’s odyssey.

This special edition is particularly remarkable as it includes Salvador Dalí’s rare and thought-provoking illustrations. His surrealistic touches are in perfect harmony with the narrative, enhancing the reader’s experience by providing a visual feast that echoes the dream-like quality of the text. The result is an extraordinary version of Alice’s tale that bridges art, literature, and science, ensuring that each page turned is a step further down the rabbit hole of curiosity.

Amid its logical conundrums and coded references to mathematics, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” speaks to timeless themes such as the celebration of curiosity, the measure of bravery, and the importance of being resilient and kind. Carroll’s cleverly crafted characters—each embodying different facets of human virtue and vice—serve as guides not only in a young girl’s fantastical escapade but as moral compasses for the readers.

The narrative itself is an adventure in every sense of the word. Alice encounters bizarre and outlandish scenarios, yet they are constructed with such meticulous detail that they seem curiously logical. The world Carroll has created is one that consistently defies expectation and understanding, leading readers to question everything they thought they knew about reality.

Beneath the surface of this supposed children’s book lies a rich layer of complexity that open-minded readers can explore. The use of puns, puzzles, and paradoxes pulls readers of all ages into an exploration of logic, making “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” an educational read that stimulates the brain in more ways than one.

In conclusion, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: 150th Anniversary Edition” offers more than just nostalgia—it offers an educational and mesmerizing trip that binds math, morality, art, and storytelling into a single volume. It is an essential addition to any child’s library and a delightful reread for adults who may find new insight within its pages. This novel, and particularly this edition with its extraordinary Dalí illustrations, is a testament to the enduring power of imagination and intellect combined.

Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space

Professor Astro Cat is the smartest cat in the alley. He’s got a degree in just about every discipline under the sun! Speaking of the sun, he happens to be a specialist on that too, and Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space will tell you everything that there could be to know about our star, our planet, our solar system, our galaxy, and our universe. The professor’s made sure of that; he’s a fastidious little feline!

Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space also explores topics such as gravity, extraterrestrial life, time, and many other fascinating subjects that will take you and your children on a journey to the very frontiers of space!

This Is How We Do It is not just another book in the crowded landscape of best kids’ books. With its unique character-driven storytelling and vibrant illustrations, it gives a glimpse into the everyday lives of seven children from around the world!

This delightful narrative captures their similarities and differences in activities such as Freeze Tag in Japan or jumping rope in Uganda. This is an excellent opportunity for children to delve deeper into cultures foreign to them while also realizing how we all come together as one community through experiences that ultimately bond us together. This Is How We Do It boldly celebrates diversity, captivating readers with cultural education and an unforgettable reading experience.

This magical tale begins on a faraway island, where an imaginary friend is born. He patiently awaits his turn to be chosen by a real child, but when he is repeatedly overlooked, he embarks on an incredible journey to the bustling city, where he finally meets his perfect match and is finally given his special name: Beekle.

Dan Santat, the #1 New York Times bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator of After the Fall and Are We There Yet? blends classic storytelling with breathtaking art in an unforgettable story about friendship, imagination, and the courage to find one’s place in the world.”

Hello Lighthouse is one of the best children’s books. It’s sure to please young readers with a captivating window into the past as they watch days and seasons pass by. Through pictures, readers can follow the story of a lighthouse keeper and his family, who share each other’s daily lives inside a cozy dollhouse-like interior while out at sea, icebergs drift.

The artwork is truly breathtaking, and due to Sophie Blackall’s skillful storytelling, Hello Lighthouse is becoming quite a popular delight for all ages. Why not invite your child to step through the door of this iconic Lighthouse and join in on the adventure?

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin is one of the best kids’ books out there. It takes readers on an inspiring journey through Wilson Bentley’s lifelong obsession with snowflakes, told through beautiful illustrations and poetic language.

His parents encouraged his curiosity and worked hard to provide him with his own camera and microscope. His enthusiasm was misunderstood at the time. On the other hand, Wilson cataloged hundreds of snowflake photographs, gave slideshows of his findings, and published a book of his photos when he was 66. His work became the foundation for everything we know about beautiful, one-of-a-kind snowflakes today.

Parents and children alike will be enchanted by this book’s compelling narrative that explores a man’s commitment to science and his ceaseless curiosity about nature. Snowflake Bentley brings us a true story of discovery, perseverance, and exploration—unparalleled gifts for any child!

This biographical ode to a very special farmer makes an ideal holiday gift or snow day read.

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Ali Kaya


Ali Kaya

This is Ali. Bespectacled and mustachioed father, math blogger, and soccer player. I also do consult for global math and science startups.