10 Great Children’s Picture Book Authors

Reading to kids is so important! And most kiddos love to curl up by their grown-up and hear a story. Storytime is even better when it’s a book that you enjoy too. That’s why we’re here with ten great children’s picture book authors you need to know.

My kids and I visit the library every couple of weeks to load up on new books for our bedtime routine. Often these are rush-in, rush-out events (with two kids on very different schedules it seems like most things are!). We don’t have a lot of time to carefully vet each choice but I like to bring home picture books that we will want to read more than once. So I always check the shelves for stories from these reliably great children’s picture book authors. 

1. Sandra Boynton

The wildly popular author delights babies and their grownups alike with lighthearted, silly, and rhythmic reads like Perfect Piggies, Moo, Baa, La La La, and Pajama Time. Fun to read and paired with appropriately cartoon-y animal illustrations, almost all of Boynton’s many, many books have been winners at our house.

View Sandra’s books here

2. Mo Willems

His indignant pigeon is practically a childhood icon, and former Sesame Street writer and animator Willems is the force behind many other sure-to-be-classic storybooks, some starring his daughter and her lovey Knuffle Bunny. Willems has won a number of awards, including a few for his charming Gerald and Piggy books, about the childhood adventures and ensuing life lessons of an elephant and his porcine best friend.

View Mo’s books here

3. Karma Wilson

My kids always enjoy Wilson’s books, from her popular series featuring Bear and friends to my favorite, The Cow Loves Cookies. Her gentle tales, often paired with Jane Chapman’s lovely illustrations, are well-paced and timeless.

View Karma’s books here

4. Philip C. Stead

A friend introduced us to Stead by gifting a copy of A Sick Day for Amos McGee, and we quickly fell in love with the Caldecott Award-winning tale about an under-the-weather zookeeper. We are always looking for new Stead books, and recommend his thoughtful, surprising stories that often feature the captivating illustrations of his wife, Erin E. Stead.

View Philip’s books here

5. Kevin Henkes

Best-selling author Henkes is a master at tackling common children’s worries and challenges through a relatable, delightful stories. From outgrowing a lovey in Owen to school anxiety in Wemberly Worried to struggling with self-control in Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse, Henkes’ books feature animal characters with big personalities and universal tiny-human issues.

View Kevin’s books here

6. Jonathan London

London’s Froggy series, featuring an excitable frog-boy and his many misadventures – to the library, to school, on vacation – might not be winning any fancy literary awards, but my kids love the silly frog and his “zip, zup, zut” style.

View Jonathon’s books here

7. Ian Falconer

If you have a wildly imaginative, nonstop preschooler, Ian Falconer and his Olivia books have a place in your home. The precocious pig, who has earned Falconer many prestigious awards and accolades, is a beloved favorite for her wise insight and hyperactive impatience.

View Ian’s books here

8. William Steig

The late Steig was a Caldecott Award-winning author and illustrator, the creator of Shrek, and a New Yorker cartoonist. The short and simple Pete’s a Pizza is a good introduction to Steig, whose lovely stories tend to be on the long side.

View William’s books here

9. Oliver Jeffers

Jeffers writes and illustrates quirky picture books, including the runaway best-seller The Day the Crayons Quit, a funny tale told from the perspective of a boy’s overworked crayons. His other books are just as amusing and heartwarming, and – good news for the younger set – most are not nearly as long as Crayons.

View Oliver’s books here

10. Ezra Jack Keats

You likely know Keats’ A Snowy Day, but what about A Letter for Amy, Peter’s Chair, and Whistle for Willy? They (and more) all star the sweet Peter on his adventures in growing up, and are classics worth seeking out from the Caldecott Medal-winning author and illustrator, who died in 1983.

View Ezra’s books here

Are you familiar with these authors? Whose picture books do you love?

I’m a married mom of two living in Seattle, WA. I have a eight-year-old little boy, a second grader! He’s a fairly reserved kid and all about Legos and Minecraft. I also have a little girl who turned four at the end of February. She’s a tiny thing but a big ham; we call her our clown. They’re a lot of work but also a ton of fun. I love to eat, cook, and run (in that order). But at the end of the day, give me a spot on the couch and a little bit of TV or a good book, I’m done!