Picture Books for Older Children

Parents and teachers often do not think of picture books as being appropriate for children third through fifth grade. Often, this is because children want to read chapter books, or are required to read chapter books for school. Although chapter books are great for building literacy skills in older children, picture books are still a great way to share a story with an older child. Below is a list of picture books that are imaginative, interesting, and great to share with children third through fifth grade.

Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg is an all-time favorite for many reasons. It’s exciting, adventurous, and the illustrations are in black and white-- a bit different than your typical picture book. Children will enjoy this, as they can easily spot the differences and similarities between the book and movie. The text keeps readers on their toes, and engaged in the exciting tale about a mysterious board game. Read the book before the new Jumanji movie is released!

Allen Say’s story, Grandfather’s Journey, is a book that shares the story of a Japanese man making his way to America; the story is told by his Japanese American grandson. This story brings thoughts of immigration and love for one’s country to the forefront in a beautifully illustrated way.

Our third book, Tuesday, by David Wiesner, a 1991 Caldecott Medal Winner tells the tale of frogs flying as they explore the nearby houses why the world sleeps. Readers will be wondering what happens when they go to sleep at night. The illustrations are astounding and imaginative; advancements in technology have allowed the pictures to really come to life since it’s original publication in 1991.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce tells the story of Morris Lessmore and his love for stories and words. Our adventure starts when Morris is carried away in a tornado, only to end up in a colorless world. Luckily, he finds a book in color, which leads him to a library where he learns a very important lesson. This book is based off a movie short by the same name; the graphics of both the movie and book really add to the story and give it life.

Lastly, we have The Mermaid by Jan Brett. Brett lives up to her reputation with all of the beautiful illustrations in this story; there are always lots of hidden pictures to find, and this book does not disappoint. The Mermaid is a retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, but with a mermaid and three octopuses. This is a great introduction for older students to learn about fractured fairy tales.