Picture books speak to the hearts, souls and imaginations of adults as well as children, and their simple yet often profound messages are important to be reminded of at all stages of our life. Looking for a fun and meaningful gift to give to a friend? We’ve got you covered with 10 picture books that the grown-ups in your life are sure to love.
What Do You Do With An Idea [Written by Kobi Yamada, Illustrated by Mae Besom]
This is a personal favorite that my mom gifted to Kesler and me after we started Bookroo. The beautiful illustrations evolve from black and white pencil to gorgeous and vibrant color as the “idea” is nurtured and begins to grow and thrive. Perfect for that friend with the awesome ideas who knows exactly what to do with them!
2. For the comic book lover:
Harry and Horsie [Written by Katie VanCamp, Illustrated by Lincoln Agnew]
Harry and Horsie gives the perfect vibe for a coffee table book in a bachelor pad, or as part of the inspiration collection of a comic-book aficionado. The story is adorable too and explores the theme of friendship between a little boy and his stuffed horse.
3. For the nostalgic:
Once Upon a Memory [Written by Nina Laden, Illustrated by Rinata Lewski]
The calming illustrations perfectly fit with Laden’s rhyming remembrances of things that have come before. “Does a feather remember it once was a bird? Does a book remember it once was a word?” This book does a magnificent job of reminding us of how amazing the simple things in life are and can become.
4. For those who are struggling:
You Are Special [Written by Max Lucado, Illustrated by Sergio Martinez]
I went through a rough patch my sophomore year of college, and one evening one of my best friends brought me over a copy of this book and told me I was going to be ok. I still have the book, and I pull it out and read it whenever I’m having a downer day, and it reminds me that I have value.
5. For the dancer:
Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova [Written by Laurel Snyder, Illustrated by Julie Morstad]
I first came across Swan in Powell’s Bookstore in Portland, Oregon, and immediately fell in love with the bookstore as well as with this gorgeously illustrated portrayal of Anna Pavlova’s life. Perfect for the dancer in your life with it’s graceful and poised illustrations and inspiring story of a successful dancer.
6. For the gardener:
The Little Gardner [Written and Illustrated by Emily Hughes]
A vibrant and poignantly illustrated story of a little gardner who loved his garden, and persisted in taking care of it, even though initially he thought he might be too little. This book brings nature inside in a fanciful and insightful fashion!
7. For the friends that are moving:
Home [Written and Illustrated by Carson Ellis]
It’s always painful to see friends go. Kesler and I have moved three times in three and a half years of marriage, and each time we’ve had to leave behind amazing friends, but also had the opportunity to make new friends that we love to pieces. For your friends that are moving away, this is a perfect reminder that you’ll miss them, but that they can make a home anywhere.
8. For the teacher:
Thank You, Mr Falker [Written and Illustrated by Patricia Polacco]
The perfect way to remind a teacher that what they do really makes an impact, and that you appreciate everything they do for you and for your child! Patricia Polacco’s books are always beautifully illustrated, and tug at your heartstrings, and this is no exception.
9. For the artist:
The Whisper [Written and Illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski]
Zagarenski has won 2 Caldecott honors for previous books, and this gorgeously illustrated story sparks your imagination as it highlights the joy of reading. Reading The Whisper leaves you wanting to be creative, and unleash the full potential of your imagination as you realize that there is a unique story/perspective all your own.
10. For the new mom:
All the Places to Love [Written by Patricia MacLachlan, Illustrated by Michael Wimmer]
An oldie, but a goodie. I remember by mom reading this to me when I was little, and we have a rather worn copy on our shelves back home. Gorgeously illustrated with paintings, this book is absolutely sweet and touches on the preciousness of new life, love of families and the hope that comes from the potential of a sweet new baby.
New moms need more than one book, however, and if you’re looking to help them grow their library of children’s books to read to their little one, gift them a Bookroo subscription, the gift that keeps on giving book after book, child after child!