10 Must-Have Picture Books

The children’s specialists from all our stores have been working on a list of picture books everyone should own. Here are 10 of our favourites. They range from 1939 to the present, and from home and abroad.

Mister Magnolia by Quentin Blake (1980)

Mister Magnolia has only one boot… but he has so much more going for him! Including over twenty years of solid sales. Easy rhymes and utterly joyful.


Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty (2007)

Iggy is a little boy with big, creative dreams, and this is a brilliant book about having a passion and doing your own thing.


Poo Bum by Stephanie Blake (2011)

A bold and funny “what children are really like” book. Also see the companion Stupid Baby.


Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (1963)

A naughty boy is banished to his room but finds freedom through his imagination. A true classic.


Would You Rather? John Burningham (1978)

The best multiple choice book ever, eg. would you rather eat spider stew or slug dumplings? A great book to share.


Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans (1939)

In an old house in Paris, that was covered with vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines…the smallest one was Madeline. Old-fashioned and charming.


The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch (1980)

Girl defeats dragon to rescue ungrateful prince. Then wishes she hadn’t bothered. Best story ever about girls calling the shots.


The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson (2003)

Another story about a rescue. This time a snail hitches a ride on the tail of a whale to travel around the world. Donaldson’s flawless rhyme and Sheffler’s unique illustrations.


Waterhole by Graeme Base (2001)

A book that mustn’t be dismissed as “just a counting book”. You can spend hours poring over these genius illustrations to find the hidden animals.


A Year On Our Farm by Penny Matthews (2002)

Life on a small Australian farm seen through the eyes of the children who call it home. Beautiful watercolour, easy-to-read text.


We’ll be revealing the rest of our Essential Picture Books list in 2013.