Picture books - Known books for children

These classic picture books are fun for every child

There are some books that can be found on almost every bookshelf. This applies to classics of adult literature as well as their counterparts in children's literature. The best children's books have always been those that have inspired parents and children alike for generations. So it's not surprising that some of the most popular picture books have been around in the lives of mum and dad. Other books have not been on the market for so long, but have won a loyal readership.

However, it is always difficult to give general recommendations for pure taste. But experience teaches that the most popular picture books are liked by the majority of children. Perhaps you will rediscover one or the other book from your own childhood? But don't be disappointed if your offspring doesn't like your favourite book very much. There are many great book titles for children who want to be told. Our little compilation can never be complete, of course - but maybe it will give you some ideas about what kind of children's books might be especially interesting for your family.

Cover of the picture book "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

As author and illustrator, Eric Carle has created a timeless picture book with "The Very Hungry Caterpillar". It is the best example of a classic that never goes out of fashion. The instructive story about the voracious caterpillar, which eats its way through a different treat every day of the week to finally transform into a butterfly, delights children aged three and up time and time again.

Cover of the picture book "The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew it Was None of His Business" by Werner Holzwarth.

The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew it Was None of His Business

The digestion of humans and animals is a fascinating subject, but parents are reluctant to discuss it with their children. The internationally successful bestseller by author Werner Holzwarth and illustrator Wolf Erlbruch is dedicated to the important question of what "comes out at the back". After all, big business is as much a part of everyday life for children as it is for adults. The book is suitable for children aged between four and six years.

Cover of the picture book "Frederick" by Leo Lionni.


The little mouse Frederick prepares for the winter. But unlike most mice, Frederick does not collect nuts and grains, but rather words, sunrays and colours. This beautifully illustrated children's book by Leo Lionni tells in a clever way that creativity and art make just as valuable contributions to social life as the classic world of work. A topic that never goes out of fashion, in the book prepared in a child-friendly way for the age group of four to six years.

Cover of the picture book "Das NEINhorn" by Marc-Uwe Kling.

Das NEINhorn

Author Marc-Uwe Kling, together with illustrator Astrid Henn, has created a somewhat different mythical creature with the NEINhorn. Obviously nobody can please him, no matter how nice and dear the family is to him. The subtle core message of this book is suitable for a broad age range of three to six years.

Cover of the picture book "Der Gruffalo" by Julia Donaldson.

The Gruffalo

A very expressive book about a little mouse that outwits the scary, strong Gruffalo. This extremely imaginative book was written in rhyme form by Julia Donaldson and appropriately illustrated by Axel Scheffler. Age recommendation: 36 months to six years. Best read together, because some children find Gruffalo a bit scary at first.

Cover of the picture book "The Rainbow Fish" by Marcus Pfister.

The Rainbow Fish

Marcus Pfister has written and illustrated this children's book. It is about a beautiful fish, whose vanity leads to it becoming more and more lonely. Real friends don't only care about looks. An instructive story to read and read aloud for children between four and eight years of age.

Cover of the picture book "The Squirrels Who Squabbled" by Rachel Bright.

The Squirrels Who Squabbled

The fight of two squirrels over the last fir cone of the year is the focus of this picture book, written by Rachel Bright and illustrated by Jim Field. The story makes it clear to children between the ages of three and six that you can often achieve more together and that you should make provisions for bad times in good time.

Cover of the picture book "Elmar" by David McKee.


Elmar is a special elephant because he is not grey. All animals know him, because his skin is colourful and diverse like a patchwork quilt. The funny elephant, created by David McKee, delights readers aged between three and six years in this children's book with its entertaining adventures.

Cover of the picture book "The Trip to Panama" by Janosch.

The Trip to Panama

There is hardly anything to say about this grandiosely drawn classic by Janosch. The journey of the tiger and the bear to Panama is told picture by picture. After all, there is nothing to be afraid of if you have a friend. Popular with children from five to seven years (and also with many adults).

Cover of the book "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak.

Where the Wild Things Are

The picture book by Maurice Sendak has become a classic, not least thanks to his great drawing style. The story of Max, who is sent to bed without supper and discovers the realm of the wild guys, is told and illustrated very imaginatively. The age recommendation of four years and older can be seen fluently - the complex story does not inspire every toddler at first go, but then all the more lasting.