25 Wholesome Picture Books for Your Family


Finding wholesome picture books to read with your children shouldn't be a chore. Unfortunately, it can be. There are so many children's books that contain very questionable content these days! I am often shocked at the political agendas that are addressed even at the picture book level. But that's another post for another day.

Today I'm sharing our top 25 favorite wholesome picture books. These books are full of beautifully uplifting messages.

While you're reading about these wonderful books you can make a list of the ones that you'd like to pick up at the library, your local book store, or Amazon with this handy "Books I'd Like to Read This Summer" printable. It's a free download!


This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience, which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission. This helps me keep my blog up and running without costing you a penny more! Click here to read my full disclosure policy.


A Year Around the Great Oak
by Gerda Muller

"Benjamin and Anna love staying with their cousin Robin in his house near the forest. In the fall, Robin takes them to see his favorite tree -- a giant oak that is 300 years old. The children build a den under the oak tree's giant branches and watch the squirrels hide acorns in its wide trunk." (Amazon) This book is made even more inspiring by the gorgeous illustrations.


Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books
by Kay Winters

Did you know that Abraham Lincoln loved books? You'll love this inspiring story of the man who became our sixteenth president, and the beautiful illustrations make this book a treasure.


A New Coat for Anna
by Harriet Zufert

"A fresh and moving story of a mother's dedication to acquire a coast for her daughter in post-World War II hard times...Insightful and informative, this may make children consider how precious the ordinary can become in times of turmoil." (Amazon description) This beautiful book gives an inspiring look at what life was like after World War II.


Amber on the Mountain
by Tony Johnston

"Amber's mountain is beautiful, but it is a lonely place until the day Anna arrives, bringing both her friendship and the will to teach Amber how to read. Suddenly Amber's world is filled with a new magic and new challenges. But when Anna returns to the city, will Amber be able to keep reading on her own?" (Amazon description). This heart-warming book has very high moral value and is a delight to read.


The Apple Cake
by Nunke van Hichtum

This is an inspiring story about the importance of kindness and sharing and how both can impact many people. The little old lady in the story wants very much to bake an apple cake, but she doesn't have any apples! The story follows her journey to the market and all of the wonderful stops she makes along the way.


Boxes for Katje
by Candace Fleming

"This inspiring story, with strikingly original art, is based on the author's mother's childhood and will show young readers that they, too, can make a difference." (Amazon) Set in Holland just after World War II, Boxes for Katje tells the story of what hope and encouragement can come from the smallest of acts.


The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
by William KamKwamba and Bryan Mealer

This is one that you don't want to miss reading to your children. Few stories are as uplifting and inspiring as this one! When drought hits young William KamKwamba's Malawi village everyone wonders how they will survive. There is little food and even less money. Amazon describes this book as "This story of invention and triumph over adversity is based on the author's own childhood and is complemented by beautiful illustrations. "


Follow the Drinking Gourd
by Jeanette Winter

A brief but inspiring story about one family's escape through the Underground Railroad. The illustrations are wonderful! A highly recommended historical fiction book.


Four Feet, Two Sandals
by Karen Lynn Williams

"Four Feet, Two Sandals was inspired by a refugee girl who asked the authors why there were no books about children like her. With warm colors and sensitive brush strokes, this book portrays the strength, courage, and hope of refugees around the world, whose daily existence is marked by uncertainty and fear." (Amazon) This is one that we had to buy. A favorite!



The Gardener
by Sarah Stewart

Even the depression-era difficulties can't discourage young Lydia Grace Finch from finding beauty and hope. This inspiring little book tells how one little girl's hard work and determination can transform the lives of many. A can't miss story you'll read over and over!


Good People Everywhere
by Lynea Gillen

An encouraging story for children and parents alike! In a world full of scary news it's nice to have a book full of the goodness of others. "...each of its pages contain endearing examples and vibrant illustrations to inspire children to grow into grateful, caring, and giving people." (Amazon)


The House That Jack Build
by J.P Miller

This is, without a doubt, our absolute favorite picture book. It is so much fun to read aloud! The kids giggle and laugh and have a great time memorizing the catchy rhyme. It's a wonderful example of all the things that can happen as a result of one little action.



In the Garden with Dr. Carver
by Susan Grigsby

My children loved this story which follows Dr. George Washington Carver as he helps a small town in Alabama with their failing crops. You won't have to look too hard to find encouraging messages of hard work, perseverance, working together, and being content.


Let's Go Home: The Wonderful Things About a House
by Cynthia Rylant

"Cynthia Rylant brings out the feelings, smells, sounds, sights, and joys of home in this wonderful book that supports great values and the power of a loving home. The illustrations invite you to explore every room. Your child might just sit down with this book for quite a while." ~ Jenny Phillips


The Little House
by Virginia Lee Burton

This is one of my all-time favorite children's books. I love the story of this happy little house and her journey. I'm sure you'll love it too!


Miss Rumphius
by Barbara Cooney

This one has been a family favorite for many years. This charming story follows Miss Alice Rumphius who wanted so much to make the world a more beautiful place and so she set about to do just that. The colorful illustrations celebrate the beauty of nature and bring this timeless treasure to life.


Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed 
by Emily Pearson

This wonderful little book quickly became a favorite in our family. We read this book during our Random Acts of Kindness week and the kids loved it! Little Ordinary Mary is just an ordinary girl who lives in an ordinary house who picks ordinary blueberries that begin a chain reaction that becomes extraordinary. This is a wonderful book that shows the difference one little ordinary girl's (or boy's) compassion can make.




Ox Cart Man
by Donald Hall

This classic is a favorite of my kids. It has been read over and over again! You'll love the delightful illustrations that help tell the story of a man and his family through the many seasons of New England.


by Mary Lyn Ray

You will especially love this book if you have an aspiring piano player in your family. This sweet story is about a young girl who falls in love with piano playing and plays throughout her entire life. The colorful illustrations make it an even more delightful read.


Pigs Love Potatoes
by Anika Denise

We LOVE this charming little counting book about the hilarious pig family and their desire to have potatoes for dinner. But mama lets them know that they have to help! A sweet little book with a sing-song rhyming pattern. We've enjoyed this one for many years.


The Story About Ping
by Marjorie Flack

This adorable little book is a classic for good reason. It's a lovely tale of a little duck's misadventures and all that he learns as a result. This has been a favorite in our home for years!


Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian
by Marqarita Engle

This engaging little book tells the true story of Maria Merian who lived during the Middle Ages. Her careful observation and documentation of insects disproved a theory that went all the way back to ancient Greece! This is an inspiring story of diligence and perseverance even in the face of seemingly impossible obstacles.


The Tale of Pip & Squeak
by Kate Duke

It's difficult to find quality books that deal with all the ups and downs of the sibling relationship, but this book does a fantastic job. Brothers Pip and Squeak are very competitive and often quarrel about the silliest of things. In this tale, they learn the value of being kind to one another and working together. It's a wonderful story for siblings!


Vivaldi's Four Seasons
by Anna Harwell Celenza

This one can be a little difficult to find, but it's worth searching! In this story, Vivaldi teaches music to young orphan girls, some of whom have life-changing physical disabilities and illnesses. He is so inspired by them that he composes the great masterpiece The Four Seasons. This is a beautifully written book that inspires with educational content, high moral value, and inspiring messages.


Water is Water
by Miranda Paul

A refreshingly new way to learn about the water cycle - poetically! This beautiful little book takes readers through the different phases of the water cycle. Very high educational value that supports the love of nature.


If you enjoy these books and would like a resource for more wholesome picture books you'll want to check out The Good and the Beautiful's Book List. It's a free downloadable list of more than 650 clean content books that have high literary and moral value.

Don't forget to pick up your FREE printable book list!


This post is part of the 10 Days of Wholesome Summer Reading series. Be sure to check out all of the posts and visit the other contributing bloggers for lots of encouragement and freebies!



This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience, which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission. This helps me keep my blog up and running without costing you a penny more! Click here to read my full disclosure policy.


25 Wholesome Picture Books for Your Family at LifeInTheNerddom.com
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