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Our ABR (Authentic Book Recommedations) Program contains a curated list of storybooks and publications that help develop creative literacy and, most importantly, are fun to read.

We hope this resource helps motivate children (and their caregivers) to spend more time reading and learning through printed matter.

Sidewalk Flowers

Author, JonArno Lawson
Illustrator, Sydney Smith
ISBN-13, 978-1554984312

A wordless book, it is clear that this is a warm story. The illustrator used ink, pens, and brushes. The atmosphere is handled very well and expresses the mood without any words.
Art Up Close: From Ancient to Modern

Author, Claire d’ Harcourt
ISBN-13, 978-2020596947

Experience nonfiction art up close.
Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists

Author, Carla Sonheim
ISBN-13, 978-1592536139

There are a total of 52 painting projects. This is perfect for parent and child activities.

Colorombia Animal Coloring Book

This was my first coloring book and these Colorombia coloring books are my favorite. Colombia has more advanced pages compared to Secret Garden.
The Garden of Abdul Gasazi

Author, Chris Van Allsburg
ISBN-13, 978-0395278048

The book features very delicate pencil sketches.

Outside Over There

Author, Maurice Sendak
ISBN-13, 978-0064431859

The story of this book is simple, but the drawing is very mature. The drawing style of the characters gives off a chilling atmosphere. They are also drawn with colored pencils.

The Arrival

Author, Shaun Tan
ISBN-13, 978-0439895293

This book does not contain a single word, instead it offers pages full of imagination. He uses fantasy to discuss immigration in a profound way. This book is great for kids because it has detailed pencil sketches that are better than Youtube.


Author, David Wiesner
ISBN-13, 978-0618194575

There is no text in this book, rather it offers very beautiful paintings created from watercolor. I hope that children would be able to think about how the author drew the characters instead of wanting to copy them.

The Complete Persepolis

Author, Marjane Satrapi
ISBN-13, 978-0375714832

This book gives a different perspective on Iranian politics. This comic has been turned into an animated movie.

Snow-White and the Seven Dwarfs

Author, The Brothers Grimm
Translator, Randall Jarrell
Illustratior, Nancy Ekholm Burkert

This illustration of Snow White is beautiful. In this drawing style, Snow White is depicted more average, but can still be regarded as a beauty. The colored pencils used did not give her big eyes any shine. This type of drawing will expand children’s vision of art. Older children are able to enjoy this too. Since the style is delicate, children may not favor it.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Author, Robert Frost
Illustrator, Susan Jeffers
ISBN-13, 978-0525467342

This book showcases positive and negative space techniques really well. This causes you to think backwards, leave blank spaces, and only draw shadows. It would be beneficial if children could learn this advanced technique. You can also find examples by illustrators on the internet.

Where the Wild Things Are

Author, Maurice Sendak
ISBN-10, 0064431789

This book utilizes the classic copper plate printing technique, which gives a delicate effect.

The Storyteller

Author, Evan Turk
ISBN-13, 978-1481435185

This book includes very special and beautiful illustrations using watercolor and collage patterns.

Book of Cities

Author, Piero Ventura
ISBN-13, 978-0789318213

This author’s book showcases architecture very well.

The Stinky Cheese Man: And Other Fairly Stupid Tales

Author, Jon Scieszka
Illustrator, Lane Smith
ISBN-13, 978-0670844876

This is a funny book that I read in high school.

It Might Be An Apple

Author, Shinsuke Yoshitake
ISBN-13, 978-0500650486

This book is perfect for older and younger children alike. This book is similar to Japanese manga and displays unlimited creativity.

Around the World with Mouk: A Trail of Adventure

Author, Marc Boutavant
ISBN-13, 978-0811869263

A cute cartoon book full of vivid colors and rich knowledge.


Author, Carson Ellis
ISBN-13, 978-0763665296

The illustrations of the house shows knowledge, creativity, and beauty.

Du Lz Tak?

Author, Carson Ellis
ISBN-13, 978-0763665302

The language invented by the author is very imaginative.

Extra Yarn

Author, Mac Barnett
ISBN-13, 978-0061953385

This book is for young children, mostly under the age of 7. It contains classic printing techniques that they can enjoy.

The Day the Crayons Came Home

Authors, Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers
ISBN-13, 978-0399172755

This is a classic book with many words and it successfully introduces cultures from around the world.

Last Stop on Market Street

Author, Matt De La Peña
Illustrator, Christian Robinson
ISBN-13, 978-0399257742

This book is  mainly prints. I use these books for class to analyze the illustrations not for story reading. These picture books teach techniques.
The Snowy Day

Author, Ezra Jack Keats
ISBN-13, 978-0670013258

This classic depicts beautiful pictures of snowy scenes. These images are simple, but deep. They are usually appreciated more by children than adults. 

I Dream of an Elephant

Author, Ami Rubinger
ISBN-13, 978-0789210586

Beautiful colors.

Along a Long Road

Author, Frank Viva
ISBN-13, 978-0316129251

Beautiful use of line.
They All Saw a Cat

Author, Brendan Wenzel
ISBN-13, 978-1452150130

Brilliant use of texture.
The Sun is Yellow

Author, Kveta Pacovska
ISBN-13, 978-1849760645

I personally like Polish illustrations because they are very advanced.

Number Circus: 1-10 and Back Again!

Author, Kveta Pacovska

A counting book with a difference—it’s an invitation to play!

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