Chapter books with illustrations on every page?
April 17, 2020 5:15 AM   Subscribe

Looking for recommendations for bedtime stories for a five-year old, either an anthology or chapter books, but still with illustrations on every page?

My son's tolerance for rereading his books is quickly dwindling, and we have no access to a library for obvious reasons. So we started reading much longer books with chapters that still have illustrations on every page. One was Paddle-to-the-Sea, which had a perfect format but was a little too advanced for him (he's not quite 5 yet). The other was a really bad book of fairytales that we had laying around, which he enjoys, though I'd like to avoid something with really retrograde politics.

I was thinking about a book of Aesop's fables, but it looks like most of them are predominantly text, and I think he'd get into the story a lot more with at least one illustration per page. Any really long story broken up into short chapters would be fantastic as well.
posted by skewed to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The Mercy Watson books have really wonderful full-color illustrations all over the place. They are not super long or advanced, they're meant for kids who are just beginning to read independently a little bit (I think we read them with our son when he was in kindergarten?, I'd read a page, he'd read a few sentences to me, I'd read another page, etc...), but the pictures are great, and they are very silly and fun.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:31 AM on April 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Most of the I Can Read books from Scholastic have pictures on every page. The Frog and Toad one is one of my favorites. The offerings rotate; some are media figures and some are actual storybooks like Frog and Toad, Pete the Cat and so on. I like the chunky bargain series (like the one linked here) with three or four stories per book.

If Barnes & Noble ever opens again, check out the kids bargain section. There are a lot of books in the 5-Minute Stories vein that are very inexpensive. And there are the actual 5-Minute Story books but I find those kind of big and expensive and mostly good if you are, like, a Fancy Nancy completeist.
posted by BibiRose at 5:35 AM on April 17, 2020

Best answer: I grew up on Great Illustrated Classics. They have text on every even page and a line drawing on every odd page. They are heavily condensed and abridged and remove most anything challenging or problematic with the original, while mostly preserving the plot outline.

They have everything from Jane Eyre to The Invisible Man, etc, so something should strike his fancy. As a teen I could read one in under an hour, so pretty good for reading a chapter or two per night. Lots of cheap lots available on EBay.
posted by SaltySalticid at 5:41 AM on April 17, 2020

Best answer: Winnie-the-Pooh has pictures on almost every page. Same with the Ivy and Bean books by Annie Barrows. The Bears on Hemlock Mountain by Alice Dalgliesh is a short chapter book that probably has a picture on every page. Frog and Toad and Mercy Watson are good suggestions.
posted by Redstart at 6:14 AM on April 17, 2020

Best answer: I used to read Ursula Vernon's kids' books to my son at that age--Dragonbreath and Hamster Princess are the two series. They are combined text and comics, and when he could read a little, he'd read the speech bubbles and I'd read the text.

Also, not to tell you what you know, but if your library has ebook options, there are likely picture books in there, too. Maybe not at bedtime b/c of screen time issues, but in case that's helpful, Overdrive and other ebook options do have picture books and can be read on the laptop or tablet.
posted by gideonfrog at 6:54 AM on April 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Seconding Hamster Princess - one of the funniest books I've read in a while, and not the usual princess idea (eg. Princess Harriet realizes her doom curse doesn't kick in until a certain age sooooo until then she must be INVULNERABLE - cue cliff diving, quail racing, solving fairy tale mysteries and rescuing creatures).
Could also recommend Bink & Gollie series, Snail & Worm by Tina Kugler, Olga & the Smelly thing from Nowhere by Elise Gravel, Charlie & Mouse by Laurel Snyder.

Betsy Bird's Best of Lists are also a good source for looking up early chapter books or easy reads

If you're not opposed to buying new books, Bookshop links you with indie bookstores in your area, many of whom are still curating and shipping books (and could really use your support). or you can look up your nearest indie on indiebound.

Also putting in a plug for reading some graphic novels for kids together - the Hilda series, the Ariol series, This Was Our Pact, the newly released Baloney and Friends are all great for kids.
posted by Geameade at 7:26 AM on April 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Geronimo Stilton and Thea Stilton books sound like they'd fit the bill!
posted by yawper at 9:02 AM on April 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: It turns out we have a copy of Winnie-the-Pooh, which I did not realize has any illustrations. So we did Chapter 1 today for pre-nap and it worked great. So thank you, Restart! These other suggestions look great, I was not really aware of any of them before, and I will be referring back to this thread for future material frequently. Thank you all!
posted by skewed at 11:24 AM on April 17, 2020

Disney 5-minute stories have pictures on every page and are short enough to read several stories without using all of your time. Anything by Arnold Lobel is amazing.
posted by metasunday at 8:09 AM on April 18, 2020

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