10 Witchy Picture Books for Kids
It's Children's Picture Book Day, and while I don't have any children of my own (unless you count my nearly two-year-old feline who is definitely a Big Baby), I do have a mess of nieces and nephews and a childlike sense of enthusiasm.
Like many readers, I developed my love of reading at an early age, starting with picture books. The vibrant pictures are a great way to get kids hooked on reading while also strengthening their vocabulary, communication skills, and creativity.
As society changes, books teach our kids about social issues and how to relate to and treat others. They also help children develop confidence and pride in the qualities that set them apart. Being the weird kid is hard, but luckily we have incredible stories to help them face these obstacles as they grow.
Here are a few magical picture books that will enchant any young reader, especially the witchy ones.
*Click the images to add books to your Goodreads!
Harry Potter: The Illustrated Edition
You probably saw this one coming, right? I know there's a lot of controversy around J. K. Rowling and her treatment of the LGBT+ community (and I do not agree with her), but Harry Potter still holds a world of value for children, just as it did for us. Kids will learn each person has their own talents and struggles, that the family you choose is as important (if not more so) than the one you're born into, that sometimes adults are full of shit and/or just plain evil, and more.
This illustrated edition introduces kids to the classic world we know and love without the overwhelm of being a massive chapter book. And what could be cooler than sharing one of your favorite fandoms with your child? #parentinggoals
Labyrinth: The ABC Storybook
'S' is for "Sarah," whose journey little ones follow as they make their way through the ABC's, meeting many strange characters along the way.
As a kid, I remember my mom showing me Labyrinth and how it started an obsession. I was gifted the VHS for my birthday one year (I believe when I was 5) and have been enchanted with it ever since. So the idea of having a kids' book I can share with future offspring is exciting to say the least.
Julia's House Moves On
I must admit, I chose this one at first because of its cover—the Howl's Moving Castle meets Baba Yaga meets Turtle Island vibe had me in insta-love. Upon doing research, my love grew deeper.
Julia lives with a ragtag family of lost creatures. Their house is restless, and they are ready to move . . . but where to? The ever-prepared Julia has an idea. But what happens when her plan fails?
Fear of failure keeps us from living a life of true fulfillment, but this little book is here to help kids understand that failure is not necessarily the end and we can always pick ourselves back up.
Happy Birthday, Moon
If there's anything witchy folks can agree on, it's that the moon is pretty rad—especially those of us who watched her on TV via Bear in the Big Blue House.
If you or your kid are a fan of La Luna, this adorable book about Bear climbing a mountain to find out the moon's birthday so he can get it a present is well worth the read.
Tap the Magic Tree
Looking to teach your little one(s) about the magic of the changing seasons? This interactive book will do just that with every turn of the page—or by tapping, jiggling, shaking, and even blowing it a kiss in some parts!—as a barren brown tree comes to life, blossoming, growing apples, letting its leaves dance in the autumn wind, and more!
While this book is highly educational for any child, it's particularly useful for kids who need a little more stimulation.
The Magical World of Strega Nona: A Treasury
The Wicked Old Witch is an archetype we're all too familiar with. But Tomie dePaola is here to show kids another side of The Crone—one that resembles a loving, feisty grandmother.
This collection introduces young readers to the world of Strega Nona with six stories, including the original first published in 1975. It also includes a map of the town Strega Nona lives in, an original lullaby accompanied by a CD and sheet music, fun recipes to try, and more. It's a truly immersive, magical experience for kids of all ages.
Once Upon a Star
If you've got a curious little or two, chances are you've been asked (or will be asked) the iconic question: where do babies come from?
Though everyone has their own spiritual or religious beliefs on where humans come from, this little book is here to help explain the scientific side of this question. With its jazzy feel and style of engagement, kids won't be bored to tears while learning about our universe. Heck, they might enjoy it!
The classic tale of The Ugly Duckling gets a nocturnal makeover in this adorable story of Stellaluna: a baby bat who is separated from her mother when an owl attacks. She manages to fall relatively safely into a bird nest and is adopted by the inhabitants.
What's more is at the end of the book, there are a couple of pages with fun facts about bats that will (hopefully) make them seem a bit less scary to young ones.
It's Okay to be a Unicorn
Everyone in the town of Hoofington knows and loves Cornelius J. Sparklesteed for his beautiful, unique handmade (or shall we say, hoofmade?) hats. But what none of them realize is that Cornelius's own special hat is hiding a big secret: Cornelius is actually a unicorn.
While Hoofington is a nice enough place, there are some who say awful things about unicorns, making Cornelius afraid to be himself. But when he is chosen to perform in the annual Hoofapalooza, Cornelius might find the courage to embrace the thing that makes him special.
The Searcher and Old Tree
After a long night of searching for food, a tired racoon wants to curl up at home, safe in the branches of Old Tree. When a dangerous storm kicks up, Racoon and Old Tree learn about the safety and security of home, and the power of unconditional love.
There you have it, folks! Have you or your little one read any of these? Do you have suggestions to add to the list? Let me know in the comments below!