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Cherish these timeless picture books for years to come

One of the misconceptions that I often notice about picture books is that one thinks they are meant for children. While it is true prima facie, I believe that timeless picture books transcend age. There are some children’s books you just can’t grow out of! 

I’ve often found myself in tears after reading a picture book that is truly moving. I have felt that some books evoke warmth. Some that make you wish you read them when you were a child, to experience their wonder at an innocent age! There are some that may just remind you of your own childhood. 

These picture books also make for great gifts since these are keepsakes that will be cherished for years and generations. Older kids and adults will also like to browse them from time to time. They are great alternatives to coffee table books for decorative purposes in the home as well. 

Here are some timeless picture books that you must invest in! 

Louis I – King of the Sheep- The fleeting nature of power 

Here is a book that presents the truth about power dynamics in a beautiful and simple way. It is sure to give a fresh and mindful perspective about power to children, as well as adults! It helps us all to know about the fleeting nature of Power! This is a tool to help us recognise that power does not last, and that power can corrupt.  

Thatha’s Pumpkin- The power of sharing 

Sharing is caring. Don’t we teach that to children? Yes, sharing is caring. But these lessons can be learnt by adults as well. A heartwarming tale of sharing food and joy, and celebrating the little things in life. Thatha’s Pumpkin appeals to all! It is a keepsake to treasure for years to come!

Darkless- Understanding depression 

Picture books are beautiful tools to help children understand and cope with all kinds of emotions. Darkless is a poignant read and clearly opens up a path to bibliotherapy for children. But it will appeal to adults as well in laying bare the fact that it is okay to experience sadness and depression, and that there will come a time when these feelings and conditions will also pass. 

Fly little Fish- A lesson in self-reliance 

We read self-help books and inspirational stuff as adults, don’t we? Here is an inspirational one for kids. What can a little fish do when every other fish thinks that her dream is impossible? Fly little Fish is a lesson in self-reliance!

The Blue Songbird- Finding your voice

The Blue Songbird tells a touching tale about finding your inner voice and enriching it with your experience…and your story. A beautiful message about individuality….

The Little Gardener- Focus on efforts

The Little Gardener brings in the notion that sometimes help can be found in the most unexpected of places. A soothing parable for children and adults. This book will encourage you to just focus on your efforts, knowing that help will surely be just around the corner.

The Truth about the Tooth- the power of faith 

How can you tell children about the power of faith? The Truth about the Tooth, a picture book published by Karadi Tales gently nudges the little reader into a world where the power of faith reveals itself to those who believe!

“Portraits of Exile”- Displacement 

The idea of home and being displaced from home is something that is difficult to explain to children. Yet, sadly, these displacements are the realities of our times. A series of three books, published by Katha and unified under the theme “Portraits of Exile” brings forth this much needed conversation. This is a tender topic, but one that every human being needs to be aware about. 

In My Heart- Adoption 

In My Heart is a beautifully illustrated and touching book on families bound by heart. Explaining the concept of adoption to a child may seem daunting. However, this book crosses the barrier and gently approaches the topic.

Town is by the Sea- History relevant today

If you were a child in a mining town in the 1950’s, the scenes in Town is by the Sea would be strikingly familiar. If not, the emotions that the book evokes will resolutely strike a chord!

Daisy Dolls- letting go 

This is a beautifully illustrated and translated Chinese folktale.  Daisy Dolls, written by Cao Wenxuan and illustrated by Zhao Lei tells the tale of Hua, a doll maker who lives in a charming little town in China. 

The Giving Tree- Unconditional giving

Now this one is a classic that shows what unconditional love really looks like. Sometimes, I wish more people really imbibed the qualities of the giving tree. Then, the world would indeed be a better place. sometimes, I wish that the ending of the book would be different, and that the tree would not be so ‘giving’ as it is! But nevertheless, it is a beautiful book that presents a slice of humanity that one should embrace. 

Sidewalk flowers- little things are big things 

Don’t children notice simple poignant things while we adults are busy going about our day? This is a wordless book, but still speaks volumes about how little things matter. 

There are many other timeless picture books that can be a part of your life. We hope to add to the list and keep it fresh and curated. Treat these as generational heirlooms and pass on the good vibes down the line! 

Dhanishta Shah

Dhanishta is a Counselling Psychologist and a freelance writer. She is the Founder of Bookedforlife.