Best Picture Books From The 80s & 90s

Over the last several years, my mom has gifted me some of the books that I loved reading as a child. It's been so fun to sit and read some of those books with my kids, and remember some of the other ones from my childhood that I don't currently have, but would love to add back into my life. I know that there are so many new and exciting books out there, but there is nothing like reading through some of the best books from the 80s and 90s and reliving your childhood through your children. 

When making my top list of books from the 80s and 90s I tried to pick ones that you could still purchase today. I tried to link to all of them the best I can, but if one of them happens to be $200 on Amazon, do some more due diligence and look on ebay or another site to find it cheaper. 


Just Go To Bed: When I was searching for books on Google to trigger some memories, this one popped up and made me laugh. I remember having this on my bookshelf, but don't exactly remember the story. I feel like with the lack of sleep we get from Em though, we need this book. 

The Poky Little Puppy: I didn't read this book growing up, but it is from that era. Derek's sister bought a big book that had a bunch of Poky Little Puppy stories in it for the Grandkids at Derek's mom's house, and Jay found it and fell in love. She bought Jay this one for his birthday, and it quickly became a family favorite. 

Corduroy: This was not my bread and butter growing up, but reading it to my kids as a mother, grab the tissues. I was not prepared for the emotions that this book could bring out. A rejected broken teddy bear in department store, who gets homed by a little girl... and then the last line is, "You must be a friend, I've always wanted a friend." I'm not crying, you're crying. 

Lily's Purple Plastic Purse: I bought this book at the book fair in 3rd grade and was OBSESSED. I think I read it about a million times. The same copy is still sitting on my bookshelf. 

Popcorn: This was a book that was always kept at my grandma's house. I don't remember the plot that much, but I remember my grandma making popcorn in a pot on the stove almost every time we read it. 

Sherlock Chick's First Case: I have a feeling that the Sherlock Chick books may not be wildly popular by anyone but me, but we had two of these books (currently one of them is still living on my shelf) and it's just such a fun story. This one is about Sherlock Chick hatching and going through the entire farm to find out who took the corn from the chicken yard. It's so much fun to read! 

Sherlock Chick and the Peek A Boo Mystery: Again, all the love for Sherlock Chick. 

Snow Lion: Has ANYONE else read this book? Another one of my favorites growing up that we read to our kids all the time. Lion lives in the jungle during the hot summer and goes looking for snow. He eventually finds it but it takes ages for him to convince his jungle friends to go with him. So fun and cute! 

There's a Cow in The Road: "There's a cow in the road and it sure is a shock when I first wake up at seven o' clock." This fun farm life book takes you through a little girl getting ready for school and all her farm yard friends that she encounters along the way. I loved it then and I love it now!

Dinner at the Panda Palace: Stop what you're doing, and go order this book right now. I love it so much. Mr Panda owns the panda palace where animals from far and wide come for dinner each night. When the restaurant is full and a little mouse comes walking in looking for a spot, does Mr Panda turn him away? You'll have to read the book to find out. 

Danny and the Dinosaur: This was one of Derek's favorites growing up and then we were gifted it by my friend Haley when Jay was two, and it's been a household favorite ever since! 

Milk and Cookies: Written by the same author of Popcorn, and another book kept only at my grandma's house, I'm pretty sure this was our bedtime story for five years straight. 

What books do you remember from your childhood that you still read with your kids? I'd love to hear in the comments below! 

1 comment

  1. A really cool thing about Primary Children's Hospital is they have a school room.
    If you ever stay inpatient you can go pick up a book and they encourage you to keep it.

    I have found so many books from my childhood while we've been there! Little Critters, Amelia Bedelia, Jimmy's Boa, etc. I love re-reading these from my childhood with my kids!

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