The Cool Kids: 62 Super Cool (Uniquely Illustrated) Books for Kids

By Brittni • posted on 08/19/2023

Floating shelves with kids book and toys

It took a little while, but I’ve finally built up a solid collection of books for Hayes. There are a handful of books from my childhood (literally, my mom saved some of them for me) and a whole bunch of new ones filling up his shelves.

So, I thought I’d share my absolute favorites because it took me a while to find books with cool illustrations and interesting or creative messages.

Bonus – To make it super easy, every book in this roundup is available on Amazon!

Kids Books with Cool Illustrations

There are a handful of classics in the mix, like The Giving Tree and The Snowy Day, but most of the books on this list are new(ish) because I figured you already know all the classics and don’t need my help to find those.

Some of my absolute favorites include: Captain Starfish, Issun Boshi, This Is Not My Hat, and Henri’s Walk to Paris.

I also really love The Blue Whale, but Hayes is kinda young for it currently (it’s long and filled with facts about blue whales).

And if I was going to literally judge a book by it’s cover, I think I’d go with Frankfurt. But all the books below are great.

You really can’t go wrong. 

My Picks for Kids Books and Baby Board Books in my Amazon Shop

P.S. I also learned somewhere along the way that books are one of the best gifts to give for baby showers, kid’s birthdays, etc. 

I’ve given some of the books on this list as gifts to family and friends and have received so many compliments (more than any other type of gift – toys, clothes, etc).

So maybe you will too.

What were your favorite books growing up? And what new books have you found (and loved) for your little one?

15 comments | Click here to reply

Enjoyed this. And may I humbly suggest…

My children’s book, The Amazing Animal Alphabet of Twenty-Six Tongue Twisters published by Pomegranate:

Robert Pizzo

One more article about Gyo Fujikawa:


So glad to see A Snowy Day on this list! The illustrations are amazing!

I also highly recommend Gyo Fujikawa’s Mother Goose. As a kid, I would just stare at the drawings in the books. The children were so dreamy – and really nice diverse representation.


So many good books you have!


So many good ones I love and so many new ones to check out! Jon Klassen is one of my favorites ever. Thank you! I also really love You Belong Here. And Wendell the Narwhal. And Have You Heard the Nesting Bird. And so many others! I share lots of my book finds on my site if you are every looking for new books 😉


I use a plugin for the products Deborah, so you can individual click each image of a book to go to that exact Amazon link. So it may take a few seconds to load once you scroll down. For most people it loads right away, but sometimes it can be a tiny bit slower. Do you see them now?


Where are “the images below?” I see nothing but comments.

Deborah Burgess

Hi Kara.The shelves are from Ikea. Here’s the link:


But where did those shelves come from?


Hi Claire! Looked up this book after reading your comment and I recognize the cover! Saw it at the book store the other day, but didn’t;t get a chance to look inside. I’ll have to grab it next time I go.


Nina Laden’s “If I had a dream” is one of my favorites to gift. Such great illustrations and the last page always makes me tear up, it’s so sweet!

Claire Mandrycky

Hi Cheryl! I’d love to include some Australian authors. Do you have any suggestions? Let me know!


What a shame that you have no books by Australian authors listed. There are a wealth of Australian published books and you are missing out on them.

Cheryl Keane

Hi Anne. It’s from Moon Picnic. Here’s the link:


I’m curious about that round face on the lower shelf…apparently it’s not a book…can you tell us more?

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