Best Picture and Early Reader Books for Growing in Faith

By Jessica Wolstenholm

Book Lists have become my hobby. I mean, of course I like to read. But collecting books to read is almost more fun. It doesn’t matter if it’s a list of classics, best-sellers, picture books, middle grade or YA, I want to see what the best-of-the-best are out there!

So, I thought I’d compile my own best-of-the-best Picture or Early Reader Books. Here are my rules for this list:

  • Deliberate Christian content
  • Super cute illustrations
  • Fun or un-put-downable
  • Not a Bible or Devotional Book (I love Bible stories, but that’s another whole list!)

Ready? Here we go:

When God Created My Toes by Dandi Daley Mackall // I’ve probably read this book 400 times. It’s a simple poem of a little girl wondering what God did when He created her.

I love the wondering that happens–I think it’s important for kids to not cut-and-paste their beliefs about God, but to really think and even wonder about it personally. Plus, the modern illustrations are top-notch.

Mrs. Rosey Posey and the Fine China Plate by Robin Jones Gunn // This is one of my all-time favorites because it’s an actual event that happened to the author.

A little girl, miffed that her parents won’t let her watch a certain movie, is given a chocolate covered cherry by her neighbor, Mrs. Rosey Posey, with one choice: put the cherry on a used paper plate or a fine china plate? She choses the fine china plate and learns the lesson of being set apart for God.

The Big Red Tractor and the Little Village by Francis Chan // My husband always reaches for this one when it’s his turn to read a bedtime story.

It’s the tale of a little town who use a tractor to farm without the manual, never even turning the tractor on. One day, the farmer reads the manual and lo and behold the tractor can do so much more than they thought!

The simple, almost silly lesson on using the Bible to direct our lives is told in such a great way that you and your kids will be enthralled.

Mortimer’s Garden by Karma Wilson // Little Mortimer the mouse hears about planting seeds and discovers how miracles take patience.

Wilson so perfectly captures the hard waiting; the cultivating and relief of a miracle. This one is a great Winter-to-Spring book, too.

The One O’Clock Miracle by Allison Mitchell // OK, maybe I cheated a bit on this one because it is a Bible story. But, it’s not a very common Bible story and it’s told in such a superb, specific way that I had to include it.

A dad travels for many miles on foot to ask Jesus to heal his son. When Jesus sends him home with just a word that his son is healed, the man has to continue to trust Jesus’ words even though he can’t see the result. This one will be a lesson to moms and dads, too. I love it.


Picture books are something special. They capture the attention of kids and grown-ups alike and deliver messages that sometimes go beyond the text. Jesus knew all about stories – it’s why He spoke in parables. I pray these stories will lead you and your kids in knowing Him better!


Looking for more ways to help your kids grow in their faith?  Check out our Bible + Faith section for resources, ideas, and more!