Guest blog post by Shara Zaval, marketing manager
Graduation season is just around the corner! Whether you have a little one who is graduating from pre-school or kindergarten, or a bigger kid finishing middle school, high school or college, picture books are a timeless way to celebrate next steps.
Here's our round-up of picture books that encourage graduates to revel in the present, dream about the future, and let their imaginations soar!
Happy Dreamer and Happy Little Dreamer by Peter H. Reynolds
While the world tells us to sit still, to follow the rules, and to color inside the lines, Happy Dreamer celebrates all those moments in between when the mind and spirit soar and we are free to become our own true dreamer maximus! This empowering picture book and the board book edition by Peter H. Reynolds will inspire the youngest graduates to stay true to who they are, to tap into their most creative inner selves, and to never ever forget to dream big!
Be You! by Peter H. Reynolds
Also by Peter H. Reynolds, the New York Times bestselling picture book Be You! is a joyful ode to the ways that every child is unique and special. There is only one Y-O-U! This is the perfect reminder for graduates to continue to be their awesome, unique selves, in the next year and beyond.
The Little Butterfly That Could by Ross Burach
Butterfly can’t wait to find the flowers—until he realizes that they’re 200 miles away! How will he ever make it? This hilarious companion to The Very Impatient Caterpillar celebrates persistence—if at first you don’t succeed, fly, fly again! It’s a delightful way to honor kids’ hard work over the past year.
I Can Be Anything: Don’t Tell Me I Can’t by Diane Dillon
I Can Be Anything by award-winning author/illustrator Diane Dillon is dedicated to “discouraging the frightened, negative voice in our heads that keeps us from being all we can be,” and Zoe, the protagonist, does just that. She dreams of becoming an archaeologist, a veterinarian, a fire girl, an artist, and more, and she always has the perfect retort to the nagging internal voice that tells her she can’t. I Can Be Anything is a wonderful way to remind graduates to dream big and think positive.
The Three Questions by Jon J Muth
Young Niolai is searching for the answers to his three questions—When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do? But it is his own response to a stranger’s cry for help that leads him directly to the answers he is looking for. This profound and simple book about compassion and living in the moment is the perfect gift for every life-changing occasion!
Dream Big by Joyce Wan
In this dreamy oversized board book, little ones will find the courage and strength to achieve anything they want, all by dreaming big! Featuring female trailblazers throughout history—including Rosa Parks, Frida Kahlo, and Zaha Hadid—inspiring pictures, and hopeful text, Joyce Wan creates a moving send-off for graduates of all ages.
Exclamation Mark written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
In Exclamation Mark by the New York Times-bestselling team of Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld, the most enthusiastic punctuation mark struggles to fit into a world full of periods. When it meets another inquisitive young symbol, however, it learns the joy, (and exhilaration!) of being oneself. Exclamation Mark not only encourages graduates to take pride in who they are, but also to embrace the pleasure of living life to the fullest.
All Because You Matter by Tami Charles and illustrated by Bryan Collier
This New York Times bestselling picture book reminds children that they matter, that they always have mattered, and that they always will. Part love letter, part anthem, this is an empowering graduation gift that reminds kids of their agency and worth as they embark on next steps.
My Wish For You by Kathryn Hahn and illustrated by Brigette Barrager
Inspired by the everyday life lessons of raising her own six-year-old daughter, author and actress Kathryn Hahn creates a heartfelt and touching meditation on the inherent power every girl has deep inside herself. My Wish For You will remind young female graduates to be curious, strong, and vulnerable, and to live life on their own terms.