Top 5 “Old School” Classic Picture Books to read & enjoy this summer

Top 5 “Old School” Classic Picture Books…


As a retired English Teacher/Reading Specialist, I didn’t leave behind my love of teaching and enjoying books when I closed my classroom door for the last time.

Now, as a Grandma of 11 (ages 3 months – 13 years), I still treasure sharing my love of books and bringing along my grandkids on great, fun, learning journeys at the turn of each page.

Summer is a wonderful time to embrace the world of books with your kids, not only as a way to develop a love of reading, but to give a head start and continuously improve important reading skills and comprehension. Grab a little patch of grass, a little shade and begin the adventures!

Here are my “Top 5” Old School Classic Picture Book Picks to read and enjoy over and over again:

1. The Story About Ping ~ Marjorie Flack & Kurt Wiese1933: Ping, a spirited and adventurous duck, lives on a boat on the Yangtze River. He loves his very large family and his life on the riverboat, but doesn’t enjoy being last in line to cross over the bridge to the boat each evening, for that duck gets an unlucky little spank on the back. One night, Ping decides to avoid the little spank by hiding in the tall grass; and so begins Ping’s adventure on the fascinating life of the Yangtze River.

2. The Story of Ferdinand ~ Munro Leaf 1936: Ferdinand, a peaceful little bull, lives in Spain. He loves to sit under a cork tree and smell the lovely flowers while the other young bulls run and play and butt each others’ horns. One day, 5 men come to town to pick a bull to fight in the bull fights in Madrid. Ferdinand is their guy; and so begins Ferdinand’s adventure to becoming a great, fierce bull – or not!

3. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel ~ Virginia Lee Burton1939: Mike Mulligan and his beloved steam shovel named Mary Anne can “dig as much in a day as a hundred men could dig in a week”; deep canals, mountain passes, highway passages, airport landing fields, deep cellars for skyscrapers. People always stop to watch Mike and Mary Anne, which makes them dig faster and even happier to do so. But with the invention of motor, electric, gasoline and diesel shovels, Mike and Mary Anne see their world of steam disappearing to junk heaps; until one day, when the little town of Popperville needs a cellar dug for the new Town Hall, and a new adventure begins for Mike and Mary Anne.

4. One Morning in Maine ~ Robert McCloskey1952: When Sal wakes up on the very special day of heading to Buck’s Harbor with her Dad, all is well until she discovers with a bit of fright that she has a loose tooth. Sal’s mother explains that this is all about becoming a “big girl.”  The day’s great adventures then revolve around that very loose tooth and recognizing the great responsibility (and fun) of being so grown up.


5. Runaway Bunny ~ Margaret Wise Brown & Clement Hurd1942: The little bunny wants to run away, and even says so to his mother. The mother bunny lovingly answers, “I will run after you. For you are my little bunny.” So begins the little bunny imaginings – becoming a fisherman, a mountain climber, a crocus, a bird, and so much more… with the mother bunny’s clever, tender responses to how she will find him, every single time.

Enjoy these delightful picture books, just as kids have for many generations!

About Audrey

Audrey McClelland has been a digital influencer since 2005. She’s a mom of 5 and shares tips on her three favorite things: parenting, fashion and beauty. She’s also a Contemporary Romance Author.

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