Picture Books You Can (and Should!) Give to Adults

If I added up all the time I’ve spent in the greeting card aisle at the grocery store, it would add up to a lot of time.

Why? Because it is HARD to find the perfect card. Sometimes they’re too sappy. Sometimes they’re too flippant. Sometimes I love the artwork and the message, but then I turn it over and see that the card is $10.00. 

This past Mother’s Day, instead of getting my mom a card, I gave her a picture book as one of her gifts and wrote a message inside—just like I would in a greeting card. The book, What Do You Do With an Idea, said everything I could ever want to say to my mom about her ingenuity, persistence and ambition. It was, truly, the perfect gift. 

Picture Book Gift

There are a number of incredible picture books out there that not only appeal to young readers, but are also meaningful to adults. I’ve compiled my favorite 10 picture books below, but I would love to grow this list! Leave a comment below if there’s another picture book you love to give to adults.   

Top 10 Picture Books to Give to Adults

1. I Love You More, by Laura Duksta

I bought this beautiful flip-sided book for my kids, but its sweet story about a Mother’s love for her son and her son’s love for her is a perfect gift for mothers or children of any age, whether they’re still in diapers, going off to college, or having children of their own. 

2. I Wish You Moreby Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld

Are wedding bells about to ring for anyone you know? Instead of writing “Best Wishes” inside a greeting card, give them an entire book of wishes for life’s most treasured gifts.

3. We’re All Wonders, by R.J. Palacio

Sometimes friends need reminding that they are uniquely amazing. I have yet to find a greeting card that offers this reminder as well as this book does.

4. Sometimes You Fly, by Katherine Applegate

It’s best to give a packet of tissues with this book. It’s that powerful. The first time I read it was when I was volunteering at a book fair at my daughter’s school, and I wished I’d had some tissues nearby! The story takes you through the ups and downs, successes and failures of toddlerhood through graduation. A double bonus for me… this book is by the same woman who wrote The One and Only Ivan, which I adored. (Read my review here).

5. Dream You’ll Be, by Joseph T. Garcia

For those embarking on a new adventure or career, Dream You’ll Be encourages readers to imagine what they could become. This book is a wonderful graduation gift.

6. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! By Dr. Seuss 

Dr. Seuss puts the “fun” in this fundamental message: Strive for success through life’s ups and downs.

7. Dear Girl, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Paris Rosenthal

Know any women who need a self-esteem boost? Celebrate their awesomeness with this book, which will remind them that they are perfect exactly how they are.

8. The Word Collector, by Peter H. Reynolds

Any word nerd will adore this book, which follows a young boy as he discovers the magic and power of words. 

9. What Do You Do With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada

What do you give to the person in your life who has inspired you with their ingenuity and ambition? (Hint: this is the book I gave my mom for Mother’s Day!)

10. The Wonderful Things You Will Beby Emily Winfield Martin

When you give this book to your child, you might as well wrap it in tissues, because you’re probably going to need them. The Wonderful Things You Will Be captures the awe, pride and love parents feel when they look at their children and imagine what amazing people they will become. This one is perfect for graduations, new careers and birthdays.

Thanks for stopping by!

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"Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic."

Albus Dumbledore (J. K. Rowling)


Albus Dumbledore (J. K. Rowling)

"Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic."
"If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it."

Toni Morrison


Toni Morrison

"If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it."
“To write is human, to edit is divine.”

Stephen King


Stephen King

“To write is human, to edit is divine.”