Chapter Books with Pictures

By Skokie Staff Youth Services

Chapter books with pictures allow readers to experience books on multiple levels. Great tools for encouraging new readers, pictures can tell their own story. They can also deepen the reader's understanding of the narrative.

  • Home Sweet Motel

    2016 by Grabenstein, Chris

    I love how this book doesn’t really fit one genre. It is really, really funny, but it's also a mystery. The cartoon-like illustrations add to the fun and make this a fast read. Suggested by Gudrun.

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  • Jake the Fake Keeps It Real

    2017 by Robinson, Craig

    There are plenty of laughs to be found within the text of this great book, but the pictures--usually doodles from Jake’s imagination--are where the jokes are really found. This is a light-hearted, laugh-filled story that’s perfect for anyone who’s ever doubted themself or felt like a big fake. Suggested by Caitlin.

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  • Mr. Penguin and the Lost Treasure

    2019 by Smith, Alex T.

    I love the off-the-wall humor in this book, as well as the illustrations. This is a super silly, super fun adventure story that's sure to be a hit. Be sure to check out the rest of the series. Suggested by Caitlin.

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  • Stick Dog

    2013 by Watson, Tom

    Who says pictures have to be complicated to get their point across? These hilarious and inviting scribbles usher kids in and let them know that they're in good company. They'll want to stick around for the whole series. Suggested by Caitlin.

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  • Ben Yokoyama and the Cookie of Doom

    2021 by Swanson, Matthew

    The pictures in this book interact with the words in surprising and delightful ways. Are you reading the pictures? Looking at the words? You will love this delicious book--the first in the Cookie Chronicles series. Suggested by Gudrun.

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  • Thornhill

    2017 by Smy, Pam

    The artwork in Thornhill is moody, dark, and tells a story of its own, allowing readers to visually immerse themselves in the twisty story. Part mystery, part ghost story, all the creepy dolls--you will not be able to put this gloomy masterpiece down. Suggested by Caitlin.

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  • The Invention of Hugo Cabret: A Novel in Words and Pictures

    2007 by Selznick, Brian

    The illustrations in this book are not an addendum to the story--they are the story. Details that would often fill up paragraphs with words are made in pictures with equal depth and precision but, arguably, more emotion. The cinematic quality of the illustrations is breathtaking. It also makes a great read-aloud. Suggested by Katie.

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  • Pie in the Sky

    2019 by Lai, Remy

    I love books that make me laugh and cry, and this one managed that in the first few pages. Lai's wonderful pictures work with the text to enhance the story. You won't be able to put it down. Suggested by Gudrun.

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  • TBH, This Is SO Awkward: A Novel in Text

    2018 by Greenwald, Lisa

    This is a different take on illustrations, but the visual qualities that draw kids into pictures translate very well to decoding texts, emojis, and notes passed in class. Great for reluctant readers, or kids who want something light and easy to enjoy. I highly recommend the whole TBH series. Suggested by Katie.

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  • Word Travelers and the Taj Mahal Mystery

    2021 by Haldar, Raj

    Here is a fun, fast-paced, mysterious adventure where knowing the origin of words helps find the clues and ultimately the treasure. Lots of picture clues and an engaging story make this a perfect choice for developing more confident readers. Suggested by Gudrun.

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  • Fortunately, the Milk

    2013 by Gaiman, Neil

    Told like a great bedtime story, this book has illustrations that add to the wacky dream-like quality and provide details that help flesh out the story. A great buffer from easier chapter books to stories with more complicated plot lines. It makes for a great read-aloud. Suggested by Katie.

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  • The 13-Story Treehouse

    2013 by Griffiths, Andy

    This book has a great sense of humor and tons of pictures, and thinking about all the different things that can go into that wild treehouse sparks the imagination and inspires creativity. This series is funny and accessible, and the pictures work in different ways to really show kids that these books are for them. Suggested by Caitlin.

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