25 Recommended Picture Books for Online Storytimes

When presenting storytime online, it’s best to choose picture books that have large, clear illustrations. Here are 25 of my favorites. Many of the authors and illustrators below have multiple books that would work well for online storytimes, but I only included one on the list as an exemplar. Look for other books by these authors and illustrators to round out your online storytime collection.


Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

From Head to Toe by Eric Carle

Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry and Vashti Harrison


Peek-a-Moo by Maria Torres Cimarusti and Stephanie Peterson

Maisy Makes Lemonade by Lucy Cousins

Lunch by Denise Fleming


Peep and Egg: I’m Not Hatching by Laura Gehl and Joyce Wan

Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes

Sleepyheads by Sandra J. Howatt and Joyce Wan


I Just Want to Say Good Night by Rachel Isadora

Counting Kisses by Karen Katz

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen


Baby Faces by Margaret Miller

I Kissed the Baby by Mary Murphy

Blankie by Leslie Patricelli



How to Potty Train a Dinosaur by Alycia Pace

Whose Hands Are These?: A Community Helper Guessing Book by Miranda Paul and Luciana Navarro Powell

Not a Box by Antoinette Portis


Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea

She Leads: The Elephant Matriarch by June Smalls and Yumi Shimokawara

Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle and Jill McElmurry


Mouse’s First Summer by Lauren Thompson and Buket Erdogan

Round is a Mooncake: A Book of Shapes by Roseanne Thong and Grace Lin


Little You by Richard Van Camp and Julie Flett

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems


May 5 and 12: Live Online Storytimes in ASL and Spoken English!

Nita’s Day: More Signs for Babies and Parents publishes May 12, so to celebrate I am offering 4 live storytime events for the whole family! 

Facebook Live Nita’s First Signs Storytimes:


Facebook Live Nita’s Day Launch Day Celebration Storytimes:


And check out all these upcoming webinars! (Click on the graphics for more information.)



Preorder NITA’S DAY and THE RUNAWAY SHIRT at 20% Off!

The Runaway Shirt is a silly, sweet picture book story of mother-child bonding, brought to life with gorgeous illustrations by Julia Castaño. It comes out September 1 from Familius Press, and is distributed by Workman. AND you can preorder it now – along with Nita’s Day’s: More Signs For Babies and Parents – from Workman for 20% off when you use the coupon code BOOKS!

Preorder Nita’s Day’s: More Signs For Babies and Parents

Preorder The Runaway Shirt


Getting Started Signing with Your Young Child

There are so many benefits to signing with all young children! But how do you start without overwhelming yourself? In this video, I offer some tips to begin:

Getting Started Signing With Your Child


NITA’S DAY: MORE SIGNS FOR BABIES AND PARENTS comes out May 12, 2020 from Familius Press! Preorder now at Workman.com and get 20% off when you use promo code BOOKS!


Little Hands Signing Online: FREE storytime tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 21 at 10 AM Eastern – join me on Facebook Live for Little Hands Signing storytime from Carroll County Public Library! Celebrate spring with stories, rhymes, songs, and signs for the whole family!


And check out all these upcoming webinars! (Click on the graphics for more information.)




Why Sign With Babies and Toddlers?

There are so many reasons, but the most important one is: it just makes life easier for you and your child! Let me break it down for you:

NITA’S DAY: MORE SIGNS FOR BABIES AND PARENTS comes out May 12, 2020 from Familius Press! Preorder now at Workman.com and get 20% off when you use promo code BOOKS!


Register for the Little Hands Signing Professional Development Storytimes series!

Perfect for the librarian or teacher stuck at home trying to juggle professional development with childcare! It’s continuing education you can share with your child!

Little Hands Signing Professional Development Storytimes

Join us for weekly interactive “annotated storytimes” that teaches basic American Sign Language vocabulary and demonstrate how to use the signs in storytime activities. Each session will focus on specific vocabulary:

  • April 29, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: First Signs
  • May 6, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Feelings Signs
  • May 13, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Colors Signs
  • May 20, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Animal Signs
  • May 27, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Family Signs

Children of participants are welcome to join for the first 40 minutes. The final 20 minutes will consist of lecture and Q&A. Presenter Kathy MacMillan is a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter, librarian, and storyteller. She is the author of the Little Hands Signing series from Familius Press, as well as Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together (Huron Street Press) as well as many other resources books for librarians and educators. Certificate of completion for each webinar available upon request with successful completion of post-test.

$50 per person per webinar. $200 for 5-webinar series. Group rates available.

Add-ons available:

  • 30-minute one-on-one coaching session: $30. A one-on-one Zoom session with Kathy MacMillan to receive individualized feedback on your planned signing materials for storytime or the classroom – planned around your schedule! Includes recording access. Must be used within 6 months of purchase.
  • Individualized video feedback: $20.Submit a video (up to 10 min) demonstrating your planned signing activities for storytime and receive individualized feedback on sign choices, production, and more from Kathy MacMillan via return video within 14 days. Must be used within 6 months of purchase.

Webinars are presented in spoken English. To request accommodations, contact info@storiesbyhand.com.

Register now!

Individual webinars:

Register now for Creating Outstanding Online Storytimes Webinar

Creating Outstanding Online Storytimes Workshop

A 90-minute workshop, Friday, May 1, 2020, 10:00am Eastern/9:00 Central/8:00 Mountain/7:00 Pacific

$60 per person; discounts available for ALA Members and groups

With many libraries currently closed to the public, library staff are turning to online storytimes as a way to provide quality programming for young patrons.

Join veteran storyteller Kathy MacMillan to explore the fundamental differences between online and in-person storytimes and best practices to bring early literacy programming into an online environment. Learn how to plan video-friendly programs, how to keep your programming interactive even when you don’t have live feedback from storytime attendees, and how to manage external stresses such as technological glitches and internal stresses such as camera fright.

After participating in this event, you will:

  • Understand the fundamental differences in approach to online and in-person storytimes
  • Have at least three concrete strategies for making online storytimes interactive
  • Be able to implement strategies for dealing with external and internal stresses

Register now!