Beyond the Basics: Favorite Concept Books

favorite concept books

Concept books are great teaching tools. They are an easy way to introduce important concepts to young children. Key concepts to cover are body parts, animals and their sounds, colors, shapes, opposites, numbers, letters, and emotions. Did I forget any? Of course it is important for children to experience these concepts in a more hands on way, through play and everyday interactions with parents. But good concept books can be helpful tools for parents, become favorites, and help develop a child’s love for books!

Even though my kids are eight and six we still enjoy concept books here and there and I think it’s wonderful that you can get concept books that cover a wider range of categories that appeal to a wider age range.

Here are some our our favorites… 

First is THE BOOK WITH A HOLE by Herve Tullet author/illustrator of PRESS HERE. This is an over-sized book where the same die-cut hole inspires a variety of creative uses on each page. My kids practically wore this one out they had so much fun with it! Check out this picture I shared on Facebook.

Next is HOW TO written and illustrated by Julie Morstad. The best way to describe this book is to give you an example. On the page for how to “see the breeze” there is an illustration of a kite. It is just a beautiful book. I think it perfectly expresses both an innocent and empowered childhood.

THE QUIET BOOK written by Debra Underwood and illustrated by Renata Liwska is the first in a series which also includes THE LOUD BOOK. Each page describes a different reason you might need to be or want to be quiet illustrated with a variety of soft, sincere animals. This book is like therapy. Having a tough time settling everyone down? Read this!

HIDE AND SEEK is a nice little board book by Taro Gomi, the author/illustrator of EVERYONE POOPS (also excellent). This book is like a “my first I spy”. Your task is find an everyday object on each page hidden as part of an animal. It is very clever and simple, not overwhelming.

And finally JUST HOW LONG CAN A STRING BE?! written and illustrated by Keith Baker. This book is the closest thing I have seen to an introduction to design thinking. An ant sees a ball of string and asks a bird how long a string can be. The bird precedes to answer his question with a series of examples. I like how this book flows as a story and is connected by a string that continues on each page. It also rhymes which is fun for reading out loud. This book is near perfection!

We also really love THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT, BEAUTIFUL OOPS! and FIRST THE EGG also concept books review here, here, and here receptively.

What are some of your favorite concept books? Please share!


I'm a practical mom inspired by nature & I enjoy sharing ideas that encourage kids' innate curiosity & creativity. Interested in subscribing? Check out the blue box at the top of my sidebar. I'm also a wannabe author/illustrator & product designer by day. Let's connect! If you purchase through my Amazon links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you (thanks for supporting Doodles and Jots)! And remember to always credit your source here & elsewhere on the internet.


  1. We have a great book full of opposites that my kids adore, as well as a favourite book of math concepts that deals with everything from counting to division, all in a kid-friendly way (for instance, division has to do with sharing piles of presents and slices of pizza).

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