Picnic books are lots of fun to read during the summer months when eating al fresco is on the agenda. Because what goes best with a basket of food on the grass? Why, reading of course! These picture books about picnics are great for preschoolers but even bigger kids will enjoy their gentle (and sometimes wacky) humor. There's even a classic novel thrown in for good measure!
(Note: As always, I've chosen books based on my personal preference. I am an Amazon affiliate and earn from qualifying purchases.)
Danbi's Favorite Day (series) by Anna Kim. This book is the cutest! Danbi can't wait to celebrate Children's Day, and is so excited for an outdoor picnic. The arrival of a thunderstorm on the big day forces all the children inside to the family's deli. At first Danbi is disappointed but her imagination takes over and everyone has a great time.
Picnic by John Burningham. Boy and Girl get ready for a picnic. Along the way they meet up with some well-dressed animal friends. A bull crashes their idyllic scene but all is not lost. Gently humor, spare text and sweet illustrations make this a must-read picnic book for your next outing.
We're Going on a Picnic! by Pat Hutchins. Sneaky little woodland creatures manage to outwit the farmyard animals on a picnic quest, but all in the name of good fun and a few giggles. I bet any preschooler can relate to a book with mischievous characters, am I right?
Muddle and Mo's Worm Surprise (series) by Nikki Slade Robinson. A quirky pair of friends go for a picnic. Muddle the duck is preparing a "worm surprise" picnic for Mo the goat. Mo's worried. As herbivores, goats don't eat worms, but Mo doesn't want to disappoint Muddle. Not to worry, it all comes out alright in the end.
Click, Clack, Quackity-Quack: An Alphabetical Adventure (series) by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin. It takes a barnyard and an alphabet to get ready for a picnic! This is a great picnic book for preschoolers!
Ready for Anything! by Keiko Kasza. Smart picnickers come prepared! This is a funny tale in which Raccoon imagines all sorts of disastrous scenarios, but his best friend Duck is able to set his mind to rest.
Teddy Bears' Picnic Jimmy Kennedy, illustrated by Alexandra Day. There are a number of versions of this classic and nostalgic poem. I think this is one of the better illustrated ones.
The Bear's Water Picnic by John Yeoman, illustrated by Quentin Blake. Don't underestimate the usefulness of froggy friends! When things go wrong at a picnic, frogs and friends sort things out so everyone can have a good time.
A Picnic with Monet (series) by Suzanne Bober and Julie Merberg. This lovely board book tells the story of a countryside picnic through the paintings of Monet. My little guy kids loves the rhyming text.
The Most Perfect Spot by Diane Goode. Take a look to see if your library has a copy of this book. You won't be sorry to read this funny, old-fashioned tale. Every picnicker understands how important it is to find just the right spot for the picnic blanket. Goode's illustrations are perfectly charming.
The Lost Picnic by B.B. Cronin. This seek-and-find book is so cute! The story goes that granddad is taking his little folks on a picnic but along the way the food gets lost. The colorful illustrations offer much to examine and young readers will want to keep flipping back the pages to make sure they've found all the food.
MORE: Seek and Find Books
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. Even if your children are not able to sit for the whole book, you can still go for a picnic with Mole and Rat. Be sure to tote along an illustrated version so even if you are picnicking on the fire escape, kids can still stare at idyllic scenes while they listen.
My personal favorite picnic scene in literature, however, has got to be in Emma. Fancy a trip to Box Hill, anyone?
More books to read on a picnic: