We’re all on board with reading picture books to our younger kids, but that has to stop at some point, right?

Ohhhhhh no. No, it does not.

What do our kids stand to gain… and how on earth can we read picture books with older kids and teens? A lot.

Here at RAR, we’re always saying that there is nothing a novel can give your kids that a picture book can’t. Honestly, a picture book might just be able to do it better, with an art gallery to match.

In this episode, we’re breaking down how to get big kids and teens on board with reading picture books, what they can gain from them, and we’re also sharing some book ideas we think they’ll love.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • No such thing as reading levels for picture books – and what this means for you
  • Strategies for inviting teens into exploring picture books
  • Recommendations for big kids and teens (📚)




3:12Why read picture books with older kids and teens?
4:45Overcoming resistance… what if my teen just isn’t into it?
8:47Our teens don’t have to love everything we do (womp)
9:23Sarah spontaneously recites Emily Dickinson. 🤷🏼‍♀️ Of course she does.
12:05Our kids are already very familiar with the short story form
13:38Unsolved mysteries are great picture books for older kids 🔎
17:26The power of the “I wonder” question
22:42The story of the chickens that became Chanticleer and the Fox
25:25Let the Kids Speak!


“Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.”

William Butler Yeats

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

Albert Einstein

“When you pair thoughtful language with beautiful art, a third thing happens. It works on you and can activate your own creativity.”

Kortney Garrison

“Children’s fiction necessitates distillation. At its best it renders in their purest, most archetypal forms hope, hunger, joy, and fear.”

Katherine Rundell


(All links are affiliate links.)

Episode 180
The New Way Things Work
Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction
Shakepeare’s Storybook: Folk Tales that Inspired the Bard (Book & CD)
The Mary Celeste: An Unsolved Mystery from History
Roanoke: The Lost Colony–An Unsolved Mystery from History
Show Way
Leave It to Abigail!: The Revolutionary Life of Abigail Adams
Chanticleer and the Fox
Poetry for Young People: Emily Dickinson
Once Upon a Time Saints
The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read
Stories of the Saints: Bold and Inspiring Tales of Adventure, Grace, and Courage
Dictionary for a Better World: Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z
Poetry for Young People: William Shakespeare
Why You Should Read Children’s Books, Even Though You Are So Old and Wise
Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement
More Once upon a Time Saints
Around the Year Once upon a Time Saints


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