Are you doing opposite activities with your preschooler? Be sure to read some picture books from this list of books about opposites!
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We love creating lists of our favorite children’s books! In fact, we’ve shared hundreds of our favorites in our letter of the week book lists. And you’ll find even more book lists in our collection of themed book lists.
It’s time for another list! These books about opposites are perfect to read alongside the activities in our opposites pack.
25 books about opposites
Maisy Big, Maisy Small, by Lucy Cousins
These days my preschooler will listen to books for as long as I have time to read them (and then beg for more). But once upon a time, it was hard to get him to sit still for them. This was one of the first he’d listen to from beginning to end – and would then page through it himself afterward. The giant, bold pictures and simple opposites are just right for young kids. Older children will enjoy it too.
Hippoposites, by Janik Coat
A few years ago, I found this book in the new books section of our library, and I fell in love with it. The author is a graphic designer and in this, her first book, she teaches opposites with an endearing hippo graphic. Even though this is a board book, it was a hit with my preschooler. It has both simple opposite pairs (large/small) and complex ones (opaque/ translucent). If you’d like to see sample pages, click here.
A Look at Roadside Opposites, by Kellen Hatanaka
As a child we took many road trips in our wood-paneled station wagon, so I loved this vintage-style book about opposites you’d find on a road trip. The illustrations are truly stunning.
The Hueys in What’s the Opposite?, by Oliver Jeffers
The Hueys are quirky, bean-shaped creatures in a number of books by Oliver Jeffers. My favorite part of this book is that it’s written in a conversational style, inviting children to name the opposites along with the character in the book.
Dogs, by Emily Gravett
Gravett’s pencil and watercolor illustrations are always stunning, but they’re especially so in this beautiful book about dogs of every type. Hairy and bald, slow and fast, shabby and chic – kids will love all the dogs they meet in this simple but engaging book. (Even if they, like me, are not fans of the dogs they meet in real life.)
Big Bear, Small Mouse, by Karma Wilson & Jane Chapman
From the author-illustrator team that brought us Bear Snores On, this is a fun introduction to opposites. It’s my favorite on this list because it’s a delightful rhyming book that also tells a story – all while teaching about opposites. Highly recommended!
Mouse hops onto Bear.
He is careful not to fall.
Bear is big, big, big!
Mouse is small, small, small!
Curious George’s Opposites, illustrated by H. A. Rey
Even though this is a simple board book, my Four was very interested because he’s a huge fan of curious George in any format. If you have another fan of the famous little monkey, grab this one from your library too.
The Foot Book, by Dr. Seuss
I don’t usually think about this classic as an opposite book, but it certainly qualifies. Left foot, right foot, wet foot, dry foot… why had I never noticed it before? In classic Seuss-style, you’ll find a collection of short and funny stories told in a catchy rhyme.
What’s Up, Duck? A Book of Opposites, by Tad Hills
This is a sweet, simple book that bored my Four but was a favorite of my Two.
Opposites, by Sandra Boynton
I don’t think anyone can ever outgrow Boynton’s hilarious board books. All of us enjoyed this simple opposite book with its irresistible illustrations.
Big is Big (and Little, Little), by J. Patrick Lewis
While the repetitive nature of this book (hot is hot and cold is cold) kind of got on my nerves, it’s a clever book with bold illustrations. While I wouldn’t need to own this one, it’s worth checking out at your library.
Yummy Yucky, by Leslie Patricelli
This is a bright board book that even older children will enjoy as they learn what the baby eats. “Spaghetti is yummy. Worms are yucky. Sandwiches are yummy. Sand is yucky.” With a baby in the house who puts everything into his mouth, this made us laugh extra hard.
Big Little, by Leslie Patricelli
Here’s another little gem by Patricelli – a funny board book about the world’s big and little things, from a toddler’s perspective.
Big Dog, Little Dog, by P. D. Eastman
This a fun vintage (1973) book about two dogs, Ted, and Fred. One is big, one is little, and the two dogs have opposite preferences for just about everything… but they are still good friends. This is an especially good book if you have a beginning reader at home.
Big Bear, Little Chair, by Lizi Boyd
This picture book is so exceptional that I hardly know where to start – so I’ll let Amazon do so for me. “Using her inimitable style to expand upon a familiar concept, Boyd has created a compendium of unexpected opposites.” This breathtaking, simple book has a fun new comparison on every page.
Marta! Big and Small, by Jen Arena
This lovely story offers a brilliant way to introduce Spanish vocabulary as children learn about Marta and how she compares to animals. To a lion, Marta is traquila. (Quiet, very quiet.) To a rabbit, Mart is ruidosa. (Loud, very loud.)
Is it Big or Is it Little? by Claudia Rueda
In this simple black and white book with orange accent, a little mouse is followed by a cat. The story is nothing spectacular, but it’s a cute and simple introduction to opposites.
Olivia’s Opposites, by Ian Falconer
Fans of Olivia will enjoy this simple board book of opposites.
Dinosaurs Roar! by Paul and Henriett Stickland
With fabulous illustrations and simple text, This book is a must for dinosaur lovers, Dinosaur fast, dinosaur slow. Dinosaur above, and dinosaur below. Since the book rhymes, it’s easy for your child to fill in the opposites as you read.
A Garden of Opposites, by Nancy Davis
This simple, appealing book with bright illustrations is great for young listeners.
Eric Carle’s Opposites, by Eric Carle
This book was a favorite with both my Two and Four because of the flaps that flip up. I tend to return lift-the-flap books to the library rather quickly (they don’t fare well at our house), but this book has sturdy flaps that eased my worries. I like that children can guess the opposite before lifting the flap; my Four resisted doing this with other books, but happily guessed each opposite before I lifted the flap.
You and Me: We’re Opposites, by Harriet Ziefert
This is a cute book about animals who compare themselves to each other in speech bubbles. “I’m nice. You’re grouchy,” (says a flamingo to a gorilla). “I’m up, you’re down,” (says a toucan to an anteater).
Dot, by Patricia Intriago
Don’t let this book’s simple cover deceive you, as it turned out to be one of our favorites.
At first my Four was sure this book would be boring, but the illustrator quickly drew him in. Is it really possible to make a dot loud and quiet, hard and soft, even yummy and not so tasty? Pick up this brilliant book at your library and see how Intriago did it.
You Are Not Small, by Anna Kang
While this book doesn’t teach opposites as directly as some of the other books in this list, it’s definitely a favorite. Two creatures can’t agree on who is tall and who is big, until some surprise guests drop in and settle the issue. I’m in love with the bright, expressive drawings and the simple text. Highly recommended!
We absolutely adore this clever book about a rabbit and rat going on a picnic. Good news! They’re going on a picnic. Bad news! It’s raining. Good news! They can go in this cave to stay dry. Bad news! A bear is already in it!
You get the idea.
Right after we finished, my Four wanted me to read it again. (That’s his version of a five-star review.)
Did you find some new books to get at your library?
Be sure to check out our opposites pack too!
Even more book lists!
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