Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to opposites. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about opposites.
Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
We hope this list of kids books about opposites can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!
Illus. in full color. A baffled youngster awakens one morning to findeverything’s out of place, but no one seems to notice! Beginning readers willhave fun discovering all the wacky things wrong on each page while sharpeningtheir ability to observe, as well as to read.
Gerald is careful. Piggie is not. Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can. Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to.
Gerald and Piggie are best friends.
In I’m a Frog! Piggie has some ribbiting news! Can Gerald make the leap required to accept Piggie’s new identity?
Hog is careful. Harold is not. Harold cannot help smiling. Hog can. Hog worries so that Harold does not have to.
Harold and Hog are best friends. But can Harold and Hog’s friendship survive a game of pretending to be Elephant &amp;amp; Piggie?
Meet best friends Fred (Big Dog) and Ted (Little Dog) in P. D. Eastman’s classic Beginner Book. Though one is big and one is little, and one loves green and one loves red, these pup pals–along with their helpful acquaintance, Bird–prove that opposites can be the very best of friends. Originally created by Dr. Seuss, Beginner Books encourage children to read all by themselves, with simple words and illustrations that give clues to their meaning.
Just when you thought it was safe to read an early reader . . . SHARK! This fun Step 1 book about two sharks is a study in opposites. Big Shark has big teeth; Little Shark has little teeth. Big Shark swims fast; Little Shark swims slow. But they are both hungry! Will they each succeed in finding a tasty snack? Little Shark is hoping that he won’t become fast food for Big Shark! Step 1 Readers feature big type and easy words for children who know the alphabet and are eager to begin reading. Rhyme and rhythmic text paired with picture clues help children decode the story.
Lionel and Molly: Opposites - Introducing Lionel and Molly–two best friends exploring the world around them in this touch and feel concept board book. Lionel the lion and Molly the mouse are best friends who love exploring the world together. Join them as they discover the concept of opposites by comparing themselves to each other. Lionel is big and loud, while Molly is quiet and small.
Up Cat Down Cat - From the creator of the celebrated Black Bird Yellow Sun comes another bold and beautiful concept book, this time playing with opposites and reversals. Black cat. White cat. One is long, stretching out, and the other is short, crouching. When both perch in a window, one tail is straight, the other one curly. One has an empty plate, and the other a full one. With a mouse to entertain them, variously lost and found, they move through the day, until one cat is awake and the other asleep, but for how long? With enchanting ink illustrations full of pure color, simple shapes, and an elegant use of negative and positive space, this concept board book for the youngest of readers is a joy to behold – and as graceful as a leaping cat.
The Foot Book - A Dr. Seuss classic turns 50! Since 1968, this super-simple, simply brilliant Bright and Early Book about feet has been helping beginning beginner readers step into the world of reading by themselves! From slow feet to quick feet to trick feet to sick feet, The Foot Book not only features a fleet of funny feet, but teaches children about opposites. Perfect for nurturing a love of reading, feet (!), AND Dr. Seuss—this special edition comes with a peel-off 50th Anniversary sticker on the front cover. Combining brief and funny stories, easy words, catchy rhythm, and lively illustrations, Bright and Early Books are an ideal way to introduce the joys of reading to children.
Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend! - From the creator of The Rabbit Listened comes a gentle story about the difficulty of change . . . and the wonder that new beginnings can bring. Change and transitions are hard, but Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend! demonstrates how, when one experience ends, it opens the door for another to begin. It follows two best friends as they say goodbye to snowmen, and hello to stomping in puddles. They say goodbye to long walks, butterflies, and the sun…and hello to long evening talks, fireflies, and the stars. But the hardest goodbye of all comes when one of the friends has to move away. Feeling alone isn’t easy, and sometimes new beginnings take time. But even the hardest days come to an end, and you never know what tomorrow will bring.
Everyone knows the sun is hot. But open the flaps in this book and you may find a chilly surprise instead! Each spread of this cleverly designed board book reveals a surprising opposite that makes for a truly original way for toddlers to learn about words and concepts. Whether it be hot or cold, clean or dirty, slow or fast, this book has you covered at least until you open the flaps.”
Discover animal opposites in this playful board book by award-winning author Douglas Florian. Bears are big. Bees are small. Shrews are short. Giraffes are tall. In this fun, rhyming story by award-winning author Douglas Florian, little ones can meet pairs of animals and discover how they’re different! The pairs include bears/bees, shrews/giraffes, rhinos/tigers, turtles/snails, sloths/cheetahs, eels/tree frogs, hippos/butterflies, and ravens/doves.
Dive in and explore the wonders of the ocean and its inhabitants in this lyrical, fact-filled ode to the sea! This beautifully illustrated picture book features extensive nonfiction backmatter for further exploration.
We are young. The sea is old. The sea has secrets to unfold. The sea knows.
In this playful, rhyming celebration of the marine world, readers can explore all of the wondrous things the sea knows. It knows huge whales and small krill; it knows short crabs and tall giant kelp; it knows brightly colored starfish in shallow pools; and in the inky depths it knows the alluring jewel of an anglerfish’s glowing lure.
Discover all of the strange and magnificent underwater creatures in this accessible tribute to the power and mystery of the ocean.
Sunbathing dinosaurs and artistic dinosaurs, dancing dinosaurs and volleyball-playing dinosaurs make learning opposites fun! From Boynton on Board, the bestselling series of extra-big, extra-fat, extra-appealing board books, Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs! features the inimitable Sandra Boyntonís colorful, humorous drawings and lively text.
Dinosaurs EARLY. Dinosaurs LATER. Dinosaurs crammed in an elevator. Dinosaurs PLUMP. Dinosaurs LEAN. Dinosaurs RED, BLUE, YELLOW, and GREEN.
Whether they’re big, small, fast, slow, striped, spotted, or anything in between, dinosaurs are just so lovable! With rhyming text and bright watercolor illustrations, this joyful read is perfect for little ones who love dinosaurs.
Little Friends: Big and Small - Invites young readers to match the sentences on each page with similar sentences featuring opposing terms that appear in a corner of the book that has pages that move independently.
Tails - Tails are irresistible to toddlers, and in Matthew Van Fleet’s sturdy touch-and-feel board book, preschool-age pokers and prodders can finally tug to their heart’s content. Engaging, cartoonish animals from tigers to pangolins romp across the pages as the rhyming text bounces along: “Tails fluffy, / Tails stringy, / Scaled tails strong and—clingy!” Pull tabs, lift-able flaps, tufts of fur, and even a scratch-and-sniff skunk tail provide plenty of tactile surprises. Along the way, youngsters will learn about counting, opposites, and how animals use their tails. A tried and true tail-wagger!
The Same But Different Too -
I am me, you are you.
We’re the same, but different too.
There’s something about each of us that makes us special. But while everyone is unique, we all have many things in common as well. Explore the ways that we are all the same but different, too, in this joyful and simple celebration of individuality and camaraderie. Filled with children and their animal friends, this rhyming text illuminates the wonderfully different and similar things that make us who we are.
Fold-A-Flap: Opposites - More flippy, flappy fun is in store! The Fold-a-Flap(TM) series of books uses flaps to engage young readers, and they will enjoy flipping the flaps to find out all about opposites, presented in Philip Giordano’s delightful, unique style.
Russell the sheep is determined to find the Lost Treasure of Frogsbottom. Equipped with his Super-Duper Treasure Seeker, Russell searches high and low, up and down, and in and out. Nothing! Finally, Russell finds an old chest! Could it be? Discover how Russell finds the most valuable treasure of all.
Quiet/Loud… Over/Under… Day/Night… and many more. Katie Wilson’s lovable illustrations teach little ones a variety of common and not so common opposites in this creative board book from the Montessori inspired Discovery Concepts early learning collection.
A companion to the best-selling Hot Dog, Cold Dog,_ Frann Preston-Gannon’s new lap-sized boardbook, _What a Hoot! explores opposites through the antics of adorable owls.
Wide-eyed and plump, Frann’s colorful little owls cavort happily through these pages–sloshing through the mud in a pair of rainboots (“This one’s dirty”) or nose-to-nose with a rubber ducky in a sudsy tub (“That one’s clean”), they embody simple opposites that kids will immediately appreciate. A surprise ending adds to the read-aloud fun.
• In addition to the irresistibly cute owls, each spread includes other funny things for kids to spot, from “hidden” treats to a sneaky snail
• Rhyming text makes this a great read-aloud while repetition encourages early reading skills
• Story closes with a birthday party scene for all the owls
Praise for Frann’s previous book, Hot Dog, Cold Dog:
“Preston-Gannon’s simple words will have children reading along in no time. The instant I started to read the story to my son I started to do it with a sing-song rhythm and continue to do so every time I read it. The simple text and rhyming will instantly draw your child in and have them wanting you to read it over and over again!” - Pawing Through Books
“This larger format board book is a bright and bold delight. Each spread shows a dog but simple opposites (new dog, old dog) become increasingly surprising and more inventive with each turn of the page.” - Books For Keeps
Pull the tabs–what will you find? There’s something fun hiding on every page! Where are you? And where are you going? With a pull of the tab, preschoolers can happily gaze at otters as they swim below, beside, or above each other; watch one octopus emerge from behind another who was in front; and see polar bears up on a snowdrift, sliding across the ice, and down into the water. What a cool, interactive way for kids to grasp the concept of location!
Meet a left and right foot who are a pair of complete opposites! Full of clever, giggle-inducing details, this lively odd-couple tale celebrates what makes us all unique, as well as the power of friendship to bring us together despite our differences.
Feet come in twos, so they need to step out together. But Les and Ronnie often find it hard to cooperate. Les likes having a clean sock and being responsible. Ronnie is fine with a dirty sock and loves letting loose. Les is straight-laced while Ronnie doesn’t even care about laces. What’s a duo to do?
Flora and the Ostrich - Inspired by Caldecott Honor book Flora and the Flamingo, this series of board books is perfect for the very youngest Flora fans. When a new feathered friend seems so different from her, Flora discovers that opposites, in fact, attract! Featuring fold-out pages and Molly Idle’s graceful artwork, this adorable book of opposites will delight young children as they master new words and concepts.
Music Is . . . - From music writer and The Creative Independent/Kickstarter Editor in Chief Brandon Stosuy, comes an entertaining new board book that introduces the many moods, styles, and senses of music to the youngest audiophiles—because music is for everyone, and music is for you. Featuring Amy Martin’s dynamic art style, Music Is… explains music through our eyes and ears so that the sense of hearing is transformed into a visual experience. A pitch-perfect board book that is sure to strike a chord with readers of all ages.
Triangle - Meet Triangle. He is going to play a sneaky trick on his friend, Square. Or so Triangle thinks. . . . With this first tale in a new trilogy, partners in crime Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen will have readers wondering just who they can trust in a richly imagined world of shapes. Visually stunning and full of wry humor, here is a perfectly paced treat that could come only from the minds of two of today’s most irreverent — and talented — picture book creators.
Opposites - From heavy and light to wet and dry, opposites are full of fun in this Sandra Boynton classic. Serious silliness for all ages. Artist Sandra Boynton is back and better than ever with completely redrawn versions of her multi-million selling board books. These whimsical and hilarious books, featuring nontraditional texts and her famous animal characters, have been printed on thick board pages, and are sure to educate and entertain children of all ages.
When faced with a challenge—or a super cold morning—Milton grumbles and Odie sees the bright side. Whiling away the hours at their respective fishing holes, neither Milton nor Odie get even the tiniest nibble . . . until Milton snags Odie’s pole. But does that mean fishing is over? On facing pages, Milton and Odie approach life with contrasting attitudes. Milton’s sure there isn’t a fish for miles, but Odie embraces the joy of anticipation, imagining that a bigmouth bass will be along any minute. Sweetly simple illustrations reveal the ups and downs of patience and expectation in this fish story about the one that didn’t get away.
Bear can’t reach the cake he’s after—it’s so far up, and he’s so far down! Will his friends be able to help? Toddlers will be drawn in by repetition, opposites, humor, and an unexpected twist in this board book story about Bear’s quest to reach a cake on a windowsill that is so far up! A cast of friendly animals—who are all so far down—try to help bear reach the desired cake. But what happens when a child swoops in with other plans? Short, simple, and memorable, this board book offers a satisfying story arc.
Do you ever feel like George? Are you curious? Are you mischievous? Curious kids can read alon with their parents to see if they behave like the monkey best known for getting in and out of mischief.
A joyful board book about family love from the #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie!
Big or small, Furry or not, Here or there, Inside or out, Everyone hugs all over the world.
With its loving, simple text and bold, beautiful artwork, this is a perfect board book for baby showers, first birthdays, or a baby’s first first holidays. And it’s not just about hugging! Little ones can learn about opposites and about animals and their habitats in this story too.
Mega-selling author and artist Felicia Bond has crafted a charming book filled with animals hugging across the globe that celebrates the universality of love.
Elephant is so heavy, and all the other animals are so light. How will the seesaw ever go up and down?
Toddlers will be drawn in by repetition, opposites, humor, and an unexpected twist in this board book story about Elephant’s quest to get the seesaw to teeter. A cast of friendly animals—who are all so light—try to help move the seesaw, but Elephant’s side won’t budge. He’s so heavy. Then what happens when a child swoops in with other plans? Short, simple, and memorable, this board book offers a satisfying story arc.
Animal Opposites - Celebrated illustrator Petr Horácek offers a pop-up introduction to opposites with the help of a variety of creatures. Turn the pages, lift the flaps, and see animals of all shapes and sizes bring the world of opposites to life. From slow snail to fast cheetah, heavy hippo to light butterfly, smooth frog to prickly porcupine, Petr Horácek’s brightly colored pop-up animals and interactive flaps make early learning irresistible and fun.
Let There Be Light: An Opposites Primer - Help Children Learn About God’s World and OppositesYour family will love this unique board book! Using colorful, engaging artwork, Let There Be Light introduces little ones to the Creation story as a vehicle for understanding opposites, a crucial concept in early cognitive development.Children will delight in the imaginative illustrations and learn key opposites such as quiet/loud, light/dark, and above/below. These contrasting pairs are taught against the backdrop of Scripture chronicling God’s creation of heaven and earth.You will appreciate the artistic design, theologically sound content, and helping your little one gain a greater understanding of the glory of God’s world while mastering their opposites.*Baby Believer primers are designed to grow with children, from early infancy through elementary school. In addition to basic Bible theology, Baby Believer board books are filled with quotations from the Bible, creeds, hymns, church fathers, and other articles of faith to help reinforce the content and provide intellectual handholds for older children who possess a greater capacity for learning and memorization.
Up Hamster, Down Hamster - Following the success of her two bestselling board books Hamsters Holding Hands and This Little Hamster, Kass Reich once again presents her signature dumpling-shaped hamsters. This time, the adorable critters demonstrate various opposites, from in and out to day and night, with some unexpected surprises! A cheerful board book that is sure to produce some giggles and make learning opposites fun.
Remarkably Ruby - From bestselling author Terri Libenson, this is a story about how there’s more to everyone than meets the eye.Pride. Popularity . . . Poetry? Middle school.Ruby and Mia are total opposites: Ruby is a little awkward, not a “joiner,” and loves to write poetry.While Mia is type A, popular(ish), and wants to be class prez.They used to be friends. But now they have nothing in common anymore. . . . Or do they?Don’t miss the rest of the Emmie &amp; Friends series: Invisible Emmie, Positively Izzy, Just Jaime, Becoming Brianna, Truly Tyler, and You-Niquely You: An Emmie &amp; Friends Interactive Journal!
Introducing TouchThinkLearn books, a format unlike any other. Combining scooped-out die-cuts with raised, shaped elements, each book is designed to offer the youngest learners an irresistible opportunity to explore their universe in a hands-on, multisensory way. Seeing the image, tracing its shape, saying its name: these modes of perception combine in a dynamic way to stimulate understanding of essential concepts. Experience green both in the beauty of a raised leaf’s surface as well as in the caterpillar that munches on the leaf’s edge. Celebrate a moon rising into the night, while simultaneously a sun sets deep into the mirroring page. Translating abstract thought into tangible knowledge, groundbreaking TouchThinkLearn books give early learning new dimension.
This unique information book for the very young switches between bodies of water and corresponding land masses with the simple turn of a page. Full color.
From the creator of A Book of Sleep and A Book of Babies comes a beautiful new book of animals—and opposites!
The sky is dark and the Opposite Zoo is CLOSED. But the monkey’s cage is OPEN! Time to explore. . .
Follow the monkey as he visits all the animals in the zoo: fast and slow, big and small, noisy and quiet, soft and prickly! Filled with energetic illustrations, friendly animals, and a simple text, The Opposite Zoo is a fun and lively introduction to animals and opposites.
Praise for Il Sung Na:
“Il Sung Na’s illustrative art is so joyous, so jubilantly colorful, it feels celebratory and poetic even when the story is simple and spare.” —The Boston Globe (A Book of Babies)
“[A] grand read-aloud.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred (Welcome Home, Bear)
“It’s the rare picture book that, upon arrival, feels as though it has been around for years already; Na’s belongs to this group.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred (A Book of Sleep)
“Vibrant [and] whimsical.” —School Library Journal, Starred (Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit)
A black and white board book with a colorful surprise! Black cat and white cat are friends. But in a world of black and white, someone is always hard to see! Can they find a way to play together without someone disappearing?
A condensed, board-book version of the P. D. Eastman canine classic Big Dog . . . Little Dog, staring Fred and Ted–mutts who are opposite in every way, but best friends nevertheless.
Big Dog...Little Dog: A Bedtime Story - Illus. in full color. “Two dogs who are opposite in every way are also the best of friends. The bold, colorful drawings are appealing and emphasize the concepts of size, color, and opposites.”–Booklist.
Little Face / Big Face - A new book from the author/illustrator of Don’t Push the Button! Little face, big face Chewing on a twig face! Short face, long face Super-duper STRONG face! Faces can communicate a lot of things! Introduce little listeners to what different animal traits and emotions can look like, how widely they range, and what else can be learned from an expression in this fun, interactive board book.
Hot Dog, Cold Dog - Using simple rhyming text, follows the adventures of various Dachshund dogs, including playing in the snow, digging in the garden, reading, and roller skating.
Hippopposites - Describes opposite aspects of a hippopotamus. On board pages.
A New York Times bestseller! Some books are about a single wish. Some books are about three wishes. The infallible team of Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld have combined their extraordinary talents to create this exuberant book of endless good wishes. Wishes for curiosity and wonder, for friendship and strength, laughter and peace. Whether celebrating life’s joyous milestones, sharing words of encouragement, or observing the wonder of everyday moments, this sweet and uplifting book is perfect for wishers of every age.
From the creators of Before After comes another striking book of opposites, this time exploring the concepts of within and without with bright, bold graphics. Safe inside its shell, a baby bird prepares to brave the world. A spelunker descends into a wide and glittering cavern while fellow explorers cluster around a crack in the earth. Fire-red ants march busily around their anthill, oblivious of a hungry anteater waiting above. Smart and stylish, this oversize art book takes a unique approach to the concept of inside and outside, offering clever and unexpected examples that will delight readers and spark conversations about context and perspective. Inside Outside is sure to find a place in collections, on coffee tables, in classrooms, and anywhere curious minds can be found.
What makes a home home? Find out in this intriguing exploration of the places creatures call home. From mountain to sea, meadow to tree, small town to big city, people and animals make their homes all over the world. Some are forever while some change with the seasons, but all are just right for the creatures who live in them. With lyrical rhyming text perfect for reading aloud and evocative jewel-toned illustrations, here is a book that will have young readers thinking about home in a whole new way.
YES! Now in a dual language Spanish-English edition, this must-have toddler title sheds light on some concepts with a comical flair that will make readers HAPPY. Yanking the cat’s tail: no NO. A gentle pat on the back: yes YES. And it’s funny how dumping a bowl of food gets a very different reaction from mastering the use of a spoon. The expressive Baby demonstrates familiar behaviors in an amusing board book that merits a giant YES. Algunas cosas son No No. ¡Pero otras son Sí Sí!
This third book in Stephen Krensky and Sara Gillingham’s empowerment series celebrates the feats of growing out of toddlerhood with increased knowledge. Whether comparing heavy rocks to lighter flowers, or noting that the sunlight delineates the day from the night, Krensky and Gillingham acknowledge the “small wins” of understanding the world just a little bit more. Young children and their parents will revel in the uplifting text and boldly colored retro-fresh illustrations. Praise for I Know a Lot “This appealingly illustrated, confidence-boosting board book will inspire little ones to think of–and perhaps catalog aloud–all of the important things they already know about their world.” –Kirkus Reviews “The limited primary color scheme and preponderance of simple shapes bolster the idea of kids mastering the basics.” –Publishers Weekly “Readers will respond to the child’s confidence by being proud of their own understanding of the world. This is the third of this team’s empowerment titles, but it is fully successful as a stand-alone.” –School Library Journal “Sara Gillingham’s colorful pictures, which, with their occasional offsets, look like hand-made prints, show the girl in the process of these and other discoveries: playing outdoors, sledding with friends and standing behind her father at the stove.” –The New York Times “From the moment she opened I Know a Lot, she was hooked! Turned out, that was her gateway into being completely obsessed with reading.” –The Huffington Post
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