Picture Book Index Highlights


Per annum increase in value between 2006-2016 of The Gruffalo, the index's best performer ($50 to $150)


2016 value of HA Rey's Curious George, the most valuable book in the index


Average annual increase of the JustCollecting Picture Book Index between 2006 and 2016


2016 value of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are

Which picture books to invest in?

First edition picture books have grown in value by 5.4% a year on average since 2006, reveals the JustCollecting Picture Book Index, produced in conjunction with rare book auctioneer PBA Galleries.

  • Curious George, the manuscript of which German Jew HA Rey escaped Europe with in WW2, is the most valuable book in the index, at $25,000.
  • Julia Donaldson's 1999 book The Gruffalo enjoyed the best return on investment of the picture books included in the index – up 11.6% a year, from $50 in 2006 to $150 in 2016.
  • Make Way for Ducklings, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Where the Wild Things Are also valuable.

Best performing picture books 2006-2016

  1. The Gruffalo: up 11.6% per annum to $150
  2. Where the Wild Things Are: up 9.6% pa to $5,000
  3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar: up 9.2% pa to $12,000
  4. The Velveteen Rabbit: up 8.8% pa to $7,000
  5. The Giving Tree: up 8.8% pa to $3,500

Most valuable titles in the JustCollecting Picture Book Index

  1. Curious George: $25,000
  2. Make Way for Ducklings: $17,500
  3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar: $12,000
  4. The Velveteen Rabbit: $7,000
  5. Where The Wild Things Are: $5,000


JustCollecting's Dan Wade comments: "Curious George's position as the most valuable book on our list is down to three things: the rarity of first editions, its enduring popularity – the book has never been out of print – and the astonishing story behind the manuscript and its authors' escape from the advancing Nazis.
"They called The Gruffalo a modern classic when it was released in 1999, and so it has proved. While its price remains modest for now, expect to see a surge in values as the children of the noughties become nostalgic, wage-earning adults. As our index shows, values are already starting to rise."

About the JustCollecting Picture Book Index

The JustCollecting Picture Book Index tracks the value of first edition, first printings of popular titles.

Prices quoted are estimated auction values for examples with dust jacket (if originally supplied) and in "very good condition" (a used book that displays only minimal wear). Figures compiled by experts at JustCollecting and specialist book auctioneer PBA Galleries.