This study explores the presence of figurative language in reputable children's literature and the importance of figurative language instruction in the elementary classroom. It seeks to answer three basic questions for the teaching community. First, how prevalently does figurative language appear in prominent books written at reading levels for the elementary grades? Next, how essential is students' understanding of this figurative language to their overall comprehension of a story? Finally, how do the recently implemented Common Core Standards consider the presence of figurative language in children's literature across elementary grade levels? In order to investigate these questions, the researcher analyzed 39 books that received the Caldecott Medal or Honor distinction in 2003-2012 and recorded the presence of figurative language in the text. Results were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The researcher found patterns among the types of figurative language used and the target age groups of the books. She also found that the use of figurative language in the text was generally stylistic by the authors and not necessarily essential for students to fully comprehend the stories. The researcher then made connections to the Common Core Standards across elementary grade levels. She found that there were several Common Core Standards concerning figurative language in the Reading and Language categories. The researcher concluded that figurative language should complement the curriculum across all elementary grades, including grades below third. This conclusion has implications for the entire elementary teaching community.