Esslinger can look back on a long history and is committed to high-quality picture books. The titles of the new publications no longer bear headings like Only for Good Children, as they used to do at the end of the 19th century – young readers nowadays much prefer to identify with cheeky protagonists like Raven, the little Rascal. Apart from board books, look-and-find books and pictures books, the Esslinger Verlag has published fairy tales, stories for reading aloud and classics of children's literature, which are often illustrated by outstanding artists.

Esslinger is also famous for its reprints. The huge wealth of material collected by J.F. Schreiber and, since 1997, the newly acquired Alfred Hahn's Verlag, has made historical bestsellers such as Sibylle von Olfers' The Root Children, the three-dimensional popup books by Lothar Meggendorfer and The Rabbit School available again.