Best Books for Kids
By Laurie Leahey, CookScrapCraft
The holiday season is upon us, and there is no better gift to give a child than a book and due to the Coronavirus pandemic, children are spending more time at home for both virtual learning and recreation. Now is the perfect time to instill a lifelong love of reading in your kids and make reading books a daily habit. Need some help choosing the best books for kids? I’ve divided these best children’s books by age so you can easily find a great book for every kid on your holiday gift list. These are just a few of the best books for kids that will be wonderful additions to a child’s home library.
Board books are great books for this age range because they are sturdy and easy for small hands to hold. The Very Hungry Caterpillar board book has all the same features as the larger picture book version, but at a smaller size for the smallest readers. Pair the book with a The World of Eric Carle baby toy, and you have created a nice gift set.
Richard Scarry’s Busy Busy Construction Site by Richard Scarry
Today’s parents might have grown up reading Richard Scarry books. His wonderful illustrations and stories transport kids to a world of exploration and learning, as in this construction-themed board book that’s all about dump trucks, diggers and bulldozers.
Little Owl’s Day by Divya Srinivasan
My daughter loves the Little Owl books, and so do I. The stories are told in a beautiful way, both through the prose and the illustrations. If you like Little Owl’s Day, be sure to check out Little Owl’s Night and Little Owl’s Snow.
Introduce young readers to classic children’s books through the Bedtime Classics collections of board books. These perennial stories are simplified for the youngest readers. Other stories include Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz.
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
This is a classic book about a father’s love for his baby bunny. It is a perfect story to read at bedtime and one of the best baby books I received when my daughter was a baby.
Best Books for Ages 3 to 5
Just a Bad Day by Mercer Mayer
Children have been enjoying Little Golden Books since the 1940s, and this one features the classic character Little Critter. Kids always learn valuable lessons from a Little Critter book, such as how to make a rainy day have a happy ending.
Selected Tales from Beatrix Potter by Beatrix Potter
The Tale of Peter Rabbit is one of the best-selling children’s books of all time, and now today’s parents can share Peter’s delightful story, among many others, with this wonderful collection of stories and illustrations from the well-known author.
Kids ages 3 to 7 who are fans of Nickelodeon shows PAW Patrol, Shimmer and Shine, and Blaze and the Monster Machines will love hearing stories about their favorite TV characters. Each story only takes five minutes to read, and they are great for bedtime stories.
Spot’s Tractor by Eric Hill
Today’s parents probably remember reading the classic children’s books featuring Spot the Dog when they were kids. These books continue to resonate with children. Kids who love construction vehicles will love that this tractor-shaped board book even has moving wheels.
Thomas the Tank Engine has been engaging boys and girls with really useful stories since 1945. Thomas books would be fun for kids who love trains, and parents will like this book’s message about the importance of sharing.
Best Books for Ages 5 to 8
Dr. Seuss’ ABC by Dr. Seuss
Any Dr. Seuss book, with its rhymes and silly illustrations, will be a winner with young kids. The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs & Ham and If I Ran the Zoo would also be good choices.
Star Wars Meet the Villains Stormtroopers by Emma Grange
Young Star Wars fans will love learning more about the bad guys in the galaxy. This guide answers questions about what a stormtrooper is and who they work for, plus it provides fun facts and stories.
The Little Book of Little Activists by Penguin Young Readers
Inspire your kids to care about their community and stand up for their beliefs in this empowering book that also includes photos of children at recent demonstrations and rallies.
Rocket’s Very Fine Day by Tad Hills
Join Rocket the dog as he makes the most of a rainy day. This Level 1 Step into Reading book is perfect for kids learning to read on their own.
Where’s Waldo? The Incredible Paper Chase Book by Martin Handford
Can you find Waldo, that classic red-and-white-striped character, among this book’s pages and pages of fantastical, humorous and crowded places? Kids will sure love trying!
Best Books for Ages 8 and Up
Heidi by Joanna Spyri
Introduce today’s kids to the classic children’s book character Heidi. This book tells the story of an orphan sent to live with her gruff grandfather in the glorious Swiss Alps.
Amelia Lost by Candace Fleming
Adventurous readers, girls especially, will love reading about brave female aviator Amelia Earhart and the troubling story of her mysterious disappearance.
The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Pair this book with the spectacular classic Judy Garland movie for a fun book-to-movie night with your middle-grade reader.
Spider-Man: Bad Luck by Delilah S. Dawson
Comic books and graphic novels are a great way to encourage kids to read, especially reluctant readers. Through artwork and words, this paperback tells the story of Miles, Gwen and Peter as they work together to overcome the “bad luck powers” of Black Cat.
Escape This Book! Race to the Moon Activity Book by Bill Doyle
If you’re traveling over the holidays, pack this 192-page activity book to keep your kid occupied on the road. If you’re keeping close to home, get this book to stoke your kiddo’s imagination. The book guides kids through challenges similar to what astronauts on the Apollo 11 and Apollo 13 missions faced, while also introducing them to famous NASA employees Katherine Johnson and Neil Armstrong.
This children’s book list runs the gamut, from board books for the littlest readers to classic chapter books for older kids. Luckily, there are so many great books out there for young readers. The gift of any book fosters excitement about reading and opens up kids’ minds as they explore new worlds through pictures and prose. Happy reading!