Best All-Time Children’s Books

By SysBots

Reading to your kids is one of the all-time best things you can do with them, and for them. I love reading to my kids, and they love reading with me. It is some of the best quality time ever, and sharing a good book with a child is just a wonderful feeling.

I’ve compiled a list of my all-time favorite children’s books — a list that can start any child’s library. It’s a starting point, to be sure — I’m sure you can think of many more to be included. But these are books I truly love (and my kids do too) and I think most kids and parents will love them. These are mostly time-tested classics, so there might not be too many surprises here, but sometimes it’s useful to be reminded of books we’ve forgotten about.

For Younger Readers

  • Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Harold Crockett. One of my most, most favorite books for younger kids. Great imagination, great character. I still wish I could be Harold.
  • Go, Dog. Go!, by P.D. Eastman. Often the book that has taught my kids to read. Warning: they might ask you to read this an infinite amount of times. But that’s a good thing for them.
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault. The thing I love about this book is its rhythm. It’s so fun to read. Also teaches about the alphabet.
  • Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak. I can never get enough of this book. It is truly awesome. Great drawings, great imagination. If I had to choose just 10 books on this list, this would be one of them.
  • Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown. Kids just love this book. Perfect for toddlers.
  • Corduroy, by Don Freeman. One of my favorite books as a little kid. This lovable teddy bear will always have a special place in my heart.
  • Guess How Much I Love You, by Sam Mcbratney. I love you all the way to the moon and back! Fun to read this with your kids, and then later compete to see how much you love each other.
  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Joffe Numeroff. This was a favorite for my kids. I love the drawings.
  • The Complete Adventures of Curious George, by H.A. Rey. He’s now an international icon, but Curious George has always been one of the most lovable characters in literature.
  • In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak. This is Sendak at his best. He has such a wonderful drawing style, and can tell stories with the best of them.
  • Horton Hatches the Egg, by Dr. Seuss. Speaking of the best of them, Dr. Seuss is it. He’s a legend, of course, and everything he wrote is amazing, so it’s really impossible to choose, but I love this Horton book, as well as the next two by Seuss. This book is characteristic of Seuss’s early days.
  • There’s a Wocket in My Pocket!, by Dr. Seuss. A great tongue-twister book, this is the epitome of much of his silly, fun stuff.
  • The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss. His most socially conscious book. Although many of his books have a message, this is the most overt. It talks about the dangers of industrialism and environmental damange, in such an easily understood manner that any kid could get it.
  • The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein. If Seuss is the best, Silverstein is right behind him. If I had to list just 10 books here, this book would be one of them. Such a sweet, sad, true book, with great drawings of course.
  • The Five Chinese Brothers, by Claire Hutchett Bishop. I read this as a little kid, and forgot about it until rediscovering it with my kids in recent years. It’s a classic, and will be loved by any kid.
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein. Classic Silverstein, this book and the next are full of incredible poems and drawings that will delight any reader, young or old.
  • A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstein. More from perhaps the greatest children’s poet of all time.
  • The Missing Piece, by by Shel Silverstein. OK, I should stop with the Silverstein, but I really cannot get enough of him. There’s actually a series of books along the lines of the Missing Piece, all of them with interesting life lessons, and wittily drawn. Read them all.
  • The Story of Babar, by Jean De Brunhoff. Another classic, this was a staple of my childhood, and just as good today as 30 years ago.

For Middle Readers

For Older Readers

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