Favorite Kids Books

Looking for some fresh book ideas for your kids? Look no further! We asked Kidlist readers for their favorite kids books suitable for toddlers through tweens and added all of ours too! So either head to your local library, neighborhood bookstore or click on the book to buy it on Amazon and get ready to curl up together with a good book or two! For school-aged kids, it helps to have some new recommendations to add to their summer reading lists.

Babies, Toddlers and Preschool


Goodnight Moon – by Margaret Wise Brown


The Very Hungry Caterpillar – by Eric Carle


Moo, Baa, La La La! – by Sandra Boynton


The Curious Garden – by Peter Brown


Elephant and Piggie – We Are in a Book – by Mo Willems
(also great as a beginning reader in kindergarten and first grade!)


The Giving Tree – by Shel Silverstein


The Napping House – by Audrey Wood


Chicka Chicka Boom Boom – by Bill Martin, Jr.


Where the Wild Things Are – by Maurice Sendak


Harold and the Purple Crayon – by Crockett Johnson


Llama Llama Misses Mama – by Anna Dewdney


Imogene’s Antlers – by David Small


Dig, Dog, Dig – by James Horvath


The Book with No Pictures – by B. J. Novak


The Snatchabook – by Helen Docherty and Thomas Doherty


Caps for Sale – by Esphyr Slobodkina


Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site – by by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld

Young Elementary Years (Kindergarten – 2nd grade)


Violet the Pilot – by Steve Breen
This is the story of a plucky inventor, named Violet, that uses her ingenuity to solve problems. She is now a mainstream character and endures being seen as the outsider, but has the confidence and drive to enter an air show. You’ll have to read it to find out what happens. The storyline is great and we enjoyed the hand drawn illustrations.


Miss Rumphius – by Barbara Cooney


The Plant Sitter – by Gene Zion


What Do You Do With A Problem? – by Kobi Yamada
The ideas in this book are abstract but a wonderful conversation starter with your kids. It is a celebration of original ideas, how our thoughts make us unique and our need to nurture them. I think it’s so important to teach our kids that no matter how small they are, their thoughts and ideas make a different and this book is a wonderful way to show that.


Elmer and the Dragon – by Ruth Stiles Gannett


Henry and Mudge – by Cynthia Rylant


Scaredy Squirrel – by Melanie Watt


Owl at Home – by Arnold Lobel


Frog and Toad All Year – by Arnold Lobel


The Day the Crayons Quit – by Oliver Jeffers


Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day – by Judith Viorst


Bread and Jam for Frances – by Russell Hoban


When Penny Met Potus – by Rachel Ruiz


Life on Mars – by Jon Agee


It’s Only Stanley – by Jon Agee


Iggy Peck, Architect – by Andrea Beaty
With a passion in architecture, Iggy creates famous structures from any type of materials he can find. When his teacher doesn’t understand his interest and squashes his creative outlet his enthusiasm level dwindles… until they go on a field trip and his building skills save the class. I like how this book celebrates each of our different talents and how our unique interests contribute.


Rosie Revere, Engineer – by Andrea Beaty
Rosie is a creative girl with a lot of inventions that other people view as flops, but her Aunt Rose shows her that failures are something to celebrate. The only true failure is if you quit. This book has a great message that is told in fun, rhyming verse. I know some of you are aware that I studied engineering, so the main character being a female engineer is a huge plus in my book. -wink-


The Rainstorm Brainstorm – by Valerie Tripp and Thu Thai


A to Z Mysteries – by Ron Roy


Magic Treehouse Series – by Mary Pope Osborne


Who Was…? Biography Series – by various authors


Mrs. Piggle Wiggle – by Betty MacDonald

Older Elementary Years (3rd – 6th grade)


Amulet – by Kazu Kibuishi

Secret Agent Jack Stalwart: The Escape of the Deadly Dinosaur by Elizabeth Singer Hunt
This is the first book in a series about an adventurous boy who takes on the world. Each book takes place in a different country and is packed with action and intrigue. My son is burning through these and really enjoys reading them to himself. We started reading them together, but he keeps reading them after I leave and has to fill me in later!


Big Nate’s Greatest Hits – by Lincoln Peirce


Elementia Chronicles – by Sean Fay Wolfe


Minecraft: Essential Handbook – by Stephanie Milton


Framed! A T.O.A.S.T Mystery – by James Ponti


Frank Einstein – by Jon Scieszka
This series is written by another New York Times Bestselling Author and does a wonderful job explaining physics concepts in a fascinating way to young audiences. If you have a child interested in science I recommend these books. There are three of them so far, each of which introduces different areas of science and technology. The banter between the protagonist and antagonist is fun and appeals to kids while the storyline intrigues and fascinates.


The World According to Humphrey – by Betty G. Birney


Because of Winn Dixie – by Kate DiCamillo


The BFG – by Roald Dahl


The One and Only Ivan – by Katherine Applegate


Wonder – by R.J. Palacio


Smile – by Raina Telgemeier


A is for Activist – by Innosanto Nagara


Maniac Magee – by Jerry Spinelli


The Mysterious Benedict Society – by Trenton Lee Stewart


Harry Potter – by J.K. Rowling


The Adventures of Captain Underpants – by Dav Pilkey


This article contains affiliate links, which means that you are still paying the same price, but Kidlist receives a small percentage from Amazon to support the site.

About the Author

Jill Borkowicz
Jill is thrilled to be sharing her insight and knowledge of local fun on Kidlist! As an Oak Park native, Jill and her husband settled in La Grange Park in 2007 and couldn’t be happier with the community they call home. Raising two lovely daughters, ages 8 and 10, Jill is always on the lookout for cool things to do as a family. She is passionate about yummy food, an organized abode, creative entertaining, frugal finds, travel adventures, a healthy spirit, and overall family fun. Jill’s favorite wintertime activity with the fam? Ice skating followed by hot chocolate! Summertime family favorite? Long pool days with friends that end with a BBQ!

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