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Best Books for Young Children

This list includes over 100 great children's books.
By: Trish Kuffner, author of The Preschooler's Busy Book

Best Books for Young Children

The following books are suggested for children up to age eight (many are loved by much older children, too), either for reading by or to the child. This list has been compiled from several sources.

  • Timeless Classics, published by the National Endowment for the Humanities, is a compilation of tried-and-true titles. These are books published in 1960 or earlier that have been the favorite of at least one previous generation.
  • Another source is Reading for the Love of It by Michele Landsberg (1987, Prentice Hall Press/a division of Simon & Schuster, New York; reprinted by permission of the publisher), an excellent guide to the best books for children of all ages.
  • A final source is the bookshelves in my own children's rooms, favorite volumes that have been read over and over and over again.
Aardema, Verna. The Vingananee and the Tree Toad; Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears
Aesop. Aesop's Fables
Ahlberg, Janet and Allen. Each Peach Pear Plum
Alderson, Sue Ann. Bonnie McSmithers, You're Driving Me Dithers
Allen, Jeffrey. Mary Alice, Operator Number Nine 371
Atwater, Richard and Florence. Mr. Popper's Penguins
Bemelmans, Ludwig. Madeline series
Brooke, Leslie L. Johnny Crow's Party
Brown, Margaret Wise. Goodnight Moon
Brunhoff, Jean de. The Story of Babar
Burningham, John. Cannonball Simp; Harquin, the Fox Who Went Down to the Valley; Would You Rather?
Burton, Virginia Lee. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel; The Little House
Caldicott, Randolph. Hey, Diddle Diddle
Clifton, Lucille. Don't You Remember?
Crowther, Robert. The Most Amazing Hide-and-Seek Alphabet Book
Dalgleish, Alice. The Bears on Hemlock Mountain; The Courage of Sarah Noble
Eastman, P.D. Are You My Mother?; Go, Dog, Go
Flack, Marjorie. The Story about Ping
Freeman, Don. Corduroy
Gag, Wanda. Millions of Cats
Godden, Rumer. The Mousewife
Goffstein, M.B. Our Snowman
Grahame, Kenneth. The Reluctant Dragon
Haywood, Carolyn. Betsy series
Hoban, Russell. Bread and Jam for Frances
Hutchins, Pat. Rosie's Walk
Jonas, Ann. The Trek
Keats, Ezra Jack. Goggles!
Kellogg, Steven. The Island of the Skog
Kipling, Rudyard. Just So Stories for Little Children
Kovalski, Maryann. Brenda and Edward
Kraus, Robert. Herman the Helper; Whose Mouse Are You?
Leaf, Munro. The Story of Ferdinand
Lear, Edward. The Book of Nonsense
MacDonald, Betty. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
Marshall, James. George and Martha
McCloskey, Robert. Blueberries for Sal; Make Way for Ducklings
McDermott, Gerald. Papagayo, the Mischief-Maker
Meyer, Mercer. Little Critter series
Milne, A.A. The House at Pooh Corner; Now We Are Six; When We Were Very Young; Winnie-the-Pooh
Minaruk, Else Holmelund. Little Bear
Mosel, Arlene. The Funny Little Woman; Tikkie Tikki Tembo
Munsch, Robert. Love You Forever; The Paperbag Princess
Nicoll, Helen. Meg and Mog
Ormerod, Jan. Moonlight; Sunshine
Perrault, Charles. Cinderella
Pinkwater, Manus. Three Big Hogs
Potter, Beatrix. The Tale of Peter Rabbit
Rey, H.A. Curious George series
Segal, Lore. Tell Me a Mitzi; Tell Me a Trudy
Selden, George. The Cricket in Times Square
Sendak, Maurice. Where the Wild Things Are
Seuss, Dr. Green Eggs and Ham; The Cat in the Hat; The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
Shulevitz, Uri. One Monday Morning
Stamm, Claus. Three Strong Women
Steig, William. Brave Irene; Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
Stevenson, James. Could Be Worse!
Stevenson, John. Clams Can't Sing
Stevenson, Robert Louis. A Child's Garden of Verses
Viorst, Judith. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Waber, Bernard. Lyle the Crocodile series
Wagner, Jenny. The Bunyip of Berkeley's Creek
Wallace, Ian. Chin Chiang and the Dragon's Dance
Watson, Clyde. Applebet, an ABC
Wells, Rosemary. Noisy Nora
Wildsmith, Brian. Cat on the Mat
Williams, Jay. Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like
Williams, Margery. The Velveteen Rabbit
Williams, Vera B. Cherries and Cherry Pits
Wood, Audrey. Sid and Sol; The Napping House
Wynne-Jones, Tim. Zoom at Sea
Yeoman, John. The Wild Washerwoman
Yorinks, Arthur. Hey, Al
Zemach, Harve. The Judge
Zion, Gene. Harry the Dirty Dog
Zolotow, Charlotte. Mister Rabbit and the Lovely Present

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