The 24 best kids books we recommend (newborn to age 8+)

Reading bed time stories to your kids is a precious time that you and your kids can spend together. And this can have a positive impact on your children later on.

The best kids books are often fun, memorable, and delightfully unique. They make for the best experiences when a kid reads them for the first time.

That's why it's always a great idea to introduce your children to books at an early age. Like way early. Baby-early, if you will.

Reading bedtime stories to your kids is a precious time that you and your kids can spend together. And this can have a positive impact on your children later on.

Whether you have a newborn baby, a toddler, or an eight-year-old running around the house, it's never too early to start them on books. 

We've come up with a list of the best kids books out there. We hope you and your children will enjoy them, too. 

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Newborns' best kids books

1. Beddy-bye, Baby

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Beddy-bye, Baby is a touch-and-feel kind of book. It's filled with soft and interesting textures for your baby that will stimulate her mind and senses.

2. Pat the Bunny 

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First published in 1940, Dorothy Kunhardt's Pat the Bunny is an interactive book that encourages young readers to smell the flowers, feel Daddy's scratchy face, and play peekaboo.

3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

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This modern classic was originally published in 1994. Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar takes children on a fun ride and lets them watch as the very hungry caterpillar literally eats his way through the pages of this beautifully illustrated book.

Best kids books for ages 1+

4. The Giving Tree

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No matter your age, The Giving Tree is for everyone of all ages. You can even read this to your one-year-old. It's a sweet poignant story that will stay with them until they grow old. 

5. Goodnight Moon

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Goodnight Moon is another classic, featuring a sort of quiet poetry and gentle illustrations that's perfect to end your day with. 

6. The Rainbow Fish

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Rainbow Fish a mesmerizing read for kids about colour and different kinds of fish. It's also a great book about being different, and how fantastic our uniqueness is! 

Best kids books for ages 3+

7. Dragons Love Tacos

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The lighthearted Dragons Love Tacos is a book that shows kids how to deal with things when they go wrong (like when you eat spicy salsa).

8. Sweet Dreams, Little Monster

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 Sweet Dreams, Little Monster is the story of a friendly monster who gets ready for bed, and tells kids about bedtime routines.

9. Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes

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Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes is a metaphor for staying positive during rough times.

10. Green Eggs and Ham

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Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham has been one of the all-time favourites of young readers since it was first published in 1960. The story is about Sam-I-Am, who tries to convince a nameless character that green eggs and ham is a delicious meal that everyone should enjoy.

11. Big Book of the Berenstain Bears

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The Big Book of the Berenstain Bears is a collection of stories from the huge children's book franchise. The Berenstain bears are perhaps one of the most beloved family of bears in children's literature. 

Best kids books for ages 5+

12. Here We Are: Notes For Living on Planet Earth

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This New York Times bestseller is one of the best introductions to outer space and fun astronomy facts for your kids!

13. Don't Forget Dexter!

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Don't Forget Dexter! is an interactive book that asks readers to participate in the journey of a lost dinosaur. 

14. Where the Wild Things Are

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Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are is a beloved classic by people of all ages. It's the highly imaginative tale of a mischievous boy who dresses up in a wolf costume and wreaks havoc around the house.

His parents sends him to his room, when the room magically transforms into a jungle. He then proceeds to travel to an island inhabited by "Wild Things" and meets the Wild Things there. 

15. Where the Sidewalk Ends

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Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends is a collection of silly poems and cartoons. It entertained us as children when it was originally published in 1974, and it will surely entertain children now!

16. Everyone Poops

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It's written by Taro Gomi with illustrations by Amanda Mayer Stinchecum. It's a treatise on that basic bodily function we like to call pooping, told with grace and humor.

17. Elephant and Piggie

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Written and illustrated by Mo Willems, the Elephant and Piggie series is about two best friends who learn all kind of lessons from low-stakes moral dilemmas.

18. A Bear Called Paddington

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Written by Michael Bond with illustrations by Peggy Fortnum, A Bear Called Paddington is the classic story of the iconic bear called Paddington, who's know for his blue jacket charms, his charming clumsiness, and ridiculous antics.

Best kids books for ages 8+

19. Charlotte's Web

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E.B. White's Charlotte's Web has been a favourite of young readers since it was published in 1952. The book touches on important things like friendship, change, and the miracles of life and death. 

20. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

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Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the classic tale of the wildly famous (and famously wild) chocolate factory and the five lucky children who were given a tour of the factory by the enigmatic and strange Willy Wonka.

21. Matilda

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We're pretty much unabashed at adding another Roald Dahl story in this list. Frankly, we think he's one of the best children's writers the world has ever read.

Matilda is the story of a highly intelligent five-and-a-half-year-old girl named Matilda, a widely read child. She pulls pranks on the adults around her because she's being constantly neglected and abandoned. Matilda then befriends a teacher who recognizes her abilities. She eventually uses her abilities for good and rises to the top of the class.

22. Madeline

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The widely popular Madeline series of books is written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans. It follows the story of a spunky French girl who goes through the trials of boarding school (and at one point, the removal of her appendix) with aplomb and poise. 

23. Coraline

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The book tells the story of a young girl called Coraline, who moves to a new house and discovers a lurking evil. She manages to outwit and defeat the unspeakable evil who's about to destroy her family using her guts, her wits, and bravery in the face of fear.

24. A Series of Unfortunate Events

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Written by Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler) with illustrations by Brett Helquist, the 13-book series follows the story of the Baudelaire children: Violet, Klaus, and Sunny. After the mysterious fire that destroyed their family home and killed their parents, the children go on a journey to seek a new home.

They are pursued by a villain by the name of Count Olaf who is after their family fortune. Using their wits, bravery, and the unbreakable bond of siblings, they manage to overcome Count Olaf and his schemes.

 

More best kids books

The best thing about really good children's books is there are so many good ones to choose from out there. There are so many of them from across time and space, in different languages, that one childhood isn't enough to read them all. If you're looking for more best kids books out there, you check out Time's 100 Best Children's Book list. Teach your kids the love of reading and they will love it for a lifetime.

 

YOU CAN ALSO READ: Teach your kids how to love books at a young age.