Some kids develop a love for books from a very young age. They love seeing colorful images and reading interesting stories. If your child loves reading, then there is no better gift than a book for them.
Through this post, MomJunction helps you introduce your child to some good literature as we bring you the best literary books for children.
21 Best Literary Books For Children
1. Old MacDonald Had a Farm
Author: Golden Books, Anne Kennedy (Illustrator)
Age: 2-5 years
Teaching your little kids nursery rhymes becomes easy when you have a story, song, and illustration book with you. This book contains beautiful illustrations pertaining to the popular nursery rhyme ‘Old MacDonald’. Teaching kids from a book also helps to cultivate a reading habit in them.
2. Steam Train, Dream Train
Author: Sherri Duskey Rinker, Tom Lichtenheld (Illustrator)
Age: 2-5 years
What happens when a train halts at a station, and polar bears pop out of it to restack their car with ice cream? Elephants step out to fill the tanker cars with paint. And tortoise gets himself a race car. These animals set out on a whimsical ride that your child will enjoy and never forget.
The illustrations and rhyming story make it fun to read aloud to kids at bedtime.
3. The Boxcar Children Books 1-4
Author: Gertrude Chandler Warner
Age: 7-10 years
First published in 1942, this book series has always been a favorite amongst a lot of parents for their little kids. It is a story of the Alden family who lives in a boxcar while trying to find their missing grandfather. And during this journey, their biggest challenge is to stick together.
Adventure, suspense, and fun, this book series has it all. The writing is simple for young kids to grasp and gripping enough for children to want to solve the mysteries encountered by the characters.
4. Magic Tree House Boxed Set, Books 1-28
Author: Mary Pope Osborne
Age: 6-9 years
A humungous set of 28 books is based on the adventures of two young kids. One day Jack and Annie come across a mysterious treehouse that is stocked with hundreds of books. These books then take them on a magical journey across the world and time. They traverse through various time zones and learn about dinosaurs, Egyptian mummies, volcanos, dragons, and so on.
This book series is a great way to introduce your child to reading.
5. The 20th-Century Children’s Book Treasury
Author: Janet Schulman (Editor), Profusely illustrated (Illustrator)
Age: 5 years and above
It is a fascinating collection of some of the most loved children’s books of all time. It contains stories, including some the classics, like ‘Madeline’ and ‘Curious George.’ It also includes stories from contemporary books such as ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ and ‘The Stinky Cheese Man.’ You will also find Caldecott Medal winners ‘Make Way for Ducklings’ and ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ in this book. If that wasn’t all, then you can also read the popular stories, like ‘Goodnight Moon,’ ‘The Sneetches,’ ‘Winnie-the-Pooh,’ ‘Alexander & The Terrible,’ and ‘No Good Very Bad Day.’
6. A Treasury of Children’s Literature
Author: Armand Eisen
Age: 4-7 years
It is a collection of folklore, fables, and poems. It also contains snippets from popular children’s tales like ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,’ ‘Pinocchio,’ ‘Peter Pan,’ and so on. Illustrations in this book are largely inspired by artists of the 19th-century. This book is a fine collection of fairy tales with happy endings and those whose endings help teach a moral or a lesson.
The breath-taking illustrations, along with classic folktales, make this book a treasure.
7. My Little Golden Book About God
Author: Jane Werner Watson, Eloise Wilkin (Illustrations)
Age: 3-7 years
If you have always wanted your child to develop love and faith in god, then this book could help you do that. This book delves deep into the tiniest of things around us and shows how god puts great efforts into creating all kinds of different creatures.
With colorful illustrations, this book is a good way to introduce your child to god and of course, to reading too.
8. Sun, Sun
Author: Brad Gray, Alexandra Tillard (Illustrator)
Age: 2-6 years
Summer is the time to get out of the house and have fun under the sun. Beach is the best place to be when you want to enjoy the sun. The book is all about sand castles, long swim, and all the other fun one can have at the beach. This children’s book comes with some lovely illustrations and rhyming text that celebrates summer-time.
9. A Child’s Book of Poems
Author: Gyo Fujikawa (Illustrator)
Age: 3-7 years
If you have been looking for a book to teach your child nursery rhymes, then you could take a look at this book for kids. It contains illustrations by popular American illustrator and author Gyo Fujikawa for poems penned by William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Kate Greenaway, and so on.
Teaching kids poetry could not have been easier.
10. Let’s Celebrate 5 Days of Diwali!
Author: Ajanta Chakraborty, Vivek Kumar
Age: 3-7 years
It is always fun to learn about the festivals and traditions of other countries. Diwali is an Indian festival celebrating the return of Lord Ram from exile and is known as the festival of lights. It is celebrated over five days, and each of these days symbolizes something. Your child will learn about these days and the traditions pertaining to them, along with our two characters Maya and Neel.
11. Amelia Bedelia Chapter Book Box Set
Author: Herman Parish, Lynne Avril (Illustrator)
Age: 6-10 years
Ever heard of Amelia Bedelia? If you have, then you probably know how popular these books are with kids. It is a good option for your kids when you want to improve their vocabulary. It contains short, easy-to-read chapters with black and white illustrations. The stories contain idioms, which your child can learn at the end of the book.
When your child is old enough to start a book series on their own, then you can surely start with this one.
12. The Children’s Book of Virtues
Author: William J. Bennett (Editor), Michael Hague (Illustrator)
Age: 4-8 years
It is editor William Bennett’s collection of poems by Robert Frost, stories from Aesop fables and African folk tales, and so on. The book aims at acquainting the child to moral lessons by focusing on ten human virtues. The stories and poems are accompanied by wonderful artistic illustrations.
13. The Random House Book of Poetry for Children
Author: Jack Prelutsky (Author), Arnold Lobel (Illustrator)
Age: 7 years and above
This book includes some of the best poems specially selected by Children’s Poet Laureate, Jack Prelutsky. It is a mix of more than 500 amusing and interesting poems for kids. The illustrations by Caldecott-winning illustrator, Arnold Lobel are simple yet charming.
Be it nature and living things or children and home, this poem book has a funny take on almost every aspect of life. A good way to introduce your child to poems.
14. Epic Zero Series
Author: R.L. Ullman
Age: 9-12 years
Elliott Harkness dreams of being a superhero. The only hurdle in his way is that he has no superpowers, unlike his entire family of superheroes. He goes to middle school like a regular kid while his family battles evil. But one day opportunity presents itself before him as the world is in danger and only he can save it.
In a world of heroes, sometimes it is a zero who saves the day. A good series to have your preteen child hooked to a fantasy series.
15. Seeds and Trees
Author: Brandon Walden, Kristen and Kevin Howdeshell (Illustrator)
Age: 6-12 years
A prince sees that the seeds in the form of words cause both good and bad trees. As the story progresses, he sees that through the power of his words, all kinds of trees take roots in the garden of his heart. He then meets a friend who helps him nurture all the good trees and destroy all the bad ones. She helps him find the tools so he can decimate the bad trees himself.
This book is a creative approach toward learning what is good and bad in life. Also, how to encourage the good and decimate the bad.
16. “OH DEAR” Said the Deer
Author: Sigal Adler
Age: 3-6 years
What is life without family and friends? Nothing. This book goes on to explain the importance of family and friends in our lives. Through rhyming dialogues between animals like an antler, a deer, an elephant, and so on, it gives a perspective to the readers of how family and friends shape our lives.
This book can be read aloud to kids or can be read independently. It is fun both ways.
17. HarperCollins Treasury of Picture Book Classics: A Child’s First Collection
Author: Tegen Katherine
Age: 4-8 years
This books contains 12 delightful tales, including ‘Goodnight Moon,’ ‘Harold and the Purple Crayon,’ ‘Crictor,’ ‘A Baby Sister for Frances,’ ‘Pete’s a Pizza’ and many more popular children’s tales. It can be an ideal read for kids before they go to bed. Its enchanting illustrations make reading experience all the more exciting. Isn’t it a good idea to have multiple classics in one single book?!
18. The Snail Who Forgot The Mail
Author: Sigal Adler, Adi Rino (Illustrator), Pandu P. Lintang (Illustrator)
Age: 2-10 years
Finding it difficult to deal with a stubborn and impatient child? Then let this book help you out. It is the story of a King who gets angry on the snail, the mailman of the kingdom, for forgetting to get his mails. The snail shows great wisdom and patience to make the King see the wrong in his actions.
The snail’s pearls of wisdom might help in making your child understand the importance of patience.
19. The Friendly Creeper Diaries
Author: Mark Mulle
Mike is a friendly creeper living happily on the mountain top in a village for creepers. But the peace in his village is disturbed after the wither skeletons from Nether attack his village. Left with no option, he runs towards to rest of the Over World to get some help. And from there begins his adventure of exploring the human world, friendship, and survival.
The characters in this book are based on the popular Minecraft game franchise. If your child loves playing Minecraft, then they might just want to give this book a read.
20. The Angry Dragon
Author: Michael Gordon
Age: 5-8 years
It is a picture book following the story of George, who has a dragon named Joe. Joe has temper issues and throws tantrums whenever something goes wrong. George always tries to assuage his anger by making him understand why feeling furious over small things is not good. George helps Joe overcome his anger and makes him a good dragon.
Colorful illustrations and a sweet tale of anger management, your kids can learn a lot from this book.
21. Classic Bedtime Stories
Author: Scott Gustafson
Age: 5-8 years
As the name suggests, the book contains the illustrated version of some of the most popular classic stories. Tales such as ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ ‘Jack and the Beanstalk,’ ‘Sambha and the Tigers,’ and so on are explained in this book though simple words and enchanting images.
Bedtime is one of the best times to read stories to your children. Then why not pick the best stories to read to them.
Literary books are a doorway to boundless knowledge. Through attractive images and simple rhymes, almost any concept can be easily taught to children. Also, a good habit like reading can be inculcated in them from a young age through these interesting books.
Which of these books do you think your child will love? Do let us know in the comment section below.
Disclaimer: MomJunction may earn a commission when products are purchased through affiliate links given in the article. However, this partnership does not influence the editorial content featuring in our list.
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