Best Children's Books By Age: Books For Kids

Watching children progress in their reading abilities is an incredible experience. Not only is it thrilling to see them begin to recognize and read words, but it’s also thrilling to watch their comprehension of stories improve. This list shows the best children’s books by age and recommends titles across ages newborn to 10 years old.

The books highlighted for newborns emphasize color contrasts for the developing eyesight of infants. We also include some of the titles that tenderly celebrate new life and parenthood. From there, books progress from ages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 through increased levels of detail in illustration, interactivity, and storyline. Some of our selections at ages 5 and 6 revert back to simpler text because at this age, many young readers can begin reading these stories on their own! At ages 6 and 7, we also begin to include simple chapter books, many of which are classics you might recognize. For ages 7, 8, 9, 10, titles increase in length, vocabulary, and story complexity. Some titles also begin to introduce stories that are deeper, more intense, or more emotionally engaging.

Ike's Incredible Ink book
#1
Ike's Incredible Ink
Written and illustrated by Brianne Farley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Cleaning his room and talking to his best friend while preparing to write what he knows will be an incredible story, little Ike discovers that he is missing just the right ink to get his project underway, a need that requires extraordinary effort to fulfill.

Peekaboo! in the Jungle! book
#2
Peekaboo! in the Jungle!
Written and illustrated by Cocoretto
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Peekaboo! Who’s hiding in the jungle? Lift the flap to find out!Perfect for guessing, prediction and memory skills – and simply joining in!

Where's the Party? book
#3
Where's the Party?
Written and illustrated by Ruth Chan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Georgie the cat loves to throw parties but this time, not one of his friends can come.

Goodnight Moon book
#4
Goodnight Moon
Written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In a great green room, tucked away in bed, is a little bunny. “Goodnight room, goodnight moon.” And to all the familiar things in the softly lit room — to the picture of the three little bears sitting on chairs, to the clocks and his socks, to themittens and the kittens, toeverything one by one — the little bunny says goodnight. In this classic of children’s literature, beloved by generations of readers and listeners, the quiet poetry of the words and the gentle, lulling illustrations combine to make a perfect book for the end of the day.

Charlotte's Web book
#5
Charlotte's Web
Written by E.B. White and illustrated by Garth Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Sixty years ago, on October 15, 1952, E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web was published. It’s gone on to become one of the most beloved children’s books of all time. To celebrate this milestone, the renowned Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo has written a heartfelt and poignant tribute to the book that is itself a beautiful translation of White’s own view of the world—of the joy he took in the change of seasons, in farm life, in the miracles of life and death, and, in short, the glory of everything. We are proud to include Kate DiCamillo’s foreword in the 60th anniversary editions of this cherished classic. Charlotte’s Web is the story of a little girl named Fern who loved a little pig named Wilbur—and of Wilbur’s dear friend Charlotte A. Cavatica, a beautiful large grey spider who lived with Wilbur in the barn. With the help of Templeton, the rat who never did anything for anybody unless there was something in it for him, and by a wonderfully clever plan of her own, Charlotte saved the life of Wilbur, who by this time had grown up to quite a pig. How all this comes about is Mr. White’s story. It is a story of the magic of childhood on the farm. The thousands of children who loved Stuart Little, the heroic little city mouse, will be entranced with Charlotte the spider, Wilbur the pig, and Fern, the little girl who understood their language. The forty-seven black-and-white drawings by Garth Williams have all the wonderful detail and warmhearted appeal that children love in his work. Incomparably matched to E.B. White’s marvelous story, they speak to each new generation, softly and irresistibly.

  1. Mr. Popper's Penguins -

  2. Appleblossom the Possum - Mama has trained up her baby possums in the ways of their breed, and now it’s time for all of them—even little Appleblossom—to make their way in the world. Appleblossom knows the rules: she must never be seen during the day, and she must avoid cars, humans, and the dreaded hairies (sometimes known as dogs). Even so, Appleblossom decides to spy on a human family—and accidentally falls down their chimney! The curious Appleblossom, her faithful brothers—who launch a hilarious rescue mission—and even the little girl in the house have no idea how fascinating the big world can be. But they’re about to find out! With dynamic illustrations, a tight-knit family, and a glimpse at the world from a charming little marsupial’s point of view, this cozy animal story is a perfect read-aloud and a classic in the making.

  3. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day - The perennially popular tale of Alexander’s worst day is a storybook that belongs on every child’s bookshelf. Alexander knew it was going to be a terrible day when he woke up with gum in this hair. And it got worse… His best friend deserted him. There was no dessert in his lunch bag. And, on top of all that, there were lima beans for dinner and kissing on TV! This handsome new edition of Judith Viorst’s classic picture book is sure to charm readers of all ages.

  4. Guess How Much I Love You - Sometimes, when you love someone very, very much, you want to find a way of describing how much you treasure them. But, as Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare discover, love is not an easy thing to measure! For two decades, Sam McBratney’s timelessly endearing story, beautifully rendered in Anita Jeram’s exquisite watercolors, has captured the deep and tender bond between parent and child. Guess How Much I Love You is one of the world’s best-loved picture books.

Your Baby's First Word Will Be DADA book
#10
Your Baby's First Word Will Be DADA
Written by Jimmy Fallon and illustrated by Miguel Ordónez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC’s The Tonight Show, is also a father and his hilarious picture book reveals what everyone already knows: that fathers wage a secret campaign to ensure that their babies’ first word is “Dada!” Here he shows us just how it’s done…

The Secret Garden book
#11
The Secret Garden
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

BabyLit® is a fashionable way to introduce your toddler to the world of classic literature. With clever, simple text by Jennifer Adams, paired with stylish design and illustrations by Sugar’s Alison Oliver, these books are a must for every savvy parent’s nursery library. This book introduces your toddler to Burnett’s, The Secret Garden.

Pride & Prejudice book
#12
Pride & Prejudice
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Introduce your little bibliophile to the romantic world of Jane Austen in Pride & Prejudice: A BabyLit® Counting Primer. Stroll through 1 English village to meet 2 rich gentlemen and discover what happens when the 5 Bennet sisters encounter 4 marriage proposals! Alison Oliver’s charming illustrations accompany Jennifer Adams’ clever, simple text to make this take on a beloved classic perfect for little ones.

All in a Day book
#13
All in a Day
Written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Nikki McClure
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

When the sun rises on a new day, it lights a world of possibilities.

Animal Patterns book
#14
Animal Patterns
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Introduce little ones to all sorts of different patterns seen on animals! In Animal Patterns, little ones will be asked which patterns belong to which animals. The pages of this book are filled with familiar, kid-friendly animals, such as giraffes, zebras, tortoises, leopards, and more, rendered in a soft colors that make this an even more enjoyable experience for babies. Each page includes embossed animal patterns, creating a tactile experience for tiny hands. And on the last spread, all the animals appear with their correct patterns!

  1. Look Look Outside! - A black-and-white board book just right for baby’s eyes There’s a world of wonder outside baby’s window in this fourth board book in the popular Look, Look! series. In striking black-and-white images perfect for infant eyes, ladybugs fly, cars zoom, and clouds float. With bold, simple text and art, this board book makes an ideal learning experience for very young babies and a perfect shower gift.

  2. Amelia Bedelia - A literal-minded housekeeper causes chaos in the Rogers household when she attempts to make sense of some instructions.

  3. Gossie - Meet Gossie, a small yellow gosling who loves to wear bright red boots—every day. One morning Gossie can’t find her beloved boots. She looks everywhere for them: under the bed, over the wall, even in the barn. Preschoolers will enjoy helping Gossie find her red boots and delight in where Gossie finally finds them.

  4. Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Tree House No. 1) - Eight-year-old Jack and his younger sister Annie find a magic treehouse, which whisks them back to an ancient time zone where they see live dinosaurs.

Good Night, Gorilla book
#19
Good Night, Gorilla
Written and illustrated by Peggy Rathmann
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

A must-have board book for all babies.

Good night, Gorilla. Good night, Elephant.

It’s bedtime at the zoo, and all the animals are going to sleep. Or are they? Who’s that short, furry guy with the key in his hand and the mischievous grin?

Good night, Giraffe. Good night, Hyena.

Sneak along behind the zookeeper’s back, and see who gets the last laugh in this riotous good-night romp.

Tikki Tikki Tembo book
#20
Tikki Tikki Tembo
Written by Arlene Mosel and illustrated by Blair Lent
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An illustrated Chinese folk tale describes how the Chinese came to give all of their children short names.

Princess Academy book
#21
Princess Academy
Written by Shannon Hale
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

While attending a strict academy for potential princesses with the other girls from her mountain village, fourteen-year-old Miri discovers unexpected talents and connections to her homeland.

On the Night You Were Born book
#22
On the Night You Were Born
Written and illustrated by Nancy Tillman
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

On the night you were born, you brought wonder and magic to the world. The moon stayed up till morning. Polar bears danced. Here is a book that celebrates the one and only ever you! Now available in its entirety in board book format, Nancy Tillman’s masterpiece is perfect for acknowledging the special people in our lives that they are loved.

Tap the Magic Tree book
#23
Tap the Magic Tree
Written and illustrated by Christie Matheson
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The acclaimed interactive picture book about the changing seasons. “Like Hervé Tullet’s Press Here, Matheson’s Tap the Magic Tree proves you don’t need apps for interactivity,” praised the New York Times.

Every book needs you to turn the pages. But not every book needs you to tap it, shake it, jiggle it, or even blow it a kiss

  1. All Aboard! National Parks - From the creators of BabyLit®: Every area of the world can be mapped out for adventure, and brilliant babies love the sophistication of traveling by train. This new board book series written by the husband and wife team of Haily and Kevin Meyers and illustrated by Haily, celebrates the unique qualities of each city while employing a fun primer element to tell the story. These books will have you and baby seeing the world by train and will turn story time into a globetrotting event. Perfect as a souvenir or as part of a geography collection for brilliant babies, the All Aboard! series will be pulling into your station next!

  2. The Going-To-Bed Book - Getting ready for sleep is tons of fun in this Sandra Boynton classic. The sun has set not long ago. Now everybody goes below to take a bath in one big tub with soap all over—SCRUB SCRUB SCRUB! This classic bedtime story is just right for winding down the day as a joyful, silly group of animals scrub scrub scrub in the tub, brush and brush and brush their teeth, and finally rock and rock and rock to sleep.

Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!