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Communication: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about communication?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to communication. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about communication.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about communication, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle to popular sellers like Out of My Mind to some of our favorite hidden gems like Telephone.

We hope this list of kids books about communication can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Goose Girl
Written by Shannon Hale
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-

Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, spends the first years of her life listening to her aunt's stories and learning the language of the birds, especially the swans. As she grows up Ani develops the skills of animal speech, but is never comfortable speaking with people, so when her silver-tongued lady in waiting leads a mutiny during Ani's journey to be married in a foreign land, Ani is helpless and cannot persuade anyone to help her. She becomes a goose girl and must use her own special, nearly magical powers to find her way to her true destiny.

From the Grimm's fairy tale of the princess who became a goose girl before she could become queen, Shannon Hale has woven an incredible and original tale of a girl who must find her own unusual talents before she can lead the people she has made her own.

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Cuckoo!
Written & illustrated by Fiona Roberton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Cuckoo hatches. And all is well. But when his brothers and sisters sing out Too-too-weet! Too-too-weet! Cuckoo instead chirps Cuckoo! and no one can understand him. When he leaves his nest, Cuckoo still can’t find anyone who speaks his language. He tries to communicate with the other animals—coomooing and buckooing and cabooing along the way—but he doesn’t sound like anyone else out there! Just when he thinks all is lost, Cuckoo finds an unlikely friend who understands him perfectly.

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Telephone
Written by Mac Barnett & illustrated by Jen Corace
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s time to fly home for dinner! In this witty picture book from award-winning and bestselling author Mac Barnett, a mother bird gives the bird next to her a message for little Peter. But passing messages on a telephone line isn’t as simple as it sounds. Each subsequent bird understands Mama’s message according to its own very particular hobbies. Will Peter ever get home for dinner? This uproarious interpretation of a favorite children’s game will get everyone giggling and is sure to lead to countless rereads.

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Why?
Written by Adam Rex & illustrated by Claire Keane
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

This sweet book will appeal to anyone familiar with the universal tendency of young children to always ask WHY? When supervillain Doctor X-Ray swoops in threatening to vanquish an innocent crowd, the only one brave enough not to run away is a little girl, who asks him simply, “Why?” He is taken aback—but he answers. She keeps asking. And he keeps answering—until a surprising truth is uncovered, and the villain is thwarted. In this laugh-out-loud take on the small-and-determined-beats-big-loud-bully story, simple questions lead to profound answers in a quest that proves the ultimate power of curiosity.

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Double Trouble
Written & illustrated by Joanne Levy
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Victoria Adelman is lonely. Her best friend has moved away, leaving her to spend the summer alone. One day, on her way home from a bat mitzvah, she meets Jazzy, her next-door neighbors’ granddaughter. Tori hopes her friendless status is about to change.

Later, in her garden, she meets Jazzy again, but Jazzy doesn’t recognize the filthy, smelly girl as the one she met earlier. In a moment of insecurity, Tori tells Jazzy that the girl she met before was her twin sister, Vicky. Tori is sure she can fake being that girl in the dress—it’s only for two weeks.

But then Jazzy announces she’s staying with her grandparents for the school year. Tori needs to figure out what to do: come clean and lose her new friend, or live her life as a fake.

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  • Hello, Love! - How do animals show their love? By touching trunks, beaks, and noses! Toddlers will delight in adorable pairs of fish, ducklings, elephants, and monkeys as they splash, swim, dance, and swing, all while showing affection. Author-illustrator Taro Miura brings a playfulness and verve to this love-affirming board book, which culminates in the ultimate celebration of love: a child embraced by loving parents.

  • Use Your Words, Sophie - Preferring to speak in nonsense languages to tell her parents how she feels, little Sophie is challenged to use her words but prefers to communicate with a baby sister who understands her better. By the award-winning creator of the Max & Ruby series.

  • Where Are You, Blue? - When Blue Dot runs late for dinner, his fellow colors overhear something that causes them to speculate wildly on what might have happened.

  • Phileas's Fortune - In a strange land where people must buy and swallow the words they wish to speak, Phileas hopes to communicate his love to Cybele using the small vocabulary he has been able to afford.

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Out of My Mind
Written by Sharon Draper
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Considered by many to be mentally retarded, a brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time.

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My Fox Ate My Homework
Written & illustrated by David Blaze
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

My name is Jonah Johnson, and I’m in the 6th grade - but please call me Joe. My whole world just got turned upside down. It’s my first day at a new school and I’ve already got to deal with the bully. If that wasn’t bad enough, there’s a talking fox that keeps getting me into trouble at my new house in the country. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true! To top it all off, I’ve got to help save my mom’s house!

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My Name Is Sangoel
Written by Khadra Mohammed and Khadra Mohammed & illustrated by Catherine Stock
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Sangoel is a refugee. Leaving behind his homeland of Sudan, where his father died in the war, he has little to call his own other than his name, a Dinka name handed down proudly from his father and grandfather before him.

When Sangoel and his mother and sister arrive in the United States, everything seems very strange and unlike home. In this busy, noisy place, with its escalators and television sets and traffic and snow, Sangoel quietly endures the fact that no one is able to pronounce his name. Lonely and homesick, he finally comes up with an ingenious solution to this problem, and in the process he at last begins to feel at home.

Written by the authors of the acclaimed Four Feet, Two Sandals, this poignant story of identity and belonging will help young readers understand the plight of the millions of children in the world who are refugees.

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Speak Up
Written by Miranda Paul & illustrated by Ebony Glenn
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

When something really matters, one voice can make a difference. This spirited, vibrant picture book celebrates diversity and encourages kids to speak up, unite with others, and take action when they see something that needs to be fixed.

Join a diverse group of kids on a busy school day as they discover so many different ways to speak up and make their voices heard! From shouting out gratitude for a special treat to challenging a rule that isn’t fair, these young students show that simple, everyday actions can help people and make the world a better place.

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The Whole Sky
Written & illustrated by Heather Henson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12

When a devastating sickness spreads through a thoroughbred farm community, a young horse whisperer is determined to find out why all the foals are dying in this tightly woven, tender coming-of-age novel from award-winning author Heather Henson. Twelve-year-old Sky and her father are horse whisperers—their preternatural tenderness and understanding of horses, and Sky’s uncanny ability to actually understand what they’re saying, become their livelihood during the foaling season at multimillion dollar horse farms. They’re sought after by the most prestigious farms in the country to keep pregnant horses calm and stress-free until they give birth. But this spring, something awful is happening…foal after foal is a stillborn, and no one knows why. And worse for Sky, who lost her mother only months earlier, her most beloved horse is about to have her first foal. In agony, Sky takes it upon herself to figure out what the vets are missing, and stop it before even more foals are lost.

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  • The Word Collector - Overview From the beloved bestselling creator of The Dot and our own Happy Dreamer comes an inspiring story about the transformative and profound power of words. A New York Times Bestseller Named an Outstanding Literary Work for Children by the NAACP Some people collect stamps. Some people collect coins. Some people collect art. And Jerome? Jerome collected words . . . In this extraordinary new tale from Peter H. Reynolds, Jerome discovers the magic of the words all around him — short and sweet words, two-syllable treats, and multisyllable words that sound like little songs. Words that connect, transform, and empower. From the creator of The Dot, I Am Human, and Happy Dreamer comes a celebration of finding your own words — and the impact you can have when you share them with the world.

  • ABC Baby Signs - ABC Baby Signs is a charming third installment in Christiane Engel’s illustrated ABC for Me series, following in the footsteps of ABC Yoga and ABC Love. ABC Baby Signs features twenty-six of the most common, simple baby signs, such as “all done,” “more,” and “please,” to teach babies and toddlers basic ways to communicate with their hands before they can verbalize their needs. This title features one sign per letter of the alphabet, a cute rhyming story, adorable illustrations, and sweet, illustrated demonstrations. Kids and their parents will love learning baby signs together!

  • A Matter-of-Fact Magic Book: No Such Thing as a Witch - “Ruth Chew’s classic books perfectly capture the joy of everyday magic.”—Mary Pope Osborne, bestselling author of the Magic Tree House series Ruth Chew’s chapter books are full of simple, matter-of-fact magic that’s sure to enchant budding fantasy readers. Nora Cooper and her brother Tad don’t know what to make of their new neighbor Maggie Brown. She loves animals and has lots of them—a cat, a parakeet, a dog, and a large black lizard. The other cats and birds in the neighborhood seem to like Maggie as well. And Maggie makes the most delicious fudge. In fact, her fudge is so good, after one piece it almost seems as if Tad and Nora’s father are becoming animal lovers . . . and after several pieces, Nora can even have a conversation with the family dog, Skipper. But what happens when you eat one piece too many?

  • The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle - This Newbery Medal–winning adventure, the second book in the ever-popular Doctor Dolittle series, finds the physician who can talk to animals setting sail in search of a missing colleague. Join the good doctor and his new assistant, nine-year-old Tommy Stubbins, as they hunt for Long Arrow, the world’s greatest naturalist. Together with Jip the Dog, Polynesia the Parrot, and other memorable characters, the doctor and Tommy travel from their home in Puddleby-on-the-Marsh to the Mediterranean sea and South America, braving a shipwreck on a mysterious island and encountering an enigmatic creature at the bottom of the ocean. “Any child who is not given the opportunity to make the acquaintance of this rotund, kindly, and enthusiastic doctor/naturalist and all of his animal friends will miss out on something important,” declared wildlife biologist Jane Goodall. Doctor Dolittle has delighted readers for over a century, ever since Hugh Lofting enlivened his letters from the trenches of World War I with fancifully illustrated tales of a man with a special gift for communication. The doctor remains a beloved figure whose concern for the environment and promotion of peaceful coexistence among all the planet’s creatures form a fine example for readers of all ages.

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The Queen’s Secret
Written by Jessica Day George
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Bestselling author Jessica Day George continues her heartfelt fantasy series about a girl who can communicate with horses and a kingdom on the brink of collapse. Anthea knows the truth about horses. They’re not carriers of deadly disease like everyone in their kingdom thinks; they’re majestic creatures who share their thoughts and feelings with her through The Way. Anthea has convinced the king of this, but at a cost–he demands that horses and riders with The Way do his bidding. But when a deadly plague breaks out, the people believe that horses are the cause. As more fall ill, it’s up to Anthea and her friends to transport medicine, all while keeping out of reach from Anthea’s wicked mother. And when Anthea discovers a secret that could change the kingdom forever, she must risk everything to reveal the truth before it’s too late. Continuing the sweeping storytelling of The Rose Legacy, bestselling author Jessica Day George delights readers–especially horse lovers–once again.

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Good Morning, Gorillas
Written by Mary Pope Osborne & illustrated by Sal Murdocca
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

The magic tree house takes Jack and Annie to an African rainforest, where the siblings encounter gorillas and learn to communicate with them.

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Ping
Written & illustrated by Ani Castillo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

With the visual ingenuity of Press Here and the emotional resonance of What Do You Do with a Problem?, this wise and timely book about the fragile art of personal connection will strike a chord with children and adults alike. In the era of social media, communication feels both more anxiety-producing, and more inescapable, than ever before. This clever, comforting picture book debut explores the challenges and joys of self-expression and social connection. Using an imaginative visual metaphor to bring to life how we send out ( ping!) and receive ( pong!) communications, Ani Castillo’s words and pictures will empower and inspire anyone who has experienced the fear of sharing themselves with the world. With an artful, accessible package, an eloquent message, and a lot of heart, here is a new classic to bring courage and comfort to humans of all ages.

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Skeleton for Dinner
Written by Margery Cuyler & illustrated by Will Terry
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Big Witch and Little Witch have made stew, and now they want to have their friends for dinner! But when Skeleton mistakes the guest list for a menu, he takes off running, and soon Ghost and Ghoul join him too! But poor Little Witch has no idea there’s a misunderstanding. Luckily there’s one creature in the haunted forest who can help everyone figure it all out. This spooky and silly read-aloud is just right for Halloween.

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