Libraries: Books For Kids

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

Julie Andrews said: “The world is full of magical places, and the library has always been one of them for me. A library can be that special place for our children.” A building full of books, any of which can be checked out, taken home, and read and re-read—how amazing is that? We love reading over here, and while we’re huge proponents of building your personal library (agreeing with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that “It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own.”), public libraries simply allow you access to that many more books, which is a powerful thing. In honor of libraries and they wonderful stewards the librarians, check out this list of some truly fantastic titles about libraries!

Library Mouse #1 book
#1
Library Mouse #1
Written and illustrated by Daniel Kirk
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Sam, a shy but creative mouse who lives in a library, decides to write and illustrate his own stories which he places on the shelves with the other library books but when children find the tales, they all want to meet the author. 10,000 first printing.

Max and Bird book
#2
Max and Bird
Written and illustrated by Ed Vere
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Max, a kitten, and Bird, a very young bird, want to be friends but Max also wants to eat Bird, so they strike a deal.

Bunny's Book Club book
#3
Bunny's Book Club
Written by Annie Silvestro and illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This is an adorable book about a little rabbit who discovers the library and a love of reading and then introduces his friends to the fun as well. The illustrations are as sweet as the story, and the excitement the animals feel about reading is palpable! While borrowing books without permission isn’t a great idea, the librarian’s kind resolution is the perfect ending.

Bunny loves reading so much that he begins sneaking into the library at night to borrow books, and soon his friends want to join him.

Tinyville Town: I'm a Librarian book
#4
Tinyville Town: I'm a Librarian
Written and illustrated by Brian Biggs
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

The Tinyville Town preschool series stacks up in a whole new way with the addition of the fourth volume, “I m a Librarian” the latest board book to feature one of the many diverse residents of the charming town. In “I m a Librarian,” readers get to know the town librarian as he helps a little boy find a favorite book. As the search progresses, fans of the series will recognize many other residents of Tinyville Town also visiting the library. From”New York Times”bestselling author and illustrator Brian Biggs, the Tinyville Town series launched in 2016 with three books: “Tinyville Town Gets to Work!, “a world-establishing picture book that introduces the town and its many residents, and two board books: “I m a Veterinarian”and”I m a Firefighter.”With a nod to the busy world of Richard Scarry and the neighborhood feel of “Sesame Street,” this new series is becoming a favorite among preschoolers and a staple of preschool classroom libraries.Set in a cozy community of kind, friendly people, the Tinyville Town books are idealfor story time and class discussions about occupations and community helpers. “

Madeline Finn and the Library Dog book
#5
Madeline Finn and the Library Dog
Written and illustrated by Lisa Papp
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Gorgeous illustrations to accompany this story of a little girl who struggles with reading despite her persistence. Encouraged by her teacher, mother and the librarian, she finally finds the perfect listener to practice on and gains the self-confidence she needs to get a coveted reading star. The story is sweet and beautiful and I love that Madeline discovers she loves to read in a very out of the box way!

Madeline Finn does NOT like to read. But she DOES want a gold star from her teacher. But, stars are for good readers. Stars are for understanding words, and for saying them out loud. Fortunately, Madeline Finn meets Bonnie, a library dog. Reading out loud to Bonnie isn’t so bad; when Madeline Finn gets stuck, Bonnie doesn’t mind. As it turns out, it’s fun to read when you’re not afraid of making mistakes. Bonnie teaches Madeline Finn that it’s okay to go slow. And to keep trying. With endearing illustrations, Lisa Papp brings an inspiring and comforting book to all new readers who just need a little confidence to overcome their fears.

  1. Library Lion - When a lion comes to the library one day, no one is sure what to do. There are no rules about lions in the library. When something terrible happens, the lion quickly comes to the rescue in the only way he knows how.

  2. Miss Brooks Loves Books! - B is for Bookworm - The teacher in this book really puts a lot of effort into helping her students fall in love with reading! One little girl doesn’t think she’ll ever love a book as much as her teacher, as the books she sees are all too pink or flowery. She eventually finds a book about ogres that she falls in love with and shares with her entire class, and it just goes to show that there is a book for everyone—if you don’t love reading, you simply haven’t found the right book!

  3. Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré - The Goodfather - This is a meaningful story of heritage, immigration, and carving a path for others to follow. I loved learning about Pura Belpré and her love of storytelling and work as a librarian. The inclusion of Spanish words that can be understood in context adds an authentic touch, and the illustrations are also very unique and bright.

  4. Dreamers - Winner of the 2019 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award! A New York Times / New York Public Library Best Illustrated Book of 2018 In 1994, Yuyi Morales left her home in Xalapa, Mexico and came to the US with her infant son. She left behind nearly everything she owned, but she didn’t come empty-handed. She brought her strength, her work, her passion, her hopes and dreams. . . and her stories. Caldecott Honor artist and six-time Pura Belpré winner Yuyi Morales’s gorgeous picture book Dreamers is about making a home in a new place. Yuyi and her son Kelly’s passage was not easy, and Yuyi spoke no English whatsoever at the time. But together, they found an unexpected, unbelievable place: the public library. There, book by book, they untangled the language of this strange new land, and learned to make their home within it. Dreamers is a celebration of what migrantes bring with them when they leave their homes. It’s a story about family. And it’s a story to remind us that we are all dreamers, bringing our own gifts wherever we roam. Beautiful and powerful at any time but given particular urgency as the status of our own Dreamers becomes uncertain, this is a story that is both topical and timeless. The lyrical text is complemented by sumptuously detailed illustrations, rich in symbolism. Also included are a brief autobiographical essay about Yuyi’s own experience, a list of books that inspired her (and still do), and a description of the beautiful images, textures, and mementos she used to create this book. A parallel Spanish-language edition, Soñadores, is also available.

Tomás and the Library Lady book
#10
Tomás and the Library Lady
Written by Pat Mora and illustrated by Raul Colon and Pat Mora
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

While helping his family in their work as migrant laborers far from their home, Tomas finds an entire world to explore in the books at the local public library.

Inkheart book
#11
Inkheart
Written by Cornelia Funke
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Cornelia Funke, the enormously talented author of the international best-seller THE THIEF LORD, brings readers another spellbinding tale of adventure and magic. Meggie lives a quiet life alone with her father, a book-binder. But her father has a deep secret— he posseses an extraordinary magical power. One day a mysterious stranger arrives who seems linked to her father’s past. Who is this sinister character and what does he want? Suddenly Meggie is involved in a breathless game of escape and intrigue as her father’s life is put in danger. Will she be able to save him in time?

Ronan the Librarian book
#12
Ronan the Librarian
Written by Becky Cattie and Tara Luebbe and illustrated by Victoria Maderna
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This humorous picture book from sister duo Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie and illustrator Victoria Maderna follows Ronan the Barbarian as he he grows from being just a rough-and-tumble warrior to Ronan the Librarian—a rough-and-tumble warrior who loves books.

Ronan was a mighty barbarian. He invaded. He raided. And back home, he traded. He always found the greatest treasures. Until one day, Ronan found something no barbarian wants: A BOOK.

At first, his fellow barbarians are skeptical of his newfound passion for reading, but in the end, even they aren’t immune to the charms of a good book.

That Book Woman book
#13
That Book Woman
Written and illustrated by Heather Henson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

While to my understanding this is not based on one specific true story, it does honor the pack horse librarians as a special part of American history. David Small’s illustrations are lovely and I love the emphasis on facial expressions, particularly the little boy’s as his opinion of books changes from one of disgust and annoyance to true enjoyment as he witnesses the librarian’s commitment to bringing new books to his family come what may. The story is definitely on the longer side and may be geared towards a bit of an older audience, but it is beautifully written and provides an accessible glimpse into one small piece of isolated Appalachian life.

Offers the story of the Pack Horse Librarian who traveled to remote regions throughout the United States during the Depression to deliver books and a stubborn boy who refused to give reading a try. 50,000 first printing.

Wild about Books book
#14
Wild about Books
Written by Judy Sierra and illustrated by Marc Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

All the animals are very curious when a mobile library arrives but soon they can’t wait to learn about this new something called reading. They read thin books and fat books and Cat in the Hat books. Molly even found waterproof books for the otter, who never goes swimming without Harry Potter! Read along with the book-loving animals and go wild, simply wild, about wonderful books.

  1. The Boy who was Raised by Librarians - Melvin discovers that the public library is the place where he can find just about anything—including three librarians who help in his quest for knowledge.

  2. The Library - Meet an unforgettable bibliophile Elizabeth Brown doesn’t like to play with dolls and she doesnt like to skate. What she does like to do is read books. Lots of books. The only problem is that her library has gotten so big she can’t even use her front door anymore. What should Elizabeth Brown do? Start her own public library, of course! With charming verse and watercolors Sarah Stewart and David Small celebrate one of America’s oldest and finest institutions. The Library is a 1995 New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of the Year and Outstanding Book of the Year.

  3. Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library - B is for Bookworm - I thought this book was cute and fun, but a little repetitive and long. The illustrations are great and I love that it talks about how fun the library can be with the reading time, singing time, and different books available. Plus, dragons are always a fun addition, in my opinion. :)

  4. The Not So Quiet Library - It’s Saturday, which means Oskar and Theodore get to go to the library with their dad! It means donuts for breakfast! And it means endless quiet hours lost in stories. But on this not so quiet Saturday, Oskar and Teddy get a rude surprise when they’re interrupted by a five-headed, hangry monster! Will Oskar ever get to finish his book in peace? Will Teddy ever get to gorge on his donuts? Or might both of them hold the secret weapons to taming the beast?

The Lonely Book book
#19
The Lonely Book
Written by Kate Bernheimer and illustrated by Chris Sheban
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

A once-loved book becomes a little more lonely as it ages, becomes worn, and is read less often, but a certain girl finds it and discovers its magic! This story is sure to take you back to your own childhood and remind you of books you loved, maybe even ones you made sure you have in your own library now.

Once popular, an increasingly shabby library book grows lonely until a young girl rediscovers it, but when it becomes lost again, both the book and the girl wonder if they will have a happy ending. By the award-winning author of The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum and the award-winning illustrator of Catching the Moon.

Beatrice Doesn't Want to book
#20
Beatrice Doesn't Want to
Written by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

On the third afternoon of going to the library with her brother Henry, Beatrice finally finds something she enjoys doing.

The Librarian of Basra book
#21
The Librarian of Basra
Written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Presents the true story of how Alia Baker, the librarian of the Basra library, and her friends managed to save the books of the library before the library was burned to the ground during the 2003 Iraq War.

Margret & H.A. Rey's Curious George Visits the Library book
#22
Margret & H.A. Rey's Curious George Visits the Library
Written by Margret Rey and H. A. Rey and illustrated by Martha Weston
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Curious George is lucky to arrive at the library just in time for story hour, but it is not easy for a little monkey to sit still very long. Simultaneous. 58,000 first printing.

Maisy Goes to the Library book
#23
Maisy Goes to the Library
Written and illustrated by Lucy Cousins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Maisy likes going to the library. She loves to read a book in a nice, quiet place. Today, Maisy wants to read a book about fish, but she can only find books about birds or tigers. So she explores some of the other things to do in the library, like using the computer, making copies, listening to music, or looking at fish in the aquarium. Aha! Finally Maisy finds a sparkly book all about fish. But just as she settles into a corner to read, along come Cyril, Tallulah, Eddie, and Ostrich — and they all have noisier activities on their minds!

  1. Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile - When Dorothy was a young girl, she loved books, and she loved people, so she decided that she would become a librarian. Dorothy’s dearest wish is to be a librarian in a fine brick library just like the one she visited when she was small. But her new home in North Carolina has valleys and streams but no libraries, so Miss Dorothy and her neighbors decide to start a bookmobile. Instead of people coming to a fine brick library, Miss Dorothy can now bring the books to them—at school, on the farm, even once in the middle of a river! Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile is an inspiring story about the love of books, the power of perseverance, and how a librarian can change people’s lives.

  2. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore - Morris Lessmore loves words, stories and books, and after a tornado carries him to another land, dreary and colorless, he finds a single book in color that leads him to an amazing library where, he learns, the books need him as much as he needs them.

  3. Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree - The Book Snob Mom - For avid readers especially, this story about building a little community library is charming, with everyone bringing a little something of themselves to share. The illustrations are lovely and feel calm and soothing.

  4. Library on Wheels - If you can’t bring the man to the books, bring the books to the man. Mary Lemist Titcomb (1852-1932) was always looking for ways to improve her library. As librarian at the Washington County Free Library in Maryland, Titcomb was concerned that the library was not reaching all the people it could. She was determined that everyone should have access to the library—not just adults and those who lived in town. Realizing its limitations and inability to reach the county’s 25,000 rural residents, including farmers and their families, Titcomb set about to change the library system forever with the introduction of book-deposit stations throughout the country, a children’s room in the library, and her most revolutionary idea of all—a horse-drawn Book Wagon. Soon book wagons were appearing in other parts of the country, and by 1922, the book wagon idea had received widespread support. The bookmobile was born!

Bats at the Library book
#28
Bats at the Library
Written and illustrated by Brian Lies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This was a fun and different take on a visit to the library… by a group of bats just delighted that the library window has been left open at night. The illustrations are filled with lots of fun details (like the bats hanging upside down for storytime to be read an upside down book!) that add humor and extra movement to the story. My favorite part of this book is the bats palpable excitement to be able to spend time in the library, and how while the bats new to the library initially just want to goof off, they soon discover the delights of books in the library and learn it’s true joy.

Houghton Mifflin Company Another inky evening’s here— The air is cool and calm and clear. Can it be true? Oh, can it be? Yes!—Bat Night at the library!

Dewey: There's a Cat in the Library! book
#29
Dewey: There's a Cat in the Library!
Written by Vicki Myron and illustrated by Brett Witter and Steve James
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

The story of Dewey the celebrated library cat is now available for the youngest of readers in this new, fully-illustrated picture book adventure. When Librarian Vicki Myron finds a young kitten abandoned in the Spencer Library return box, she nurses him back to health, deciding then and there that he will be their library cat, and naming him, appropriately, Dewey Readmore Books. Dewey loves his new home, but once he discovers the littlest library visitors-who like to chase him, pull his tail, and squeeze him extra tight-Dewey begins to wonder if he’s truly cut out for the demands of his new job. In the end, he is triumphant as he realizes that helping people big and small is what he is meant to do, and that by sharing his special brand of Dewey love, he can be the best library cat of all.

The Library Dragon book
#30
The Library Dragon
Written by Carmen Agre Deedy and illustrated by Michael P White
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Sunrise Elementary School has a BIG problem. Their new librarian, Miss Lotta Scales, is a real dragon. When Sunrise Elementary School advertised for a thick-skinned librarian with a burning love of books, Miss Lotta Scales knew she was perfect for the job. Who could guard books better than a REAL dragon? But when she won’t let any of the children take a book from the shelves, the teachers form a delegation. Not even sweet Miss Lemon can convince Miss Lotta Scales that “the library belongs to the children.”Fortunately, when nearsighted Molly Brickmeyer stumbles onto a copy of Snuff the Magic Dragon and reads the tale out loud, her storytelling beckons the children back to the library and brings them face to face with the Library Dragon. Can an open book temper the flames of the school’s hotheaded librarian? This humorous tale by New York Times best-selling author – Carmen Agra Deedy – is paired with Michael P. White’s lively illustrations for an entertaining story about the power and importance of books for both children and adults.

Wolves book
#31
Wolves
Written and illustrated by Emily Gravett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When a young rabbit checks out a library book about wolves, he learns much more about their behavior than he wanted to know, in a dramatic and witty story with two surprise endings.

Lola at the Library book
#32
Lola at the Library
Written and illustrated by Anna McQuinn
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Every Tuesday Lola and her mother visit their local library to return and check out books, attend story readings, and share a special treat.

  1. Otto the Book Bear - Otto lives in a book and is happiest when his story is being read. But Otto has a secret: when no one is looking and the mood strikes, Otto walks right off of his book’s pages! Full color.

  2. Froggy Goes to the Library - Froggy loves the library! When Froggy and Mom and Pollywogilina set out for the library, Froggy brings a wheelbarrow to hold all the books he plans to borrow. There are so many to choose from: Dinosaur books! Books about Space Frog! Froggy is so excited that he forgets to use his indoor voice. Readers enjoy Froggy’s antics, and so does Miss Otterbottom, the librarian. “Come again soon, Froggy,” she says.

  3. Isabella, Star of the Story - Every day is an adventure with Isabella! An everyday visit to the library becomes an unexpected adventure through the pages of classic children’s book favorites! Like Goldilocks, Isabella searches for a book that is juuust right. Should she host a silly tea party in Wonderland with the Mad Hatter? Take a Technicolor trip through Oz with the Cowardly Lion? Or have a swashbuckling good time with the Lost Boys? Join Isabella as she imagines herself in the starring role of these beloved stories and discovers the extraordinary power of reading. Anything is possible between the pages of a good book

  4. Lost in the Library - Steadfast Fortitude and curious Patience are waiting every morning to greet visitors of the Library. That is until, one early morning, when Fortitude finds Patience is missing. The city is about to awake, and the lions absolutely must be in their places before the sun rises. Now, Fortitude must abandon his own post to find his best friend in the Library’s labyrinthine halls. With Josh Funk’s clever rhymes and Stevie Lewis’ vibrant art, Lost in the Library introduces young readers to a pair of unforgettable lions, as well as the famed New York Public Library, and includes bonus material loaded with facts about Patience, Fortitude, and the NYPL’s history.

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library book
#37
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

“Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape”—

Library Lil book
#38
Library Lil
Written by Suzanne Williams and illustrated by Steven Kellogg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A formidable librarian makes readers not only out of the once resistant residents of her small town, but out of a tough-talking, television-watching motorcycle gang as well. An ALA Notable Book. Reprint.

Schomburg: the Man Who Built a Library book
#39
Schomburg: the Man Who Built a Library
Written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Eric Velasquez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

In luminous paintings and arresting poems, two of children’s literature’s top African-American scholars track Arturo Schomburg’s quest to correct history. Where is our historian to give us our side? Arturo asked. Amid the scholars, poets, authors, and artists of the Harlem Renaissance stood an Afro–Puerto Rican named Arturo Schomburg. This law clerk’s life’s passion was to collect books, letters, music, and art from Africa and the African diaspora and bring to light the achievements of people of African descent through the ages. When Schomburg’s collection became so big it began to overflow his house (and his wife threatened to mutiny), he turned to the New York Public Library, where he created and curated a collection that was the cornerstone of a new Negro Division. A century later, his groundbreaking collection, known as the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, has become a beacon to scholars all over the world.

Story Thieves book
#40
Story Thieves
Written and illustrated by James Riley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Except for reading the Kiel Gnomenfoot magic adventure series, Owen’s life is boring until he sees his classmate Bethany climb out of a book in the library. Bethany is half-fictional and has been searching every book she can find for her missing father, a fictional character.

The Night Library book
#41
The Night Library
Written by David Zeltser and illustrated by Raul Colon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

The Polar Express meets The Night at the Museum in this fantastical picture-book adventure about the magic of books and libraries, perfect for book lovers of all ages! After a young boy goes to sleep upset that he’s getting a book for his birthday, he’s visited in the night by Patience and Fortitude, the two stone lions who guard the New York Public Library. Soon, he’s magically whisked away from his cozy home in the Bronx, and the two mighty lions show him the wonder of the library. There, the inquisitive Latino boy discovers the power of books and their role not only in his own life, but also in the lives of the people he loves. Raul Colon’s gorgeous, rich art creates an immersive world in this book about books, which is sure to capture the imaginations of kids and adults and inspire them to grab their library cards and dive into the worlds of stories.

  1. Book! Book! Book! - When the children go back to school, the animals on the farm are bored, so they go into the library in town trying to find something to do.

  2. Stella Louella's Runaway Book - As she tries to find the book that she must return to the library that day, Stella gathers a growing group of people who have all enjoyed reading the book.

  3. Please Bury Me in the Library - A joyful celebration of books, reading, and all things literary is presented through an amusing collection of poems from the author of Scien-Trickery, and is enhanced with full-color illustrations from a debut artist.

  4. Where Are My Books? - A boy investigates a squirrelly situation to track down his missing stories in this charming ode to book lovers of all kinds. Spencer loves to read. He reads a book every night. But one morning his favorite book goes missing, and in its place is a tulip. Spencer searches high and low, but he can’t find his book. The next morning another book is missing, a nut in its place. And the morning after that, another book is missing. What is happening to Spencer’s books? When he finds out, Spencer devises a surprising solution that will delight readers (and librarians) everywhere.

Chicken Story Time book
#46
Chicken Story Time
Written by Sandy Asher and illustrated by Mark Fearing
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A wonderfully silly take on library story time that’s perfect for children, chickens, and everyone in between

Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to story time at the library, of course! The children like the chicken, the chicken likes the children, and everyone loves story time. So it’s no surprise that more children (and more chickens!) get in on the fun until there are more kids and critters than the librarian knows what to do with. Luckily, she comes up with a creative solution and manages to find little R & R for herself.

Fans of Bats in the Library and Library Lion will fall in love and story time will never be the same!

But Excuse Me that is My Book book
#47
But Excuse Me that is My Book
Written and illustrated by Lauren Child
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Lola’s favorite book is not on the library’s shelf, her older brother, Charlie, tries to find another book she will enjoy.

The New LiBEARian book
#48
The New LiBEARian
Written by Alison Donald and illustrated by Alex Willmore
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

It’s storytime at the library but Miss Merryweather, the librarian, is missing! Dee and her friends go in search of her but instead find a rather hairy, new librarian! This debut book by Alison Donald and Alex Willmore is a fantastic mix of nostalgic and modern at the same time. With a little bit of magic thrown in, this book is sure to please both book and bear lovers!

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