Best Children's Books About Magic

The Top 44 Children's Books About Magic

Updated Feb. 19, 2019

Looking for the ultimate list of magical books for your book lovers?! Well abra cadabra and bippity boppity boo, here they are, just for you!

Stephen King was right when he said that "books are a uniquely portable magic," but we're taking it a step further by rounding up the best children's books containing magic. Whether it's Harry Potter casting magic spells, Peter Pan sprinkling magical pixie dust to make you fly, or paintings coming to life, this book list is sure to have the best magical stories available for you to enjoy.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone book
#1
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Written by J. K. Rowling
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

It's Harry Potter... a.k.a. the gold standard by which children's literature will be measured for years... need I say more? The classic battle between good and evil, a beautifully constructed magical world, and intricate backstory all set in a perfectly appropriate eleven-year-old's frame of reference with school, teachers, friends, sports (Quidditch!) and rivalries with bullies.

Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The World-Famous Book of Counting book
#2
The World-Famous Book of Counting
Written and illustrated by Sarah Goodreau
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This counting, lift-the-flap book of counting is so magical! I love the theme of magic and the pop up features, as well. Such a fun, colorful, unique counting book.

Prepare to be amazed by this fabulously clever lift-the-flap, pop-up, pull-out book about numbers. Sarah Goodreau's magic-themed illustrations add a touch of nostalgia and vintage glamour to this fun and elegant counting book. With spectacular sorcery and sensational illusions, there's something here for magic lovers of all ages. A stylish lift-the-flap, pop-up, pull-out book about numbers with a magic theme

Cinderella book
#3
Cinderella
Written by Chloe Perkins and illustrated by Sandra Equihua
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

The classic story of Cinderella gets a fresh twist in this vibrant Mexican spin on the beloved fairy tale! Once upon a time, there was a girl who lived in a little cottage with her stepmother and two stepsisters... The classic tale of Cinderella gets a fresh twist in this debut title of a brand-new board book series, Once Upon a World. With Mexico as the backdrop, and vibrant artwork from Mexican illustrator Sandra Equihua, Cinderella is still the same girl with a fairy godmother and a glass slipper—but she’s totally reimagined. Once Upon a World offers a multicultural take on the fairy tales we all know and love. Because these tales are for everyone, everywhere.

Arabian Nights Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp book
#4
Arabian Nights Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This BabyLit version of Aladdin is beautiful! The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. There's a pretty decent storyline in this board book, which I like.

With this sounds primer, hear the whoosh of a jinni, the rustle of a magician's robes, the tinkle of jewels in a cave of treasures, and much more.

A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans book
#5
A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans
Written by Joanne Ryder, Laurence Yep and illustrated by Mary Grandpre
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This humorous story of a dragon and her "pet" human takes you on an adventure with plenty of mayhem! It takes teamwork to fix the chaos Winnie accidentally created, but this story of adventure is so fun with all the humor weaved inside! You'll laugh with and love these characters.

"Crusty dragon Miss Drake has a new pet human, precocious Winnie. Oddly enough, Winnie seems to think Miss Drake is her pet-a ridiculous notion! Unknown to most of its inhabitants, the City by the Bay is home to many mysterious and fantastic creatures, hidden beneath the parks, among the clouds, and even in plain sight. And Winnie wants to draw every new creature she encounters- the good, the bad, and the ugly. But Winnie's sketchbook is not what it seems. Somehow, her sketchlings have been set loose on the city streets! It will take Winnie and Miss Drake's combined efforts to put an end to the mayhemabefore it's too late. This refreshing debut collaboration by Laurence Yep, a two-time Newbery Honor winner and a Laura Ingalls Wilder Award winner, and Joanne Ryder features illustrations by Mary GrandPrU. Praise for A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans *oWarm humor, magical mishaps, and the main characters' budding mutual respect and affection combine to give this opener for a planned series a special shine.o uBooklist, Starred oAternately comical, suspenseful and sometimes sweetly emotional.o uKirkus ReviewsoWith a black-and-wh

The Thief Lord book
#6
The Thief Lord
Written by Cornelia Funke and illustrated by Christian Birmingham
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The enchanting international bestseller with bonus back matter and a beautiful new cover! Two orphaned brothers, Prosper and Bo, have run away to Venice, where crumbling canals and misty alleyways shelter a secret community of street urchins. Leader of this motley crew of lost children is a clever, charming boy with a dark history of his own: He calls himself the Thief Lord. Propser and Bo relish their new "family" and life of petty crime. But their cruel aunt and a bumbling detective are on their trail. And posing an even greater threat to the boys' freedom is something from a forgotten past: a beautiful magical treasure with the power to spin time itself.

Malala's Magic Pencil book
#7
Malala's Magic Pencil
Written by Malala Yousafzai and illustrated by Kerascoet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

This shows magic in a whole new light. It is a true story of a young girl from Pakistan. She watched a show of a young boy that had a magic pencil. Whatever he drew with his magic pencil appeared. She wished she had one so she could draw things like a new ball for her and her brothers to play with. She wished for beautiful dresses for her mother and buildings for her father. She was very selfless in her wishes. Then one day she saw some very poor children and it changed her outlook on life. She realized how blessed she was to get to go to school. She wanted this for other children and started to write about it. This became magic to her and to others as people started listening to her story.

Malala's first picture book will inspire young readers everywhere to find the magic all around them. As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil. She would use it to make everyone happy, to erase the smell of garbage from her city, to sleep an extra hour in the morning. But as she grew older, Malala saw that there were more important things to wish for. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to make her wishes come true. This beautifully illustrated volume tells Malala's story for a younger audience and shows them the worldview that allowed Malala to hold on to hope even in the most difficult of times.

Extra Yarn book
#8
Extra Yarn
Written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From bestselling and award-winning author Mac Barnett and illustrator Jon Klassen comes Extra Yarn, a Caldecott Honor Book, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner, and a New York Times bestseller. A young girl and her box of magical yarn transform a community in this stunning picture book. With spare, gently humorous illustrations and a palette that moves from black-and-white to a range of color, this modern fairy tale has the feel of a new classic. Fans of Oliver Jeffers and Peter Brown will love this book.

The Magical Life of Mr. Renny book
#9
The Magical Life of Mr. Renny
Written and illustrated by Leo Timmers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

A great story about Mr. Renny's journey to discover that more stuff won't necessarily make you happiest in the long run... but following your passion and developing friendships will! The signature illustrations are snazzy and unique and add additional depth and interest to the story.

When he is unable to sell his paintings and has no money for food, Mr. Renny meets a man who is able to make his paintings come to life.

Two of Everything book
#10
Two of Everything
Written and illustrated by Lily Toy Hong
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When old Mr. Haktak digs up a curious brass pot in his garden, he has no idea what use it can be. On his way home, Mr. Haktak decides to carry his coin purse in the mysterious pot. But when Mrs. Haktak’s hairpin accidentally slips into the pot and she reaches in to retrieve it, the magic of the pot is revealed. Not only are there two hairpins inside, but there are also two purses!

Strega Nona's Magic Lessons book
#11
Strega Nona's Magic Lessons
Written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This delightful new edition of Tomie dePaola’s beloved classic stars Strega Nona at her trickiest—and bumbling Big Anthony at his silliest! Bambolona is tired of working in her Papa’s bakery. There is far too much to do! So she decides to go to wise Strega Nona and learn a little magic, instead. But here comes Big Anthony. He wants to learn, too…if he doesn’t make a big mess of things first!

Beauty and the Beast book
#12
Beauty and the Beast
Written and illustrated by Jan Brett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Originally published in 1989, this luminous reissue of an all-time favorite fairy tale will attract an even wider audience with its romantic new jacket and a shortened text. Exquisite illustrations of Beauty and her mysterious suitor, the Beast, are set in a magical castle where animals dressed in period costumes serve them. Woven into glorious tapestries throughout are hidden clues hinting at the Beast’s secrets, setting Brett’s version apart from others.

Journey book
#13
Journey
Written and illustrated by Aaron Becker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Follow a girl on an elaborate flight of fancy in a wondrously illustrated, wordless picture book about self-determination — and unexpected friendship. A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart’s desire? With supple line, luminous color, and nimble flights of fancy, author-illustrator Aaron Becker launches an ordinary child on an extraordinary journey toward her greatest and most exciting adventure of all.

Keith the Cat with the Magic Hat book
#14
Keith the Cat with the Magic Hat
Written and illustrated by Paul Linnet, Sue Hendra
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Meet Keith—a very cute cat with a magical hat! When Keith wears the hat, it makes bunnies appear out of nowhere! It even makes a stick move all on its own! But when Keith’s hat falls off, will the magic still work and save the day?

Inkheart book
#15
Inkheart
Written by Cornelia Funke
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

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?

Tornado Slim and the Magic Cowboy Hat book
#16
Tornado Slim and the Magic Cowboy Hat
Written and illustrated by Bryan Langdo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Tornado Slim is just your regular cowboy…until the day he meets the coyote. The coyote gives Slim his special hat and asks him to deliver a letter to the sheriff of Fire Gulch City. Slim has never been to Fire Gulch City, but he figures he can handle it. As Slim travels from town to town, disaster seems to follow. Pretty soon Slim learns that his new hat is NOT your average cowboy hat. Will Slim ever make it to Fire Gulch City? And what did the wily coyote put down in that letter, anyway? Watercolor illustrations add lively humor to this original tall tale.

First Stories: Peter Pan book
#17
First Stories: Peter Pan
Written and illustrated by Miriam Bos
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Fun, interactive book about the magical story of Peter Pan. :) My favorite part of this book is the mix of interactive abilities--it has tabs to pull out, flaps to lift, and parts to swipe back and forth. I think the illustrations are darling and that it's a pretty well-condensed version of the story.

Push, pull, and slide the scenes to bring the classic story of Peter Pan to life. "Second star to the right and straight on till morning!" First Stories: Peter Pan is a perfect introduction to this classic tale. Push, pull, and turn mechanisms bring the story to life and introduce all the main characters: Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, The Lost Boys, and Captain Hook. This well-loved fairy tale is beautifully imagined for a new generation by illustrator Miriam Bos.

Magic Shoelaces book
#18
Magic Shoelaces
Written and illustrated by Audrey Wood
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

When Matthew trades his shoelaces for magic ones that never come untied, he soon discovers that this has some disadvantages.

Ten Magic Butterflies book
#19
Ten Magic Butterflies
Written by Danica McKellar and illustrated by Jennifer Bricking
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Fairies, butterflies, and magic help to make this math-focused board book from the "New York Times"-bestselling author of "Goodnight, Numbers" and star of "The Wonder Years" positively enchanting! Full color.

Magic Box book
#20
Magic Box
Written and illustrated by Katie Cleminson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

For Eva, a young girl with a lively imagintation, a seemingly ordinary box becomes a portal to a magical, wonder-filled world./DIV Eva wishes for a pet. She reaches into her magic box and pulls out Monty. But he's not quite what she had in mind. (He's a polar bear.) What else might be in the magic box? A colony of festive rabbits, some delicious food, and a band of the very best musicians (including a sax-playing leopard)! The party is officially on! Once everyone has danced their socks off, Eva clicks her fingers to make everything vanish. Well, not quite everything... DIVKatie Cleminson's lively and fanciful illustrations are the perfect vehicle to convey the transformative power of a young child's imagination.

The Marvelous Toy book
#21
The Marvelous Toy
Written by Tom Paxton and illustrated by Steve Cox
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

For nearly half a century, “The Marvelous Toy” has enchanted children and adults alike. A simple tale about a mysterious, magical, and mystical toy that a father gives to his son—and that eventually gets passed down to the next generation—it celebrates a child’s sense of wonder. Featuring incredible and wildly imaginative art by Steve Cox, the story is now as amazing to look at as it always has been to listen to. Parents, grandparents, and friends will remember this classic from their own youth—and joyfully share it with their own children. And just like the boy whose “eyes nearly popped right out of his head,” young readers will give “squeals of glee” at the magic of the artwork and this one-of-kind tale.

Light Up the Stars! book
#22
Light Up the Stars!
Written and illustrated by Gabriele Clima
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Paint the sky with rainbows and make the stars shine with this novelty board book! Kids just pull the tabs to make colorful flowers bloom, help a ship sail the ocean, and light up an entire city. At the end, you can shut a boy's eyes to put him to sleep at night . . . and wake him in the morning. It's magical!

The Itsy Bitsy Leprechaun book
#23
The Itsy Bitsy Leprechaun
Written by Jeffrey Burton and illustrated by Sanja Rescek
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

The itsy bitsy leprechaun is ready for a St. Patrick's Day adventure as he searches for a lucky four-leaf clover. This magical twist on the classic nursery rhyme "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" encourages little ones to find the perfect four-leaf clover hidden within the book. Full color.

Honey Moon Shiver book
#24
Honey Moon Shiver
Written and illustrated by Joyce Magnin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

"Honey Moon is in a terrible pickle. She borrowed her mother's precious silver locket without permission and now the family heirloom has gone missing. Honey suspects it was taken by one of her best friends. She sets out to find the necklace before her mother notices it's gone. Along the way, Honey meets Shiver, who turns out to be much more than the owner of the newest popsicle shop in Sleepy Hollow. With Shiver's guidance and a bit of magic, Honey is able to track down the locket and learn the importance of telling the truth and the power of forgiveness."--Amazon.com.

Day Dreamers book
#25
Day Dreamers
Written and illustrated by Emily Winfield Martin
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Emily Winfield Martin shows little ones that letting their imaginations run free will lead them into fantastical day dreams. Whether cloud-gazing or wandering through a museum, reading a book or playing in a tide pool, the children in this board book encounter magical creatures such as dragons, unicorns, griffins, and jackalopes.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.