Best Kids Books About Magic

The Top 19 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.

The World-Famous Book of Counting book
#1
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

Malala's Magic Pencil book
#2
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
#3
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
#4
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
#5
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!

Beauty and the Beast book
#6
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.

Strega Nona's Magic Lessons book
#7
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!

Journey book
#8
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.

Tornado Slim and the Magic Cowboy Hat book
#9
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.

Magic Shoelaces book
#10
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.

Magic Box book
#11
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 Widow's Broom book
#12
The Widow's Broom
Written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Some of Minna Shaw's neighbors don't trust her clever broom. "It's dangerous," they say. But Minna appreciates the broom's help. She enjoys its quiet company. But one day two children get taught a well-deserved lesson by the broom. For her neighbors, this is proof of the broom's evil spirit. Minna is obligated to give up her dear companion. Chris Van Allsburg, master of the mysterious, brings this tale to life with moody and memorable pictures that will haunt readers long after the book's covers are closed—now in a new edition to celebrate this beloved book's twenty-fifth anniversary.

How to Catch a Leprechaun book
#13
How to Catch a Leprechaun
Written by Adam Wallace and illustrated by Andy Elkerton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

You've been planning night and day, and finally you've created the perfect trap! Now all you need to do is wait. Is this the year you'll finally catch the leprechaun? Start a St. Patrick's Day tradition with this fun and lively children's book. How to catch a leprechaun? It's tougher than you think! He'll turn your whole house upside down. He's quicker than a wink!

The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System book
#14
The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System
Written by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

On a special field trip in the magic school bus, Ms. Frizzle's class goes into outer space and visits each planet in the solar system.

Plum book
#15
Plum
Written by Scott Icenogle, Sean Hayes and illustrated by Robin Thompson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From Will & Grace star Sean Hayes and composer Scott Icenogle comes a modern classic inspired by The Nutcracker about how the Sugar Plum Fairy got her wings. Plum will not stay glum. For as long as she can remember, Plum has lived at the Mary Fitzgerald Orphanage, wishing and hoping for a family. When a sudden snowfall threatens a delivery of presents on Christmas Eve, Plum is determined to save Christmas—even for the kids who laugh at her. Plum’s pure heart grants her an unexpected reward. When she eats a cake left behind by a mysterious magician, she is transported into the Land of Sweets. But Christmas here is threatened, too—by a sourness that is spreading from the center of the land. Plum’s determined to help, and in doing so, she might just find the family she’s always dreamed of, thanks to a good heart—and Christmas magic!

The Great Henry Hopendower book
#16
The Great Henry Hopendower
Written by Justin Roberts and illustrated by Deborah Hocking
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

For fans of Grandpa Green, a young boy remembers his much-loved grandpa in this touching story about family, memory and everyday magic. Henry wakes up one bright morning ready to take on the day and find magic! After all, he is the Great Henry Hopendower—an aspiring young magician who learned everything he knows from the very best, his grandpa. Henry has so many favorite memories of his grandfather, including his house with its wobbly cuckoo clock and his famous leaning tower of pancakes that tipped but never toppled. And then there was the day his grandpa gave him a red checkered suit and shared the secret to being a magician: magic is everywhere, you just have to see it. So with Grandpa’s words as his guide, Henry sets off to do the truly impossible. This heartwarming story is a celebration of the magic that surrounds us all and the people we love most.

This Book Is Magic book
#17
This Book Is Magic
Written and illustrated by Ashley Evanson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Make some magic in this colorful, interactive picture book from the author/illustrator of the Hello, World board book series! Do you know that you’re a magician? In this interactive book, use your fingers to perform all kinds of magic tricks. Tap a hat to make a bunny appear, recite a spell to make books bigger, say “Gone-zo!” to make a ship disappear, and much more. But beware: the clever magic tricks don’t always turn out the way you’d expect! Reminiscent of Hervé Tullet’s Press Here, kids—and adults!—are sure to want to read this book again and again as they perfect their magic skills.

Alice's Magic Garden: Before the Rabbit Hole . . . book
#18
Alice's Magic Garden: Before the Rabbit Hole . . .
Written by Henry Herz and illustrated by Natalie Hoopes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Curiouser and curiouser! In this imaginative prequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice finds herself at a gray, dreary boarding school that is decidedly up the rabbit hole. From the relentless clocks to the beastly students, Alice’s world is void of color and cheer—until Alice finds a secret garden and begins tending its wilting inhabitants. When Alice’s love touches an ordinary caterpillar, a lorry bird, and a white rabbit, magical things will happen—and that, as you know, is just the beginning of the story. Filled with literary allusions and clever nods to its classic roots, Alice’s Magic Garden is a delightful prequel that begs an escape to the whimsy of Wonderland.

Polly Diamond and the Magic Book book
#19
Polly Diamond and the Magic Book
Written by Alice Kuipers and illustrated by Diana Toledano
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Polly loves words. And she loves writing stories. So when a magic book appears on her doorstep that can make everything she writes happen in real life, Polly is certain all of her dreams are about to come true. But she soon learns that what you write and what you mean are not always the same thing! Funny and touching, this new chapter book series will entertain readers and inspire budding writers.

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