Our Favorite 39 Books to Read With Your Kids About How Awesome Reading Is

Updated Mar. 19, 2019

This feels meta... reading books about reading, but they're important! Reading opens wonderful, magical worlds to the imagination, takes you exciting places, and introduces you to friends who will stay with you your entire life and teach you incredible things. Learning to read can be difficult and discouraging at times, and these books will remind your kids of the simple truth that if you don't love to read yet, it's simply because you haven't found the right book—as in Miss Brooks Loves Books (And I Don't)—or the right person to read to—as in Madeline Finn and the Library Dog. Whether your child already loves to read (or not!) these books are sure to get them a little more excited about reading!

The Snatchabook book
#1
The Snatchabook
Written by Helen Docherty and illustrated by Thomas Docherty
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

The charming rhyming text and sweet yet spunky illustrations of The Snatchabook were created by a husband and wife team—how cool! Together they weave a FANTASTIC story about a love of reading and friendship that teaches kindness, understanding, empathy, and forgiveness… all while being absolutely enjoyable! This is sure to become an all-time favorite—it is one of ours!

Where have all the bedtime stories gone? A delightful addition to the picture book canon about the love of reading One dark, dark night in Burrow Down, a rabbit named Eliza Brown found a book and settled down...when a Snatchabook flew into town. It's bedtime in the woods of Burrow Down, and all the animals are ready for their bedtime story. But books are mysteriously disappearing. Eliza Brown decides to to stay awake and catch the book thief. It turns out to be a little creature called the Snatchabook who has no one to read him a bedtime story. All turns out well when the books are returned and the animals take turns reading bedtime stories to the Snatchabook.

The Storybook Knight book
#2
The Storybook Knight
Written by Helen Docherty and illustrated by Thomas Docherty
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Told in perfect rhyme and gorgeously illustrated, this is a fantastic book about a young knight who draws on street smarts, common courtesy, books and a little kindness to brave the monsters he encounters, rather than fighting. I really like that he goes about what his parents ask him to do (even though it's not to his taste!) with his own unique style and that his parents, in turn, are able to embrace his preferences as he demonstrates their true value. Books and reading can indeed be a powerful weapon and tool!

Even dragons love a good story... Leo was a gentle knight in thought and word and deed. While other knights liked fighting, Leo liked to sit and read... When Leo's mom and dad pack him off to fight a dragon, he takes a shield, a sword―and a pile of his favorite books. But can a story be as mighty as a sword?

The Spelling Bee Before Recess book
#3
The Spelling Bee Before Recess
Written by Deborah Lee Rose and illustrated by Carey F. Armstrong-Ellis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love this book. The rhyme and vocabulary use are fantastic, and the lessons in this book are wonderful without being overly obvious or literal. I think it's great that the main character *SPOILER* didn't win the spelling bee, and that was ok. This book shows that winning isn't everything, and that reading is one of the best things we can do. Plus, there's a list of spelling words used throughout the book in the very back so that you can try spelling them yourself!

The students were squirming but none made a sound, as the spelling bee entered its championship round. It’s right before recess, and the annual school spelling bee is down to just three spellers: Cornelius the Genius, Smart Ruby, and The Slugger, who never strikes out. Round after round, the words whizz at them, but with one minute left until recess, there’s still no winner. Who will triumph? It all comes down to one final word, and a curveball that no one sees coming! Deborah Lee Rose’s clever rhyming text packs a laugh-out-loud wallop with words that young readers will enjoy spelling and reading aloud again and again. Fun and whimsical illustrations by Carey F. Armstrong-Ellis provide the perfect balance of humor and suspense as readers find out whether The Slugger will hit a grand slam or finally strike out. The book includes three spelling lists that can be used for spelling bees at home, in school, at the library, or for community events. An author’s note describes why and how words were chosen.

Madeline Finn and the Library Dog book
#4
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.

Bunny's Book Club book
#5
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.

The Mermaid's Purse book
#6
The Mermaid's Purse
Written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Another beautiful story by Patricia Polacco, and illustrated in her signature style. One little girl's love of reading allows her to help her entire community with their everyday struggles as well as inspiring them to love books as much as she does. The sense of community when Stella loses her precious library to a twister is touching and seems to bring the message of caring full circle.

"Stella loves books so much, she starts her own library--but then a storm threatens to destroy everything"--

The Incredible Book Eating Boy book
#7
The Incredible Book Eating Boy
Written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Like many children, Henry loves books. But Henry doesn’t like to read books, he likes to eat them. Big books, picture books, reference books . . . if it has pages, Henry chews them up and swallows (but red ones are his favorite). And the more he eats, the smarter he gets—he’s on his way to being the smartest boy in the world! But one day he feels sick to his stomach. And the information is so jumbled up inside, he can’t digest it! Can Henry find a way to enjoy books without using his teeth? With a stunning new artistic style and a die-cut surprise, Oliver Jeffers celebrates the joys of reading in this charming and quirky picture book. It’s almost good enough to eat.

Books Always Everywhere book
#8
Books Always Everywhere
Written by Jane Blatt and illustrated by Sarah Massini
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

For the very young, books can be anything from a chair or a tower to a hat but the best thing they can be is a book - and it's never to soon to share a good book with your little ones.

How Rocket Learned to Read book
#9
How Rocket Learned to Read
Written and illustrated by Tad Hills
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A little yellow bird teaches Rocket the dog how to read by first introducing him to the "wondrous, mighty, gorgeous alphabet."

Miss Brooks Loves Books! book
#10
Miss Brooks Loves Books!
Written by Barbara Bottner and illustrated by Michael Emberley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from 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!

A first-grade girl who does not like to read stubbornly resists her school librarian's efforts to convince her to love books until she finds one that might change her mind.

Inkheart book
#11
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?

Love You, Hug You, Read to You! book
#12
Love You, Hug You, Read to You!
Written by Tish Rabe and illustrated by Frank Endersby
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato

As a parent, I like that just reading this book is a subtle reminder to love more, hug more and read more. I also like that on each page there are questions that you can ask your child and it's a nice reminder to stop and talk about books and not just read through them.

“There are three things I’ll always do . . . love you, hug you, read to you!” The simple promise of togetherness offered in this board book is enhanced by interactive prompts throughout, encouraging parents to engage with their child while reading. Studies show that asking questions, like the ones in this book, helps children learn to read faster than if they just listen to a story. Love and literacy are gifts we can give to our children every day! Also available as a bilingual (Spanish and English) edition entitled Te Amo, te Abrazo, leo contigo!

The Boy who was Raised by Librarians book
#13
The Boy who was Raised by Librarians
Written by Carla Morris and illustrated by Brad Sneed
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

You Can Read book
#14
You Can Read
Written by Helaine Becker and illustrated by Mark Hoffmann
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

adventure that can take you anywhere! You can read at the playground, under the sea, at the opera and even in outer space! It turns out you can read everywhere! And when you do, you open yourself to a universe of adventure. Presented in light-hearted, rib-tickling verse that's perfect for reading aloud, You Can Read sings it loud and proud: Books are awesome. And so are the people who read them.

Wild about Books book
#15
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.

This Is Sadie book
#16
This Is Sadie
Written by Sara O'Leary and illustrated by Julie Morstad
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A little girl with a big imagination fantasizes about her many adventures and identities that depict her talking with the birds in the treetops, flying to amazing lands and inventing endlessly creative stories. By the creators of the Henry series.

The Whisper book
#17
The Whisper
Written and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Her magical book of stories is wordless until a whisper in the wind tells a little girl to imagine a story for each page.

Whisper book
#19
Whisper
Written by Joe Fitzpatrick and illustrated by Marco Furlotti
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This is a darling bedtime book about reading a book as you're getting ready for bed. There's not a huge storyline, but I thought it was sweet and liked that it has you whisper, it adds some variation to the reading experience. :)

Bedtime has never been so quiet. This beautiful bedtime picture book will quickly become a favorite for naptime, bedtime and cuddle-up-and-read time. Remember to snuggle up close, because you whisper when you read this book.

The Lonely Book book
#20
The Lonely Book
Written by Kate Bernheimer and illustrated by Chris Sheban
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore book
#21
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Written by William Joyce and illustrated by Joe Bluhm
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Beatrice Doesn't Want to book
#22
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.

How Do Dinosaurs Learn to Read? book
#23
How Do Dinosaurs Learn to Read?
Written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Mark Teague
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Told in rhyming text young dinosaurs learn to read, but only after many mishaps, like chewing their books and throwing them at the cat--but eventually they learn to respect their books, and treat them properly.

Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree book
#24
Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree
Written and illustrated by Naoko Stoop
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

The story is cute and I love that they create a book nook and turn it into a library, with the over-arching message of sharing and the joy of reading! I like the different feel of the illustrations, too, but I do struggle to say "Red Knit Cap Girl" as often as it's written in the book, and get a little tired of saying it after reading it once

This new adventure with Red Knit Cap Girl and her friends uses simple prose and radiant illustrations to shine a light on the joy of reading and the importance of working together. One day Red Knit Cap Girl and her friends discover a hollow tree in the middle of the forest. What can be done with one ordinary tree? "I will keep my book in this nook so everyone can read it," Red Knit Cap Girl says. But the tree isn't only for books. Little by little, one by one, the animals share their unique gifts and turn the ordinary tree into a special spot for everyone to enjoy!

A Child of Books book
#25
A Child of Books
Written by Oliver Jeffers and illustrated by Sam Winston
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-9

A young reader introduces a boy to the many imaginative worlds that books bring to life.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!