Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to time. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about time.
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 time, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Big Day Out to popular sellers like The Thief Lord to some of our favorite hidden gems like Time for a Hug.
We hope this list of kids books about time can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.
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.
Travel back in time with this magical tune that takes readers to Halifax in the 1950s. This dreamy and whimsical story visits Point Pleasant Park, the Halifax Public Gardens, Citadel Hill and other historic Halifax landmarks, showing off all the sights and sounds of the city
Size, speed, weight, direction, distance We think of space and time as fixed and measurable. But these measurements—our experience of space and time—they are relative. Our world is relative. With simple, engaging text and vibrant art imbued with light and movement, Our World Is Relative offers a child’s-eye view of time, space, and the vast role that relativity plays in comprehending our world. It’s an introduction to Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, perfect for any curious young scientist.
When two hungry dinosaurs jump into a time machine, they’re transported to an unbelievable, magical, surreal future: RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW! On the T. Rexes’ madcap voyage into the unknown, they encounter the many wonders of the modern world: Police cars! Phones! Microwaves! They don’t know how they’ll get home—but why would they want to? Acclaimed author and illustrator Jared Chapman combines two favorite kid topics—time travel and dinosaurs—with bold colors, big jokes, and a hilarious escapade. This raucous, laugh-out-loud adventure will delight the very young and keep older readers giggling long into the future.
Totally Tardy Marty - Marty tries his best to be on time, but a new invention, a giant squid, or something else slows him down every day to the delight of Never Late Kate, but one day Marty needs Kate’s help and their unlikely new friendship changes both of their nicknames.
Timmy's Monster Diary: Screen Time Stress - Meet Timmy, a lovable monster who can’t get enough of the coolest gadgets and video games. Too bad he doesn’t realize how much time he spends each day in front of a screen. In the same humorous spirit of Diary of a Wimpy Kid comes Timmy’s Monster Diary: Screen Time Stress. Using the “Time-Telling” and “ST4” techniques developed by Dr. Raun Melmed of the Melmed Center in Arizona, Timmy’s Monster Diary teaches kids how to self-monitor the amount of time they spend on technology. Timmy’s hilarious doodles and diary entries chronicle his delightful adventures, misadventures, and eventual triumph in a funny, relatable way. It’s the one book that kids will want to turn off the TV and read! Timmy’s Monster Diary also includes a resource section to help parents and teachers implement Dr. Melmed’s methods, plus ST4 reminders that kids can remove, color, and place around the house.
As an Oak Tree Grows - This inventive picture book relays the events of two hundred years from the unique perspective of a magnificent oak tree, showing how much the world can transform from a single vantage point. From 1775 to the present day, this fascinating framing device lets readers watch as human and animal populations shift and the landscape transitions from country to city. Methods of transportation, communication and energy use progress rapidly while other things hardly seem to change at all. This engaging, eye-opening window into history is perfect for budding historians and nature enthusiasts alike, and the time-lapse quality of the detail-packed illustrations will draw readers in as they pore over each spread to spot the changes that come with each new era. A fact-filled poster is included to add to the fun.
The Time Warp Wonder - Detective brothers Frank and Joe work to debunk a time travel machine in the eighth book in the interactive Hardy Boys Clue Book series. Bayport Elementary is almost ready for the annual science fair—it’s all down to the final touches. Frank and Joe have collaborated on a detective helmet. It’s the perfect lie detector—just place it on a suspect’s head and the bells and whistles will tell you when they’re lying. But not everyone is as prepared for the big fair. Their good friend Phil has designed a time machine he calls the Time Warp Wonder. He just needs to figure out how it works first… Phil uses Chet’s hamster as a test subject. And the machine really does make the hamster disappear from the cafeteria! It’s just that Phil isn’t sure where the hamster went or how to get him back. Frank and Joe are not so sure the hamster went back in time. They have a feeling their Clue Book will be more help to Chet’s hamster than Phil’s calculations. But the brothers start questioning their instincts when they receive pictures of the hamster in different time periods; dressed as caveman with the dinosaurs, suited up in armor in the middle ages, in a top hat watching Abe Lincoln give a speech. Could Chet’s hamster really be traveling though time? It’s up to the Hardy Boys—and you—to find out!
Get ready with Daisy the dawdler as she tries (really!) to get it together in this very real, very funny spin on dilly dallying.
Daisy Marsha Martin is always late. For good reasons, of course. She’s busy saving the world, or teaching her stuffed animals to dance, or finding the perfect shirt to wear. But if Daisy is late one more time, then it’s no more mermaid swim class for her!
This is the perfect story for fans of everyday silliness and for every kid who has been told to stop dawdling.
Learn the days of the week with bestselling author/illustrator Eric Carle through song!
String beans, spaghetti, ZOOOOP, roast beef, fresh fish, chicken and ice cream are the delicious fare during the week in this popular children’s song. Until Sunday. Then, all the world’s children are invited to come together and share in the meal. Celebrated artist Eric Carle brings new energy to these much-loved verses as lively animals parade across the page, munching on favorite dishes, and introducing young readers to the names of the days of the week. Both art and song invite children to join in the procession and sing along.
What does time mean to you? Sometimes it feels like it could last Forever or a Day. The seconds that count in catching the bus; The idyllic hours that slip by so quickly during a perfect day on the lake; The summer days that disappear into blissful happiness . . . Sarah Jacoby’s debut picture book as an author and illustrator is as elegant as a poem and as perfectly paced as a mystery. This beautiful picture books follows an unassuming narrator through a meditation on time through the course of a single day. Inviting comparisons to Virginia Lee Burton and Margaret Wise Brown, this book’s musings on time are at once simple, peaceful, and profound—the work of a truly genius picture book maker.
A busy Hollywood couple spins a hilarious cautionary tale about what happens when you are glued to your phone. It’s a lively day at the neighborhood park. Birds are singing, squirrels are frolicking, dogs are causing a commotion—and wide-eyed children are enthralled by it all. Too bad the parents are missing everything! It’s going to take something really BIG to get them to disengage from their phones . . . This timely story, brought to life with beautiful bold art, is a great reminder to slow down and savor time together.
Jack discovers new abilities, travels to exciting lands, and thwarts a conspiracy brewing deep within the ministries in this epic conclusion to the action-packed Section 13 series.
Jack Buckles is on trial for his life.
The Ministries of Secrets and Guilds, led by Ignatius Gall, are conspiring to put the Ministry of Trackers down for good—starting with Jack’s very existence as a Section 13. His only hope is to prove that Gall is the real danger, not him, and it leads Jack and Gwen from the back streets of London, through the Austrian Alps, to the great reaches of central China.
Joined by their new friend Liu Fai, Jack and Gwen set out to stop Gall before he can uncover ancient Chinese artifacts, said to grant immortality. But a clockwork monster threatens them at every turn, and its turning gears only serve as a reminder that Jack’s judgment day is fast approaching—and that he’s running out of time.
The 65-Story Treehouse - New York Times bestselling author Andy Griffiths invites readers to come hang out with him and his friend Terry in their 65-Story Treehouse-the fifth book in the illustrated middle-grade series filled with Andy and Terry’s signature slapstick humor! Andy and Terry live in a 65-Story Treehouse. (It used to be 52 stories, but they keep expanding.) It has a pet-grooming salon, a birthday room where it’s always your birthday (even when it’s not), a room full of exploding eyeballs, a lollipop shop, a quicksand pit, an ant farm, and a time machine…which is going to be really, reallyuseful now, since Terry messed up (again) and the treehouse just FAILED it’s safety inspection. Join Andy and Terry on a whirlwind trip through time as they try to stop the treehouse from being demolished!
Back to the Future - Great Scott!! The latest in Quirk’s series of Pop Classic Picture Books (following HOME ALONE, THE X-FILES, and E.T.) takes readers on a wild time-traveling trip BACK TO THE FUTURE! The biggest movie of 1985 is now the wildest and wackiest picture book of 2018! Even 30 years after its theatrical debut, BACK TO THE FUTURE is a perennial favorite in classrooms and family movie nights across the country. This picture book by Kim Smith captures all the classic moments of the film. We’ll follow teenage Marty McFly as he travels from 1985 to 1955, meets his parents (as teenagers), and teaches his father how to stand up to bullies. Complete with a time-traveling DeLorean, a crazy mad scientist companion, and a lightning-fueled finale!
Burt's Way Home - Burt s a bluebird and self-proclaimed intergalactic, trans-dimensional time traveler trying to get home, but maybe he s closer than he thinks.”
Full of Empty - Princess Claire’s smile has flown away like a bird—and now she feels “full of empty.” But there’s a way to bring that smile back . . . if only . . . Every child gets bored or lonely—and this warm-hearted story teaches parents and children that a parent’s time and full attention are the best remedy. Full of Empty reminds parents that playing with their children is an important form of love. From award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Tim J. Myers, this beautifully illustrated book will bring home the power of quality time.
Young children’s lives are full of new experiences and we all want to make these enjoyable and rewarding. Talking to children helps them to understand and prepare for these events, and this series of books aim to promote discussion.
Meet the wonder-full Aleca Zamm, an ordinary ten-year-old with an extraordinary ability: she can stop time!
Aleca Zamm has finally reached double digits and she still doesn’t have a “thing”—a special talent or ability that will make her stand out. Her best friend, Maria, has a thing (swim team); her sister, Dylan, has a thing (singing); and even her former BFF Madison has a thing (soccer). But Aleca? No. Thing.
Until the day of her tenth birthday when Aleca discovers she can stop time just by saying her name. Suddenly, Aleca has a thing…and life is about to get a lot more interesting!
It turns out that being a Wonder (as her eccentric Aunt Zephyr, who is also a Wonder, calls it) comes with a few caveats, and that stopping time doesn’t go undetected by other Wonders or those who may be searching for them. With her new mentor Aunt Zephyr by her side, Aleca discovers that being special comes with special challenges she never expected.
Keith Baker’s New York Times bestselling peas are exploring the months of the year in this delightful Classic Board Book!
Hap-pea January! Let’s get going, grab your mittens—hooray, it’s snowing!
The peas have rolled through the letters, numbers, and colors. Now, they’re back to take young readers through the calendar. With bouncy rhyming text and playful pea-packed illustrations, celebrating the months, seasons, and holidays has never been so fun!
Freaky Friday meets Downton Abbey in this middle grade mystery that features a modern day twelve-year-old switching bodies with a Gilded Age heiress in order to solve a famous art heist.
Hannah Jordan lives in a museum…well, sort of. She is the daughter of the caretaker for mansion-turned-museum The Elms in Newport, Rhode Island. Hannah’s captivated by stories of The Elms’s original occupants, especially Maggie Dunlap, the tween heiress subject of a painting that went missing during a legendary art heist in 1905.
But when a mysterious mirror allows Hannah and Maggie to switch places in time, suddenly Hannah is racing to stop the heist from happening, while Maggie gets an introduction to iPhones, soccer (which girls can play!), and freedoms like exploring without supervision. Not to mention the best invention of all: sweatpants (so long, corsets!).
As the hours tick away toward the art heist, something’s not adding up. Can the girls work together against time—and across it—to set things right? Or will their temporary swap become a permanent trade?
Castles, battles, the ancient Scottish Highlands, and a boy who is determined to bring everyone safely home combine in this absorbing middle grade time-travel adventure.
Will’s mother is in danger overseas, and his father must find her, so Will and his little brother are packed off to relatives in Scotland. Will feels useless. He can’t save his mother. He can’t help his father. And when he tries to amuse his brother on the plane ride, he can’t even locate the images in Jamie’s book—the hidden pictures that everyone else can see. Once at the family’s ancestral castle, though, Will tries again. And as he delicately adjusts his focus, suddenly his eyes tune in to a different visual frequency—the past.
Looking back five hundred years is interesting . . . at first. But when Jamie impulsively leaps through the opening in time, Will and his cousin Nan must follow, into a past so dangerous that Will isn’t sure how he will get everyone safely home.
Time Dogs: Seaman and the Great Northern Adventure - An exciting new illustrated chapter book series for dog-loving readers! When a pack of senior dogs find themselves transported back in time—and turned into puppies!—they must make their way back home, helping real-life historical dogs along the way. In this second adventure, Baxter, Trevor, Newton, Titch, and Maia—the time dogs!—find themselves transported through time and space to 1805 on the Missouri River. There, deep in the wilderness, the puppies must help Seaman, the dog of legendary explorers Lewis and Clark.
Time for a Nap - Too tired to hop. No zip, no zap . . . What time is it? TIME FOR A NAP! The perfect board book for tired toddlers. This charming and cozy entry in the Snuggle Time series is now in board format! Every day’s a busy day, with places to go, people to see, and things to do. But sometimes all that activity leaves a toddler tired and cranky. What time is it then? NAP TIME! With plenty of humor and fun, Phillis Gershator and David Walker capture a child’s resistance to some much-needed sleep—and the Illustrations show little bunny throughout the days of the week, adding a concept lesson to the great message about the necessity of rest.
As Time Went By - 2017 Batchelder Honor Book and ALA Notable Book Once upon a time there was a ship that sailed beside the sun with very important people on board. The spirit of reinvention – and the importance we place on things – is beautifully expressed in José Sanabria’s visually evocative story. A steamship makes a journey across time from luxury and exclusivity, industry and abandonment, to stewardship and inclusion as we see the evolving functions of the ship and the changing faces of the people who cherish it most of all.
The House of Months and Years - A girl must stop the Boogeyman living in her home from stealing her family’s warmest memories in this haunting, atmospheric novel from the author of Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times and The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden. When her distant aunt and uncle die, Amelia Howling is forced to move into their home when they leave her parents in charge of their children. Her parents assure her that it will be like having a grand adventure with three new siblings, but Amelia is not convinced. Luckily, the house is large, filled with nooks and crannies perfect for hiding from her cousins. But even with all the nooks and crannies, the rumbling and crumbling rooms are more sinister than they seem. The house was built years ago by a creature named Horatio, and he’s been waiting for the perfect human inhabitant: Amelia. Horatio has the power to travel through time and memories, and lures Amelia into his world. The memories of children, he told her, were the best, and Amelia agreed—her cousins were full of good memories. Until she noticed that once she and Horatio visited a memory, it was gone forever. And she had been stealing the good memories of her cousins and their parents without even noticing! Horrified and scared, Amelia lets her cousins in on her secret, and asks them for help. Together, they must race through time to recover their minds and break the perfect clockwork of the evil Calendar House.