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, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.
When it comes to children’s stories about time, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Hickory Dickory Dock to popular sellers like The Thief Lord to some of our favorite hidden gems like Chicken Soup With Rice: A Book of Months.
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.
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.
Big Day Out - 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.
A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat - From highly acclaimed author Jenkins and Caldecott Medal–winning illustrator Blackall comes a fascinating picture book in which four families, in four different cities, over four centuries, make the same delicious dessert: blackberry fool. This richly detailed book ingeniously shows how food, technology, and even families have changed throughout American history. In 1710, a girl and her mother in Lyme, England, prepare a blackberry fool, picking wild blackberries and beating cream from their cow with a bundle of twigs. The same dessert is prepared by an enslaved girl and her mother in 1810 in Charleston, South Carolina; by a mother and daughter in 1910 in Boston; and finally by a boy and his father in present-day San Diego. Kids and parents alike will delight in discovering the differences in daily life over the course of four centuries. Includes a recipe for blackberry fool and notes from the author and illustrator about their research.
Aleca Zamm Is a Wonder - 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.
Want to see books about family?
Today Is Monday - 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.
The Grouchy Ladybug - It’s the Grouchy Ladybug’s 20th birthday. To celebrate, we are introducing a new, larger format edition with brighter, more colorful pages created from Eric Carle’s original artwork using the latest reproduction technology. The Grouchy Ladybug is bigger and brigher, as irascible but irresistable as ever and will surely delight new generations of readers, as well as her devoted fans of all ages. Happy Birthday, Grouchy Ladybug!
Sun and Moon Together - Sun and Moon Together is a vibrant, graphic picture book compendium for preschoolers set in a Richard Scarry-inspired environment by Geisel Award-winning creator Ethan Long.
Welcome to another busy day in Happy County! The Sun is out and shining down on lots of friends. Grammy Tammy from Miami is doing grimey, slimey laundry. Sssonny Sssnakerton wants to grow sssunflowers. And when the Sun says goodbye for the day, the Moon pops up for a new set of adventures. Now Molly and her mom can make moon shadows and howl night noises.
This 48-page full-color primer is chock-full of charming characters and basic scientific concepts connected to the sun and the moon presented in simple, accessible terms for the young audience, touching on: the water cycle, phases of the moon, the solar system, and plenty of clever scenarios to keep little ones engaged.
#1 Hello, World!
#2 Sun and Moon Together Christy Ottaviano Books
The Donkey Egg - Featuring Bear and Hare from their Caldecott-Honor winning Tops & Bottoms, the Stevens sisters celebrate perseverance and teamwork in this laugh-out-loud story of triumph over trickery. Bear would rather sleep all day than work on his farm, and Fox knows just the kind of help he needs—a donkey! When Fox tricks Bear into buying a donkey egg, Bear can’t wait for it to hatch so he can meet his new friend. But donkeys don’t come from eggs! And when the “egg” finally opens, Bear gets a fruity surprise. Luckily, Bear doesn’t have to face disappointment alone . . . Hare is there to help!
Want to see books about animals?
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!
Art Of The Swap - 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?
The Last Last-Day-of-Summer - **“__The Last Last-Day-of-Summer reminds me that all children deserve to exist in magical spaces where their imaginations and familial bonds will them into heroism. Every single child should have the freedom to be one of The Legendary Alstons. And I, for one, am grateful to Giles, and this brilliant story, for that reminder.” —Jason Reynolds, author of Newbery Honoree Long Way Down “The legendary heroes of this legendary book are already legendary when the story begins! From there things can only get legendary-er!” —Tom Angleberger, author of the Origami Yoda series “Lamar Giles has written an instant classic—readers won’t want their time with the Legendary Alston Boys of Logan County to end.” —Gwenda Bond, author of the Lois Lane series The Hardy Boys _meets _The Phantom Tollbooth, in the new century! When two adventurous cousins accidentally extend the last day of summer by freezing time, they find the secrets hidden between the unmoving seconds, minutes, and hours are not the endless fun they expected.** Otto and Sheed are the local sleuths in their zany Virginia town, masters of unraveling mischief using their unmatched powers of deduction. And as the summer winds down and the first day of school looms, the boys are craving just a little bit more time for fun, even as they bicker over what kind of fun they want to have. That is, until a mysterious man appears with a camera that literally freezes time. Now, with the help of some very strange people and even stranger creatures, Otto and Sheed will have to put aside their differences to save their town—and each other—before time stops for good.
Time Sight - 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.
Want to see books about time travel?
Find It Bedtime: Baby's First Puzzle Book - Touch and feel the embossed pages and search for a star, book, teddy bear, and more while getting ready for bedtime together. Full Color Illustrations Throughout
Baby Animals Day and Night - Sleepy babies and wide-awake babies day and night. A companion to Pyllis Limbacher Tildes’s Baby Animals Black and White and Baby Animals Spots and Stripes, Baby Animals Day and Night introduces diurnal and nocturnal animals in pretty black and white images, perfect for developing eyes. Sweet and simple, introducing the love of books to even the very youngest babies is fun and easy with this adorable board book.
Want to see books about first concepts?
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.
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.