10 Children’s Books Your Kids Will Love

Several of you have asked me about Children’s Books. I am always looking for good books to get from the library, or to build our own family library. Rather than give a list of the best books, or even our favorites, I thought I would just share every now and then the books we are currently enjoying.

1. Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Barn

This is a delightful story about farm animals coming into the barn to sleep for the night. The artwork is beautiful. The story is written in an engaging way. Our children have enjoyed this story over and over.



2. The Complete Adventures of Curious George by Margret and H.A. Rey

I doubt this needs any introduction. This silly, mischievous monkey has been loved by millions of children. I love this particular collection that my parents gave to Stefan, as it includes a CD of the stories read aloud. Stefan now says, “Can I listen to Curious George by H.A. Rey?” Children are drawn in by the very curious monkey because his curiousness is very much like their own.


3. I’m Small and Other Verses by Lilian Moore

This is a collection of small children’s poems we recently got at the library. If you are interested in introducing poetry to your children, this is a great little book. I’ll share one of our favorite poems about building blocks from the book:


Block on block I build my tower.

     One more, One More, Now it’s done.

                           Will it stand or will it crash?

                              And which, oh which, would be more fun?

4. Caps For Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

“Caps! Caps for Sale! Fifty Cents a Cap!” A story of a peddler, his caps stacked on top of his head, and some monkeys. The story is fun, and an easy way to talk about how people made a living in the ‘old days.’ There are many creative things you can do with this to learn counting, colors, and money.


5. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

This is a classic children’s book about making the world a better place. Alice’s Grandfather tells her that before she grows old she must do three things: Go to faraway places, live by the sea, and do something to make the world more beautiful. What do you think she does?


6. Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Elhert

This book, as well as many of Lois Elhert’s other books are captivating to young children. I think it is the very simple artwork that is intriguing to children. We have enjoyed this particular one recently as we just planted our garden and it is fun for the kids to read about the vegetables being planted, watching them grow, and then eventually making it into vegetable soup. Olivia especially enjoys sitting and looking at this one.

7. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Another classic by Margaret Wise Brown. This book is a wonderful bedtime story. As you say goodnight to the moon and all the other things in the book, your child will probably continue on by saying goodnight to everything in his own room.



8. Wake up, Sleepy Bear by Greg Shaw and Christine Morton-Shaw

The beautiful pictures in this book is reason enough to read it. All the animals of the forest wake up one by one to do what they are meant to do. The final animal, a deer, is waking up to life for the first time. It is a great book to read in springtime as this is when many animals are born. We also got to see baby animals at the zoo, which was another reason why we pulled this one out to read. The little animal books by Judy Dunn are also great!


9. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

Follow Mr. and Mrs. Mallard and their ducklings as they go around the city of Boston to find a home. Your kids will forever have names for ducks they see in life. The sketch-like drawings have always drawn my children in.



10. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel have dug canals, cut through mountains, and dug cellars for big skyscrapers. Their use is threatened, though, with the arrival of more modern work vehicles. The steam shovel is destined to the scrap heap. Their long friendship and years of work together make Mike Mulligan do what he needs to to do one more job. Find out what they do in the little town of Popperville. My son loves this book.

I’ll be back again in the future with more books we love!

What are some of your favorites? I’ll put them on my list for my next visit to the library!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.


  1. I love Virginia Lee Burton books. Katie and the Big Snow and The Little House are also great!

    • Johanna says:

      We love Katie and the Bug Snow, but we haven’t yet read The Little House. I’ll have to check it out! Thanks! And you always have such great ideas. :)

  2. Andrea Cavanaugh says:

    I love Miss Rumphius! :-)

    At the top of my favorites list are the Frances books by Russell Hoban (illustrated by Lillian Hoban). It’s a little series and some of the titles include Bedtime for Frances, Bread & Jam for Frances, A Baby Sister for Frances, and A Birthday for Frances.

    Also, while I didn’t grow up reading these, my niece and nephew (and I, when I visit!) have enjoyed a series called Mr. Putter & Tabby. The first two are Mr. Putter & Tabby Pour the Tea and Mr. Putter & Tabby Walk the Dog. It’s a charming little series about an older man and his cat, and then they meet a neighbor who has a crazy dog named Zeke.

    • Johanna says:

      We love Frances!!!

      I have not read the Mr. Putter & Tabby series, though. I’ll definitely check that out! Thanks!

      • Oh, we LOVE Frances as well!! And we just got our first Mr. Putter and Tabby book this morning at the library (mainly b/c all the Annie and Snowball books were out–my girls love the various Cynthia Rylant chapter books!), so I’m pleased to see Andrea’s recommendation!

        • Johanna says:

          Worlds colliding again… You all know each other don’t you? Just made that connection! :)

          • Well, college and grad school life seems so long ago some days, but the English realm wasn’t that big! Ü I think I felt the same way the first time I saw her comment on here, but I know you, Johanna, so little overall that I definitely had no clue who would be in your friend sphere! Thankful for the internet and literary discussions and book recommendations–both for kids and adults!

  3. Oh my kids loved Mike Mulligan! Good list. We are reading the Benedict Society series with older tots ( 9 & 12 yo’s. )… 9 yo reads it on his own but 12 yo loves dad to read it outloud because they have same sense of humor – these books are quite funny. 12 yo is doing the Mandie series and Elsie books, also. Little toots love just about anything, Busytown series is a fave lately (and on video – my 4 yo has learned a ton, I was shocked!)

    • Johanna says:

      I loved the Mandie and Elsie books when I was a girl! Richard Scarry books are favorites around here, too! We love the game as well! I love that Dad reads to your kids aloud, too!

  4. I think our daughter would love the Curious George book with the CD. Thanks for the all the suggestions.

    • Johanna says:

      It’s a great introduction to books on tape. When Stefan was not quite ready for chapter books, he could enjoy this because he could flip the pages and follow along with the pictures. It is great for rest time now that he doesn’t nap every day! I think she would enjoy it!

  5. You can’t go wrong with anything McCloskey!!! He’s pretty high on our “favorites” list!!

    I’m curious if you ever encounter people’s caution about Curious George–we LOVE him and his antics (and I think there is plenty of positive things that a child can learn from reading–and discussing–the books). I have a typical response when someone says something about any of the books, but I would love to hear any more of your thoughts about a comment like “We don’t like those books–he always gets into trouble and gets away with it/or rewarded/etc.” (A similar censure was put on the If You Give a . . . series–“the mouse/moose/etc. does whatever he wants.”)

    Oh, and as I type, I am listening to the German branch of that Swiss radio station you shared about a while ago–so grateful for your tips! I had never thought of that option for foreign language listening!!

    • Johanna says:

      Erika, I have heard that, but only a couple of times so I don’t have a good answer! I would love to hear yours though, in case it ever comes up. I would say that he does usually get “natural consequences.” Stefan is forever removing small objects so that Silas doesn’t get them because “he might go to the hospital!” (From Curious George Goes to the Hospital). It always makes me laugh because we have only ever used the word choked, and never as dramatic as he might go to the hospital, but at least he has transferred his concern to his brother. :)

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