Best Children’s Books Reviewed and Rated

Reading is a very important part of childhood. It is impossible to deny the many wonderful benefits of reading, especially during childhood. It does so much to help your child’s brain development and helps to set them up to reach their potential and be successful in whatever they decide to do in life. It really is that important.

Our Top 3 Picks

Goodnight Moon
  • Goodnight Moon
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Great illustrations
  • Price: See Here
Oh, the Places You'll Go!
  • Oh, the Places You'll Go!
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Very colorful
  • Price: See Here
Harry Potter and the Sourcerer's Stone
  • Harry Potter and the Sourcerer's Stone
  • 4.2 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Fantasy
  • Price: See Here

It is a great idea to have as many books to read to your child and for your child to read as possible, but there are definitely some books out there that you are really going to want to specifically make sure to include in your collection. We dug through the thousands upon thousands of children’s books out there to bring you the best of the best of all the must-have children’s books!

10 Best Children’s Books

 

1. Goodnight Moon

1. Goodnight Moon
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is a classic and an all-time favorite. It is quite possibly the perfect bedtime story for children. It is the sweet and adorable tale of a little bunny going to bed. The little bunny says a poem while preparing for bed. In an attempt to delay bed time a bit, he goes through and says goodnight to everything in his room from kittens and mittens to socks and clocks and of course, the moon. It is a sweet story and as it goes on, the pictures show the light of day fading which adds to the story and aids in getting your little one to calm down and be more ready for sleep. Reading the story at bedtime also gives them the opportunity to find the things in the pictures that the little bunny is saying goodnight to. The art in the book is very well-done. It is simple, yet effective. Illustrations vary from ink drawings to colorful pictures of the little bunny’s entire room.
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Reoccurring Mouse

One particularly neat thing about this book is that there is a cute little mouse that is hiding in different locations throughout the book. This can add some extra fun to the book and your child can search each page to find the mouse as the story goes on. It helps to hold your child’s attention and gives them something calm and quiet to focus on which can further help prepare them for bed. This cute little mouse is sure to help your children love this book even more.

Features and Specifications

Bedtime story
Look and find aspect
Poetic
Birth and up
Varied illustrations
Multiple formats available

Price/Value

This is one really fantastic book that is well-loved by almost everyone that reads it. It has some really neat features in it and comes at a surprisingly low price. It is actually one of the most inexpensive books on our list which gives it an unbeatable value.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that this is one amazing book that is well-worth your purchase. This book has some cool and unique features like the hidden mouse and fading light. It is also available in many different formats so that you can choose the one that works best for your family. It is available as a paperback, a hardcover, a board book, and more. It is a must-have addition to anyone’s collection and makes the perfect bedtime story for your little ones.
Pros

Wonderful book for a wide variety of ages from birth up

Poetic writing helps lure children to sleep

Fading light in illustrations helps to calm children

Hidden mouse gives children something fun to focus on

Available in multiple formats including board book, paperback, and digital

Cons

Not the best choice for much older children

2. Oh, the Places You'll Go!

2. Oh, the Places You'll Go!
This is a wonderful book from the ever-famous Dr. Seuss! Dr. Seuss wrote many, many amazing books in his time and they are all still very popular options for children’s books today. He was a genius when it came to writing for children and this fantastic book is no exception. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! is an awesome book full of inspiration and fun. Written in Dr. Seuss’s famous, poetic style, this book is all about life and the good times and the bad times. Written in a palatable way for children, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! is a great sentiment to enjoying the good in life and getting through the bad. It talks about challenges you’ll face and successes you will have.
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Great Gift

This book is really cool because it is not only a wonderful book to read to your children, but it is also a perfect gift for a variety of occasions! It is absolutely ideal for graduations of any kind from kindergarten to college. It also makes a wonderful birthday gift or a gift for anyone that is going through any changes or new beginnings in their life. It is also available in multiple formats so you can choose the best format depending on who you are giving the gift to.

Features and Specifications

Poetic
Colorful
Available in multiple formats
Fun illustrations
All ages

Price/Value

This book does come in as one of the most expensive books on the list. Although it may be pricier than a lot of the options on the list, it is understandable because it is from such a famous author and is such a wonderful book for anyone with wisdom and relevance perfect for all ages. Even as a more expensive option, it is still pretty affordable and definitely has great value.

Conclusion

This is a really special book. It is a classic from one of the best children’s authors of all time. It holds important life lessons and valuable wisdom for all walks of life. Providing important insight into what to expect from life in a fun, entertaining, and palatable way, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! is without a doubt one of the best children’s books of all time and would definitely make the perfect addition to any collection of books. It is definitely a book you’ll want to read to your little ones.
Pros

Fun and colorful illustrations capture children’s attention

Being available in multiple formats allows you to choose the best for your family

A perfect gift for anyone starting a new phase of life

Wonderful and relevant read for anyone of any age

Cons

Pricier than other choices

3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is the first of seven books about young Harry Potter and his magical world. The book starts out with Harry living with his aunt, uncle, and cousin – the Dursleys. He ended up with him after his parents died supposedly in a car crash, and they do an excellent job at making his life rather miserable. His entire life changes when he receives a letter informing him that he has been accepted into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Hagrid, a giant, escorts Harry to get his new school supplies including Hedwig, his new carrier owl, and then to the train station where he takes a train from platform 9 ¾ to his new school where he finds he is famous for surviving an attack from the famous, evil wizard Voldemort. From there, he makes friends and goes on a wild adventure which helps him discover some secrets about his past. It is a truly fantastical story and the perfect start to an amazing series. It is perfect for children around 8 years old up to children in their teens.
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Continuing Series

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is only the first book in the magical series by J.K. Rowling. The Harry Potter series consists of 7 books. As the series goes on, the books get longer, more complex, and more mature. This works perfectly because as your child grows, they can enjoy the books that age with them. It is a world-famous, and excellently written series with fantastically well-done characters and stories.

Features and Specifications

Book 1 of 7
Ages 8-13
Available in multiple formats
Chapter book
Fantasy

Price/Value

This book is fairly near to the top in regard to the cost of the book, but that does not at all take away from its amazing value. It is a wonderful book for older kids written in an amazing way by a fantastic author. It is also a larger, longer book than most other books on the list so it does make sense that it would cost a bit more.

Conclusion

As a world-famous book from a brilliant author, this is certainly a great book choice for any child old enough for it. It isn’t ideal for younger kids because it is a longer, more complex, and slightly more mature story. However, that is some of what makes it so perfect for older kids that are reading on their own. It is almost guaranteed to be loved with its suspenseful, exciting, and magical adventures and characters.
Pros

Wonderful introduction to an amazing series

Perfect for older children to read on their own

Imaginative and enjoyable read

Filled with important life lessons

Comes in multiple formats to best suit your needs

Cons

Not good for younger children

4. Charlotte's Web

4. Charlotte's Web
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White is a charming book that you have surely heard of and even likely read yourself. It is a very popular story and for good reason. It is a wonderful tale about a sweet and playful pig, Wilbur. Wilbur is born runt of the litter and is saved by a little girl on his farm. He grows into a pig and befriends a spider named Charlotte that lives above his pen in the rafters. Once Charlotte learns what is to become of Wilbur as a pig on a farm, she sets out in a mission to save him by writing “Some Pig” in her web to let the farmer and others know he is special. The story continues from there with more messages in Charlotte’s web and Wilbur becomes famous and is successfully saved. It is a timeless tale sure to be loved by all.
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Learn about Love, Life, and Death

Something that is special about this particular book is that it helps children to understand the realities of love, life, and death. Love is scattered throughout the book between different characters teaching children about friendship and caring for others. Furthermore, children get a lesson about the reality of death when Charlotte passes near the end of the book. This can be beneficial in many ways for children to help them learn about death as it is a reality that everyone will have to face, but for this reason, this book may be best saved for when the child is old enough and mature enough to understand and handle the death of the beloved character. Finally, as Charlotte’s children disperse into the world, your child will learn about new life and hope allowing the book to end on a happier note.

Features and Specifications

Chapter book
Ages 7 and up
Lovely illustrations
Available in multiple formats
Classic

Price/Value

This classic book is surprisingly inexpensive coming in near the bottom of the list price-wise. It is a great piece of writing by E.B. White and has many benefits such as teaching important lessons about life. This impressive novel with its low price certainly has incredible value and is more than worth the purchase.

Conclusion

This is a wonderful choice of books and is definitely something that you will want to strongly consider adding to your collection of books for your child. You can read this with your child or offer it to your child to read on their own once you feel that they are old enough to handle the fact that one of the main characters dies in the end of the book.
Pros

Wonderful book that can teach about the realities of life

Beautiful illustrations keep children interested

Classic story sure to be loved for generations

Choice of formats allows you to choose best format for your needs

Great book for children mature enough to handle death

Cons

Not suitable for much younger children

5. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

5. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The classic picture book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, is a perfect book to read to babies and young children. It is fun, colorful, and educational! The story is a simple one of a little and very hungry caterpillar. Throughout the book, the little caterpillar eats different foods on each day of the week. He gets bigger and bigger until he makes himself a cocoon and becomes a beautiful butterfly. The book is full of colorful and fun illustrations to help capture your children’s attention and help them follow along and understand the story. This is a fun story that your children are sure to love for years to come.
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Educational

There are multiple educational aspects of this cute little children’s book. As the book goes on, the days change, and each day the caterpillar eats something different. It lists the days of the week so it can definitely help your child to learn the days of the week and their order. It can also help them learn about the life cycle and how caterpillars come from eggs and later go into cocoons to become butterflies. It is very simple so it is excellent to go over with your child or allow a new reader to read on their own.

Features and Specifications

Educational
Colorful
Illustrated
Young children
Multiple formats available

Price/Value

Falling in the middle of our list in regard to the cost, this wonderful picture book has great value. It is well-written, perfect for younger kids, educational, and has lovely and fun illustrations throughout the story.

Conclusion

This is a wonderful option, especially for young readers and children that you will read it to. It has great illustrations and a simple and cute story. It is educational and entertaining. It is sure to be loved by little ones and has a wonderful value.
Pros

Fun and colorful illustrations capture children’s attention
Book includes multiple educational aspects
Simple writing is excellent for young readers
Multiple formats allow you to choose a format best suited to your needs

Cons

Not the best choice for older readers

6. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

6. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
C.S Lewis is the amazing and well-known author that wrote The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It is definitely best for slightly older kids as it is a more mature book and definitely requires longer attention spans. However, once your children are old enough to understand this lovely story, they are sure to really enjoy it and get a lot out of it. It’s a magical story about four brothers and sisters - Susan, Peter, Lucy and Edmund Pevensie. They end up stepping through a wardrobe that actually works as a portal between worlds. They enter the world of Narnia and go on wild adventures in a quest to help save Narnia from eternal winter brought on by the White Witch. This is also only the first book in the series, The Chronicles of Narnia. That means your child will have more to read to continue on with this story and characters even once they’ve finished this book.
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Christian Values

Something that is unique about this book is that it does have a lot of Christian values in it as well as some metaphors relating to the bible. If you are a Christian, obviously, this is a great thing that you are sure to appreciate. However, it doesn’t mean the book is only for Christians. It doesn’t actually talk literally about the bible and the values in it are all general, good values for all people and not just Christians.

Features and Specifications

Chapter book
8 and up
Christian values
Positive lessons
Well-known author

Price/Value

This is the priciest book on the list, but it is understandable that you would pay a little more for a book like this one. Not only is it longer than most of the other books on the list, but it is a timeless classic written by an extraordinary author. Even at it the higher price, the value of this book by C.S. Lewis is quite clear.

Conclusion

This is a great chapter book for older children to read and has some spectacular values in it. It teaches important life lessons and helps your children to sharpen their reading skills. This is definitely a book that you will want to have in your child’s collection.
Pros

Great for older children

Teaches good values

Cons

Not suitable for younger children

7. Where the Wild Things Are

7. Where the Wild Things Are
Here is a great book to read to even very young children and allow older children to read on their own. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak is a fun and imaginative story of the little boy, Max. After acting like a wild thing himself and being sent to bed without supper, Max journeys to a land full of wild things. After taming them, proclaiming himself as king, and then sending them to bed, he realizes he is lonely and sails back home. It is a creative and fun story perfect for children. It teaches about how important it is to behave and listen to your parents which is something that you, of course, definitely want your children to learn and understand.
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Wonderful Illustrations

Maurice Sendak is not just a great author, he is also a very wonderful illustrator as well and did a great overall job with this timeless tale. The pictures are lovely with just the right amount of detail. They do a great job at capturing children’s attention and helping them to follow along and easily understand just what is going on with the story. Everything about the story is very well designed and easy to follow along with.

Features and Specifications

Picture book
Vivid illustrations
Fun story
2 and up
Multiple formats available

Price/Value

This book is in the high-middle part of our list when it comes to the price of the book. It is certainly attainable for most families with most budgets still, though. It is very well-written with excellent illustrations and a great story that has been very well-loved throughout the generations. The value of this book is wonderful.

Conclusion

This is yet another classic book for children’s literature. The cute and fun story and impressive illustrations make for an amazing book that certainly has great value and is affordable for most families. With its wide age range and great value, it can make a perfect choice for practically anyone searching for a good children’s book.
Pros

Fun and imaginative story is perfect for children

Great story for a wide range of ages

Multiple formats allow you to choose the best one for you

Illustrations are well-done and attention grabbing

Book is designed in an easy-to-follow way

Cons

Not ideal for much older children

8. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

8. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
This super cute book is a great choice for almost all ages! It is a simple, but impressively well-made book. It is a very fun and very educational book. It goes through the entire alphabet in a very fun and creative way as the individual letters race up the coconut tree. It presents the letters in a way that is more memorable so kids are more likely to actually learn the alphabet. It is also written poetically which not only makes it even more fun and easy to follow, but it also increases chances that your children will remember the letters even more. This is a well-known and wonderful book that children of all ages are sure to love. You can even read this poetic book to very young children and babies before they are even able to understand it. It will still help with language and can be more fun for children even if they don’t understand it because of the rhythm in the rhyming.
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Simple, Bold Illustrations

One really cool thing about this book is the illustrations. They are all very simple, very bold drawings that make a great impact. They are simple enough to allow your child to easily focus on the actual letters, but bright, fun, and colorful enough to capture attention and cause interest. This further adds to the benefits that this book gives to very young children like babies and young toddlers because bold shapes and colors are good for their development.

Features and Specifications

Picture book
Almost any age
Bold illustrations
Educational
Poetic
Available in multiple formats

Price/Value

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is the least expensive book on the list which is great considering how beneficial it is and how well it works for a variety of ages. It is really a wonderfully-done book that is full of excellent value.

Conclusion

Since this book is great for almost all ages, and is such a beneficial book with its wonderful education of the alphabet, it can be a great choice for almost any family. When you consider the great value and how inexpensive it is, getting your child a copy is a no-brainer.
Pros

Poetic writing is fun and helps with memory
Going over the alphabet helps children to learn it more easily
Bold illustrations are colorful and simple
Great book for young children
Multiple format availability lets you pick the best format to suit your needs

Cons

Not the best choice for the oldest children

9. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

9. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
This very famous book by Roald Dahl is a great read for almost any age. It is a timeless tale of a little boy named Charlie that is living in poverty with the rest of his family but then he finds a golden ticket which allows him and his grandpa to go on a once-in-a-lifetime tour of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory! He along with several other children and their guardians go on the tour which is a marvelous adventure with some seriously unexpected twists. It is a great story for a variety of ages and is almost guaranteed to be well-loved by anyone who reads it or hears it. The characters are amazingly well-done and definitely easy to connect with which always signifies a great book. It will not work well for the youngest of children because of their shorter attention spans, but once they are old enough to listen and pay attention, it is sure to be a hit!
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Multiple Lessons

Something that is really cool about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is that it is full of important messages and good lessons to learn. Each of the children that attends the tour of the chocolate factory has a serious flaw that causes them to encounter an unfortunate fate while on the tour. The lessons that are taught in this story include simple things like not eating too much candy as well as more serious things like not being greedy. It also teaches that wealth isn’t everything, you shouldn’t be selfish or too demanding, too much TV is a bad thing, and that the good guys can finish first.

Features and Specifications

Chapter book
Multiple Lessons
Famous author
Fun and imaginative
6 and up

Price/Value

This is one of the pricier books on the list but you can definitely see why. It is one of the longer books as far as children’s books go and it is a very popular, classic book. It is a book that certainly has wonderful value to it.

Conclusion

As a very popular and classic children’s novel, this is absolutely a book that you are going to want to read to your children or allow your children to read. It has wonderful themes and lessons to it that you definitely want your children to learn. It really is a great choice for all children that are old enough to pay attention to it.
Pros

Multiple lessons throughout the book help teach morality

Great book to read aloud or for older children to read themselves

Imaginative story keeps children interested

Simple language is perfect for children

Cons

Not best choice for very young children

Expensive

10. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

10. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
This is an adorable little book from Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond. It is the most popular book in the If You Give… series and has been well-loved by children for many years. As the title reveals, it is the story of what happens when you give a mouse a cookie. It talks about what the mouse will do and want and how he will end up hanging around a lot longer than to just eat the cookie. The illustrations are bright and fun with the perfect amount of detail. Young children and even babies are sure to love this book for years to come. It is a wonderful book to read to young children and a perfect choice for early readers as well.
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Chain Reactions

When you give a mouse a cookie, he will want a glass of milk too. Then one thing leads to another and that then leads to another. Throughout this book, your child will learn how one action can lead to an entire chain of things and a little bit about the cycles of cause and effect.

Features and Specifications

Picture book
Adorable illustrations
Fun and creative story
Cause and effect
Multiple formats available

Price/Value

Falling in the middle of the list when it comes to the cost of this book, it is definitely going to fall within most people’s budgets. Since it is fairly affordable, has wonderfully-done illustrations, and is a super cute story that children will love, it definitely has a fantastic value to it.

Conclusion

The If You Give… series is a great, fun series of children’s picture books and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is definitely the star of it! It is a wonderful choice for younger kiddos to read and can even be a wonderful book to read to children that are too young to understand it yet because of its simple language and lovely pictures.
Pros

Multiple formats allow you to choose the best one for your needs

Fun and creative story captivates and entertains children

Great book for new readers to read

Cute illustrations capture and hold attention

Chain of reactions teaches kids about cause and effect

Cons

Not great for much older children

Product Evaluation Criteria

Entertaining

When it comes to something like books, specifically children’s books, you definitely want to avoid anything boring. If the story is uninteresting and doesn’t hold attention well, your child is unlikely to listen or benefit from the reading. You want a story that is entertaining to your child. A book that holds your child’s attention will not only benefit them in the moment but will help aid in their mental development and help them to become more interested in reading in general. That’s good because if they are provided with good, interesting books, they are more likely to continue reading throughout life. We made sure all of the children’s books on our list are interesting to children and perfect for holding the attention of children at varying ages and stages of development and maturity.

Educational

reading to children

One very important aspect of children’s books is education. Reading to young children and providing books for older children to read is a perfect opportunity to educate them in various ways in a fun and enjoyable way. All books can be beneficial to development in various ways, but many books provide educational information on different topics and in different fields. Children’s books are an excellent way to teach your child new things and information in a fun and palatable way that can do a lot to help them remember the information. We were careful to include books on our list that provide good education to kids in various areas.

Appropriate

Another important thing to consider when choosing books for your children is if the books are appropriate for them or not. There is a huge variety of books out there and many of them are just not made for children and are not appropriate for a younger audience at all. Other books may be appropriate for older children but not for younger children and vice versa. We made sure to include nothing but books completely appropriate for children. We also paid attention to the specific age groups and were careful to include books appropriate for a variety of age groups so there would be a great selection for parents of children of all ages.

Cost

As with every purchase you make, price always plays a factor. Books are certainly no exception and do, like most things, come in a wide range of prices. We are aware that everyone has to work with a different budget and took that into account. On our list, you’ll find books of many different prices. We did this on purpose to ensure great books were there for families of varying budgets. We wanted to suggest wonderful books at a variety of price points to make sure everyone could find something that they could easily afford as well as something worthwhile that has excellent value to it.

User Reviews

user reviews

The user reviews that a product has received are always a very important consideration in our evaluations. The reason that user reviews are so important is because they give wonderful insight into what you can genuinely except from a product such as a children’s book. Before you actually make a purchase, you can get a pretty clear gauge on how well other people like the book and how children respond to it and what ages do best with a certain book and all kinds of other important information that you are unlikely to get anywhere else. We looked over hundreds of user reviews for each book to ensure all of the books on our list are well-loved by both parents and children!

FAQs

At what age should I begin reading to my child?

It is never too early to begin reading to your child. Reading to babies still has many wonderful benefits and will help to set good habits of continuing to regularly read with them. You can even read to your baby while you are still pregnant as they can hear your voice and will already begin to become familiar with the rhythm of the stories.

Why do I need to read to my child before they are old enough to understand?

Reading to your child early and often helps them to understand things sooner and better. They become familiar with words, stories, and pictures. This can have many benefits for your child even before they are actually able to understand the stories.

What benefits does reading provide my child?

Reading provides many benefits for your child. Reading to them early on such as when they are a baby helps to establish good habits and get them interested in reading. It also exposes them to language more often and more words throughout the day. This is important to help your child to develop language and understand you sooner as well as speak themselves sooner.

How many books should I have for my child?

There is no magic number of books that you need to have for your child. If you are able to, having plenty of books can definitely be beneficial. The more books you have, the more different stories, words, and pictures that they will be exposed to. This can have lots of benefits in their comprehension skills and language skills.

Is it still beneficial to read the same book over and over?

Absolutely! Even if you aren’t able to get a ton of books for your child, having just a few can still be very beneficial. Continue to read the books you do have to your child regularly and get more when you are able to. Even rereading the same books can still be very beneficial for your child’s comprehension and language skills.

How often should I read to my child?

To get the maximum benefits of reading for your child, you will want to read to them early and often. Ideally, reading to them every day would be the best option, but reading as often as you are able is definitely better than nothing even if it’s not every day. If you can, reading to your child multiple times each day can definitely be a great option too.