The 50 best books for kids
We've put together a top 50 list of best books for kids including The Cat in the Hat, Harry Potter and more.
Thu Mar 1 2012
The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
Historical fiction meets family silliness in Curtis's novel about a Michigan boy who journeys with his family to his grandmother's house for the summer. Kids will have so much fun reading the book they'll never even notice the civil rights history they're taking in at the same time. Random House. Ages 8 to 12.
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
Hats plus monkeys equals hilarity. One of the all-time great read-alouds, the story of a man who loses his caps thanks to some light-fingered simians is sure to earn giggles from your listeners. HarperCollins. Ages 6 months to 3 years.
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
Let's be honest. What New York City kid wouldn't want to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art if he had the chance? Two children not only live the dream but solve a mystery as well when they run away from home with a well thought-out plan. Simon & Schuster. Ages 8 to 12.
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
Stories where the insipid princess and her no-name prince ride off into the sunset can get old quickly. In this Munsch classic, a princess rescues the prince for a change and then with a sudden flourish of girl power, decides she has better things to do than marry an egotistic dweeb. Annick Press. Ages 3 to 6.
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
There is no surefire method to teach kids about the Holocaust but Lowry's gentle story of bravery and heroism resonates with readers everywhere for its candor and sensitivity. Be sure to keep an eye out for the Little Red Riding Hood references throughout. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Ages 8 to 12.
Olivia by Ian Falconer
Bound to please the aesthetics of parents and the wild imaginings of their kids, Olivia is a one-of-a-kind piggy. No doubt the book's elegant palette of black, red and white will be a welcome relief to those seeking something that isn't sparkly, pink or dipped in glitter. Simon & Schuster. Ages 3 to 6.
Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca
Nonfiction can be a refreshing change for young readers, particularly when it's as gorgeous as Floca's story of the first moon landing. Its jaw-dropping images and simple but not simplistic text manage to convey not only the awe of the moment but its fun, too. Simon & Schuster. Ages 6 to 9.
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe
A princess story with an African setting, this fabulous fairy tale about two beautiful sisters who vie for the hand of their ruler punishes the greedy and rewards the good. As an added bonus, the king is himself a delightful character. HarperCollins. Ages 3 to 6
Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
Talk about separation anxiety: This baby bird loses his mother from the moment he's hatched. Yet his search for his primary caregiver never feels scary. Often mistaken for a Dr. Seuss book, Eastman's classic taps into an emotion all kids can understand. Random House. Ages 3 to 6.