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 Bone series by Jeff Smith
Originally written for adults, Smith's graphic novel series of three misfits who find themselves in the middle of an epic war reads like Bambi meets The Lord of the Rings. It's also a masterpiece that will keep tweens guessing until the end. Scholastic. Ages 8 to 12.
Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik, illustrated by Maurice Sendak
The perfect easy reader is difficult to define, but Minarik's adorable baby bear comes awfully close. The extra treat of Maurice Sendak's art (pre–Where the Wild Things Are) shows that he could be a master of cute when he wanted to be. HarperCollins. Ages 3 to 6.
Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Josee Masse
Singer tells a simple fairy-tale story one way, and then reverses the very same words to tell the other side of the tale. This mind-bending poetry is accompanied by Masse's equally intelligent, equally amusing art. Penguin. Ages 6 to 9.
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
If you've got a kid who seems to have read everything in her path, then hand her a universe where each person's soul is an animal companion and where heroine Lyra searches relentlessly for her kidnapped friend. Random House. Ages 8 to 12.
Doctor De Soto by William Steig
Like a modernized fable, this finely wrought story follows a mouse who outwits a hungry fox thanks to his foresight and mastery of dentistry. Steig may be better known as the author of Shrek but this simple tale is the one that will truly capture your child's heart. Macmillan. Ages 3 to 6.
Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Rather than a rags-to-riches story, this riches-to-rags tale follows a rich Mexican landowner's daughter who loses everything and must start over again in America. Set during the Great Depression, it's a book of hope that's ideal for kids with a penchant for realism. Scholastic. Ages 8 to 12.
Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave by Laban Carrick Hill, illustrated by Bryan Collier
Hill and Collier reconstruct a man's life from the only thing that is left of him today: his poetry-inscribed pottery. Based on the true story of a slave living in 19th-century South Carolina, Dave the Potter begins as a humble description of how to throw a pot and turns into a manifesto on how to persevere. Little, Brown. Ages 6 to 9.
My Father's Dragon by Ruth Gannett Stiles, illustrated by Ruth Chrisman Gannett
The first installment of a series that's as spellbinding as it was when it was released in 1948 is the tale of Elmer Elevator, a boy determined to track down and save a baby dragon from a host of silly-scary, island-dwelling animals. Random House. Ages 6 to 9.