The world of fiction is an ideal starting point for a child’s intellectual, moral, and cognitive development. Through exciting adventures, fun rhymes, beautiful illustrations, and the occasional sensory experience, a child begins to make sense of the world, as well as the words we use, and the language we speak.
Here are some of the best books for kids.
Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt
Pat the Bunny is a classic children’s book written in 1940. It is not so much of a story as it is a sensory experience. The book has been praised for this unique approach, and many experts believe that it helps a young child’s mind develop. Families have been loving this book this it’s first publication, and it continues to be one of the most popular children’s books ever written.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
This classic bedtime story has been delighting children since it was first published in 1947. The story is written as a poem, and follows a little bunny’s bedtime ritual of saying goodnight to objects in the bunny’s room. The book also contains many beautiful illustrations that inspire wonder in a child’s eyes. Goodnight Moon should be in every young child’s bookshelf.
Belly Button Book! by Sandra Boynton
Belly Button Book is a fun little story of hippos on the beach. The book features song-like stories with rhymes and rhythm. A fun, silly book that parents love because of some clever puns sprinkled in, and kids love because the belly button provides so much fascination. One of Sandra Boynton’s most popular books, this one is sure to be a classic.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
One of the greatest children’s books ever written, The Very Hungry Caterpillar is loved for so many reasons. The illustrations are unique and beautiful, but what parents really love is how it teaches new vocabulary, and how it shows the lifespan of a caterpillar from egg to butterfly. Many of us grew up with this book, and many of us will pass it on to our kids, and our kids’ kids.
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
What list of classic children’s books is complete without Dr. Seuss? One of the most beloved books of all time, Green Eggs and Ham tells the story of Sam trying to persuade an unnamed creature to eat green eggs and ham. Using rhymes, unique illustrations, and simple vocabulary, Green Eggs and Ham is both educational and silly, yet also teaches the virtues of persistence.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
This classic children’s book is another favorite for helping children attach meaning to objects. It has long been praised for it’s beautiful illustrations (by Eric Carle, who also illustrated the Very Hungry Caterpillar), and for helping children learn colors and animals. It invites participation, and follows a lyrical, rhythmic cadence which kids love. Another classic children’s book from one of the greatest children’s book authors.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
This Caldecott medal awarded book (for outstanding illustration) is one of the most beloved books ever written. It tells the story of Max, a mischievous child with a very active imagination. The book is so famous because so many children (and adults too!) can relate to the story. This book inspires creativity and wonder, and also teaches some important life lessons. An absolute classic.
Cars and Trucks and Things That Go! by Richard Scarry
Cars and Trucks and Things That Go is one of famed children’s book author, Richard Scarry’s most famous books. It tells the story of a family of pigs taking a trip to the beach. Along the way they discover many unique vehicles that are both realistic and amusing. The illustrations in the book are reminiscent of the “Where’s Waldo” books, and invite children into a fun world where countless discoveries await the eye.
Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
This book was a favorite of mine when I was a kid, and I still get a kick out of describing things as “terrible, horrible, no good, and very bad”. It tells the story of Alexander who suffers through a bad day. Like many kids, he dreams of a place (Australia) where life is always good, and bad days never happen. The story is a beautiful mixture of tragedy and comedy, and teaches an important lesson–sometimes we just have bad days, but there is always hope for the next day.