Our Favorite Children's Books: 2019 Edition

Greetings friends! Today we are so excited to continue on with our series showcasing our favorite books. In our last post, we covered our favorite parenting. In today’s installment, we’ll be sharing our most loved children’s books!

To say I was excited to make a list of favorite children’s books together is a gross understatement. We read a lot in our house. Books are a big part of our daily routine with the kids – we read to relax, to learn, and to cure boredom. Despite weekly trips to the children’s library, we have still managed to accumulate quite a daunting library at home. We just can’t get enough children’s books!

What is it that makes children’s books so irresistible to us adults? Captivating stories, beautiful illustrations, and quirky characters all add to the whimsy of a great children’s book. And of course we can’t forget the nostalgia. So many of our favorite books are classics that were enjoyed by us as children, or even our grandparents! I think we all get a special warm and fuzzy feeling reading a book we loved as a child to our own children.

What does make a good children’s book, anyway? Strong characters, stories that teach, a sense of joy and wonder, and awe-inspiring illustrations, among other things. The children’s books on this list embody these traits and much more. Besides just being appealing to children, many of these books are appealing to adults too, which comes in handy when your child wants to read the same book over and over….. and over and over…

With all the fantastic children’s literature to choose from, picking our favorites is a near impossible task. Cultivating and narrowing this list down was so, so hard - I could quite literally go on all day listing favorite children’s books. Don’t be surprised if we show up with a Part 2.

But for now, here are our very favorite children’s books, as of Fall 2019!

Books for Babies & Toddlers (0-3y)

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault
You can’t beat this book for it’s silly rhyming, colorful illustrations, and of course, letter recognition!

Brown Bear, Brown Bear

by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

With eye-catching animal illustrations and simple rhymes, this book is an early favorite for many children, including mine! The other books in this series are just as adorable.

The Snowy Day

By Ezra Jack Keats

This award-winning book is a great winter story about a little boy with a very big imagination.

Good Dog, Carl

By Alexandra Day

If you aren’t familiar with the Carl series, you are really missing out. They have few words, but phenomenal illustrations with some laugh out loud humor. We love this series.

We’re Going On A Bear Hunt

By Michael Rosen

This sing-song rhyming book is a classic for good reason – little kids love the sense of family adventure and excitement in this award-winning tale.

Owl Babies

by Martin Waddell

Simply beautiful illustrations in this book that teaches little ones can always rely on mama. My kids love chiming in when little Bill says, “I want my mommy!”


by Nina Laden

I waited until my third baby to give this lift-the-flap book a shot, and I highly regret it. Babies just adore the simple rhymes and peek-a-boo cutouts in this tiny book that packs a lot of joy. 

Dear Zoo

By Rod Campbell

A sweet little lift-the-flap book that introduces interactive play. It’s been has been a favorite with parents and children since it was first published in 1982! 


By Don Freeman

This classic tale of a well-loved bear on the shelf of a toy store has stood the test of time, charming readers since 1968.

Little Blue Truck

By Alice Schertle and Jill McElmurry

You don’t have to be a truck fanatic to fall in love with the characters in this heartwarming story about lending a hand to a friend in need.

Goodnight Moon

By Margaret Wise Brown

Perhaps the most loved baby book of all time for good reason. This classic bedtime story is a cross between a heartwarming story and a lullaby.  

Moo Baa La La La

By Sandra Boynton

We love all of Boynton’s baby books, but this was one that my babies reached for most of all. The silly characters and funny rhymes will have you grinning.

The Runaway Bunny

By Margaret Wise Brown

A popular tale about a mother bunny’s steadfast love for her little bunny, this one will resonate with moms and kids alike.

Books for Preschoolers (3-5y)

The Gruffalo

By Julia Donaldson

This book is so fun to read out loud, especially with silly voices. We also adore Donaldson’s other classics, such as Room on the Broom.

Blueberries for Sal

By Robert McClosky

A sweet, charming tale about a blueberry picking mix-up. Expressive line illustrations add to the sweetness of this story set in the Maine countryside. 

The Mitten

By Jan Brett

A perfect choice for your winter bookshelf, this one is an interpretation of a Ukranian tall tale that will keep your children giggling. As with most of Brett’s books, the illustrations alone are worth checking out. 

The Giving Tree

By Shel Silverstein

There is no such thing as a “favorite children’s book” list without this classic is an unforgettable tale loved by generations of children.

If You Give a Mouse A Cookie (Moose a Muffin, Pig a Pancake…)

By Laura Numeroff

The stories in this collection are perennial favorites among children. The circular tale teaches a great lesson about consequences, while keeping up with the silliness!

Where The Wild Things Are

By Maurice Sendak

Perhaps one of the most loved children’s books of all-time. Max has been inspiring families for more than 50 years with his imaginative journey and wild rumpus.

The Napping House

By Audrey Wood and Don Wood

This book is perfect for those cozy, rainy days spent with a pile of books. Gorgeous illustrations, too!

Little Bear

By Else Holmelund Minarik and Maurice Sendak

There is something undeniably comforting about this sweet Little Bear and his crew of animal friends. We absolutely adore Little Bear books – and the TV show, too!


By Ian Falconer

The dry humor in the award-winning Olivia series is on point. We will follow Olivia on any of her kooky adventures and can’t wait to see where she goes next.

Elementary Age/Early Reader

The Lorax

By Dr. Seuss

A beautiful tale about taking care of our environment, way ahead of it’s time!

The Frog & Toad Treasury

By Arnold Lobel

The power of friendship takes center stage in this collection of hilarious stories about these two best friends.

Bread and Jam for Francis

By Russell Hoban

What child can’t relate to Francis’ fussy eating?  This is a cute story with a charming character and great moral.

Charlotte’s Web

By E.B. White and Garth Williams

Who doesn’t love Wilbur, Charlotte, Templeton and the whole crew? A classic story with plenty of silliness, tears, and a happy ending.

Stuart Little

By E.B. White

This beloved tale of an adventure-loving mouse is always a hit with young children!

James and the Giant Peach

By Roald Dahl

Really any of Dahl’s books are a staple in any child’s library. The fantastical characters and marvelous twists & turns are in a league of their own.

Where The Sidewalk Ends

By Shel Silverstein

Not a chapter book, but a must for any children’s book list. This list of classic poems and tales will keep your kiddos in stitches.

Oh The Places You’ll Go!                    

By Dr. Seuss

Whimsical and inspirational, this book is a classic celebration of life’s journey.

As I stated before, I could truly go on for ages listing our favorite books.  It seems that not a month goes by that we don’t find another book to add to our list of “most favorites.”

What are your favorite children’s books? Bet you can’t just name one! 

Sarah Smith

Sarah is a copywriter and homeschooling mama of 3 in East Nashville, TN. When she's not writing or cleaning her walls with Magic Eraser, she can usually be found with her nose in a book, petting a stray cat, or concocting organic lotions & potions in her kitchen.

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