21 Best Books For Children | Classic Children's Books by Age
It is undeniable that reading is one of the essential skills for children to perform well at school, in social settings, work, and in life in general. Inculcating a reading habit from a very young age is the best way to help young children build these necessary skills.
Research shows that reading books to very young children as early as six months of age contributes to a home literacy environment and helps develop the child’s language.
So, let’s look at some books that your child should be exposed to depending on their age.
Best Books For Children of Ages 0-5 Years
Six months to 2 years
Young babies of ages 4-6 months still develop their vision; thus, choosing a book with little or no text is an excellent way to start. Choose a book that has bright colors and contrast pictures. Also, using books with interactive materials like mirrors, puppets, etc., is suitable for young babies.
What’s On My Head? (Look, Baby! Books) by Margaret Miller
This book is a compilation of baby faces that show a range of expressions. This book will help your child develop the aspect of self-recognition, emotional development, and concentration.
Curious Baby My Little Boat by H.A Rey
This vinyl-covered book is one of the best ways to let your child be still during bath time and learn something. This book helps in language development and exposure to new reading material like a rhyme scheme. It also comes with a small rubber duck that will help your child act out the splashing.
2 Years To 3 Years
Children at this age love the routine of you reading to them every day. They start asking for books that you previously read to them. This repetition of books is a good sign as it helps them build memory for words and make sense of them. You can slowly add new readers to your child’s book collection along with reading the old books.
Giraffes Can’t Dance
Giraffes can’t dance is a fun book that talks about Gerald the Giraffe, who wants to dance all day but finds it difficult to do with his long legs until a friend gives him some encouraging words.
It contains funny rhymes and bright pictures that will keep your child interested throughout while you interactively read it to them.
The Little Green Box of Bright and Early Board Books
Introducing your child to Dr. Seuss’ books is one of the best things you could do. Dr. Seuss’ books are one of the most classic children’s books and the most entertaining and meaningful ones once you read them as a teen or an adult.
This whole set consists of books like “Fox in Socks,” “Hop on Pop,” “Dr. Suess’ ABC,” “The Foot Book,” “Mr. Brown can Moo can you?” etc. These are great literacy-nurturing books that your child will love reading!
3 to 5 years
Children of this age category start to speak using 250-500 words. They learn to speak in complete sentences by age 4. They also begin remembering parts of the story, ask more questions, and fantasize more creatively. Thus, choosing the right books for this age is crucial for their language and cognitive development. Here are some recommendations.
The Pout-Pout Fish
The Pout-Pout Fish is the story of a fish who believes he has to be grumpy because his mouth looks like a pout. It’s not only an excellent book for children but even for adults to understand self-fulfilling prophecy and how changing your perspective can make a big difference.
You can talk to your child about feelings and emotions in an age-appropriate and concrete way through this book to help build conversations and understanding of feelings.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Very Hungry Caterpillar is another classic book to which you should expose your child. This book is about the lifecycle of a caterpillar made fun and interesting. It is a story about hope where like the caterpillar, they too will unfold their wings and fly into the future.
It is excellent for young children as it has rhymes and lots of colorful pictures. For 4-5-year-olds, it’s fun because they get to learn something new.
The Velveteen Rabbit
The Velveteen Rabbit is a charming tale of love and attachment. It allows creative thinking and imagination. Also, it is one of the books that your child will not get bored of and will want to read it repeatedly. This timeless classic is a must-read irrespective of age.
6- 8 years
Children of this age group like books with funny and captivating adventures, making them want to read more. Thus, choosing the right books that keep them invested is essential. Here are some great suggestions to get you started.
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson amongst the classic comics passed down from generation to generation. Despite the number of fights Calvin and Hobbes have, they love each other at the end, which portrays a perfect message of loyalty and friendship in young children.
Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things
Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things is excellent for reluctant readers. It tackles anxiety and stress in a fun way. It teaches kids to embraces new fears and challenges in their life.
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Matilda is one of my personal favorites. I vividly remember reading this book when I was six and a half, and I loved it. It is an excellent book about a girl whose abilities are underestimated by her parents. Her constant trip to the library reflects the influential effect books can have on young minds.
As kids hit 8-9 years, they experience many physical, emotional, and intellectual changes. They have higher attention span levels and can read more complex books. They also have improved logical thinking skills and are more imaginative at this age.
Listed below are a few books you can introduce them to that they will enjoy reading.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
This series of books are hysterical, and kids love reading about Greg’s antics. It is also highly relatable for kids as it looks like it was written by a kid who writes in their diary. It teaches young kids what to expect from middle school.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
One of the classics, award-winning, and extremely loved series of all time needs no introduction. Harry Potter books are something kids all over the world love and adore. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is a great age range to get your kid to start reading the first book in the series.
The Chronicles of Narnia
The Chronicles of Narnia is another classic series that is liked. Your kid will enjoy the storyline and may even develop ideas from the characters. The best thing about this series is that it can even be read by teens and adults who will understand theological symbolism and many other aspects with critical reading of these books.
Judy Moody by Megan McDonald
Judy Moody is an excellent light-hearted read for kids who do not like a lot of suspense and adventure. It’s fun to observe the main character grow and learn along the way. The drawings in the book help children connect with the characters.
Books For Children of ages 11-15 Years
11-12 years old
If your kid is an avid reader at this age, then their literacy skills match ours. They no longer need oversimplified texts and are more interested in longer and more complex stories. Along with understanding complex stories, they can summarize and express what they have read.
They also dive into different genres of their choice and choose books to which they can personally relate. Here are some classic 11-12 yearbooks.
Charlie Hernández and the League of Shadows
Like Percy Jackson, this is a beautiful must-read book. This Hispanic mythology contains magical and horror content that kids this age can handle. You will see your child glued to this book and ask for the next book in line.
This series mixes horror and humor and is a perfect Halloween read! Even though every book has different characters, kids can’t get enough of reading this book! It turns the most reluctant students into avid readers.
Nowhere boy by Katherine Marsh
Nowhere Boy is a story about empathy and bravery that touches upon issues like terrorism, Islamaphobia, Syrian war, refugees, and immigrants with sensitivity and the suitable appropriateness for children. It is a great book to introduce your kids to some pertaining world issues.
The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
This New York Times bestseller is about a story of triumph against all hardships of World War 2. The overall theme of this book is kindness and how it changes lives. It is a crafted book with simple language and a beautiful storyline. It’s great literature for both kids and adults!
13-15 years old
Your teenage child now has a better understanding of the world, fights abstract concepts, and starts forming valid logical opinions. Here are some classical and contemporary books to help your teenage child be the best versions of themselves.
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This book very subtly introduces the violence of racism and talks about the nuances of human relations. It also provides the reader with lessons on prejudice, justice, tolerance, and courage. It is an excellent book for teens as it allows them to have discussions, critically review and do research.
The Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
This three-time Newbery award-winning book allows teens to visualize different scenes and enjoy the book’s adventure and the ups and downs. The author has fit the storyline, action, and exciting material in just 19 short chapters. Thus, if your teen’s excuse is not to read it because it’s too long, they don’t have any leverage.
The Catcher In The Rye by J.D Salinger
This controversial American classic was once banned in many places and is now academic literature for many students. It provides a descriptive and somewhat extreme representation of a teenager’s mind. It also explains what lack of communication and understanding means. This book is enjoyed by adults too. It gives you a familiar feeling of being young.
The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank
The diary of Anne Frank gives personalizes the Holocaust. It is written with insight, intelligence, and slight humor. It is an excellent source of inspiration and hope amongst young teens.
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Animal Farm explains to children the wrongdoings and unfair practices by the World War 2 leaders. It is an excellent book for understanding and learning more about the mid-20th Century.
Besides the books mentioned in the article, encourage your kid to explore and read more books. There are some more books like The Wizard Of Oz, The Hunger Games Series, Charlie and the chocolate factory, 1984, Great Expectations, The Book thief, David Copperfield, etc., that I would personally recommend you to add to your child’s bookshelf.
Our mind is a muscle, and like all muscles, it too needs to be exercised. What better way to have fun, exercise the mind, learn new concepts, facts, and world events than to read a book? Grab a book now and get going now!
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