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991 voters

The Greatest Books to Read to Kids

Updated November 21, 2019 20.2k votes 991 voters 36.3k views97 items

List RulesBooks that are fun to read aloud and are suitable for kids ages 4-9

The following rankings of the greatest children's books to read with your kids are voteable and can be influenced by your own list of your favorite kid's books. Kid's imaginations can come alive when you read with them and these are the books the Ranker community recommends. Children who read with their parents at an early age have statistically higher grades, better socialization, and a faster grasp of language skills. Join the rankings today!

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  • 1
    435
    34

    First Published1960

    Genres (Book)Children's literature

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Green Eggs and Ham is a best-selling and critically acclaimed children's book by Dr. Seuss, first published on August 12, 1960. As of 2001, according to Publishers Weekly, it was the fourth...  more
  • 2

    First Published1957-11-24

    Genres (Book)Children's literature

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a children's story by Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel written in rhymed verse with illustrations by the author. It follows the Grinch, a grouchy, solitary creature who...  more
  • 3
    334
    57

    Goodnight Moon

    Margaret Wise Brown

    First Published1947

    SubjectsMoon, Rabbits, Classics, Animal

    Genres (Book)Children's literature, Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Goodnight Moon is an American children's picture book written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd. It was first published on September 3, 1947, and is a highly acclaimed example of...  more

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    #8 of 125 The Best Overall Books for Kids#72 of 704 Books That Changed Your Life

  • 4

    First Published1960

    Genres (Book)Children's literature

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish is a 1960 children's book by Dr. Seuss. It is a simple rhyming book for beginning readers, with a freewheeling plot about a boy and a girl and the many amazing...  more
  • 5
    365
    49

    First Published1957-12-22

    SubjectsCat, Anthropomorphism

    Genres (Book)Picture book, Children's literature

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    The Cat in the Hat is a children's book written and illustrated by Theodor Geisel under the pen name Dr. Seuss and first published in 1957. The story centers on a tall anthropomorphic cat, who wears...  more

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    #2 of 52 The Best Dr. Seuss Books#1 of 36 The Best Childrens Books About Cats

  • 6
    350
    73

    First Published1963

    SubjectsEducation, Games, Classics, Adventure, Children's film

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Picture book, Children's literature, Fiction, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Where the Wild Things Are is a 1963 children's picture book by American writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak, originally published by Harper & Row. The book has been adapted into other media several...  more

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    #38 of 300 The Greatest Children's Books That Were Made Into Movies#7 of 54 The Best Books for First Graders

  • 7

    First Published1969-06-03

    SubjectsEducation, Animal, English Literature, Language

    Genres (Book)Picture book, Children's literature, Fiction

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a children's picture book designed, illustrated and written by Eric Carle, first published by the World Publishing Company in 1969, later published by Penguin Putnam....  more

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    #2 of 57 The Best Books for Toddlers#38 of 53 The Best Cat Things

  • 8
    300
    63

    Curious George

    H. A. Rey, Margret Rey

    First Published1941

    SubjectsMonkey, Curiosity

    Genres (Book)Children's literature

    Curious George is a children's book written and illustrated by Margret Rey and H. A. Rey, and published by Houghton Mifflin in 1941. It is the first book in the Curious George series and tells the...  more
  • 9
    315
    61

    First Published1954-08

    SubjectsInternationalism

    Genres (Book)Children's literature

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Horton Hears a Who! is a children's book written and illustrated by Theodor Seuss Geisel under the name Dr. Seuss and published in 1954 by Random House. It is the second Dr. Seuss book to feature...  more
  • 10

    First Published1930

    SubjectsHard work, Determination, Optimism, Locomotive

    Genres (Book)Picture book, Children's literature

    The Little Engine that Could is an illustrated children's book that was first published in the United States in 1930 by Platt & Munk. The story is used to teach children the value of optimism and...  more
  • 11

    First Published1972-06

    SubjectsGames, Drama, Family

    Genres (Book)Children's literature

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, published in 1972, is an ALA Notable Children's Book written by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Ray Cruz. It has also won a George G....  more
  • 12
    309
    73

    The Giving Tree

    Shel Silverstein

    First Published1964-10-07

    SubjectsTrees, Classics

    Genres (Book)Picture book, Children's literature, Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    The Giving Tree is a children's picture book written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein. First published in 1964 by Harper & Row, it has become one of Silverstein's best known titles and has been...  more

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    #30 of 61 Novels with the Best Love Stories#2 of 24 Good Books for 6 Year Olds

  • 13
    240
    53

    Madeline

    Ludwig Bemelmans

    SubjectsBoarding school

    Genres (Book)Picture book, Children's literature

    Madeline is a media franchise that originated as a series of children's books written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans, an Austrian author. The books have been adapted into numerous formats,...  more
  • 14
    193
    52

    First Published1955

    Genres (Book)Children's literature

    Harold and the Purple Crayon is a 1955 children's book by Crockett Johnson. This is Johnson's most popular book. It led to a series of other books, and inspired many adaptations....  more
  • 15
    266
    68

    The Lorax

    Dr. Seuss

    First Published1971-08-12

    SubjectsConsumerism, Ecology, Knitting, Environmentalism

    Genres (Book)Children's literature, Fiction

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    The Lorax is a children's book written by Dr. Seuss and first published in 1971. It chronicles the plight of the environment and the Lorax, who speaks for the trees against the greedy Once-ler. As in...  more
  • 16
    224
    24

    First Published1902

    SubjectsMedical, Games, Rabbits, Classics, Adventure

    Genres (Book)Picture book, Children's literature, Fiction, Fantasy

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    The Tale of Peter Rabbit is a British children's book written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter that follows mischievous and disobedient young Peter Rabbit as he is chased about the garden of Mr....  more

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    #4 of 51 The Best Children's Book Series#2 of 40 The Best Board Books for Babies (0-15 Months)

  • 17

    First Published1990-01-22

    Genres (Book)Children's literature

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    Oh, the Places You'll Go! is a book written and illustrated by children's author Dr. Seuss. It was first published by Random House on January 22, 1990, making it his last book published in his...  more
  • 18
    Guess How Much I Love You is a British children's book written by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram, published in 1994 in the UK by Walker Books and in 1995 in the US by its subsidiary...  more
  • 19

    First Published1988

    Genres (Book)Children's literature

    Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a book by James Marshall....  more
  • 20
    199
    47

    Winnie The Pooh

    The Walt Disney Company
  • 21
  • 22
    207
    67

    The Poky Little Puppy

    Janette Sebring Lowrey

    First Published1942-10-21

    SubjectsDog

    Genres (Book)Picture book

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    The Poky Little Puppy is the titular character and a children's book written by Texas author Janette Sebring Lowrey and illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren. It was first published in 1942 as one of the...  more
  • 23

    First Published1964

    SubjectsChocolate, Classics, Adventure, Family, Folklore

    Genres (Book)Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Fiction, Fantasy

    Original LanguageWelsh Language, English Language

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a 1964 children's book by British author Roald Dahl. The story features the adventures of young Charlie Bucket inside the chocolate factory of eccentric...  more

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    #60 of 103 The Best Selling Books of All Time#45 of 1,236 The Best Novels Ever Written

  • 24
    255
    115

    First Published1985

    Genres (Book)Children's literature

    Original LanguageEnglish Language

    If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is a children's book written by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond. Described as a "circular tale," it is Numeroff and Bond's first collaboration in what came...  more
  • 25
    164
    39

    Alice in Wonderland

    Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

    First Published1865

    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland) is an 1865 novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. It tells of a girl...  more

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    #13 of 171 35+ Books Everybody Lies About Having Read#3 of 52 The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels