The 10 Best Children's Books

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This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in February of 2018. If you're a parent or have any special kids in your life, you probably already know that a good story makes the best gift of all. The books on this list are beloved classics and contain valuable lessons and lovely illustrations that will have your youngster revisiting them again and again. We've included options suitable for children of various ages. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Oh, the Places You'll Go!

2. Charlotte's Web

3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Editor's Notes

October 24, 2019:

While there are certainly scores more than just ten wonderful children's books out there, we rounded up some tried-and-true favorites and prioritized stories with moral lessons, plenty of whimsy, lovely illustrations, entertaining plotlines, and readability - many of these books can be explored over and over again. We also wanted to include volumes that bring wit, creativity, and a touch of satire to your young one's attention. Pair one of these classics with a personalized children's book to instill a love of reading in your youngster for life.

Sadly, we let go of The Story of Ferdinand, despite being a beloved favorite full of beautiful pen and ink drawings due to complaints that the abridged version left much to be desired from the story. We also removed The Little Engine That Could to make way for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which we added because we felt this list had too few longer novels geared toward older elementary school children. Also joining the ranks is Strega Nona, an entertaining choice that uses full-color paintings and old Italian lore (although the story is an original tale by author and illustrator Tomie dePaola) to show how consequences are borne from hasty decision-making.

Many of the selections on this list (like Goodnight Moon, for example) are offered as board books and in hard and softcover versions, so you can choose the best iteration for your child's needs.

4. The Giving Tree

6. Strega Nona

7. Goodnight Moon

8. Where the Wild Things Are

9. "Madeline" by Ludwig Bemelmans

10. The Little Prince

Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.

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