Great Children’s Books for Children aged 0-15

Coming up with a list of books for children is always risky.  How do you judge it? Your personal preference as an adult reader? The popularity of the books with children? Longevity?  How have I chosen these books:

• They have been loved by children and adults – sometimes more by one group than the other. But each of the books on the list has been popular with children.

• They have quality of language, story, illustrations (in the case of picture books).

•  They make you want to turn the page.

•  They say something significant (literature should have worthwhile content – it teaches – see my earlier post on this)
CharlotteWeb.pngThe next difficulty is allocating an age level. Some of the books in one age category can be read by children of different ages depending on their ability and maturity. A book like ‘Charlotte’s Web’ can be read to or by children of any age and enjoyed.

The list is not meant to be comprehensive.  Rather, I’ve tried to give a flavour of the varied authors, styles and topics that great books cover.  You should use the list to find other books by the same authors.  For example, I could have listed all of Bill Peet’s books. The same could be said for many other authors on this list.  Search out other titles by tried and tested authors who are represented on this list.


Books for Preschoolers (to be read to and with children aged 0-4 years)

 All the World illustrated by Marla Frazee, written by Liz Garton

Battles in the Bath  by Peter Pavey

Bears in the Night  by Stan and Jan Berenstein

Belinda by Pamela Allen

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? by Bill Martin, Jr.

Corduroy by Don Freeman

Do You Know What Grandad Did? By Brian Smith

Dog In, Cat Out by Gillian Rubenstein




Don’t Forget the Bacon by Pat Hutchins

Duckat by Gaelyn Gordon

Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allen Ahlberg



Edward the Emu by Sheena Knowles

Edwina the Emu by Sheena Knowles

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Grandpa and Thomas by Pamela Allen

Grandpa and Thomas and the Green Umbrella by Pamella Allen

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

Hattie and the Fox by Mem Fox

Looking for Crabs by Bruce Whately

Mister Magnolia by Quentin Blake


Mother, Mother, I Want Another by Maria Polushkin Robbins

My Dad by Anthony Browne

One Hungry Spider by Jeannie Baker

One Dragon’s Dream by Peter Pavey

Peepo by Janet and Allen Ahlberg


The Lion & Mouse by Jerry Pinkey

The Mitten by Alvin Tresselt

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise

The Singing Hat by Tohby Riddle


The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

The Story of Chiecken Licken by Jan Ormerod

The Trouble with Dad by Babette Cole Front cover

The Trouble with Mum by Babette Cole

The Waterhole by Graeme Base

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Time for Bed by Mem Fox

When I’m Feeling range of books by Trace Moroney



Books for Children Ages 4-7 (the following titles are suitable to be read to younger readers or can be read by beginning readers)


A.B. Paterson’s Mulga Bill’s Bicycle by Kilmeny & Deborah Niland

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman

Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish

Animalia by Graeme Base


Aranea: A Story About a Spider by Jenny Wagner

Are You My Mother? by Philip D. Eastman

‘Arthur’ series by Marc Tolon Brown

Basil of Baker Street by Eve Titus

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by John Archambault 

Clifford, the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell

Complete Adventures of Blinky Bill by Dorothy Wall

Counting on Frank by Rod Clement

Cowardly Clyde by Bill Peet

Curious George by Hans Augusto Rey

Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Conner

Fantastic Mr Fox, by Roald Dahl

Fox in Socks by Dr Seuss

Granpa by John Burningham

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss


Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss

Hubert’s Hair-raising Adventure by Bill Peet

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff

In My Back Yard by Nette Hilton & Anne Spudvilas

Irving the Magician by Tohby Riddle


John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat by Jenny Wagner

Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg

Lester and Clyde by James Reece

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes

Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

My Hiroshima by Junko Morimoto  

No Kiss for Mother by Tomi Ungerer

Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss

Petunia by Roger Duvoisin

Red Sings from Treetops: A Year of Colors, by Joyce Sidman

Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

Strega Nona by Tomie De Paola

Sunshine by Jan Ormerod

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig

Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

The Art Lesson by Tomie De Paola

The Banana Bird and the Snake Men by Percy Trezise and Dick Roughsey

The Bears’ ABC Book by Robin & Jocelyn Wild

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

The Complete Adventures of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

The Digging-est Dog by Al Perkins

The Eleventh Hour by Graeme Base

The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton

The Fisherman and the Theefyspray by Jane Tanner

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein 

The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters by Janet & Allen Ahlberg

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch by Ronda & David Armitage

The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper

The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay

The Napping House by Audrey Wood

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert N. Munsch

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

The Rainbow Serpent by Dick Roughsey

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter



The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka

The Story of Shy the Platypus by Leslie Rees

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

Tough Boris by Mem Fox

What Made Tiddalik Laugh by Joanna Troughton

Wheel on the Chimney by Margaret Wise Brown

Where’s Julius by John Burningham

Where the Forest Meets the Sea by Jeannie Baker

Where the Sidewalk Ends: the Poems and Drawing of Shel Silverstein by Shel Silverstein

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Whistle Up the Chimney by Nan Hunt

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox






Books for Children Ages 8-10 (many of these books can be read to children aged 6-8 or can be read by most children aged 9-10 years)

 A Dream of Stars by Brian Caswell

A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein

A Little Fear by Patricia Wrightson 

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Callie’s Castle by Ruth Park

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

Chronicles of Ancient Darkness by Michelle Paver

Dirty Beasts by Roald Dahl

Grandma Cadbury’s Trucking Tales by Dianne Bates

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

Harry Potter‘ series by J.K Rowling

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

James and the Giant Peach: A Children’s Story by Roald Dahl

Jodie’s Journey by Colin Thiele

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder



Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Mike by Brian Caswell

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O’Brien

My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett

Paw Thing by Paul Jennings

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary

Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl

Rowan of Rin‘ series by Emily Rodda

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar

Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner

Stuart Little by E. B. White

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

The 27th Annual African Hippopotamus Race by Morris Lurie

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

The BFG by Roald Dahl

The Borrowers by Mary Norton

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner



The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

The Eighteenth Emergency by Betsy Byars

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly


The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson

The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks

The Iron Man by Ted Hughes

The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling



The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

The Pinballs by Betsy Byars



The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Shrinking of Treehorn by Florence Parry Heide

The Super-Roo of Mungalongaloo by Osmar White

The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White

The Village Dinosaur by Phyllis Arkle

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt


The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon written by Grace Lin

Where the Sidewalk Ends: the Poems and Drawing of Shel Silverstein by Shel Silverstein


Books for children aged 10-13+

Boy by Roald Dahl

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, by Mark Haddon

Deltora Quest‘ series by Emily Rodda

Dragonkeeper Trilogy (Carole Wilkinson)

Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian

Lord of the Rings, JR Tolkien

Merryl of the Stones by Brian Caswell

Nargun and the Stars by Patricia Wrightson

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Old Kingdom series, by Garth Nix

Playing Beattie Bow by Ruth Park

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

Slave Girl: The Diary of Clotee, Virginia, USA 1859 by Patricia McKissack

Strange Objects by Gary Crew


Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene

The Hobbit by JR Tolkein

The Fire in the Stone by Colin Thiele

The Ice is Coming by Patricia Wrightson

The Graveyard Book (Neil Gaiman)

The Machine Gunners by Robert Westall



The Princess Bride (William Goldman) 

The Stone Quartet by Alan Garner

The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong

Thunderwith by Libby Hathorn

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Wizard of Earthsea‘ trilogy by Ursula Le Guin


Other resources

You can find many other lists, author lists, themes etc on my blog that are grouped in various ways.  See my blog ‘Literacy, Families & Learning’ HERE