41 Book List Essentials: Top Picks & Tips for Young Readers

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41 Book List Essentials: Top Picks & Tips for Young Readers

March 30, 2021
posted by Kate Fahrenbach


Reading with young children is one of the most valuable and cherished activities of childhood and parenthood. Creating a treasured library of books for children at different stages of development can be a challenge. Below is a list of 28 best picture books for young children and a list of 13 learning-to-read series for early readers. These can be purchased at a bookstore or borrowed from your local library. With reading levels ranging from young toddlers and preschoolers to kindergarteners and big kids, these book lists have choices for the whole family.


28 Picture Books for Young Children

  1. Summer Song by Kevin Henkes, Illustrated by Laura Dronzek
  2. In the Middle of Fall by Kevin Henkes, Illustrated by Laura Dronzek
  3. Winter is Here by Kevin Henkes, Illustrated by Laura Dronzek
  4. When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes, Illustrated by Laura Dronzek
  5. A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead
  6. Found by Salina Yoon
  7. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De LaPena and Christian Robinson
  8. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
  9. Freight Train by Donald Crews
  10. Goldfish on Vacation by Sally Lloyd-Jones and Leo Espinosa
  11. Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
  12. Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
  13. Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall
  14. Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard and Juana Martinez-Neal
  15. A Beach Tail by Karen Lynn Williams and Floyd Cooper
  16. My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero and Zeke Pena
  17. Owl Babies by Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson
  18. 10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle
  19. The Gruffalo and Room on The Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
  20. ABC Dream and 123 Dream by Kim Krans
  21. The Night Gardener  by the Fan Brothers
  22. The Scarecrow by Beth Ferry and The Fan Brothers
  23. I am Enough by Grace Byers and Keturah A. Bobo
  24. A Different Pond by Bao Phi and Thi Bui
  25. Something Happened in Our Town by Donald Moses and Marianne Celano
  26. Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson and Frank Morrison
  27. Your Voice is Your Superpower by Jessica and Sandy Bohrer
  28. M is for Melanin by Tiffany Rose


13 Learning-to-Read Book Series

  1. Ramona Quimby series by Beverly Cleary
  2. Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  3. Encyclopedia Brown series by Donald J. Sobol
  4. Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey
  5. Ivy and Bean series by Annie Barrows
  6. Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo
  7. Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan
  8. Goddess Girls series by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams
  9. Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park and Denise Brunkus
  10. Mindy Kim series by Lyla Lee and Dung Ho
  11. Animal Rescue Team series by Sue Stauffacher
  12. Stink series by Megan McDonald and Peter H. Reynolds
  13. Ways to Make Sunshine series by Renee Watson


After gathering your collection of books, here are a few suggestions on how to set up and organize them to keep the selection fresh throughout the year.

  • Organize the books on a shelf/bookcase located somewhere in your house that is easily accessible to you.
  • Organize books by subject matter, seasons or favorite titles, or authors.
  • Find a basket, small shelf, box, or fun container to put in a central location accessible to everyone. A wagon or wheelbarrow is a fun option too!
  • Keep about 5-8 books in the container ready to read at any time throughout the day.
  • Change out the book selection according to the seasons and the growing interests of your children.

This is an activity you and your child can enjoy together, too. Have fun with your young readers coming up with different ways to display each week's titles. Or, try thinking of some creative themes for the week or month and work together to build a selection based on the chosen theme. Building excitement around the book selection will only make your little one even more enthused to get reading.

Happy reading!