The All-Time Best Books for Big Kids

Check out some of our favorite books for kindergartners and school-age kids.

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Bread and Jam for Frances

Courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers

Bread and Jam for Frances

By Russell Hoban

Struggling with a picky eater? Give this book a go to show your kids that branching out those taste buds can be a good thing!

2 of 23

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

Courtesy of Simon & Schuester, Inc.

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

By William Steig

When your kindergartner's got a case of the gimmes, this book is a great reminder that we may already have all that we really need.

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Make Way for Ducklings

Courtesy of the Penguin Group

Make Way for Ducklings

By Robert McCloskey

You just have to love this classic tale of a mother duck's unconditional love for her ducklings.

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The Little Engine That Could

Courtesy of the Penguin Group

The Little Engine That Could

By Watty Piper

This book's famous line -- "I think I can, I think I can" -- will inform your mommy pep talks for years and years to come.

5 of 23

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Courtesy of Simon & Schuester, Inc.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

By Judith Viorst

You can't teach this lesson too early: There are days when just everything seems to go wrong -- but tomorrow is always another day!

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Chocolatina

Courtesy of Scholastic, Inc.

Chocolatina

By Erik Kraft

We love how this "grass is always greener" tale sparks kids' limitless imaginations.

7 of 23

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse

Courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse

By Kevin Henkes

A few weeks before your child's ready to start kindergarten, he'll love reading this tale about "Big Kid School."

8 of 23

Fireman Small

Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Co.

Fireman Small

By Wong Herbert Yee

What's better than a fireman saving the day? Firetruck-obsessed kids will definitely enjoy this inspiring read.

9 of 23

Stone Soup

Courtesy of Simon & Schuester, Inc.

Stone Soup

By Marcia Brown

This great trickster tale will have your impish kindergartner laughing.

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Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale

Courtesy of Hyperion Books

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale

By Mo Willems

Kids will find relief in their advanced language abilities when they read about a young girl who loses her bunny -- but isn't yet able to articulate to her parents what's happened!

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The Indian in the Cupboard

Courtesy of Collins

The Indian in the Cupboard

By Lynne Reid Banks

With one turn of the key Omri's toys are brought to life. He quickly learns that taking care of another person is no easy task.

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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Courtesy of Aladdin

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

By Judi Barrett

Meatballs aren't the only things that fall from the clouds in this all-too-delicious story. Children see what would happen if rain were replaced with pancakes and other surprising foods.

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The Velveteen Rabbit

Courtesy of HCI

The Velveteen Rabbit

By Margery Williams

He's no wooden boy, but this stuffed rabbit yearns for the love of a child that he hopes will one day make him real.

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Elizabeti's Doll

Courtesy of Lee & Low Books

Elizabeti's Doll

By Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen

Longing to care for a baby like her mother, Elizabeti has no doll, but instead finds a suitable rock. But when Elizabeti loses her new doll, Eva, she does all she can to find it.

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Giggle, Giggle, Quack

Courtesy of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

Giggle, Giggle, Quack

By Doreen Cronin

When Farmer Brown goes on vacation, Duck is up to his usual antics. Changing the note from Farmer Brown so the animals get pizza on Tuesday is just the beginning.

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I'm Gonna Like Me: Letting Off a Little Self-Esteem

Courtesy of Joanna Cotler

I'm Gonna Like Me: Letting Off a Little Self-Esteem

By Jamie Lee Curtis

When two children can verbally say why they like themselves it's a great thing. From getting a bad gift to being wrong in class these children remain positive.

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Olivia

Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

Olivia

By Ian Falconer

Olivia may be a pig, but she certainly doesn't sit in mud all day. This active little lady is always on the go and promises nonstop fun in this beautifully illustrated book.

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If You Take a Mouse to School

Courtesy of Laura Geringer

If You Take a Mouse to School

By Laura Numeroff

Another in the mouse series, but this time he's not after your cookies. However, when you get to school make sure your lunchbox is hidden.

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Tikki Tikki Tembo

Courtesy of Square Fish

Tikki Tikki Tembo

By Arlene Mosel

When Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo falls into a well, his younger brother, Chang, tries to get help but is always out of breath after trying to say his brother's name.

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Thank You, Amelia Bedelia

Courtesy of HarperTrophy

Thank You, Amelia Bedelia

By Peggy Parish

She's everyone's favorite maid. Taking literal meaning from everything she is told causes Amelia Bedelia to string the beans and more mixups.

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Tea with Milk

Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin/Walter Lorraine Books

Tea with Milk

By Allen Say

After moving to Japan from the United States, Masako struggles to learn the culture of another country.

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The Giving Tree

Courtesy of HarperCollins

The Giving Tree

By Shel Silverstein

This story of a selfless tree that gives to everyone -- not just the boy -- teaches that it's better to give than to receive.

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Nate the Great

Courtesy of Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Nate the Great

By Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

Nate is back and on the case of a missing cat. With the help of his dog Sludge, the two are able to crack the case and find the missing feline.


Originally published in the March 2008 issue of Parents magazine.

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