8 Children's Books That Will Grab Their Heart

From Frederick the mouse to the Little Prince, the main characters in these classic stories recommended by children's book authors are pretty much guaranteed to give kids (and parents) the warm fuzzies with every read.

The Child's Garden of Verses Book Cover and The Little Prince Book Cover
Photo: Illustration by Francesca Spatola; Amazon (2)
01 of 08


frederick book cover

"Frederick, by Leo Lionni (ages 3 to 7), feels proper for our current times. A colony of mice hibernate in a hole for the winter, but it is Frederick the mouse who keeps everyone warm with his stories. It's the ability to find the beauty in something so simple that reveals its relevance."

—Dan Santat, author of The Adventures of Beekle

02 of 08

The Kid Who Only Hit Homers

the kid who only hit homers book cover
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

"The book that made me a reader? The Kid Who Only Hit Homers, by Matt Christopher (ages 8 to 12), a story about a talented Little League player. It met me on my level and took me somewhere new."

—Actor B. J. Novak, author of The Book With No Pictures

03 of 08

The Little Prince

the little prince book cover
Mariner Books

"The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (ages 10+), is one of those books where the meaning changes and deepens every time you read it. As a kid, I saw an adventure story. As an adult, I see a philosophical meditation on what's really important in life."

—Nicola Yoon, author of The Sun Is Also a Star

04 of 08

The Little House

the little house book cover
HMH Books for Young Readers

"I was fascinated with the tiny illustrated details in The Little House, by Virginia Lee Burton (ages 3 to 7): boys playing with toy boats in a brook, a dog running after a girl on a bicycle, and much to my envy as a little girl with a tumultuous home life, happy families. In its message of finding joy in simpler things, that book stole my heart."

—Sherri Duskey Rinker, author of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site

05 of 08

A Child's Garden of Verses

a childs garden of verses book cover
Independently Published

"My first love was poetry. My mother read me 'My Bed Is a Boat,' from A Child's Garden of Verses, by Robert Louis Stevenson (ages 4 to 8), when I was about 4. The image of my bed floating on water is one I dreamed about for years."

—Francine Pascal, author of the Sweet Valley High series

06 of 08


chrysanthemum book cover
Mulberry Books

"Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes (ages 4 to 8), made my daughter a reader. She loved reading about that little mouse girl who felt on the outside of things."

—Meg Medina, author of Merci Suárez Changes Gears

07 of 08

The Story of Ferdinand

the story of ferdinand book cover
Viking Books for Young Readers

"During World War II, my mom, my brother, and I lived in Virginia while my dad was a foreign correspondent. We went to the library, and The Story of Ferdinand, by Munro Leaf (ages 3 to 5), about a bull who refused to fight in the bull rings, was one of the books I always picked. I am 81 now, and I still recall how the book helped me get through the three years before my father came home."

—Jane Yolen, author of Owl Moon and 385 other books

08 of 08

The House at Pooh Corner

the house at pooh corner book cover
Dutton Books for Young Readers

"I remember how much I loved hearing my mother read The House at Pooh Corner, by A. A. Milne (ages 8 to 12), to my sister and me. The illustrations were inspiring. The line drawings looked like something I could do myself with a pencil, and yet they are masterly."

—Emily Arnold McCully, author of Mirette on the High Wire

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