100 Best Books for Your Baby’s Nursery (2022)

Baby reading a colorful book.

“Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?”

I see fully stocked bookshelves looking at me!

One of the most fun parts of preparing your nursery is filling up the bookshelves with the best baby books available. 

Reading to your baby teaches them about communication, builds listening, memory, and vocabulary skills, and introduces new concepts in a fun and engaging way.

For your baby’s library, you’ll want a mix of the classic books you loved as a child, colorful picture books, traditional nursery rhymes, and modern classics that you may not have heard of (yet!).

Our editorial team researched for hours upon hours and we asked hundreds of parents what their favorite baby books are. The results is this definitive list to help guide you and save you time.

(The books on this list also make a great baby shower gift for new parents! We’ve included affiliate links for convenience, but we also encourage you to purchase books at your favorite independent bookstore.)

Without further ado, here are our top picks for your baby’s library:


Classic Baby Books

These classic baby books may have been published decades ago, but they have stood the test of time. They’ll help to fill your baby’s first year with the timeless stories you may have loved as a child.

1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

An unforgettable interactive book for young children about a very hungry caterpillar who turns into a butterfly. Kids love to poke their fingers through the holes the caterpillar creates.


2. Where The Wild Things Are (Maurice Sendak)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This classic story follows young Max, who spends his time exploring in the forest, imagining wild animals, and being creative. In one of his adventures, he gets transported to an island of many creatures who are not friendly at first, but later befriend him. This is a great book for teaching lessons about friendship, imagination, and creativity.


3. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see (Eric Carle)

Buy it on Amazon or at your favorite independent bookstore.

One of the best books to keep in your nursery library is “Brown Bear, Brown Bear”. This rhyming board book helps babies and toddlers associate colors and meanings to objects. Its rhythmic pattern is catchy and unforgettable.


4. The Going To Bed Book (Sandra Boynton)

Buy it on Amazon or at your favorite independent bookstore.

Little kids will love watching an ark full of animals preparing for bed. It’s a great way to transition your little ones into bedtime.


5. Goodnight Moon (Margaret Wise Brown)

Buy it on Amazon or at your favorite independent bookstore.

This sweet book takes your child on a journey through one special room as everyone inside it gets ready for the nighttime. It’s the perfect book to read at the end of the day, snuggled up together.


6. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Bill Martin Jr.)

Buy it on Amazon or at your favorite independent bookstore.

All of the letters of the alphabet race each other up the coconut tree in this lively book. The bright colors make it an instant favorite for little ones.


7. Little Blue Truck (Alice Schertle)

Buy it on Amazon or at your favorite independent bookstore.

Follow the little blue truck as it slowly makes its way through the countryside, honking at all his farm animals who make noises back at him. 


8. Velveteen Rabbit (Margery Williams)

Buy it on Amazon or at your favorite independent bookstore.

The Velveteen Rabbit is a story of a toy rabbit who gets worn out and shabby. He’s been loved so much by his owner that he becomes real.


9. A Bear Called Paddington (Michael Bond)

Buy it on Amazon or at your favorite independent bookstore.

A Bear Called Paddington is a great children’s book about the adventures of a bear from Darkest Peru.


10. Winnie The Pooh (A.A. Milne)

Buy it on Amazon or at your favorite independent bookstore.

Join Winnie the Pooh bear on his many adventures with his friends Christopher Robin, Piglet, a small toy pig; Tigger, a bouncing tiger; Kanga and Roo, two kangaroos; Owl, an old wise bird. This classic tale will make you laugh and teach you how to love unconditionally.


11. Tale of Peter Rabbit (Beatrix Potter)

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This wonderful vintage story time book revolves around a mischievous rabbit that gets into all sorts of trouble with his family, friends, and neighbors.


12. Guess How Much I Love You (Sam McBratney)

Buy it on Amazon or at your favorite independent bookstore.

This is a sweet and simple story about the infinite love a parent and child have for each other. The rabbit and her little bunny go back and forth describing how much they love each other, all the way to the moon and back. It’s a classic bedtime story.


13. The Original Mother Goose (Blanche Fisher Wright)

Buy it on Amazon or at your favorite independent bookstore.

Every baby nursery needs this classic collection of Mother Goose rhymes like “Three Blind Mice,” “Humpty Dumpty,” and “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”


14. Madeline (Ludwig Bemelmans)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

Madeline is a young girl with a free spirit living in Paris. (To the tiger in the zoo, Madeline just says “Pooh Pooh.”) The book takes you an Madeline’s unexpected adventure to the hospital. 


15. Five Little Monkeys (Juliet Appleby)

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A classic story about five little monkeys that didn’t heed their mother’s advice about jumping on the bed!


16. The Cat in the Hat (Dr. Seuss)

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This memorable Dr. Seuss classic revolves around a tall cat who wears his signature red and white-white-striped top hat and a red bow tie.


17. Corduroy (Don Freeman)

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Curduroy the teddy bear goes looking for his missing button one night in the department store where he lives in an attempt to get purchased by a sweet little girl. 


18. Eloise (Kay Thompson)

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Kids will love getting to know capricious and irreverent Eloise who lives at The Plaza Hotel in New York City (not bad for a six year old!).


19. The Lorax (Dr. Seuss)

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This timeless classic is the perfect book for teaching kids about sustainability and being a steward of their natural environment.


20. The Snowy Day (Ezra Jack Keats)

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Follow Peter in this simple story about a young boy who explores his neighborhood after the season’s first snowfall.


21. Make Way For Ducklings (Robert McClosky)

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First published in 1941 with beautiful illustrations, this story book book tells the story of a pair of mallards who raise their brood of ducklings in the lagoon in Boston Public Garden.


22. The Story of Ferdinand (Munro Leaf)

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Originally published in 1936, this story is about a bull who would rather smell flowers than fight in bull fights. 


23. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day (Judith Violist)

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Kids will empathize with the main character Alexander as everything goes wrong in his day, starting with waking up with gum in his hair.


24. Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel (Virginia Lee Burton)

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This classic tale was first published in 1939 in the wake of the Great Depression. Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel Mary Anne find themselves in a new world that doesn’t need steam shovels as much as before, so they look for work in a small town building a new town hall.


25. Love You Forever (Robert Munsch)

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You’ll definitely want this book in your library, about a mother who sings a sweet lullaby to her son at each stage of his life.


26. Tikki Tikki Tempo (Arlene Mosel)

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This 1968 book tells the story of a Chinese boy with a long name who falls into a well. It’s a folk tale about why Chinese names are short today.


27. The Red Balloon (Albert Lamorisse)

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This beautiful story is about a red balloon with a life of its own who follows a little boy around the streets of Paris.


28. A Sick Day for Amos McGee (Philip C. Stead)

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This lovely story is about an older man who visits his animal friends in the Zoo regularly. When he falls ill one day, his animal friends come to take care of him.


29. The Little Engine That Could (Watty Piper)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

The little engine is small but mighty, and this 1939 classic teaches core values like hard work and optimism.


30. Harry the Dirty Dog (Gene Zion)

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This fun book is about a mischevious dog named Harry who gets so dirty that his family doesn’t even recognize him anymore!


31. Grimm’s Fairy Tales (The Brothers Grimm)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

Classic stories like Rapunzel, hansel, and Grete, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty are all found in Grimm’s Fairy Tales. But beware! The versions in this original edition don’t always end as happily as our fairy tales today. It’s an especially good choice for older kids who are ready for a new kind of fairy tale.


32. Everyone Poops (Taro Gomi)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This book helps teach kids about the many ways that living creatures remove waste from their body, including humans!


33. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (Laura Numeroff)

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This silly story helps illustrate the concept of a slippery slope. It’s a “circular tale” that ends up right where it began.


34. Green Eggs & Ham (Dr. Seuss)

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Green Eggs & Ham is a classic bestseller because of its catchy rhymes and whimsical illustrations by the late Dr. Seuss.


35. The Runaway Bunny (Margaret Wise Brown)

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This Margaret Wise Brown classic is a bout a little bunny who wants to run away but his mother tells him she’ll run after him. It’s about a child’s need for both independence and unconditional love.


36. Clifford the Big Red Dog (Blaise Hemingway)

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The lovable Clifford is much too enormous for the world he’s living in, but sometimes it comes in handy. 


37. Oh The Places You’ll Go (Dr. Seuss)

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Often given as gift at baby showers and high school graduatios, this book is about the journey of life, and all of the challenges and joys that come along with it.


38. Curious George (H.A. Rey & Margaret Rey)

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Everyone’s favorite monkey gets into all kinds of trouble in this classic book series.


39. I am a Bunny (Richard Scarry)

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Follow this sweet little bunny as he hops from season to season, soaking up the best that each one has to offer.


40. The Giving Tree (Shel Silverstein)

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The Giving Tree is about the relationship between a young boy and his favorite apple tree. He asks more and more of the tree as he moves through the different stages of life. This unforgettable story will leave you wondering about its lessons.


41. Good Night, Gorilla (Peggy Rathmann)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

It’s time to go to sleep, but this mischievous gorilla isn’t ready. Instead, he follow she zookeeper on his rounds and lets all the animals out of their cages.


42. Pat The Bunny (Dorothy Kunhardt)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

Pat the Bunny, published in 1940, is the original “touch and feel” book for babies and small children. It’s a perennial best-seller for good reason. Your baby’s little hands will cherish it.


43. Look, Look! (Peter Linenthal)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

Look, look! is perfect for baby’s eyes because of the high-contrast black-and-white art. It’s an ideal first board book, created by an elementary school teacher.


44. Go Dog Go (P.D. Eastman)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

Published in 1961, this classic story describes the actions of a group of dogs complete all kinds of human actions.


45. A Child’s Book of Poems (Gyo Fujikawa)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

All the classic children’ poetry you would want is in this anthology of 200 poems published din 1969. It includes Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Christmas Bells,” Lewis Carroll’s “The Melancholy Pig,” and Eugene Fields’ “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod,” along with proverbs, limericks, nursery rhymes, and folk songs.


46. The Little Red Caboose (Marian Potter)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This sweet tale is perhaps the most classic of all the Little Golden Books , originally published in 1952. It’s about the red caboose who wants to be as popular as the big steam engine at the front of the train, but ultimately realizes his importance.


47. Aesop’s Fables

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

Aesop, a former Greek slave, is famous for the simple and meaningful lessons he taught through short stores featuring animals and insects. This edition includes stories like “The Hare and the Tortoise” and “The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing”. This classic edition is brought to life with illustrations by New York Times #1 Bestselling illustrator Charles Santore. 


48. Time For Bed (Mem Fox)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This cozy book has soothing repetitive language and conveys safety and warm affection, helping secure a strong parent-child bond.


49. Harold and the Purple Crayon (Crockett Johnson)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

Harold, is a curious four-year-old boy who has the power to create his own works with his purple crayon just by drawing it. It will inspire the youngest children to take initiative and create their own worlds.


50. Dear Zoo (Rod Campbell)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

The original flap book will be an instant favorite for your baby, who will love discovering the animals in the zoo with their own little fingers.


Modern Classics

51. Olivia (Ian Falconer)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

Olivia is a Caldecott Honor Book that captures the essence of a strong-minded and confident child (who happens to be a pig).


52. Don’t let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (Mo Willems)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

Your kids will fall in love Mo Willem’s fiesty pigeon who gets into all kind of trouble.


53. Press Here (Herve Tullet)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This interactive book encourages kids to push on the dots, shake the book, and blow on the book in order to manipulate the illustrations.


54. The Day The Crayons Quit (Drew Daywalt)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

Duncan wants to color, but his crayons have quit. He’ll need to find a way to appease each of their concerns so he can get back to drawing!


55. Diary of a Wombat (Jacky French)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

A wombat is a slow, cuddly Australian animal who loves to eat and sleep. This picture book has only brief text and funny illustrations and it will make your child fall in love with wombats.


56. Last Stop on Market Street (Matt de la Peña & Christian Robinson)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This #1 New York Time Bestseller is a modern classic. CJ wonders why his family doesn’t own a car like his friend Colby. His grandma helps him see the beauty and fun in their own routine. 


57. Whose Knees Are These? (Jabari Asim)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This vibrant books celebrates cute, dipply knees of all shades and colors. 


58. Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada (Jimmy Fallon)

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Comedian Jimmy Fallon shows us the behind the scenes strategies of dads who are lobbying for their child’s first word to be “Dada”.


59. Llama Llama Red Pajama (Anna Dewdney)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

Baby Llama has a knack for drama at bedtime. It might resemble your own home!


60. Good night Good night Construction Site (Sherri Duskey Rinker)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

The construction site is powering down and saying goodnight in this interactive book. 


61. On the Night You Were born (Nancy Tillman)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This book gets to the heart of the joy a parent feels when their child is born. “The moon stayed up til morning. The polar bears danced.” It celebrates the love a family has for their child. 


62. Giraffes Can’t Dance (Giles Andreae)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

Gerald the Giraffe doesn’t think he can dance like the other animals in the jungle, but he discovers he just needs to listen to the sound of his own music.


63. Hair Love (Matthew A. Cherry)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This book is an ode to self-confidence and the love between fathers and daughters.


64. Where is Baby’s Belly Button? (Karen Katz)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

There is something about belly buttons that all kids love.This bestselling lift-the-flap board book will have your child asking to read it again and again.


65. Little You (Richard Van Camp)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This tender board book for babies and toddlers celebrates the potential of every child.


66. We Are Family (Patricia Hegarty)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This book highlights how all families are different, and yet share many similarities.


67. Knuffle Bunny (Mo Willems)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This hilarious cautionary tale follows Trixie, Daddy, and Knuffle Bunny on a trip to the neighborhood Laundromat. You’ll see what goes wrong when Daddy’s in charge.


68. Counting Kisses (Karen Katz)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

Have fun discovering just how many kisses a tired baby needs before bedtime in this interactive lift-the-flap book. Count and kiss together!


69. Everywhere Babies (Susan Meyers)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

Babies are born every day, everywhere, and they’re completely loved and adored by their families. This book celebrates all the things babies do best with rhyming text and engaging illustrations. 


70. Peek-A-Who? (Karen Katz)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

Every baby nursery needs a peek-a-boo book, and this is one of the best. It has colorful pictures and simple rhyming text that will keep kids exciting about guessing who is peeking through the windows.


71. Besos for Baby (Jen Arena)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

Everyone has kisses for the baby in the book, from Mami and Papi to perro and gato. The book has bold illustrations, simple Spanish words, and plenty of besos.


72. The Book With No Pictures (B.J. Novak)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This will be especially popular with older toddlers and young children. There are no pictures, as the title implies, but author B.J. Novak picks on the adult reading the book and makes them do and say silly things to keep their kids laughing.


73. The Wonderful Things You Will Be (Emily Winfield Martin)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This book is a poem about growing up and it explores all the wonderful things your child can choose to be.


74. The Colors of Us (Karen Katz)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

Seven-year-old Lena learns that brown comes in many different shades. This book celebrates the differences and similarities that connect us all.


75. If I Had a Little Dream (Nina Laden)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This book celebrates the wonder of the world we live in, focusing on the joy, love and beauty in the every day.


76. I Wish You More (Amy Krouse Rosenthal)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This is an inspirational book for kids of endless good wishes that will bring positivity to all who read it.


77. The Pout Pout Fish (Deborah Diesen)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

Mr. Fish has a permanent pout, spreading the “dreary wearies” all around him. Can his friends help him turn it around? Young kids will love the bright ocean colors and playful rhymes in this fun book.


78. Kitten’s First Full moon (Kevin Henkes)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

Sweet kitten mistakes the moon for a big bowl of milk, and goes on all kids of misadventures to get it.


79. Uni the Unicorn (Amy Krouse Rosenthal)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This classic unicorn storybook is a story about friendship, sliding down rainbows, and the power of believing, 


80. The Invisible String (Patrice Karst)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This book is about the unbreakable connections between loved ones, and can even help ease separation anxiety, loss, and grief. This contemporary classic reassures us that we are all connected by an invisible string of love.


81. In My Heart (Jo Witek)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This book celebrates all the feelings, big and small, and explores the min with whimsical illustration and lyrical language.


82. My First Emoji Animals (Weldon Owen, Inc.)

An animal book for a new generation, this simple and colorful book teaches kids about animals with emojis.


83. Say Hello (Rachel Isidora)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

Meet all the people from different cultures in Carmelita’s neighborhood. Learn to say hello in Spanish, English, French, Japanese, and many other languages.


84. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Cozy Classics Series)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

Read the classics, adapted for little ones. Simple words, sturdy pages, needle-felted scenes, and beloved stories make this collection a surefire hit.


85. I Love You through and through (Carolyn Jayne)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This book is about loving every part of your sweet child, even when they cry or act naughty.


86. First 100 Words (Roger Priddy)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This book will help develop baby’s speech by learning the words for 100 common, everyday items with bright pictures and labels.


87. Gossie (Olivier Dunrea)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

Gossie is a small yellow gosling who loves to wear bright red boots every day. But one day, she can’t find them!


88. Read to Your Baby Every Day: 30 classic nursery rhymes to read aloud 

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These classic rhymes from the Mother Goose collection introduce your baby to a world of words and pictures paired with images of Chloe Giordano’s delightful hand-embroidered illustrations on cloth.


89. In the Tall Tall Grass (Denise Fleming)

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This book will help kids imagine what they would see if they were a fuzzy caterpillar crawling through the tall, tall grass on a sunny afternoon.


90. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (Iza Trapani, Jane Taylor)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

In this expanded version of the favorite nursery rhyme, the reader is taken on a journey across the night sky. It’s a new spin on a favorite classic.


91. Good Night, Darth Vader (Jeffrey Brown)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

It’s time for a bedtime story in a galaxy far, far away. See how Darth Vader’s parenting skills are tested when his rambunctious twins, Luke and Leia—are not ready to sleep and insist on a story. This is a great way to introduce your child to Star Wars from a young age.


92. Ten Tiny Toes (Carolyne Jayne Church)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This classic picture book is a joyful twist on “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes) and will bring plenty of giggles at bedtime.


93. Baby Touch & Feel

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

It’s a good idea to have plenty of touch and feel books in your baby’s nursery, and these are the gold standard. Filled with different textures and pages your child can turn themselves, this will definitely be a favorite. This one from the series is filled with different animals your child will love exploring.


94. Baby Happy, Baby Sad

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This book explores the emotions that are a part of baby’s every day lift in a fun, comical way. 


95. Click Clack Moo Cows That Type

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This quirky farmyard tale is about a group of literate cows that turns Farmer Brown’s far upside down. It’s sure to be one f your child’s favorite books.


96. Owl Moon

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

In this calming book, a little girl and her father go owling late one winter night. The trees are still as statues and the world is silent as a dream.


97. The Rainbow Fish (Marcus Pfister)

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This special book stands out among the others with shiny foil stamping and glitter. But the best part is the memorable story about a fish who makes friends by sharing his most prized possessions. It’s the perfect story to teach kids about sharing.


98. All The World

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This book affirms the importance of all things great and small in our world, from the tiniest shell on the beach, to the family we love.


99. Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

This sweet, humorous book is an instruction guide for kids living on Planet Earth. It’s a great read that the author created especially for his own child, but that we can all enjoy.


100. Where the Sidewalk Ends

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite independent bookstore.

Shel Silverstein’s classic collection of children’s poems and drawings ignites the imagination and makes young readers of all ages laugh. It belongs in every nursery and child’s library, but older children will especially grow to adore this book.


We hope you have loved this list of the best children’s books as much as we loved creating it. Those early years of reading together are special and magical, and we wish you hours of sweet bedtime snuggles.


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