The ABCs of the Top 10 Children’s Books? Adventurous. Bewitching. Creative. Whether it’s an adventure through uncharted territories or through the jungles of the mind, it has to keep our young readers intrigued and always looking for more.
A bewitching story will not only hold their attention, but also spark their imaginations. And, of course, creative, something new, something we haven’t seen before… maybe even something that teaches a lesson without even feeling like it. So, with the ABCs in mind, a bit of help from my education-major sister, and a dash of fond memories of childhood favorites, let’s take a look:
The 10 best children’s books for kids 10 and under
Beyond the Pond
by Joseph Kuefler // Ages 4–8
Let’s start off with a great adventure book with brilliant illustrations by a fellow Minnesotan. Joseph Kuefler captures the true curiosity and imagination inside every child and shows us where your mind can take you. An exploration of an ordinary backyard pond leads to an adventure through the depths of the sea and a world of enchanted creatures.
The Day the Crayons Quit
by Drew Daywalt, Oliver Jeffers (Illustrator) // Ages 3–7
Fun and colorful illustrations capture what could be the real life of crayons and keep kids wondering and imagining… what if my crayons just up and left their box, what would I say to my rogue crayons? Crayons have feelings and dreams too, and with a lot of humor along the way we find great appreciation for the hard work each crayon does.
by Tomie dePaola // Ages 4–8
This book is full of bewitching magic and a story that illustrates the importance of taking responsibility for your actions and decisions. With a magic pot that creates endless bowls of pasta, Strega Nona “Grandma-witch” leaves Big Anthony in charge of looking over her home and garden. But when he starts the endless pasta pot with a magical verse, he soon realizes he doesn’t know how to stop it and ends up with a big mess!
A Bad Case of Stripes
by David Shannon // Ages 5–9
A colorful book with a literally colorful character. Camilla just loves lima beans, but when her love for lima beans makes her the laughing stock of her friends and classmates, she develops an undiagnosable, incurable illness that causes her to change colors. Ultimately teaching the lesson to be yourself.
The Rainbow Fish
by Marcus Pfister // Ages 3–6
The glittering, shiny foil stamping on every page is sure catch the eye of any kid. The Rainbow Fish follows the story of a fish with shiny scales that also catch the eye of his fellow ocean dwellers. By the end he graciously shares his shiny scales with friends and teaches a lesson of sharing.
The Jolly Postman
by Allan Ahlberg, Janet Ahlberg (Illustrator) // Ages 5–18
Perhaps the most interactive book EVER… The Jolly Postman delivers actual letters in envelope-folded pages to memorable fairy tale characters. With the turn of a page, kids can see who the Jolly Postman will visit next and what was inside the envelope he delivered. Not to mention, the illustrations are beautiful and each letter has its own look and feel while maintaining the same illustrative style of the book.
Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus
by Barbara Park // Ages 6
A super duper fun series written through the perspective of a spunky kindergarten kid experiencing the happenings of school for the first time. Junie B was my hero as a kid, thinking a lot of the same things I was thinking, but unlike me, she let you know what was on her mind in a crazy, over-the-top, hilarious kind of way.
Purple, Green and Yellow
by Robert Munsch, Helene Desputeaux (Illustrator) // Ages 4–7
This children’s book I can totally relate to, just one look at the cover and you know this girl loves markers! And what kid isn’t tempted to use those markers to create beautiful works of art on the most convenient canvas, their skin. This book tells the story of a girl’s love for markers and what could happen if those markers are super-indelible-never-come-off-until-you’re-dead-and-maybe-even-later markers.
by Pamela Zagarenski // Ages 4–7
A book that encourages imagination. With creative vignettes, the character brings to life stories of magical paintings in her book, and intentionally leaves them unfinished so the reader can imagine all of the possible endings in their own way.
What Do You Do With a Problem?
by Kobi Yamada // Ages 4–8
Perhaps a book we could all take to heart no matter how old. With fanciful illustrations and a story of a child with a problem, it’s hard not to relate. For kids, the message that everyone has problems and it takes courage face and overcome them, it truly brings hope that problems can actually help us grow.