Our Favorite Children’s Books

For a very long time, I have been collecting children’s book – since I was a child myself. I’m so grateful I held on to my most precious and favorite children’s books! Since my child is also an avid reader, I’ve become obsessed with finding the best and most amazing books. We educate using Waldorf methods and are always looking for mindful, lovely messages as well as stunning illustrations throughout our books.
Simply click on the picture to see more!

This list is ever growing!
If you check back tomorrow, it will likely have 5 new books on it!
If you have recommendations for my child and I, please comment below!

Enjoy.

OUR FAVORITE

Picture Books

A collection of incredible picture books that we’ve enjoyed over the years.
Recommended for ages 2+ depending on language level and content.

Because Amelia Smiled
by David Ezra Stein

One of my favorite books about paying it forward with simply a smile… and how far that smile can travel.

black is brown is tan
by Arnold Adoff

A, poetic story about a brown-skinned mama, the color of chocolate milk and pumpkin pie. White-skinned daddy, not the color of milk or snow, but light with pinks and tiny tans. And their two children, the beautiful colors of both.

Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed
by Emily Pearson
 

Imagine if every person paid kindness forward to 5 people? Well, this little girl started with blueberries. The ripple effect of Mary’s kindness travels through the world.

The Flower Garden
by Even Bunting

A whimsical story about a child who creates a wonderful present for her mother with her father’s help.

Whoever You Are
by Mem Fox

A wonderful story about how people around the world are different.

The Rough Faced Girl
by Rafe Martin
illustrated by David Shannon

Rafe’s daughter was a childhood friend. He is an amazing storyteller and this book is no exception. 

When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant

A sweet story about living in the mountains long ago with no electricity or water.

Free Fall
by David Wiesner

A very unique book with no words, but plenty to talk about. A boy falls asleep and dreams into his book.

The Paperboy
by Dav Pilkey

One of my favorites that may bring you back to the days of delivering papers. It’s a sweet book with a Caldecott.

A River
by Marc Martin

Travel with this story, down a river, through the jungle and then back again.

The Storm Book
by Charlotte Zolotow

A beautifully illustrated book that has a lovely story!

Listen to the Wind
by Greg Mortenson 

I love the way this book is illustrated… it’s a wonderful story that will take you through cultures.

Sheep in a Jeep
by Nancy E. Shaw

What happenes when sheep try to drive a jeep? Let’s see.

Mary’s Tiger
by Rex Harley 

A lovely story about a drawing that comes to life. 

Toy Boat
by Randall de Sève

We’ve all had that special toy… and then it gets lost… and then it finds its way back. 

The Pout Pout Fish
by by Deborah Diesen

3 years later, I’m STILL chanting the main chorus of this book! I love it.

There is a moment in this book when one fish kisses the other fish without permission. Please note this. It can be used as a teachable moment or it might make you uncomfortable. Please check it out first.

Each Peach Pear Plum
by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

A classic that I grew up with and know every word to. If you don’t have it, you should.  

The Tickle Tree
by Chae Strathie

A fun story with imaginative words and fantasticly crazy illustrations.

The Wizard of Oz
by L. Frank Baum 

One of the most amazing illustrations of this classic story I have ever seen. It is one of most special books!

Amy the Dancing Bear
by Carly Simon

A dear friend gifted this book to me… it resonates so much about the connection between mother and child. 

The Winter Solstice
by Ellen Jackson

A must have for solstice time! A lovely journey through stories and celebrations of solstice.

How Do You Wokka-Wokka?
by Elizabeth Bluemle

A fun rhyming book about dancing through the streets in the city. 

Lilacs for Mother’s Day
by Helen McCarthy

A local author here tells a beautiful story about Lilacs, Rochester’s city flower, in this lovely story about a boy who grows up.

Edward the Emu
by Sheena Knowles

Some of the most beautiful illustrations take you through the story of an Emu who is searching for his identity. 

Pumpkin Pumpkin
by Jeanne Titherington

A story about a boy growing a pumpkin, gardening and collecting seeds.

Elephants Never Forget!
by Anushka Ravishankar

Sure an elephant can be raised by buffalo! Beautiful, linocut illustrations with a lovely story.

Jack’s Garden
by HenryCole

A lovely book about Jack, his garden and the bugs!

Every Little Thing
by Bob Marley and Cedella Marley

The name says it all. Will you sing this book to your child? I hope so!

This is how we do it
by Matt Lamothe

This book takes us through 5 children in 5 countries and shows us how they live. 

I Like Myself
by Karen Beaumont

I like myself. I’m glad I’m me. There’s no one else I’d rather be. A must have for all children.

Grampa Green
by Jane Smith

A boy takes us on a journey through his Grampa Green’s garden and his life.

The Wise Shoemaker of Studena
by Syd Lieberman

This is a lovely lesson that teaches children that fancy clothes and things are not what make a person happy.

Linnea in Monet’s Garden

The perfect way to explore what Monet’s garden might have been like! We love this book.

Fire flies!
by Julie Brinckloe

A sweet story of a boy and his friends catching and releasing fireflies. 

Imagine a City
by Elise Hurt

A whimsically, beautifully sketched story of a child who is in a world without edges… 

Last stop on Market Street
by de la Peña, Matt

A sweet story of a boy traveling on a bus, musicians and descriptive words to show what he sees.

The Scarecrow
by Beth Ferry

Do you ever wonder how a scarecrow feels? How he feels when the crows fly away? Beautiful illustrations here in this lovely story!

Plant the Tiny Seed
by Christie Matheson

A sweet, interactive book for young children that help them learn how to grow a seed.

The Dot
by Peter H. Reynolds

A beautiful story between an Art teacher and a student who didn’t know what to draw. The impact teachers can have on students is powerful.

Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems 
by Kate Coombs

A lovely book that reminds children to be in the moment, stay true to themselves and breathe.

The Maggie B
by Irene Haas

What happens when you wish for a boat, just for you, named after you? What a lovely adventure.

Blueberries for Sal
by Robert McCloskey 

Sal and her mother meet a bear… a beautiful story I have enjoyed for a long time!

Let’s Talk About Race
by Julius Lester

What makes each one of us special? This is the perfect book to introduce this topic to your child.

What do you do with a chance?
by Kobi Yamada

A sweetly written book about a child coming in contact with a chance… and how he let it pass and what he did with the next ones that came by. The illustrations and the metaphors and stunning.

What A Wonderful World
by George David Weiss

Sing the song with your children and look at beautiful images.

Can’t Sit Still
by Karen Elisa Lotz

All parents must have this book! 

Freedom, We Sing 
by Amyra León

A fun, lyrical book that helps bring awareness to the world.

Strudel, Strudel, Strudel 
by Steve Sanfield

 

Strudle, Strudle, Strudle feels like a folktale of a village long ago where a husband and wife desperately love their strudle. This is a funny story.

Tikki Tikki Tembo
by Arlene Mosel

I remember this book and even Tikki Tikki’s name from my childhood! This is a classic ancient legend

A Seed a Flower a Minute, an Hour by Joan W. Blos

A book for very young children that is so sweetly illustrated. It combines one word with a beautiful visual.

The Sun Seed
by Jan Schubert 

The journey of a seed at the beginning of spring.

Crab Moon
by Ruth Horowitz

A sweet story about a mother and son who travel to watch the horseshoe crabs migrate.

Peter’s Old House
by Elsa Beskow

A wonderful journey into a little village, a family and it is, as is everything with Elsa Beskow, beautifully written and illustrated.

Amigo
by Byrd Baylor

The story of a boy and his wish for a dog that they can’t have because of finances. This poetic, rhyming story gives good insight into what might be in a boy’s mind.

Seeds and Trees: A children’s book about the power of words
by Brandon Walden 

This book explores their effects on feelings and emotions. And it does so through the journey of two different seeds – and the power of words.

Roxaboxen
by Alice McLerran

A journey to a special place where children will be children, imaginations,  exploration and the growth of Roxaboxen.

Miss Rumphius
by Barbara Cooney 

A celebration of nature, growing and nurturing.

Red Sings From Treetops: a year in colors
by Joyce Sidman

Colors come to life bringing us the seasons. This poetic books brings these colors to life!

All the World
by Liz Garton Scanlon

A sweet, simple, rhyming book about the rhythm of our lives in our world. Amazing for younger children.

This is an incredible series of beautifully illustrated nature themed books… We love them.

A Seed is Sleepy 
by Dianna Hutts Aston

A Beetle is Shy 
by Dianna Hutts Aston

A Rock is Lively 
by Dianna Hutts Aston

A Butterfly is Sleepy 
by Dianna Hutts Aston

An Egg is Quiet 
by Dianna Hutts Aston

A Nest is Noisy 
by Dianna Hutts Aston

Winter Stories …

The Big Snow
by Berta and Elmer Hader

An amazing story of animal migration during the winter. We love this book!

When Winter Comes
by Nancy Van Laan

A sweet rhyming and poetic account of where the animals go during winter.

Ollie’s Ski Trip
by Elska Beskow

A boy who goes into the forest and meets Jack Frost and King Winter.

The Story of the Snow Children
by Sibylle von Olfers

A whimsical story of the snow children. So beautifully done

Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story
by Sean Taylor 

In this cozy bedtime story, follow a child and his grandma through a winter landscape to explore how the Earth goes to sleep for winter.

What’s That Noise?
by Michelle Lemieux

What’s the noise that bear hears after waking from his long winter’s nap? This is a sweet story.

Fairies …

A Fairy Went A-Marketing
by Rose Fyleman

One of my favorite fairy books. Beautiful story with amazing illustrations that show the scale of a fairy and the true meaning of selflessness.

Fairy Houses
by Tracy Kane

One of the most magical stories as you venture into the woods where a little girl creates a fairy house… so they will come.

A Natural History of Fairies
by Emily Hawkins

Learn all about fairies! This is a STUNNING book, so beautifully made.

The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker

Cicely Mary Barker is a must have for all fairy lovers. I have her original tiny book set and it’s one of my most precious books! This is the larger book that contains all of the books.

Flower Fairies of the Autumn
by Cicely Mary Barker

This is the smaller, mini book that is a really sweet collection of 4.

Flower Fairies of the Summer
by Cicely Mary Barker

This is the smaller, mini book that is a really sweet collection of 4.

Flower Fairies of the Winter
by Cicely Mary Barker

This is the smaller, mini book that is a really sweet collection of 4.

Flower Fairies of the Spring
by Cicely Mary Barker

This is the smaller, mini book that is a really sweet collection of 4.

Whimsical …

The Tomten
by Astrid Lindgren

A whimsical journey through the life and mind of a sweet Tomten.

The Dream Child
by David McPhail

A dreamy travel of the dream child and her bear through the universe.

Michael Hagues Magical World of Unicorns

Stories about unicorns! So beautiful. 

The Unicorn and the Lake
by Marianna Mayer, illustrated by Michael Hague

A childhood book of my own that is one of my favorites. It’s very special the images are stunning.

The Rainbabies
by Laura Krauss Melmed 

In the magic of a moonshower, a childless couple find a dozen tiny babies in the grass.

A Rainbow of My Own
by Don Freeman

We have my childhood book of this and it is very special. Who wouldn’t want to be chased by and frolic with a rainbow?

Tales of the Mushroom Folk
by Signe Aspelin

Such an incredible story and journey through little mushroom people. One of my favorite children’s books.

The Story of the Root Children
by Sibylle von Olfers

A very sweet and precious story about the tiny root children.

The Story of the Butterfly Children
by Sibylle von Olfers

Never be without the butterfly children!

The Sun Egg
by Elsa Beskow 

You can’t go wrong with Elsa Beskow! A little tale about an Elf who finds a “sun egg” and her adventures.

Pelle’s New Suit
by Elsa Beskow

We are actually implementing this lovely story in homeschool for bartering and exchanges.

Animals …

Animalia
by Graeme Base

One that I studied in my children’s lit class way back when, this has always been one of my favorites. The illustrations are incredible and there is so much to find on each page

Hurry and the Monarch
by Antoine O Flatharta

One of my absolute favorite books about the journey of a Monarch and his friend, Hurry. If you raise monarchs, as we do, this is a must! This is hands down one of my favorite children’s books.

Verdi
by Janell Cannon

A young snake who doesn’t want to grow up. A sweet story about generations.

Baby Monkey Private Eye
by Brian Selznick and David Serlin

This was my daughter’s FIRST reading book. It’s not really a chapter book, but they make it feel that way with only a few words on each spread. The drawings are STUNNING works of art. What a book!

Rumble in the Jungle
by Giles Andreae

A fun, rhyming book that we’ve enjoyed since age 2!

Some Bugs
by Angela DiTerlizzi

An amazing book that explores a backyard. It’s a rhyming book and my little gal at 3 had it memorized! It’s wonderful

Jamberry
by Bruce Degen

Another rhyming book for the little ones all about jam.

Giraffes Can’t Dance
by Giles Andreae
illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees

A wonderful book about staying true to yourself. There is a moment where others are laughing AT the giraffe. It’s a teachable moment.

Dinosaurumpus!
by Tony Mitto
illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees

A fun story about dinosaurs and how they dance and have a party together.

the best books to

read together now ... alone later.

This is a collection of chapter books, poetry, short stories and classics that can be read to your child at a very young age (depending on content). When your child can read themselves, they will surely get lost into the world of stories as well.

Star Stories: Constellation Tales From Around the World
by Anita Ganeri

A collection of stories that people have told about constellations. It’s a lovely, large, beautiful, hard-cover book.

The Calm Buddha at Bedtime
by Dharmachari Nagaraja

The absolute PERFECT bedtime book for your young child. Each ends with a mindful lesson/moral from Buddha (not religious). The stories are extremely sweet and this has always been one of my favorite children’s books.

Tales of Oakapple Wood
by Jenny Patridge

Get lost in the Oakapple wood family and their adventures in the forest. 

The Wise Enchanter: A Journey through the Alphabet
by Shelley Davidow

We incorporated this into our homeschooling and fell completely in love with it! This is about a mythical journey that 4 children take to find all 26 letters. 

Wild Honey from the Moon
by Kenneth Kraegel

A mother will do anything for her child and this mother shrew is no different. She travels to the moon for some special healing honey.

Anna Hibiscus
by Atinuke

Join Anna and her family in Africa as you learn their language, way of life, food and celebrations. This is a beautifully written book.

Twig
by Elizabeth Orton Jones

This is one of my daughter’s favorites. Twig is so very special… about the secret world of fairies.

The Blue Hill Meadows
by Cynthia Rylant

Follow this lovely story about growing up in the meadow.

The Complete Brambly Hedge
by Jill Barklem 

Brambly Hedge is absolutely perfect for ages young and older. It’s a very special book, with lovely drawings. The peaceful Peter Rabbit.

The Adventures of Spider: West African Folktales
by Joyce Cooper Arkhurst

Anansi is a spider in West African Folktales. These are very sweet stories that were unknown to us. I loved having discovered them.

Squirrel’s World: Candlewick Sparks
by Lisa Moser

A zippy little squirrel runs around with his friends. This is a sweet book with a nice rhythm that you shouldn’t read at bedtime!

Magical Wonder Tales: King Beetle Tamer and Other Stories
by Isabel Wyatt

Amazing enchanted stories for your budding reader!

Thumbelina
by Brian Alderson, Hans Christian Andersen

Thumbelina of course is a favorite classic, but this particular book, with incredible illustrations, is our favorite.

Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature
by Joyce Sidman

Let’s celebrate the beauty and value of spirals. Beautifully illustrated by Beth Krommes.

Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow
by Joyce Sidman

A book of poems and short stories: a journey through the fields and animals It is BEAUTIFULLY illustrated by Beth Krommes.

The Helen Oxenbury Nursery Rhyme Book
by Brian Alderson

A must have for Nursery Rhymes!

Anne Arrives: Inspired by Anne of Green Gables
by Kallie George

A children’s version of the classic Anne of Green Gables. A very sweet book!

Fairy Tales and Fables
by Gyo Fujikawa

I have my copy from when I was a child and this is my favorite Fairy Tale and Fables book. 

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll

Alice is one of my daughter’s favorite stories. She’s about to receive this book as a gift and it is beautiful! 

Jaha and Jamil Went Down the Hill: An African Mother Goose
by Virginia Kroll

This was a lovely book we found where western nursery rhymes are rewritten with African themes, from different parts of Africa. We absolutely love this book and have been reading it from a very young age.

Thimbleberry Stories
by Cynthia Rylant

These are some of my favorite series of stories. Dreamy and sweet. 

Tumtum & Nutmeg: Adventures beyond Nutmouse Hall
by Emily Bearn

I can say enough about these adventures through mouse life. It is so very special to get lost in!

Kaarina and the Sugar Bag Vest
by Sami Suomalainen and
Irma M. Milnes

A story about a child during the great depression. Heart warming and a touch sad, but lovely.

Elmer and the Dragon
by Ruth Stiles Gannett

Elmer’s adventures will take you to a far away world where your child’s imagination will thrive!

My Father’s Dragon
by Ruth Stiles Gannett

I adore these stories about Elmer and his dragon…

OUR FAVORITE

Series

We’ve had most of these series since before she could read.
They are wonderful to read together and then perfect for when your little one begins reading on his/her own.

The Cobbles Street Cousins
by Cynthia Rylant

The Cobble Street Cousins live together with their aunt and uncle and have big dreams. They create, adventure and come up with amazing ideas together. These books are small and short and perfect for your budding reader. 

The Lighthouse Family
by Cynthia Rylant

The Lighthouse Family books are incredible. They are very gender neutral and extremely well written and sweet. I purchased one and quickly got the rest of them. 

Little House on the Prairie
by Laura Ingalls Wilder

What would a children’s blog be without Little House? I couldn’t be happier to be reading these with my child and it’s one of our favorite children’s books. There are some things that need to be explained (or skipped), but they are a classic that take us through life back then.

I’m not sure I can convey the nature of these gnome stories in just a sentence or two. I honestly can not speak highly enough of them. They are so special and hands down our favorite children’s books. We read and read and can’t get enough of them. The gnomes become our friends and their Limindoor woods is where we dream of being.

A Donsy of Gnomes
by Sieglinde De Francesca

1. The Way of Gnome
by Sieglinde De Francesca

2. Gnomes & Friends
by Sieglinde De Francesca

3. The Gnome’s Rosette
by Sieglinde De Francesca

4. Nine Gnome Nights by Sieglinde De Francesca

5. A Gnome-in-Training
by Sieglinde De Francesca

I adore the Heartwood Hotel series. The characters are sweet and gentle and the themes are amazing.

Heartwood Hotel: A True Home
by Kallie George

Heartwood Hotel: The Greatest Gift
by Kallie George

Heartwood Hotel: Better Together
by Kallie George

Heartwood Hotel: Home Again
by Kallie George

These are some of the most special books we have.
Journey through the woods and into the life of animals and the forest.

Among the Pond People
by Clara Dillingham Pierson

Among the Forest People
by Clara Dillingham Pierson

Among the Forest People
by Clara Dillingham Pierson

OUR FAVORITE

Beautiful Learning Books

There’s nothing more shocking than to see your child sit down with an encyclopedia or a reference book, learn something and head back to the dinner table to tell you that an Orca isn’t actually a whale… it’s a dolphin.

We were gifted a set of these, with their beautiful gold-edged pages.
They are amazing.

The Anthology of Intriguing Animals

The Wonders of Nature

The Mysteries of the Universe

The Nature Connection

The most amazing nature journal! A must have for children who are homeschooling, in forest school or just plain nature lovers!

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
by Vashti Harrison

One of the most impressive books I have seen in a while. My young child gets lost in the stories of these women. There is a different woman on each page. It is so well written and very sweet.

Women in Science
by Rachel Ignotofsky

We use this for homeschool and study a different scientist every once in a while! It’s really well done.

Thank you for being here!
Comment below with suggestions!

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4 Responses

  1. This is an amazing resource thanks! Have you read the tiptoes lightly books? I own a Forest school and will definitely use this resource.

    1. I have not read the tiptoes lightly books and I will check them out today! I’m so glad you will find it useful!

  2. Love the effort you put into creating this terrific reading resource to share with others! You clearly know that reading to, and with, children develops their love of reading and this is a TERRIFIC gift to give a child. Like you, I love children’s books and tried to share that with my boys when they were kids and also with my kindergarten friends when I taught. I’ll share a few titles of books that were fun to read aloud and enjoyed by many, many little ones.
    Yes Day!! and Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
    The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano
    Also well-loved … The Legend of Jellybean the Unbreakable Egg by Joe Troiano
    The Elephant & Piggie series by Mo Willems
    More Bears! by Kenn Nesbitt
    Our Tree Named Steve by Alan Zweibel
    and so, so many more!

    1. Thank you so much, Audrey for your reply and I’m really glad you like this resource! These are excellent suggestion. My goal was to leave well-known books off this list because well… everyone knows them! It doesn’t make them not amazing of course. So there are SO MANY I’ve missed… I know. So grateful for the suggestions. 🙂

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