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What are the Best Books for Kids that are Age Appropriate?


Finding the best age appropriate books for kids can be a real challenge these days. Let me guess; you are busy with a full time job, you don’t have much spare time, but you want the best books for your kids to keep their attention, challenge them mentally, and improve their reading skills. Your friends have probably given you a few good book ideas, but you have read them all at least 5 times each and the kids would like something new anyway. Its also possible that last time you chose a book from the shelf, you noticed that the little ones had destroyed a few books which they really didn’t want you to read anymore as well.

Reading books to your kids is the best method to:

(1) Accelerate reading skills,
(2) Develop language skills,
(3) Develop logical thought processes, and
(4) Improve their communications skills.

The other essential ingredient is the right selection of age appropriate books to maximize enjoyment for both you and your kids. A book that is too advanced or too basic, even too short or long can make the task more difficult than it needs to be. Below we have taken most of the effort out of it by listing and ranking the best books for kids aged between one and eight to make sure your kids are excited each night about reading. Usually ten to fifteen minutes is enough, which is probably one to two books for young kids and a few chapters of a book for the older kids. All of these book ideas were adopted from the Excitedkids.com website which has hundreds of book ideas sorted by age group and ranked by parents. Click on the buttons above for the best book ideas for your kids or keep reading for a brief summary of the best books for each age group.

Best Books for 1 year olds:

Based on our extensive reading and views of other parents, the best two books for 1 year olds are “Dear Zoo” and “Where’s Spot”. Both “Dear Zoo” and “Where’s Spot” have flaps on each page which kids can turn revealing a surprise on the other side, and are very effective in encouraging the kids to participate in the book. It’s entirely possible you will end up wearing out the flaps on these books before they turn two years old. We are yet to see amore effective style of book that infants love to read.

Best Books for 2 year olds:

The best two books for 2 year olds are “Go Dog, Go” and “Goodnight,Goodnight, Construction Site”. You just have to love a well-written book that rhymes, has colorful pictures and sends the kids to sleep with construction equipment. For “Go Dog, Go”, an amazing number of dogs in different activities and colors will keep the kids attention. Both are must haves for this age group and will get plenty of reads.

Best Books for 3 year olds:

The best two books for 3 year olds are “Sheep in a Jeep” and “Diary of a Wombat”. Both of these books have amazing book reviews and it’s easy to see why. “Sheep in a Jeep” has a bunch of funny situations with lots of sheep in jeeps that are illustrated perfectly. “Diary of a Wombat” introduces kids to a new furry animal and all of its character with brilliant illustrations and story line. Parents and older kids will love these books as well and for under $10 at most good bookshops, they are a bargain.

Best Books for 4 year olds:

The best two books for 4 year olds are “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” and “Commotion in the Ocean”. If you are after books that will bring a smile to the face of your children, then these two will do the job. “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” will introduce kids to food raining from the sky and “Commotion in the Ocean” highlights all the amazing animals in the sea with some fun rhyming words and colorful illustrations. If you are also planning on visiting an aquarium, then “Commotion in the Ocean” will introduce your kids to a lot of the animals and will increase the anticipation and excitement once at the aquarium.

Best Books for 5 year olds:

The best two books for 5 year olds are “Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel” and “Bad Kitty Gets a Bath”. If you want a laugh out loud funny book then“Bad Kitty Gets a Bath” is a great choice given the fun of getting the cat into the bath is very well illustrated. It’s also over 100 pages, so it’s also lots of fun for older kids. If you are after a book that has stood the test of time, then “Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel” is highly recommended. The artwork, the text and the storyline are perfect for kids of this age and they are likely to read it over and over again. There are just so many positive reviews on this book, that it is quite amazing that kids as young as three and as old as ten regularly rate it as their favorite book.

Best Books for 6 year olds:

The best two books for 6 year olds are “Dinosaurs before Dark” and “Where the Sidewalk Ends”. Just be aware that “Dinosaurs before Dark” is really part of a series (Magic Tree House) of books and the kids may end up wanting to read the whole collection. The book is fun to read to little ones and simple enough for six year olds to start reading if they are trying to learn. The other book of “Where the Sidewalk Ends” is a carefully crafted compilation of poems with many funny pictures. It is a timeless classic and won’t disappoint the kids. It’s that good that your kids may end up reading it to their kids when they are parents.

Best Books for 7 year olds:

The best two books for 7 year olds are “The Adventures of Captain Underpants” and “The Polar Express”. If you are after a book that will make you laugh, be read over and over again and encourage your kids to read, the “The Adventures of Captain Underpants” is the book you are after. The good news is that this book has been made into a series, so there are plenty more of these if they do like the style. If you have seen the movie “The Polar Express”, you should also read the book particularly if it’s getting close to Christmas. The author is very smart by mixing a magical train ride with a Christmas theme and illustrating it perfectly to capture a child’s imagination. Personally, I think that they could have incorporated a dinosaur riding a train, performing magic tricks while handing out presents as the perfect kids book.

Best Books for 8 year olds:

The best two books for 8 year olds are “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “The Princess and the Kiss”. It’s just too hard to fault “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” as what kid wouldn’t want a tour of a magical chocolate factory. This is a great book for all ages. “The Princess and the Kiss” is more for young girls and teaches some important character qualities by introducing the princess to many different princes who have different wealth, status and attributes. Well worth introducing both girls and boys to this story.

Have you read all of these books, just some, or none at all? These books have all been battle tested by parents around the world and many have stood the test of time over generations. For the extra comfort of parent ratings for each book, make sure you check out Excitedkids.com or to purchase these books, they should be available at your local bookshop or online on sites like Amazon.com. Your local library may also stock many of these.

One final point to note. You may have forgotten how long it took you to read or how hard life was when you couldn’t read? Most kids under the age of six can’t read with reading skills really only developed when kids are aged between six and ten. These age appropriate books above will hopefully put your kids on the right path forward to develop one of life’s most important skills in reading. Be patient and your kids will most likely develop their reading skills with these carefully selected age appropriate kids books.