Reading books is a must for young children!! It builds their vocabulary and without literacy, the next generation will grow up without the necessary knowledge to survive.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, “44% of Australian adults don’t have the literacy skills they need to cope with the demands of everyday life and work.”.

It is understood that the most successful learners and the children who begin to read at an early age or are read to at an early age. Reading to children as early as possible, helps them develop the skills needed to learn to read for themselves.

Off the back of these statistics, I have compiled a list of the best children’s books to have in your library, so get reading and enjoy!


1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

A ravenous caterpillar hatches from an egg and proceeds to eat his way through anything and everything, leaving holes in the book as he goes. Children will love following the caterpillar’s journey until his transformation into a ravishing butterfly. The board book format will particularly appeal to younger children who like chewing books themselves.

This was one of my favourite books as a child, I recommend this book to every who is starting a family. It is an oldie but a goodie, and the illustrations are very bright and vibrant, helping attract little eyes.


2. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

The quintessential cautionary tale, Peter Rabbit warns naughty children about the grave consequences of misbehaving. When Mrs. Rabbit beseeches her four furry children not to go into Mr. McGregor’s garden, the impish Peter naturally takes this as an open invitation to create mischief. He quickly gets in over his head, when he is spotted by farmer McGregor himself. Any child with a spark of sass will find Peter’s adventures remarkably familiar. And they’ll see in Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail that bane of their existence: the “good” sibling who always does the right thing. One earns bread and milk and blackberries for supper, while the obstinate folly of the other warrants medicine and an early bedtime.

This book is perfect for children; it describes the consequences of misbehaving. It instils a bit of fear into the reader whilst they follow the rabbit siblings on their journey.


3. I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustack

A toddler and his teddy bear illustrate a young child’s happy side, sad side, silly side, mad side, and more! Babies and toddlers will feel loved all over when they hear this declaration of adoration and affection!

This is a rhyming book, it shows the beautiful and unconditional love between a toddler and his teddy bear. The illustrations are beautiful, completed by Caroline Jayne Church.


4. Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins

A madcap band of dancing, prancing monkeys explain hands, fingers, and thumbs to beginning readers.

I love this book, it is informative for young children. It teaches them the anatomy of their hands and how they work. It is a great book for those just beginning to read.


5. The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper

In this well-loved classic, a little train carrying oodles of toys to all the good boys and girls is confronted with a towering, seemingly impassable mountain. As nicely as they ask, the toys cannot convince the Shiny New Engine or the Big Strong Engine–far too impressed with themselves–to say anything but “I can not. I can not.” It is left up to the Little Blue Engine to overcome insurmountable odds and pull the train to the other side.

This book is one of the most motivational books I remember from my childhood. It has one of the best ‘catchy’ mantras that will be remembered by every child that reads this story. “I think I can—I think I can”.



6. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

In a great green room, tucked away in bed, is a little bunny. “Goodnight room, goodnight moon.” And to all the familiar things in the softly lit room—to the picture of the three little bears sitting on chairs, to the clocks and his socks, to the mittens and the kittens, to everything one by one—the little bunny says goodnight.

In this classic of children’s literature, beloved by generations of readers and listeners, the quiet poetry of the words and the gentle, lulling illustrations combine to make a perfect book for the end of the day.



7. Touch and Feel Baby Animals from the Dorling Kindersley range

This fabric “book” is aimed at the very youngest babies, and folds out so it can be inserted in a pram. Featuring bold, simple pictures in black, yellow and white, it is designed to stimulate babies who have yet to develop their sense of colour.

This is the same as the above book, however this one demonstrates the connection between animals and their many different texture types.



8. Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill

In Spot’s first adventure children can join in the search for the mischievous puppy by lifting the flaps on every page to see where he is hiding. The simple text and colourful pictures will engage a whole new generation of pre-readers as they lift the picture flaps in search of Spot.

The interactive nature of this book helps children gets excited about reading. Perfect book to introduce into bedtime reading.



9. I Know an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly by Nikki Smith

I Know an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly is a classic children’s folk song. The original author is unknown, but it has been sung and retold many times and many ways. This picture book beautifully illustrates the original version.

Nikki Smith has written a version of this classic limerick and turned into a book for children. She published this book in 2006. This children’s song was very big for many years after it came out, and I feel every child deserves to hear it.



10. Green Eggs & Ham by Dr Seuss

With unmistakable characters and signature rhymes, Dr. Seuss’s beloved favorite has cemented its place as a children’s classic. In this most famous of cumulative tales, the list of places to enjoy green eggs and ham, and friends to enjoy them with, gets longer and longer. Follow Sam-I-am as he insists that this unusual treat is indeed a delectable snack to be savored everywhere and in every way. 

Originally created by Dr. Seuss, Beginner Books encourage children to read all by themselves, with simple words and illustrations that give clues to their meaning.

The Dr Seuss range of children’s book are a personal favourite of mine. They are so well written, with beautiful illustrations. They rhyme, are funny and are amazing stories that teach children valuable life-long lessons.



11. Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox

It is about babies, who, although they are from around the world, all share the common trait of having the same number of digits.

This is great book for young children, showing them that they are the same as all the other babies, sharing the same little fingers and toes. Beautiful illustrations by Helen Oxenbury.



12. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

Follow and join in the family’s excitement as they wade through the grass, splash through the river and squelch through the mud in search of a bear. What a surprise awaits them in the cave on the other side of the dark forest!

This book shows the adventure of the family going through several areas of nature to get the bear. But once they find the bear, they run back in other direction scared. It is very well written and takes you on the scary journey that the siblings go through.



I’ve found that these books have the best morals and lessons, teaching children valuable life lessons from a young age. In my opinion, these books are MUST-HAVES for your child.


Enjoy reading!!! Elle xx

PS. if you are reading books and your kids still won’t sleep afterwards, check out some handy hints here!