People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Recommended Children's Books


Recommended Children's Books

I asked for some favorite children's books titles and this is what I got.  I made a list for of books to read out loud and another list for independent readers and the rest are here.  Surely you can find something new to read here.

Goodnight Moon
Runaway Bunny
The Giving Tree
Where the Sidewalk Ends (really anything by Shel Silverstein)
Just So Stories
The Bear Wants More series
The Dot and the Line
Jellybeans for Breakfast
The Polar Express
Red Ripe Strawberry
The Kissing Hand
The Boy Who Painted Dragons
Benny the Breakdown Truck
The Little Mouse
The Napping House
Harry the Dirty Dog
I Love You Forever
Moo Baa La La La
Have You Filled a Bucket Today?
Pickles the Fire Cat
I Love You Through and Through
Anything by Dr. Seuss
Llama Llama series
Guess How Much I Love You?
I Love You Forever
The Color Kittens
Ferdinand the Bull
"Bear" series by Karma Wilson
Harold and the Purple Crayon
The Pokey Puppy
The Monster at the End of This Book
Bad Kitty series
Blueberries for Sal
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
I Love You Stinky Face
The Very Hungry Catepillar and anything else by Eric Carle
Frog and Toad Are Friends
Chickens to the Rescue
Lottie Harris Lives Here
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Are You My Mother?
Tickle Monster
Any of the "If You Give..." books
The Big Hungry Bear
Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothes
Amelia Bedelia
Pirates Don't Change Diapers
Where the Wild Things Are
Never Tease a Weasel
The Berenstain Bears
One of Each

Lemony Snicket
Peter and the Starcatchers
Ready Freddy series
Junie B. Jones
The Twits
Freckle Juice
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
How to Eat Fried Worms
Pippi Longstocking
Little House on the Prairie
Little Women
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret
Beezus and Ramona
The Secret Garden
The Little Princess
Lord of the Flies
Encyclopedia Brown
Gregor the Overlander
The Giver
The Witch of Blackbird Pond
The Borrowers
Harry Potter
Percy Jackson
Ella Enchanted
A Wrinkle in Time
The Little Prince
Charlotte's Web
Bridge to Terabithia
Charlie Bone
Judy Moody
Beverly Cleary
Junie B. Jones
Magic Treehouse
Roald Dahl
Indian in the Cupboard
Summer of Monkeys
Nancy Drew
Hardy Boys
All of a Kind Family
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Little House Series
Encyclopedia Brown
Choose Your Own Adventures
Brighty of the Grand Canyon
Misty of Chincoteague
Any of the Marguerite Henry books really. (ALL. ABOUT. HORSES.)
Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles and Mandy by Julie Andrews (Edwards)
Chocolate Fever
Anne of Green Gables
The Westing Game
Anything by Avi
Super Fudge
Harriet the Spy
The Babysitters Club
Ivy and Bean
Wayside School is Upside Down
Anastasia Krupnik
Where the Red Fern Grows
Boxcar Children
Fear Street series
The Giver
The Witches
Anything by Lois Duncan
Witch of Blackbird Pond
Chronicles of Narnia
A Star for the Latecomer
Tom Sawyer
Huckleberry Finn
Harry Potter series
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Island of the Blue Dolphin
The Phantom Tollbooth
Secret Series
Nother Story books
Amelia Bedelia
James and the Giant Peach
Esperanza Rising
Mouse and the Motorcycle
Becoming Naomi Leon
The Devil's Arithmetic
Spiderwick Chronicles
After Ever After
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
The Velvet Room
Striped Ice Cream
Scarlet Royal
National Velvet
Watership Down
The Cat Who Walked Through Walls
The Trumpet of the Swan
Freak the Mighty
Stand Back Said the Elephant I am Going to Sneeze
Bruno & Boots
Sweet Valley High
My Side of the Mountain
Gregor the Underlander
Candy Apple series
Black Beauty
A Cricket in Times Square
My Weird School series
Cam Jansen
Baseball Card Adventures
Mike Lupica
Every Soul a Star
The Cay
Maniac Magee
Number the Stars
How to Train Your Dragon series
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM
The Warriors series
Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging
Trixie Belden series
The Great Brain series
My Friend Flicka
Night of the Twisters
Caddie Woodlawn
Strawberry Girl
Moon Over Manifest
The Girl Who Could Fly
Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life
Sideways Stories From the Wayside School
Julie of the Wolves
Jacob Have I Loved
Hope Was Here
Because of Winn Dixie
A Year Down Yonder
Out of the Dust
The View From Saturday
Walk Two Moons
How to Eat Fried Worms
City of Ember
This Place Has No Atmosphere
There's a Girl in the Boy's Bathroom
Ruby Holler
The Chocolate Touch
Hugo Cabret
A Dog Called Kitty
Hooples on the Highway
To Kill a Mockingbird
Paint the Wind
Tiger Eyes
Lemonade Wars
The Outsiders
The Borrowers
Roll of Thunder Hear Me Cry!
Tuck Everlasting
The Girl With Silver Eyes
Prydain Chronicles
The Guardians of Ga'Hoole
Pippi Longstocking
My Father's Dragon
Anything by Christopher Pike
Mr. Popper's Penguins
Anything by Alvin Ho


  1. A good childrens book for adults is go the fuck to sleep lol

    1. Anonymous11:21

      LOL! that is hilarious.

      i've never understood why "goodnight moon" is such a popular book. it's so boring!!! goodnight moon, goodnight sun, goodnight floor, goodnight wall, goodnight belly button lint...

    2. two year old has loved this book since he was about fifteen months old. I think it's the repetitiousness that's so appealing when they're just little guys. I, however, now have the whole book memorized and can recite it on cue. Not an accomplishment I needed.

  2. I am behind reading your posts this week with hubby out of town.... but I love all the Todd Parr books and the Skippy Jon Jones books.
    I also think that "Are You My Mother?" should be taken OUT OF PRINT because it's theme is basically that you have to look like your mother. Because I have adopted kids that don't look like me - and because the world is now full of mixed-raced families - it's dated and in my opinion, not PC.
    My 2 cents -

    1. I'll respectfully disagree. The book isn't saying you should necessarily look like your parent, but that you should be of the same species, at least. They aren't talking about a bluebird saying to a cardinal, the baby bird thinks a *broken car* is its mother.

      However, if you're determined to see offense in it, a book with a similar theme, but different approach that I use is "Where's my mommy?" by Jo Brown. In that one, the baby croc doesn't know what kind of animal he or his mommy is, so they have to test it (by blowing water out of his "trunk" or trying to make a tiger's roar) to help him figure it out.

    2. I'm cool to agree to disagree -

      because I don't think a child looks at the book as "species" related.
      I think a child looks at the books and learns..."your mother has to look like you"

    3. Melda, you should check out "Where's my Mummy?" by Julia Donaldson. A butterfly is helping a monkey find his mother but has no idea that the mother would look like the child because "none of her babies looks like her" (caterpillars!). It's really cute. In fact, we love ALL of Julia Donaldson's books - haven't found one yet that my son doesn't love!!!!!!!

  3. Some great books listed here but I Love You Forever is a book I'd like to punch in the face. Hate it! Why something like this is considered children's literature I'll never understand. Who knows though? Other people obviously like it - maybe I'm wrong.

    1. Totally agree, it's the creepiest kids book I've ever read.

    2. Anonymous10:18

      Why is it creepy? I think you're reading to much into it's innocence. Kids know that mom's not really going to sneak into their grown kids house in the middle of the night to rock them with a song. And they know that kids not going to do it with his mom. Give children a bit more credit than that. Every kid I've ever read that book to has made mention of how silly it is. Try seeing it that way instead of creepy. Not everything in this world should be taken so literally. It's called having a sense of humorous.

    3. Because it just perpetuates the idea of a mom that can't let go, and that drives me nuts. My children know how much I love them and that I will love them forever, but do we need a book showing an adult child rocking his mother?? If kids know that, then what's the purpose of writing about it? It's creepy....cut the cord!

    4. Anonymous12:37

      I thought I was the only person who couldn't stand that book. I'd never read it to my kids. It feels sad and pathetic to me.

    5. Anonymous13:29

      I didn't like it at first but one of my kids loved the cadence of it. Made me give it a second chance. Along with First one foot then the other, has children thinking about/dealing with loved ones growing older and reversal of roles not so much as a mom that can't cut the apron strings. In that vein, those two books are unique and fill a void for children who may be going through that situation in their own lives, whether it be first generation or second, (ie a grandparent needing a parent's care.)

    6. Anonymous18:05

      I worked in a bookstore for over a decade and there are a LOT of parents that are creeped out by that book. I learned to read the customers to see if they would be amendable to purchasing it as a gift (did you know it comes in 4 different editions?). It seemed to appeal more to older women buying a gift for a baby shower- I always stressed to make sure they got a gift receipt.

    7. This book has always skeeved me out. I am laughing right now and I am SO happy to hear others say the same thing!

    8. I completely agree. I have always thought it was creepy. Glad to know I am not alone. Most of the time when I say that people look at me like I have 3 heads.

  4. I agree with Melda that Skippy Jon Jones is wonderful. (And the realHousewife, that book is awesome, though not as awesome as hearing Samuel L. Jackson read it!) One of my favorites: Click Clack Moo, Cows that Type. And it's equally as follow-up books Giggle Giggle Quack, Duck for President, and Dooby Dooby Moo. (And no, the cows don't smoke doobies.)

  5. Wait... I did not see Roald Dahl's laugh out loud gem Boy, and brilliant follow-up biography, Going Solo on the list. Also, love that my 8 y/o turned me on to Dear Dumb Diary; writer Jim Benton seems really nice; engaged w/ fans - he sent my daughter a signed copy when I told him she was a fan via Facebook. My kids loved Baby Bug, Lady Bug magazines when they were tiny, and would probably still enjoy Magic Tree House books. We have stacks of multiple copies HP books.

    Time flies... these days, they're reading classics for AP & Honors Language Arts, and my oldest actually works at one of the first stores he ever went in - Barnes & Noble. Have fun reading.

  6. Anonymous01:33

    A lot of great ones are on here but one of my favorites was called "Philomena". I can't seem to find any record of it though so maybe i remember the name wrong but if anyone else has heard of it, it is a great one.

  7. here are some of my fav's to add to your list:

    Muncha, Muncha, Muncha,
    Larry Gets Lost In L.A.
    Sergio Saves the Game
    Those Darn Squirrels
    Big Plans
    365 Penguins
    Chewy Louie
    The Runaway Dinner
    any book written by Lauren Child
    No Room For Napolean
    My Life As A Chicken
    The Best Pet of All
    Cat You Better Come Home
    Scrambled States of America
    The Night I Followed The Dog
    Sock Monkey Goes to Hollywood
    Alberto The Architect
    13 Words

    Seriously, write down my list, go on Amazon, and you will love all these books. They make wonderful gifts too, for birthdays or baby showers. :)

    ps-- my sons are 5 and 8

  8. anything by Mo Willems- Don't Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus, Knufflebunny...

  9. Thomas' Snowsuit by Munsch and Martchenko is HILARIOUS! I have the French version [I believe the authors are Canadian?]

    Mercer Mayer's masterpiece, There's a Nightmare in My Closet, is sweet and hilarious at the same time.

    My kids also loved Mayer's Little Critter series. It may be sacrilege for me to say so, but I like them better than the Berenstain Bears, because of the absolutely hysterical illustrations.

    For school age kids, the Ramona series and anything else by Beverly Cleary are fabulous! PBS had a great series of half hour episodes based on the Ramona books years ago-- I wish we could see it again, and the son who loved it just turned 31!

    For me, the "classic" that I'd like to punch in the throat is Bridge to Terabithia! One of my sons had to read it in school and [spoiler alert!]- I found the ending appalling! I really did not like the idea of a coming of age book for kids, which promoted identification with the highly imaginative, loner kids, in which [double spoiler alert] their imaginative, loner play ends up killing one of them. I'm not one of those pc, protectionist revisionists who thinks our kids need to be sheltered from child-eating wolves, giants and gingerbread bakers in nonsense tales. But Teribithia is far more real and scary.

    1. Yes, Munsch is Canadian and also the author of I'll love You Forever, along with The Boy in The Drawer, The Paper Bag Princess, Murmel, Murmel, Murmel and many others. 50 Below Zero is my fav. Interesting note, you may find many of his books quite odd. May have something to do with a coke habit of his from the 1980s.

  10. Wow that is such a long list! Personally I like Anne of Green Gables!

  11. if you're looking for something new, try;
    Someday Is Not a Day of the Week by Denise Brennan-Nelson.

  12. And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street. Best book ever written!
    And, I Love You The Purplest

    1. two thumbs up!
      That kid has the BEST imagination, but then, in the end, tells the truth - great story, great lesson!

  13. I read my kids Stephen King. Oh and you should check out Clive Barker's "Thief of Always". It actually is a children's book. Other good ones are "The Gashlycrumb Tinies" by Edward Gorey, "The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales" by Jon Scieszka and "Carousel of Sorrow" by Katy Towell.

  14. Ain't gonna paint no more, is a favorite around our house. "I'm such a nut, gonna paint my....." It's read/sung to the tune of It again gonna rain no more. About a toddler that loves to paint everything. Most of my others are already on your list.

  15. Love You Forever is one of the creepiest books ever....I threw it in trash after I read it.

  16. Anything by Robert Munsch is hilarious, my first graders last year LOVED them all. Skippyjon Jones is my personal favorite series, and Mo Willems is incredible.

    There's also Pete the Cat, which even has a song to sing with it. One of my professors introduced us to it and showed us a video of two of the cutest girls EVER "reading" it ( Love it!

  17. Building on your list...
    A bad case of stripes
    heckedy peg
    king bidgoods in the bathtub
    naked mole rat gets dressed
    mama says...
    alexander and the terrible horrible no goodvery bad day
    sylvester and the magic pebble
    roses garden
    a visitor for bear
    one monkey too many
    any of the serendipity series by cosgrove
    I want to be an astronaut
    What do you do with a kangaroo
    Any berenstain bears
    The gingerbread girl
    After teaching preschool for 10 years, my list could go one forever...

  18. Anonymous13:05

    How Tom Beat Captain Najork and his Hired Sportsmen, by Russell Hoban. It was such a favorite when I was a kid that my family can quote most of it.

  19. Okay, nobody replied "My Lucky Day" or "The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs" Seriously will make you laugh out loud.

  20. How cool to see The Fire Cat on this list! My husband's great (or maybe great-great) aunt is the author of this book (Esther Averill), and we have a first edition copy put up for our daughter :)

    1. are you kidding me??
      That was one of my favorite books as a kid (I am 41) and I have my copy that I won't let my kids TOUCH! It's not in the best shape - but I still have it.

  21. Anonymous14:21

    Naughty, Naughty Kiefer
    Heedly Pecked me in the Eye
    Yes, a Cat Named Marty Cohen
    Dig Ivan Dig
    Shark and Lobster's Deep Sea Adventure
    Do Unto Otters (a book about manners)
    any of the Boynton books, esp with Hippos

  22. Anonymous18:59

    Are You My Mother? Was the very first book I ever read by myself. My dad had read it to me so much, that I'm not sure to this day if I actually read it, or had simply memorized it. Lol. Still holds a special place in my heart.

  23. Anonymous21:05

    My 4 yo daughter loves The Lorax. She proudly exclaims to anyone who'll listen - "I am the Lorax and I speak for the trees!"
    We're going on a bear hunt
    Scrambled States of America
    What was I scared of?
    Memoirs of a goldfish
    The Important Book
    Officer Buckles and Gloria
    I am not sleepy and I will not go to bed
    Horace and Morris but mostly Dolores
    The Princess Knight

  24. anything by karn katz and good night gorilla

  25. Little Pea
    Little Hoot
    Little Oink
    All written by Amy Krause Rosenthal

    She also has a series called Cookies..Bite Size Life Lessons ....and they are phenomenal.

  26. I will second Pete the Cat. Awesome, my kindergarteners love, love, love Pete. Definately have to watch Mr. Eric sing his books too. New one coming out in may..mine is already pre-ordered!

  27. Erika06:26

    Officer Buckle and Gloria is the BEST!
    Anything with the pigeon (staying up late, driving the bus, etc)
    Charlotte Jane Battles Bedtime
    Diary of a Worm/Fly/Spider
    Always Listen to Your Mother
    Miss Spider's Tea Party
    Do Princess's Wear Hiking Boots?
    The How to Train Your Dragon series for older kids

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. No she didn't. Get some glasses.

    2. oops, totally skipped it, but no reason for you to be so rude about it. all you had to say was that i overlooked it

    3. Anonymous21:32

      I agree, rude, rude, rude... and to think those that enjoy literature are supposed to be more "mature". :(

  29. Duck on a Bike!! This book is fun, colorful and deals with farm animals wanting to ride bikes, who could ask for more?

  30. Anonymous20:57

    I think you may have split one title into 3 accidentally. The book is The Red Ripe Strawberry, the Little Mouse, and the Big Hungry Bear.

  31. I get the creep factor some feel about Love You's crossed my mind. I ended up deciding I love the book though. I think it's meant to be symbolic rather than taken literally and I find it very sweet. There are definitely worse books!

    1. Oh, and my absolute favorite is Charlotte's Web. As a teacher it's the best read aloud book I've read.

  32. "The Gruffalo" and anything else by Julia Donaldson.
    The Little Princess books (Adolpha would love them)
    "Kipper" and anything else by Mick Inkpen
    My son, who is 3, loves the Mr Men books and we're currently reading all of the Paddington stories too - he's really enjoying them despite the lack of pictures!

  33. I love to see your blog lots of effort on this blog thanks for sharing God bless u

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  34. Blueberries for Sal! Aww, my favorite! I live in Maine and met Robert McCloskey at an age where it was creepy that I asked him to autograph a kids book. I still have it!

  35. Anonymous21:52

    The Pout Pout Fish is a great book. Entertaining and not stupid!

  36. Anonymous18:42

    My daughter who is 6 loves Pete the cat!! Need to know more suggestions on books like these!

  37. "(really anything by Shel Silverstein)"
    Um, no. *Almost* anything by Shel Silverstein. Don't let a kid near "Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book". OTOH, I strongly recommend that any adult with a suitably warped sense of humor read it.