Top 20 Most Popular Children’s Books of All Time

most popular children's books

Top 20 Most Popular Children’s Books of All Time

As a children’s book author, I have naturally read many a book! Perhaps I am avoiding fully growing up, but I can never help but flip through the pages of beautifully illustrated children’s books when I’m at the library or a bookstore.

So while there are dozens of children’s books I could recommend (that’s for a later blog post!), here is an undisputable list of the most popular children’s books of all time. I wonder how many you can remember from your childhood, and which ones have you read to your children? A good book really does stand the test of time.

1. “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak

A tale of mischief and monsters, this classic book has inspired countless imaginations. Max, a young boy with a wild imagination, is transported to an island where he becomes king of all wild things. Sendak’s timeless illustrations and simple yet profound storyline resonate with every reader. (Reading Age: 4-8 years) Read it here.

2. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle

Who hasn’t read this book?! Charting the journey of a tiny caterpillar with an enormous appetite, Carle’s vibrant and iconic collage illustrations introduce children to days of the week and the wonders of metamorphosis. (Reading Age: 2-5 years) Find it here.

3. “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White

This heartwarming tale of friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a wise spider named Charlotte is a testament to the power of love, sacrifice, and resilience. It is a beautiful introduction to the circle of life and the bonds that tie us together. (Reading Age: 8-12 years) Order here.

4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling

A modern-day classic, which is certainly not restricted to children (ask almost all my friends!). A story of magic, friendship, and destiny, this book opened the doors to Hogwarts for generations. Harry, Hermione, and Ron’s adventures have enthralled readers, emphasizing the significance of friendship and bravery. (Reading Age: 9-12 years, though enjoyed by all ages) Step into the wizarding world.

5. Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss

With playful rhymes and quirky characters, Dr. Seuss introduces children to the joy of reading while also teaching them about accepting new experiences and trying new things. (Reading Age: 3-7 years) You can find it here.

6. The Tale of Peter Rabbit” by Beatrix Potter (Reading Age: 2-5 years)

This delightful tale of a mischievous rabbit who sneaks into Mr. McGregor’s garden has been a favorite for generations, combining beautiful illustrations with life lessons about curiosity and consequences. (Reading Age: 2-5 years) Hop into this classic.

7. “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll

A whimsical and imaginative journey, Alice’s escapades in Wonderland are a whirlwind of eccentric characters and thought-provoking scenarios that have intrigued readers for more than a century. (Reading Age: 8-12 years) Check it out.

8. “Matilda” by Roald Dahl

A story of resilience and retribution, Matilda’s journey from being an unloved child with a supernatural gift to finding her place in the world is both heartwarming and thrilling. The movie is also a fantastic watch (a personal favorite!) (Reading Age: 8-12 years) Find the book here.

9. “The Gruffalo” by Julia Donaldson

Through rhythmic verses, Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler tell a clever tale of a mouse who uses his wits to avoid becoming dinner for his forest friends. (Reading Age: 3-7 years)Check it out here.

10. Anne of Green Gables” by L.M. Montgomery

Anne’s adventures in the idyllic town of Avonlea, with her fiery red hair and indefatigable spirit, capture the essence of childhood wonder and the power of imagination. Another book that has been made into a great movie. (Reading Age: 9-12 years) Read it here.

11. “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown

A soothing bedtime story, Brown’s rhythmic prose combined with Clement Hurd’s illustrations, creates a serene atmosphere, perfect for sending little ones off to dreamland. (Reading Age: 1-4 years)Find it here.

12. “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis

The magical land of Narnia and its rich tapestry of characters have been a source of wonder for children, exploring themes of bravery, betrayal, and redemption. (Reading Age: 8-12 years) Unlock the wardrobe here.

13. “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss

Another Seussian classic, this playful tale of chaos and fun on a rainy day is an ode to imagination and the unexpected joys of life. (Reading Age: 3-7 years) Check it out here.

14. “Winnie-the-Pooh” by A.A. Milne

The adventures of Pooh Bear and his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood capture the simplicity and joy of childhood friendships. (Reading Age: 3-7 years) Find the book here.

15. “Corduroy” by Don Freeman

This story of a teddy bear longing for a button and a home is a touching reminder of the importance of belonging and being loved for who you are. (Reading Age: 3-7 years) Click here to buy the book.

16. “Pippi Longstocking” by Astrid Lindgren

Pippi’s irrepressible spirit and wild adventures have been a source of delight and inspiration for kids who dare to dream big and challenge the status quo. (Reading Age: 7-10 years) Check it out here.

17. “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats

A celebration of the simple joys of winter, Keats’ story captures the wonder and magic of a child’s exploration of a snow-covered world. (Reading Age: 2-5 years) Find it here.

18. “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

A profound exploration of love, loss, and the human condition, this timeless tale offers insights that resonate with readers of all ages. (Reading Age: 8-12 years, but also appreciated by adults) Find it here.

19. “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams

A touching tale of love and transformation, this story reminds us of the power of belief and the magic of becoming real. (Reading Age: 3-7 years) Find the book here.

20. “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

A rhythmic journey through a world of colorful animals, this book is both an introduction to colors and a testament to the joy of discovery. (Reading Age: 2-5 years) You can find it here.

About the Author – Jenny Kellett

Inspired by the timeless tales and imaginative worlds presented in these books, Jenny Kellett has embarked on her journey as a children’s book author. Her love for topics that inspire wonder and curiosity drives her to create books that ignite young minds. Drawing from her rich experience of reading and appreciating the nuances of children’s literature, Jenny crafts stories that are not just informative but also deeply engaging. Dive into her world, and you might just find your child’s next favorite book! You can check out her bestselling children’s books here and follow her on Facebook here.

Note: I am part of the Amazon Affiliate program, so if you click on a link I may receive a small percentage of any books you purchase. Thank you for your understanding!

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