The 25 Best Children’s Books Ever Written

Pre-K/kindergarten: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff

If you give a mouse a cookieVia

If you perform the title action, the mouse will ask for milk, for a straw, and so on until he’s back to asking for a cookie again. This if-then “circular story” teaches youngsters sequencing and cause and effect. The first book in the If You Give series, published in 1985, has sold over 15 million copies worldwide. Check out the children’s books that encourage kids to be nice.

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Pre-K/kindergarten: Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

Harold and the Purple CrayonVia

Imagine if you could create a whole world just with one crayon. That’s what happens to Harold, and his story has been sparking children’s imaginations since 1955. Harold is also a great problem-solver: For example, he draws a boat to climb into after he unintentionally draws an ocean. This simple but lovely story frequently ranks on lists of the best children’s books, including those from the National Education Association and School Library Journal.

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Pre-K/kindergarten: The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper

The Little Engine that CouldVia

Everyone knows the self-motivating refrain, “I think I can, I think I can … ” Through this tale of a little engine that pulls a train over a mountain, children learn about positivity, hard work, helping others, self-confidence, and perseverance. Although the story’s origins are vague, it was first printed as we know it today way back in 1930, and has since sold millions of copies—but its timeless lessons are what make it a true classic. Follow these early reading habits that make young kids love books.

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