The Books You NEED in Your Children’s Library + Giveaway


I love books. Always have, always will. The following is by no means an exaustive list of all the books I think are necessary, (I had an awfully hard time narrowing it down to five per catergory) but ones that I feel are essential for your library at home. Trust me, the following books will be loved at once and read over and over and over again.

Birth-Age 2 (Board Books): The Books You NEED in Your Children's Library

The Real Mother Goose by Blanche Fisher Wright

Classic, wonderful, interesting, mesmerizing. Get it.

No No Yes Yes by Leslie Patricelli

A hilarious look at what children should and shouldn’t do. (Especially hilarious if your child can relate to some of the no no things!)

Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton

Anything by Sandra Boynton is a hit at our house, but this one gets the giggles every time. Silly Turkey.

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

Always requested. Our copy may even be damaged and taped because it’s been slept with occasionally.

Goodnight, Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Such soothing word choice. Makes for the perfect, calming, before-bed favorite.

Ages 2-4:

Ages 2-4 Books
*Not Pictured: Dinosaur Vs. The Potty. Sorry, I couldn’t find it!

Dinosaur Vs. the Potty by Bob Shea

Your children will squeal with delight as Dinosaur tackles potty training like a champ.

Press Here by Herve Tullet

In a world of touch screens, this book’s simplicity is pure magic. I cannot even explain it. You have to experience it with your child. You just have to.

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Not only is this a classic, but it can teach your child a lesson on trying new things, too- Bonus!

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

My boys love the fact that Max is naughtier than they are. The make-believe is fun and whimsical—just don’t watch the movie. (please.)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

A colorful, fun, repetitive book that your children can read along with you!

Ages 4-8:The Books You NEED in Your Children's Library

Can I Play Too? by Mo Willems

Oh, my gosh. We love some Mo Willems in our house. This book is a particular favorite because of the interactions with snake character.

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klaxon

Simple, funny, mischievous. The quirky twist at the end will have your kids looking to you to make sure they understand what’s going on, and then everyone will end up in a fit of giggles.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

Your kids will love telling this pigeon no as he tries to convince them to let him drive the bus. Genius.

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown

A beautiful book in which a sophisticated tiger decides to let loose and get back to his roots, even when others don’t understand.

The Sleep Book by Dr. Seuss

I dare you to read this book without yawning. It cannot be done. My youngest thinks this is hilarious. And it’s exactly why he requests it every night. I may or may not hide this book from time to time, because even though it (along with all of Dr. Seuss’s books) is wonderful, it is long and I cannot handle it every. single. night.

Ages 8-11: The Books You NEED in Your Children's Library

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

Loved for the magic, the characters, the mystery. It’s pretty much a given that if you have a child in this age range they will want to read this series.

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

This is the first novel in a series about Percy Jackson, a child who has a Greek god as his father. My son loved this series, I see it in many kids’ hands in the upper elementary classrooms.

Holes by Louis Sachar

Such a great novel. Told from multiple points of view, spanning several generations, this story will draw in readers as they try to figure out how all the stories intertwine.

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The classic tale that stared the Little House series. Young girls all over still enjoy reading about Laura and her family’s adventures when America was much younger.

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

In my opinion, the most endearing novel of all time. I cannot count all the times I have read this story of a boy and his two dogs to myself, or aloud to my kids or a class of mine. I still can’t get through it without shedding a few tears. (I may even go into an ugly cry. Just maybe.)

Ages 12-18:The Books You NEED in Your Children's Library

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

My dad introduced this series into my life when I was in 5th grade. I gobbled them up, reading them as fast as I could. I always wondered why they chose to start with The Fellowship of the Ring in the cinema productions. Later, I came to find out that J. R. R. Tolkien had originally published the three books as one, called The Lord of the Rings, and they were later published separately.

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

A wonderful survival story about a clever boy who finds himself alone in the wilderness after his small plane crashes.

Redwall by Brian Jacques

This story was introduced to me by a student I taught. He loved it so much I had to see what he saw in it. It’s a well-written fantasy about a war between small woodland creatures defending their peaceful way of life from the notorious Cluney the Scourage, a power-hungry rat seeking to take over Redwall Abbey.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

All over the place these days, The Hunger Games really draws the reader in with wonderfully relatable characters and constant action. I have to admit, I was hooked on this series, but the death and killing in this book was a bit of a hang up for me. I definitely think it’s more appropriate for older readers.

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

A great coming of age book about a boy who meets a girl who no one can quite define. It’s theme of popularity and conformity is woven into an endearing tale of first love.

The Giveaway from Beaverdale BooksBeaverdale Books


beaverdale books logoThanks to Beaverdale Books, one of you has a chance to WIN! Enter below and win five books in the above age category of your choice! Contest ends tonight at 11 p.m. (CST).

Beaverdale Books is located in the heart of Des Moines (2629 Beaver Ave) and offers story time every Thursday at 11:00 a.m.

Children's SectionCheck out their website for book reviews, events, news, and more!

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What books would you add to this list?


    • There is a Monster at the End of this Book was definitely a contender (I actually discussed this book with another mom!) If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, is a good one as well, but I haven’t heard of The Big Red Barn. I will have to check that one out, thanks!

  1. Mooch the Messy, Paddington Bear, Lyle Lyle Crocodile, The Hello Goodbye Window, Mrs. Muddle’s Holidays…Thank you for the recommendations in this post 🙂


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