WORLD BOOK DAY: 60 Books Every Child Should Read

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60 Books Every Child Should Read

60 Books Every Child Should Read

It’s World Book Day on the 2nd March, as you know I love books, but I also love discovering new books for my children and I. So I decided to ask 60 parenting bloggers what book they think every child should read and why. Here are their fascinating answers with some really amazing book choices from tots to teens and some I quite fancy reading myself as an adult too!

1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle


I think every chid should read The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I love this book. Not only is it super fun to read, it teaches the life cycle of a caterpillar and it’s one of those books your child might even memorise.

Angela – The Inspiration Edit

Buy on Amazon

2. The Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson

the paper dolls

Paper Dolls. A story about grief and memories, wrapped up in a fun tale about dolls running from crocodiles and tigers.

Andy – Dad’s Sofa

Buy on Amazon

3. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson


I think every child should read The Gruffalo, just because it’s such a fun little book to read. I love the rhyming words, and I always have great fun with my three reading it no matter how many times! 

Emma-Louise – Even Angels Fall

Buy on Amazon

4. The BFG by Roald Dahl

The BFG Roald Dahl

Any of the Roald Dahl books because they have the ability to capture any child’s imagination! My favourite is probably The BFG.

Jess – Tantrums to Smiles

Buy on Amazon

5. The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

the magic faraway tree

The Magic Faraway Tree! By Enid Blyton. It’s a classic…. it’s magical and such a fun story.

Faye –  Glossy Tots

Buy on Amazon

6. Penguin by Polly Dunbar

penguin polly dunbar

Penguin by Polly Dunbar. It’s the most beautiful, uplifting story about a little boy who is desperate for his gifted penguin to talk, and the illustrations are fantastic.

Kerry – Kerry Shaw Mummy of Four

Buy on Amazon

7. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

The lion the witch and the wardrobe

A magical book full of adventure. I remember standing in my grandparents wardrobe desperate to get into Narnia!

Carrie – Flying with a Baby

Buy on Amazon

8. The Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson

room on the broom

A fun story that shows children that there is always room for everyone to be involved.

 Sarah – Boo Roo and Tigger Too

Buy on Amazon

9. Stick Man by Julia Donaldson

stick man

It is the best fun to read as a parent and for a child to listen to. The pictures and words complement each other perfectly. We adore it and could never tire of it.

Beth – Twinderelmo

Buy on Amazon

10. Zog by Julia Donaldson


I love the message to learn, to try, to help others and above all – you don’t have to be pigeon holed just because you’re a dragon or a princess or a knight. You can be anything you want!

Laura – Life with Baby Kicks

Buy on Amazon

11. The Borrowers by Mary Morton

The Borrowers

It completely sparked my imagination as a child and I still re-read it every now and then. Its about working hard and sticking together, being a team and appreciating the differences in people through all of the struggles in life.

Alex – Better Together Home

Buy on Amazon

12. Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian

goodnight mister tom

The book that always stayed with me from my childhood was Goodnight Mister Tom. I will be reading it to mine when they are a bit older.

Claire – Life Love and Dirty Dishes

 Buy on Amazon

13. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling


Harry Potter. Seriously. It teaches children that it’s ok to be different. Why wouldn’t you want to escape to a world of magic?

Kate – LesbeMums

 Buy on Amazon

14. Daisy Eat Your Peas by Kes Gray and Nick Sharratt

Daisy eat your peas

We love this book. Mum tries to persuade her daughter Daisy to eat her peas and when Daisy refuses Mum bribes her with all different treats starting with a bowl of ice cream to 92 chocolate factories. Its fun and we love seeing what mum will come with next.
Buy on Amazon

15. The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery

The little prince

It is such a beautiful story and one I never read as a child, but I recently read it to my children who loved it. It can be taken on so many levels but the jist is how narrow minded and uncreative adults can be, and how children (who see things as they are) can be far more intelligent and sensitive to the beauty and mystery of the world.

Samantha – Chocolate and Wine and I’ll be Fine

 Buy on Amazon

16. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney


I think every child should read Guess How Much I Love You! I’ve been reading it to my daughter since she was born. It’s a beautiful book and lots of fun.

Siobhan – The Baby Boat Diaries

 Buy on Amazon

17. Four in a Family by Enid Blyton

four in a family

It’s an old one, but it’s always stuck with me. It’s about how families need to work together in times of need instead of apart and that you shouldn’t underestimate anyone, even the smallest member.

Sherry – Kits and Vixen

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18. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Charlotte's Web

I remember reading it in class with our teacher in year 4 or 5 (long time ago). So many lessons can be learned from this story about life, friendship and morals.

Alice – Living with a Jude

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19. Funny Bones by Allan and Janet Ahlberg

FunnyBonesI love that it is repetitive and has rhyming in it. My 3 year old can go through the book and remember parts of it because of that.

Jo – Pickle and Poppet

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20. The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson

the snail and the whale

Simply because it’s a lovely story, a lovely rhyme and it’s often forgotten about in favour of her other books – it’s MY favourite though!

Tracey – Pack the PJs

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21. The Island of Adventure by Enid Blyton

the island of adventure

A classic, exciting and a lovely story for kids of all ages to read. My mum passed it on to me and I love reading it to my kids too!

Michelle – Seeing Rainbows

 Buy on Amazon

22. Who’s in my Family by Robie H. Harris

Who's in my family

It’s a great little book which tackles family diversity in a really fun way. It’s good for younger children. Start promoting equality young enough and it won’t be an issue!

Vikki – Mum Times Two

 Buy on Amazon

23. Dear Nobody by Berlie Doherty

dear nobody

One for older children (I’d say 13+) is Dear Nobody by Berlie Doherty. Warning: it briefly contains sex as it’s about an unplanned teenage pregnancy. Great to tackle the issue.

Julie – Pondering Parenthood

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24. A Beatrix Potter Treasury by Beatrix Potter

A Beatrix Potter Treasury

The stories and illustrations are cute and beautiful. Plus they are only short so are perfect bedtime reads.

Chantele – Two Hearts One Roof

 Buy on Amazon

25. Oh the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss

oh the places you'll go

Such a beautiful book also includes some important life lessons, but is written in such a way that it is easy for children to understand.

Rebecca – Just Being Rebecca

Buy on Amazon

26. Matilda by Roald Dahl


It is the first book my little boy really got into when he was 6. All children can relate, it’s full of humour, mischief and it gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling at the end.

Mel – Le Coin De Mel

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27. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

The velveteen rabbit

Such a lovely message about what it means to be real. Suitable for all age groups.

Nicky – Not Just the 3 of Us

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28. In My Heart by Jo Witek

in my heart

In my heart by Jo Witek is a great book about feelings and starting discussions about how to deal with them.

Sara – Ballsy Mama

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29. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

alice in wonderland

Alice in wonderland I think it’s just a fun story, where total nonsense makes the most sense.

Nicola – A Blog’s Life

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30. Aesop’s Fables

Aesop's Fables

If I had to choose just one, I’d choose Aesop’s Fables because I remember being fascinated by them as a child. They say the stories are over 2000 years old written by a Greek slave called Aesop. I think the morals of the stories are very though provoking making them perfect to read and discuss with children.

Katie – Reo Life

Buy on Amazon

31. The Tiger who Came to Tea – Judith Kerr

the tiger who came to tea

For little ones The Tiger who came to tea by Judith Kerr and for older children Winnie the Pooh and The Hobbit. One of my favourites are Tales of 1001 nights – lots of well known fairy tales Aladdin, Ali Baba to name two.

Sally – Teddy Bears and Cardigans

Buy on Amazon

32. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae

giraffes can't dance

Giraffes Can’t Dance, it’s a fun way to show you can do what you put your mind to and don’t need to follow what everyone else says.

Jenni – Chilling with Lucas

Buy on Amazon

33. The Adventures of the Wishing Chair by Enid Blyton

wishing chair

The Wishing Chair, Fantastic Mr Fox (how cool was he) James and The Giant Peach, they all hold a special place for me. I just hope my kids, even with all their electronic devices, grow up still having that one book they remember from childhood, which is why I read all these to mine when they were young and they loved them.

Sharon – Everyone’s Buck Stops Here

Buy on Amazon

34. The Huge Bag of Worries by Virginia Ironside

the huge bag of worries

I read this to the children in my class each year. It talks about not carrying your worries alone. Every time I’ve read it I’ve had at least one child talk to me after class about their (sometimes serious) worries.

Claire – The Happy Weaner

Buy on Amazon

35. Vegetable Glue by Susan Chandler

vegetable glue

It’s a really fun way of teaching children that eating your greens keeps your insides healthy. Our son particularly likes the part where her bottom falls off!

Kayley – Friendly First Foods

Buy on Amazon

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

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ is classic – it is great for acting out, and easy to learn as it is so repetitive. My children love the different sounds.

Samantha – Chocolate and Wine and I’ll be Fine

Buy on Amazon

37. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell


‘Dear Zoo’ by Rod Campbell was always a favourite in our house – so interactive and great for joining in with, animal noises, guessing etc. Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach was a big hit with my boys, probably as James is so endearing and the other characters are so funny. For read aloud bedtime stories, The Night Pirates has been a firm favourite for years and is just the right length and beautifully illustrated .

Family Makes – Carol

Buy on Amazon

38. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

The cat in the hat

They are all amazing, entertaining, loveable books and tell a great story too in rhyme making them easy to read and even easier to listen to. Full of weird and wonderful characters that my boys never tire of reading.

Debbie – My Boys Club

 Buy on Amazon

39. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

treasure island

The children’s version of Treasure Island (or the original if they can manage it). It’s such a classic and despite its age, I’m yet to meet a child who hasn’t been drawn in by the storyline.

Nadine – Then I Became Mum

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40. Carbonel by Barbara Sleigh


As a child I loved ‘Carbonel’ by Barbara Sleigh, It has stayed with me all my life.

Nikki – Yorkshire Wonders

Buy on Amazon

41. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl. It will put little ones in a world of ‘pure imagination’ 🙂

 Jayne –  Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs

Buy on Amazon

42. The Secret Island by Enid Blyton

The secret island

This book is still my Dad’s favourite children’s book and our whole family read it & loved it.

Zoe – Mama Geek

  Buy on Amazon

43. The Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Little House on the Prairie

A major favourite of mine are the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, the Little House series. They’re brilliant for highlighting what life was like for settlers in rural USA, and really made me feel grateful for my comfortable childhood what with no milk churning, wood chopping, walking miles and miles haha!

Halina – Vie Choufleur

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44. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

green eggs and ham

‘Green eggs and Ham’ by Dr Seuss, especially if they’re a fussy eater, I loved this as a child and now have it for my children.

Jenny – Midwife and Life

Buy on Amazon

45. Tabby McTat by Julia Donaldson

Tabby McTat

‘Tabby McTat’ is a lovely story about a buskers cat who finds himself lost. It follows the journey of how they find each other again.

Samantha – The Slimming Mama

Buy on Amazon

46. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Black Beauty

‘Black Beauty’ by Anna Sewell was a book my dad and I read together as I was obsessed with horses too!

Hayley – Devon Mama

Buy on Amazon

47. The Minpins by Roald Dahl

The Minpins

I’d say ‘The Minpins’ by Roald Dahl. I don’t think it is as well known as his other books, but it is a real gem. It was published after he died and is thought to be the last thing he ever wrote. It has themes about adventure and helping others. 

Sarah – Twins Make Five

Buy on Amazon

48. The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson

The owl who was afraid of the dark

A fab story for younger children and great to read as a group. It brings back fab memories of my first years at school.

Cat – Rock and Roll Pussycat

 Buy on Amazon

49. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl

‘Artemis Fowl’ by Eoin Colfer features fairies and and magic but not in the way you would expect. This is all about spies and criminal masterminds. Even better, if you like the first one there’s a whole series to get stuck into!

Colette – Going on an Adventure

Buy on Amazon

50. His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman

Northern Lights

Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy (Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass) explores huge ideas (What are souls? Is the church God? Are there different worlds?) in a moving and gripping story. One for older children to enjoy with parents.

Naomi – Life by Naomi

Buy on Amazon

51. Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief

My son is 11 and loves the Percy Jackson series of books it’s a challenging enough read but full of pure fantasy and imagination.

Fiona – A Mum Track Mind

Buy on Amazon

52. The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher

the christmasaurus

I had no idea we’d be led into a magical, breathtaking world where dreams really do come true; from the first page it had us all hooked, and I admit, I cried several times as we rooted for William and his new found friend.

Kelly – Kelly Allen Writer

Buy on Amazon

53. Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O’Brien

Z for Zachariah

I read Z for Zachariah at senior school and was one of my favourite books. A post apocalyptic story of survival and trust, Ann believes she is the last person alive… until a stranger in a radiation suit arrives near her home. A gripping book that I couldn’t put down, and have read various times since as an adult!

Lucy – Real Mum Review

Buy on Amazon

54. The Emily Series by L.M. Montgomery

Emily New Moon

The Emily series by LM Montgomery (Emily of New Moon, Emily Climbs and Emily’s Quest) are wonderful books- they are a coming of age with all the keys to a fantastic story- an orphan with a vivid imagination, everyone learning to love her, friendships, blossoming romance and a bit of magic! Just lovely!

Pippa – The Slimming Foodie

Buy on Amazon

55. One Ted Fell out of Bed by Julia Donaldson

One Ted Falls out of Bed

One ted fell out of bed is a lovely rhyming story about a teddy bear that one night falls out of bed and goes on a little adventure. It’s been a favourite of ours since the kids were little.

Sarah – The Parenting Trials

Buy on Amazon

56. Footloose by Kenny Loggins


‘Footloose’ by Kenny Loggins, unfortunately it’s not the 80’s Footloose, it’s about a zoo that dances through the night. There’s even a CD with songs on it. I think it would be suitable for all ages, it’s so fun and the music would really get them moving and as children get older they could read the words to the music. There’s an extra song too which is pretty fun.

Claire – Dear Mummy Bear

Buy on Amazon

57. The Brothers Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren

the brothers lionheart

It is a beautiful book about brotherly love, hope in the face of danger, and that true courage does not mean an absence of fear, but the actions you take despite that fear. I first read it when I was in my 20s but it is aimed a kids. I didn’t dare read another book for a while because it was just so beautifully written. The first chapter may seem quite hard, as the two brothers both die, but that’s what leads them to Nangiyala where they live in the time of myths and legends.

Amanda – The Family Patch

Buy on Amazon

58. GooseBumps Books by R.L. Stine


The goosebumps books have a great way of terrorising you before making you laugh – a must read for over 8s.

Laura – Tired Mummy of Two

Buy on Amazon

59. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien…I read it when I was 7 and it opened worlds of imagination.

Sarah – Mumzilla

Buy on Amazon

60. Rebecca’s World by Terry Nation

rebecca's World

A rare book with a female lead, sort of sci-fi sort of fantasy, appealing to the 6-10 age group, but also to me! An excellent story of adventure.

Naomi – Tattooed Mummy

 Buy on Amazon

There you have it 60 books every child should read, suitable for a vast section of age ranges, some really amazing looking books too! I hope you enjoy World Book Day!

21 thoughts on “WORLD BOOK DAY: 60 Books Every Child Should Read”

  1. There’s a fair few of my all time favourite’s on your list. Julia Donaldson highly popular too – one of my favourites! I’ve got my eye on ‘In my heart’ and ‘Christmasaurus’ for ones to buy next. Thanks for sharing 🙂 #KLTR xx

  2. Oh gosh yes, I was nodding along to this list! The Snail and the Whale is my fave too! Some we haven’t read yet though so we’ll have to put that right. The Stick Man is top of my list.

  3. This is a wonderful list with a few that I haven’t read do will add to the to read list! If I were going to add to it I’d say something by Jill Murphy or Shirley Higher. #KLTR

  4. FAbulous selection of books and I’m sure we’ve read most of them. We’ve read all of Julia Donaldson’s books and a lot of Roald Dahl. My favourites have to be The Little Prince and The Magic Faraway Tree. Although, I’m happy to introduce my older daughter to Phillip Pullman’s Dark Materials, I loved reading them too.


  5. A great collection. Many of our favourites are here. Paper Dolls always makes me cry and I’ve been reading Little Miss H One Ted Falls Out Of Bed since she was born. She knows it off by heart now. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  6. Fantastic list Laura! We’ve read some of these, but not all, so will be picking out some new ones to read. We love all of the Julia Donaldson/Axel Scheffler books, but haven’t read Zog, so will have to check that one out. I used to love The Tiger Who Came to Tea when I was a child! Some real classics here! x


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