100 Books to Read Before They Grow Up

Eliza Clark
March 21, 2018

One of the very favorite articles we've written here at The Savvy Source is 100 Things to Do Before Kindergarten. It captures all of the dreaming and hoping and planning that comes with parenting young children. It's a pre-elementary school life list of sorts. So we thought, wouldn't it be nice to have a book list, too?

Many of us at Savvy have children in elementary school by now, and these are the storybooks that have carried us through bedtimes, sick afternoons, and quiet moments on the couch. And our children still enjoy them...even in the older and wiser years of second grade. 

Here are 100 books to read before they move on to chapter books.

In no particular order....

  1. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelsman
  2. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  3. Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak
  4. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
  5. The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
  6. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
  7. The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss and Crockett Johnson
  8. A Hole is to Dig by Ruth Krauss
  9. The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne
  10. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
  11. The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
  12. Arrow to the Sun by Gerald McDermott
  13. Eloise by Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight
  14. Olivia by Ian Falconer
  15. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
  16. Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
  17. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  18. A House for a Hermit Crab by Eric Carle
  19. The Mixed Up Chameleon by Eric Carle
  20. The Best Word Book Ever by Richard Scarry
  21. What Do People Do All Day? by Richard Scarry
  22. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
  23. The Tale of Tom Kitten by Beatrix Potter
  24. The Tale of Two Bad Mice by Beatrix Potter
  25. Corduroy by Don Freeman
  26. Fly High, Fly Low by Don Freeman
  27. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
  28. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  29. Wynken, Blynken, and Nod by Eugene Field and Johanna Westerman
  30. The Original Mother Goose
  31. The Maggie B. by Irene Haas
  32. Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban and Lillian Hoban
  33. Amos and Boris by William Steig
  34. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
  35. Play With Me by Marie Hall Ets
  36. Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems
  37. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
  38. Time for Bed by Mem Fox
  39. The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear
  40. A Child's Book of Poems by Gyo Fujikawa
  41. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
  42. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
  43. Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss
  44. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
  45. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
  46. Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats
  47. George and Martha by James Marshall
  48. Goldilocks and the Three Bears by James Marshall
  49. Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel
  50. Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
  51. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
  52. Children Just Like Me by Anabel Kindersley and Barnabas Kindersley
  53. People by Peter Spier
  54. A Color of His Own by Leo Leonni
  55. Swimmy by Leo Leonni
  56. The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff
  57. Curious George by H.A. Rey
  58. Caps for Sale  by Esphyr Slobodkina
  59. Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
  60. A Time to Keep by Tasha Tudor
  61. Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel
  62. The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
  63. The Little House  by Virginia Lee Burton
  64. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
  65. Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Tabach
  66. There's a Nightmare in My Closet by Mercer Mayer
  67. How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
  68. Angus and the Ducks by Marjorie Flack
  69. The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack
  70. Count and See by Tana Hoban
  71. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
  72. The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble
  73. Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert
  74. May I Bring a Friend? by Beni Montresor and Beatrice Schenk de Regniers
  75. Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
  76. Are You My Mother? By P.D. Eastman
  77. Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg
  78. Paper Bag Princess by Robert N. Munsch
  79. We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
  80. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
  81. Three Billy Goats Gruff by Paul Galdone
  82. The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone
  83. The Princess and the Pea by Lauren Child and Polly Borland
  84. Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathman
  85. Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus and Jose Aruego
  86. The Happy Lion by Louise Fatio and Roger Duvoisin
  87. Many Moons by James Thurber and Louis Slobodkin
  88. Strega Nona by Tomie DePaola
  89. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff and Felicia Bond
  90. Lily's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
  91. Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
  92. Jamberry by Bruce Degen
  93. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault, and Lois Ehlert
  94. Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
  95. Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say
  96. The House on East 88th Street (Lyle the Crocodile series) by Bernard Waber
  97. The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
  98. Puss in Boots by Charles Perrault and Fred Marcellino
  99. My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann
  100. The Three Pigs by David Wiesner



From the Parents

  • Parent # 1

    Love this list. We got one from another source and had only read 3 of the books. We're maybe half way through this one with my son, who starts Kindergarten in September. Thanks for the summer project!

    over a year ago


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