Five of the Best Children’s Books

I have been tagged to nominate my top five children’s books.  Thank you Norah at  Choosing five books (only five) is a roller coaster, and I love that ride.  Here are my favorite children’s books, and why:

Goodnight Moon 

This book is a classic.  It is what every baby needs to hear, over and over again.  In my classroom, I recite Goodnight Moon before chapter reading.  Every day.  Often I change it up to include the children’s names: “In the great green room there is Mark’s telephone, and Sarah’s red balloon…” and so on.  It is the best.

The Story of Little Babaji

Helen Bannerman wrote this story in 1899.  When I was a child, I loved Little Black Sambo, which was an adaptation of this book.  That book was banned, and the original, based in India, was reborn.  Thank goodness.  Not only is it a great story, it is so beloved in my classroom that we host play performances for families.  When a children’s book has a repeating phrase that encourages children to join the reader and say aloud; “Little Babaji, I’m going to eat you up”, it cements their love for the book.


My very first day of teaching I read aloud Swimmy.  That was all I needed for me to recognize the most important thing in teaching- reading aloud.  This book has it all: adventure and suspense, life in the ocean, and most importantly, problem solving when you’re feeling lost.  The story is timeless. Reading it today is just as fresh and exciting as it was that very first day.  Children feel the same way.

The Wild Robot

The Wild Robot is, hands down, my favorite new book for elementary grade children.  I’ve read this aloud to a captive audience of second graders.  On the surface, it is a fantastic adventure story.  Who wouldn’t want to read about a wild robot who is shipwrecked?  Underneath, it is a story of a robot who has to adjust to nature and animals… and therefore change.  Can a robot become human?

Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte’s Web is an all-time classic.  I have been reading this book to students for decades.  It’s the very first chapter book that I read aloud at school, every year.  My class comes together as a family, because I read the words about love, worry, fear, friendship, understanding… all that really matters.  A spider and a pig, and a story of life.

I am nominating five bloggers to do the same; post your five favorite children’s books!

1. Thank whoever’s nominated you and share their blog link.
2. Let us know your top five children’s books.
3. Nominate 5 people to do the same.
4. Let your nominees know you nominated them.

Here are my nominees:

  • Marcia at
  • Robin at
  • Beth at
  • Susan at
  • Ritu at

Of course, many thanks to Norah for including me in this challenge.  Please visit her wonderful blog at


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in Book Review, books, chapter reading, children's books, Early Education, picture books, reading aloud and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

75 Responses to Five of the Best Children’s Books

  1. Five great children’s books choices, Jenny.

  2. Darlene says:

    These are all good choices. My daughter loved Goodnight Moon as a child and we read it just about every night.

  3. Oh thank you for these Jennie.. Charlotte’s Web is the only one I am familiar with so thank you for sharing these others which are new to me.. 🙂 ❤ Hugs

  4. Excellent book choices, Jennie! Thanks for nominating me. It may take a while (2018?) but I look forward to sharing my top five, too! 🙂

  5. 2 of your 5 are in my library Little Black Sambo was a childhood favorite of mine too. I hadn’t heard of The Story of Little Babaji, Swimmy, or The Wild Robot. I’ll look for those at the library and check them out.

    I love Goodnight Moon! It was one of the first books I bought for #1 Grandson.

    • Jennie says:

      I am so glad! You will LOVE The Story of Little Babaji since you read Little Black Sambo as a child. I can’t say enough praise for The Wild Robot. Happy reading! And, thank you. 🙂

  6. I love your choices! Margaret Wise Brown is a graduate of Hollins College, my alma mater. 🙂

  7. These are all wonderful books, but I am always partial to Charlotte’s Web! The results of the children understanding the story meanings…friendship, happiness, sadness, success, patience, love and so on…can change the demeanor and focus of a class. I absolutely love this book!!

    • Jennie says:

      I do, too. I think that’s why it’s my first chapter reading book of the school year. So many important lessons, and we somehow come together as a family through this book.

  8. Norah says:

    Thanks for joining in with such a lovely post, Jennie. You’ve reminded me of some old favourites and introduced me to some that may become new favourites. Choosing just five is so difficult isn’t it. I almost wrote in my post a prediction that you would nominate Charlotte’s Web. It’s up there for me too. It’s a wonderful story and perfect for read aloud, as you say. I read Little Black Sambo as a child too and appreciate being introduced to a more respectful version. Like others of your readers, I wasn’t familiar with The Wild Robot but will now look for it. Thanks for sharing your favourites, and what makes them so.

    • Jennie says:

      Thanks, Norah. This was hard to pick five, but such fun to share with others. You will love The Wild Robot. Whenever I’m asked to recommend a book for older children, that’s the one. And, The Story of Little Babaji is actually the original, written in 1899. Fabulous. Of course you knew I had to include Charlotte’s Web!! Best to you, Norah!

  9. InkedShrink says:

    Thanks for turning me on to some new books! Can’t wait to read them to my 5 yr old

  10. Dan Antion says:

    I am not familiar with all of these, Jennie but the ones I know are very good choices. I don’t know that I have five favorites. Judging from the number of times certain ones were requested, I Might be able to guess at my daughters. Our favorite was “The Twenty Elephant Restaurant”

  11. Thanks for sharing your favorites, Jennie. Goodnight Moon is a staple over here with little ones and Charlotte’s Web, of course. The Wild Robot sounds like great fun – it piques my interest as an adult too! Awesome post!

  12. reocochran says:

    The only one I would not have known was “The Wild Robot.” Thank you for including EB White, Leo Lionni, Margaret Wise Brown and Helen Bannerman. Wonderful choices, Jennie. 👏 📚

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Robin. The Wild Robot is fairly new. How old is your oldest grandie? Second grade or above, and you will have the time of your life reading the story aloud!!

  13. reocochran says:

    Thank you for the honor of nominating me, Jennie. I will accept this challenge but may be next weekend to publish or post it.

  14. This is a lovely post, Jennie. It’s a charming list of books. Have a beautiful new week. Hugs!

  15. L. Marie says:

    I was so intrigued about which books you’d choose, Jennie. Lovely choices! I’ve never read The Wild Robot or The Story of Little Babaji. I must find both!

  16. Pingback: Five of the Best Children’s Books – #BookTag #MondayBlogs | But I Smile Anyway...

  17. A Kinder Way says:

    Great choices Jennie! I read Good Night Moon to my son so many times I still know most of it by heart…and he’s 21 now!! 😉

  18. beetleypete says:

    I knew you would come up with an excellent all-round selection, Jennie. What interested me even more, is that I have never read any of them. I must explore some with our grandson.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  19. Annika Perry says:

    Jennie, a delightful selection of books – your love for them shines through. I’m tempted to read The Wild Robot just for myself; a terrific storyline which raises pertinent in today’s quickly evolving technological society. The artwork on Swimmy alone is captivating and lush…a lovely post!

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Annika. I read The Wild Robot for myself, first. I’m SO glad I did! Yes, the storyline is right for today, yet is also timeless. Make sense? I have always loved the art work in Swimmy. Captivating for sure!

  20. mitchteemley says:

    Well, I know and love the first and last of these. I loved Little Black Sambo as a 3 or 4 year old (hey, it was another era), and I’m sure the others are delightful if you think they are, Jennie!

  21. ~M says:

    I remember my grandpa reading me Little Black Sambo as a child. Never knew there was an adaptation. Thanks for sharing. I’ll have to take a look at the two of three of these I’ve never read.

  22. dgkaye says:

    Excellent choices Jennie. 🙂

  23. Tina Frisco says:

    These are wonderful, Jennie. When I worked in my friends’ cafe & bookstore, shelving the children’s books was such a pleasure! Goodnight Moon was a consistent best-seller. Are you familiar with Animalia by Barbara Berger? It’s one of my favorites 🙂 ❤

  24. Great list! Charlotte’s Web has always been a favourite.

  25. reocochran says:

    Jennie, I will be posting my five favorite books along with their authors (with some of their other books. . .) tomorrow on December 18!!
    It may not have five nominated people but maybe I can five who will like the idea.
    Over the years since 2012 when I started my blog, I have found less people who wish to have any nominations given! Thank you so much for choosing me, dear.
    PS. Someone asked me to include the http each time I try to link, since no one wants to type it all into their browser. When you link to others they will link back to you. I will not visit your list until I have lots of time! I added your link and Norah’s too. 😊 📚

    • Jennie says:

      Robin, I feel exactly the same way. I hate (strong word) getting nominated and then having to pass the nomination on. This was one I did, because it was children’s books. BUT, please don’t feel like you have to pass this on to others. Just having you post your five favorites will be wonderful.

  26. WoRdaDDict says:

    This is a great list! I have a lot of friends with kids and I love giving them books for birthdays, holidays, etc.

  27. mlmopinions says:

    Sad to say the only two I know is Goodnight Moon and Charlottes Web … I’ll probably have to buy the others and read them to my kids . I’m interested in reading them .

  28. Roasted Romance says:

    My son would approve of this list!

  29. badasarang says:

    Great choices! I’d love it if you read my book ‘Wayan and the Turtle King’!

  30. hely4nwe says:

    I really loved Goodnight Moon, when I was little and it’s one of the few children’s books I still have. A friend of my mother brought it from the United States all the way to Germany, so it was also one of my first encounters with the english language.

  31. Nomadic Worlds says:

    You should also try Kaye Umansky’s books. They’re great for children.

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