Our Favorite Books for Little Kids

Bigger than babies, not quite big kids, this age group is right in our sweet spot.

By Hollis  11/21/21

I love Christmas. I love the weather, the lights, the music, the food, and the shopping. In case you were wondering, my primary love language is gift giving and my secondary is quality time so the holiday season is like my Olympics. Subsequently, without a plan I can very easily go a little overboard. We live in an NYC apartment with a total of two closets so I can't go nuts or we wouldn't be able to sit on things or walk around and stuff. So I try *very hard to to subscribe to the "Something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read" philosophy of gift buying. I fail, every year, at exercising that level of control, but without it, the gift giving train would leave the station and certainly fly off the rails. So I aim for something in the middle and call it a success. 

My kids obviously don't hurt for books but they get new ones for every occasion and Christmas is no different. (We also go through and pull the books we've grown out of and give them to our daycare.) They're both right in the sweet spot for children's books and I'd give them 20 each if I didn't have the old WNWR to keep me in check. So I settle for 2-3 each and love to find the books that speak to their interests. Last year, dinosaurs and baby books. This year science and all things animals. In case you're looking for a few great books for your Christmas list, we've picked our absolute favorites for kids age 3-7. Whether you're a minimalist gifter or a no holds barred maniac like me, any or all of these books deserve a spot under the tree.

1. The Questioneers Complete Books Set

I have a whole post rolling around in my head about my awe and appreciation for these books. They feature a wide range of kids overcoming obstacles in truly inspiring ways. They're clever, well-written, interesting, have a ton of heart and the mid century modern settings are so fun. I LOVE when my kids pick one of these off the shelf because. they are just flipping brilliant. Look for sweet Ada Twist (star of her own (fantastic) Netflix series) flying high this week as a Macy's parade balloon! 

2. How to Be a Lion & Max the Brave

True story: How to Be a Lion inspired our Amazing Attribute system. We read hundreds of books as we were building the shop and Lion's message of bravery and friendship and standing up to bullies in a non-violent and communicative way just nailed everything we believe in right in one perfect book. Add Ed Vere's first book about a feisty and fearless little kitten and you've got a pretty AMAZING pair.

3. Alphabet Street

This book is SO CUTE. Great for littles getting serious about the alphabet, this book has funny rhyming text, flaps for exploring, and when you're done, you can stand the the whole thing up and explore the play scene on the other side. It's like two gifts in one! 

4. Magical Yet

This book is selling fast and for good reason. It's all about the little companion that is with us from the day are born,the Yet. "This Yet finds a way, even when you don't. And Yet knows you will, when you think you won't."

This rollicking, inspirational picture book is perfect for every kid who is frustrated by what they can't do . . . YET!

5. How to Spot an Artist

This one is so special for both confident young artists, and those that struggle with creativity. Author Danielle Krysa, "uses her characteristic playfulness, lively illustrations, and humor to help kids overcome negativity about their artistic endeavors, and to help them redefine what being an artist means." Pair it with some paints or crayons and a pad of paper for a creative and uplifting gift.

6. The Adventures of Beekle

Start with the big, gold Caldecott sticker on the cover. Those people know a good book. But if you need further proof that Beekle is extra special, then just listen to Stephanie, a member of our Family Reader Circle and Pre-K teacher. "My class of four-year-olds LOVED this book and asked me to read it to them several times throughout the week. A wonderful story about making friends, putting yourself out there, and the bravery it takes to be vulnerable. It encourages kindness and bravery and led to a GREAT class discussion about how being different is ok and that we all need friends." The Crew really loves this one.

7. Even Superheroes Make Mistakes & Even Superheroes Have Bad Days 

We don't do licensed materials around here. There are THOUSANDS of Elmo, Mickey, Marvel, etc books out there that you can find for your specific fan. But if you're looking for THEMES like educational, animal, or hero then that's where we shine. For instance, this super, superhero duo. Supersized with a gold embossed cover, thick, colorful pages, and rhyming text about handling yourself in sticky situations with kindness and grace. Those qualities made them an obvious and awesome addition to the store and our personal bookshelves.

8. Everything and Everywhere

This GIANT book is really great for curious kids who want to learn about the world and for adults reading the book who will definitely learn something too. (Did you know there's only one ATM on the entire continent of Antarctica?!) Each spread features a different city or region and is packed with quirky facts and fascinating watercolor illustrations. This book is so impressive it totally stands on it's own. But if you're feeling a little extra, it'd be really amazing paired with kiddie luggage should you have an upcoming trip planned.

9. Tomorrow I'll be Brave & Tomorrow I'll be Kind

These uplifting and positive New York Times bestsellers, encourage kids to promise that tomorrow they will try new things, do their best, and always be brave and kind. Colorful and creative hand lettering on every page keep kids enthralled and the rhyming text will absolutely have grownups tearing up by the end.

10. You Matter

Christian Robinson is having a moment for a reason. If you saw his cute collection of children's wear at Target you had to love the bright colors and wide range of subjects. His books feature all that and more and we especially love You Matter, a sweet take on the many perspectives of the world and how everyone is connected and everyone matters. 

It's really hard to narrow down our list to just 10! If you have something else in mind, shop our entire Littles collection HERE.

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