How To Pick The Best Books For Your Child (Or Another)

Happy little girl looking through a book in the library.

Image © iStock

Kids can never have too many books. The choice these days is mind-blowing. Gone are the days when every children’s story had to feature anthropomorphic animals, while non-fiction books seldom strayed from dinosaurs

How do you choose what to buy -- or borrow from the library? Well, we’ve published dozens of guides, covering all age groups and many topics (including anthropomorphic animals and dinosaurs). Whether you’re after books for your own children, or looking for a present for another child’s birthday, you’ll find plenty of inspiration below. 

Books For The Very Young

ABC: 33 Alphabet Books For Toddlers
: 18 Perfect Books For 1-Year-Olds
AGE 2: The 52 Best Books For 2 Year Olds Learning To Read
BABY: 20 Great Books To Start Your Baby’s Library
: 15 Best Musical Books For Babies
POTTY: 17 Potty-Training Books For Toddlers
SHAPES: Best Books About Shapes For Toddlers
RHYMING: 15 Great Rhyming Books For Toddlers

Toddler flicking through books in the library.
Image © iStock

Preschool & Early Years

AUDIO: Best Big Storybooks For Under 5s Free On Audible
BEST: 100 Best Books For Early Years Learners
FUN: 50 Fun Books For Early Years Kids
INTERACTIVE: 15 Interactive Books For Under-5s
MUSIC: 21 Books About Music For Preschoolers
NATURE: 15 Great Gardening Books For Preschoolers
ONLINE: Top Visual Story Books To Watch With Your Kids
PARENTAL JOY: 13 Best Kids Books That Parents Will Love Too

Books For Kids Age 4-12

AGE 4-5: 45 Favourite Books For Reception Kids
AGE 5-6: 50 Best Books For Year One Kids
AGE 6-7: 21 Perfect Chapter Books For Year Two Kids
AGE 7-8
: 50 Best Books For Year 3 Kids
AGE 9-10: 50 Best Books: Year 5 Kids
AGE 10-11: 49 Great Books For Year 6 Kids
AGE 11-12: 51 Fantastic Books For Year 7 Kids
KS1: The 100 Best Books For Key Stage 1 Readers
KS2: The 100 Best Books For Key Stage 2 Readers
KS2/KS3: 11 Best Books On Audible For KS2 & KS3
KS3: The 100 Best Books For Key Stage 3 Readers
LOCKDOWN: 17 Best Books To Read In Lockdown By Key Stage 

Books For Teens

AUDIO: Best Free Books On Audible For Teens
DANCE: Best Books For Dance Mad Kids And Teens
KS3: The 100 Best Books For Key Stage 3 Readers
SPORT: 9 Teen Sports Books That Are Reading Goals

Books On A Particular Theme

Know a child with an obsession with the weather, or sport, or dinosaurs? (Actually, do you know a child who doesn’t have an obsession with dinosaurs?) We’ve also put together a series of articles highlighting the best books on a particular theme, covering all age groups.

ANIMALS: 15 Best Children’s Books About Animals
CATS: 17 Puurrr-fect Children’s Books About Cats
DANCE: 23 Must-Read Dance Books Barre None
DEAF: 9 Must-Read Children’s Books With Deaf Characters
: 15 Best Dinosaur Books For All Ages
DIVERSITY: 60 Books To Help Children Learn About Diversity
ENVIRONMENT: 9 Books That Teach Kids To Care About The Environment
NON-FICTION: Best Non-Fiction Books For Kids By Age
SEA: A Boatload Of Great Books About The Ocean
SPORT: 13 Champion Books For Sport-Obsessed Kids
: 25 Children’s Books About The Weather

Other Reading Resources

BOOK CLUB: How To Start A Kids Book Club At Home
CAKE: How To Make A Book Cake For Kids Who Love Reading
DEN: The Perfect Reading Den For Kids
OXFORD READING: Oxford Reading Tree Explained For Parents
RACE: Lead By Example: Educational Resources And Books About Race For Parents
ROALD DAHL: 19 Roald Dahl Costume Ideas That Are So Esio To Make


Written By

Matt Brown

Although originally from the Midlands, and trained as a biochemist, Matt has somehow found himself writing about London for a living. He's a former editor and long-time contributor to and has written several books about the capital. He's also the father of two preschoolers.

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