Compiling a list of children's books for ages 4-8 can be a little bit of a daunting task. There are many beloved picture books and read-aloud stories that are suitable for this age group.
List of Children's Books for Ages 4-8
The following list of children's books for ages 4-8 is not comprehensive nor does it encompass every possible great reading title. It is a jumping off point at which you and your child can begin to explore children's literature. It's also important to note that you certainly don't need to stick to the ages provided. Each child is different and what's appropriate for one might not be for another.
Read to Me: Great Books for Four and Five Year Olds
At this age, kids are barely starting to learn to read. While very quick learners might be reading simple words, most children are content to sit back and listen to mom or follow along.
"Green Eggs and Ham", "The Cat in the Hat", or any other of the delightful books written by Theodore Geisel make for a wonderful reading time at this age. Because so many of the words rhyme, these books can actually help kids to learn how to put words together and start reading.
Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom
Chicka, Chicka Boom, Boom remains a delightful way to introduce little ones to the alphabet. Syncopated rhythm and a simple story line keep kids following the plight of letters crawling up a tree, for the entire book.
Treasury of Mother Goose Rhymes
Considered a core foundation of cultural knowledge, this age is the perfect age to introduce young ones to "Old Mother Hubbard", "Peter Piper", and other similar rhymes.
Eric Carle's Animals, Animals
Poems in a variety of styles paired with traditional Carle-style illustration make this book of poetry a special keepsake.
The Year At Maple Hill Farm
Follow Maple Hill Farm, and all its activities, throughout the year. This book by Alice and Martin Povenson is excellent paired with science lessons.
Two Anthologies Worth Buying
At this age, you could easily read several stories a day, or repeat the same one over and over again. Two anthologies contain the best of the best when it comes to children's literature for this age. First, there is the Harper Collins' Treasury of Picture Book Classics. As the name implies, it is a treasury of those books that are loved by many and have worked their way into a list of classics.
The second anthology worth buying is the 20th Century Children's Book Treasury. If you read nothing else besides the stories from these two books-your child would be well read.
Learning to Read: Books for Six and Seven Year Olds
In many respects, this is a difficult age for young readers. Some kids by this point are off reading their first chapter books. Other children are still struggling to sound out basic words. At this point, both ends of the spectrum are normal and it's important to provide books that both you can read aloud to your child and that your child can enjoy on his own.
"The Complete Adventures of Peter Rabbit"
While these stories by Beatrix Potter have certainly stood the test of time, they are great reading for this age in particular. They contain high-level vocabulary for reading aloud, but also have the lovable appeal of the very mischievous Peter Rabbit.
Arnold Lobel brought us the beloved characters of Frog and Toad. Considered easy readers, your children will love to follow the adventures of these silly characters. Titles include:
- "Frog and Toad Together"
- "Frog and Toad All Year"
- "Mouse Soup"
- "Owl at Home"
"The Story About Ping"
What happens when you don't listen to mommy when she calls? Follow Ping's adventure to find out in "The Story About Ping" by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese.
"My Father's Dragon"
A great story about a clever little boy and a trail of tall tales.
"Cappyboppy" by Bill Peet is based on a true story; a family discovers why capybaras do not make good pets.
"A Grain of Rice"
"A Grain of Rice" by Helena Clare Pittman involves a very clever and honorable young man who wins the heart of the princess and her father.
Reading Independently: Books for Eight Year Olds
Any of the books on this list make for both great reading aloud to your child, or your child should be able to read them independently.
E.B. White wrote many classics. What's particularly fun about this author is that many of his books are now major motion pictures. Whether you read them aloud or let your child read them make sure to check out:
- "Charlotte's Web"
- "Stuart Little"
- The Trumpet of the Swan
Beverly Cleary is a prolific writer and children all over the world love many of her books. At eight years of age try these titles:
- "Ramona Quimy, Age 8"
- "Henry and Ribsy"
- "The Mouse and the Motorcycle"
Many third graders enjoy Roald Dahl but some might find the vocabulary too challenging. With that said, if your child cannot read these on his own, read them aloud to him! They are well worth it!
- "James and the Giant Peach"
- "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"
"Mr. Popper's Penguins" by Richard Atwater
Who wouldn't love a story about a man who tries to keep penguins in his basement?
"Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle" by Betty MacDonald
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle's parenting methods may raise some eyebrows, but she always gets the job done.
While there are many other books and activities, these are considered some of the classics that your kids will love, almost guaranteed!