best books for 5 year olds

15 Best Books for 5 Year Olds to Read Now

As a parent or caregiver, one of the most valuable gifts you can give your 5 year old is the love of reading. Books not only entertain and educate but also play a crucial role in a child’s cognitive, emotional, and social development. At this age, children are becoming more independent readers, and their interests are expanding. Choosing the right books can help foster a lifelong passion for learning and creativity.

In this article, we’ll explore 15 of the best books for 5 year olds, carefully selected to engage, inspire, and educate young minds. From classic tales to modern favorites, these books cover a wide range of themes, genres, and styles, ensuring there’s something for every child’s unique interests and preferences.

1. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

In this imaginative story, Duncan’s crayons have had enough! Each color writes a letter expressing their grievances, from being overworked to feeling underappreciated. “The Day the Crayons Quit” teaches children about empathy, creativity, and problem-solving.

2. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

A clever mouse outsmarts a variety of creatures, including a fox, an owl, and a snake, by inventing a fearsome beast called the Gruffalo. When the mouse encounters the real Gruffalo, he must use his wits to survive. This rhyming story celebrates bravery, quick thinking, and the power of imagination.

3. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

Rosie, a brilliant young inventor, dreams of creating great things. After a failed invention, she learns that failure is a necessary part of the creative process and that persistence is key to success. “Rosie Revere, Engineer” encourages children to embrace their curiosity and pursue their passions.

4. The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin

This beautifully illustrated book celebrates the potential within every child, reassuring them that they are loved and cherished for who they are and who they will become. “The Wonderful Things You Will Be” is a heartwarming reminder of the boundless possibilities that lie ahead for young dreamers.

5. The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds

Vashti believes she can’t draw, but her teacher encourages her to make a simple dot and sign her name. This small act of creativity sparks a journey of self-discovery and artistic expression. “The Dot” by Peter H. Reynolds teaches children that everyone has the potential to be an artist and that there’s no wrong way to create.

6. Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Dragons love tacos, but when they accidentally eat spicy salsa, chaos ensues! This hilarious story is perfect for young readers who enjoy a good laugh and a bit of silly adventure. “Dragons Love Tacos” is a fun way to introduce children to the joys of storytelling and the importance of following instructions.

7. The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

Ferdinand is a gentle bull who prefers smelling flowers to fighting in the bullring. When he is mistaken for a fierce beast and taken to the arena, Ferdinand stays true to himself and demonstrates the power of pacifism. This classic tale teaches children about individuality, nonviolence, and the importance of being true to oneself.

8. Ivy + Bean by Annie Barrows

Ivy and Bean are two very different girls who become unlikely friends. This charming series follows their adventures as they navigate the joys and challenges of childhood. “Ivy + Bean” celebrates the power of friendship, imagination, and the magic of everyday moments.

9. The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

A little girl sets out to make the most magnificent thing but faces frustration and failure along the way. With the help of her faithful dog, she learns the importance of perseverance, problem-solving, and the value of learning from mistakes. “The Most Magnificent Thing” encourages children to embrace the creative process and never give up on their dreams.

10. The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak

This unique book proves that words alone can be entertaining and hilarious. The reader is forced to say silly phrases and make funny noises, much to the delight of young listeners. “The Book with No Pictures” demonstrates the power of language and encourages children to use their imagination.

11. The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein

Beatrice is a girl who never makes mistakes until one day, she does. This story teaches children that it’s okay to make mistakes and that perfection isn’t always possible or necessary. “The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes” encourages children to embrace their imperfections and learn from their experiences.

12. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

Chester Raccoon is anxious about starting school, but his mother teaches him a special secret to comfort him while they’re apart. She kisses his palm, and whenever he feels lonely, he can press his hand to his cheek and feel his mother’s love. “The Kissing Hand” is a heartwarming story about the enduring bond between parent and child.

13. The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig

Brian feels invisible at school until a new student, Justin, arrives and includes him in class activities. This story explores the themes of empathy, inclusion, and the importance of reaching out to others. “The Invisible Boy” teaches children that small acts of kindness can make a big difference in someone’s life.

14. The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family by Ibtihaj Muhammad

Faizah admires her older sister Asiya’s beautiful blue hijab on the first day of school. Despite facing some challenges, Asiya remains proud of her identity and faith. “The Proudest Blue” celebrates diversity, family bonds, and the courage to stay true to oneself in the face of adversity.

15. The Bad Seed by Jory John

A bad seed learns that he doesn’t have to be bad all the time and that it’s never too late to change. This humorous story teaches children about self-improvement, empathy, and the power of second chances. “The Bad Seed” encourages children to look beyond first impressions and to believe in the potential for growth and redemption.


The books featured in this article offer a diverse range of stories, characters, and themes that will captivate and inspire 5 year olds. By providing children with a variety of engaging reading material, you can help them develop a lifelong love for books and learning. Remember, every child is unique, so encourage them to explore different genres and find the stories that resonate with their interests and experiences.

Reading together is a wonderful way to bond with your child, foster their imagination, and create lasting memories. As your child grows and their reading skills develop, continue to support their literary journey by providing access to new books, discussing stories, and modeling a love for reading in your own life.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I encourage my 5 year old to read more?

Make reading a fun and enjoyable experience by choosing books that align with your child’s interests, setting aside dedicated reading time, and leading by example. You can also create a cozy reading nook, participate in library events, and reward your child’s reading accomplishments with praise and small incentives.

Should I be reading to my child, or should they be reading independently?

At age 5, children are typically beginning to read independently, but they still benefit greatly from being read to. A combination of both shared reading and independent reading is ideal. When reading together, encourage your child to participate by asking questions, making predictions, and discussing the story.

How do I know if a book is age-appropriate for my 5 year old?

Look for books that feature age-appropriate themes, vocabulary, and sentence structure. Many children’s books include age recommendations on the cover or in the product description. Consider your child’s individual reading level and maturity when selecting books, and don’t hesitate to preview the content before sharing it with your child.

What if my child doesn’t seem interested in reading?

Every child is different, and some may take longer to develop an interest in reading. Continue to expose your child to a variety of books and reading experiences, and be patient. You can also try incorporating reading into playtime, such as acting out stories or playing word games. Remember, the goal is to make reading enjoyable and not to force it upon your child.

How can I use books to support my child’s overall development?

Books are powerful tools for supporting a child’s cognitive, emotional, and social development. Look for stories that teach valuable life lessons, such as kindness, perseverance, and empathy. Encourage your child to relate the stories to their own experiences and emotions. Additionally, reading can help expand your child’s vocabulary, improve their listening skills, and enhance their imagination and creativity.

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