In today’s post, I curated for you a collection of some amazing books for 5 year old. These are reads which will definitely take your littles ones into new worlds, spark in them a wide variety of emotions and feelings, and best of help them develop both their social emotional skills as well as literacy skills.
As you all know, at this age, books are not merely stories; they become experiences, conversations, and the foundations of lifelong memories. Whether you’re a parent, educator, or a friend to a little bibliophile, the books you choose should cater to the burgeoning imagination and growing curiosity typical of this age. The tales that resonate most will be those that blend the magical with the mundane, the factual with the fantastical, and the humorous with the heartfelt, creating a well-rounded library that speaks to every aspect of their developing world.
Related: Best books for 8 Year Old Boys
Books for 5 Year Old
Here are our top picks for books for 5 year old:
1. The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn
In the soothing tale of “The Kissing Hand,” Audrey Penn addresses the anxiety that comes with change and separation. Chester Raccoon, hesitant to leave his mother’s side and start school, finds comfort in a sweet family tradition—the Kissing Hand. This cherished ritual allows Chester to carry his mother’s love with him, offering a gentle reminder of home’s warmth and security, no matter where he is or how frightened he might feel. A staple for children facing their own new beginnings, Penn’s narrative serves as a tender balm for the challenges of stepping out into the unknown.
2. What Should Danny Do? School Day, by Adir Levy, Ganit Levy
” What Should Danny Do? School Day” presents a unique adventure by Adir and Ganit Levy where the reader holds the reins. The book, following the success of its predecessor, turns its young audience into decision-makers, guiding the day of Danny, a superhero-in-training, through an interactive “Choose Your Own Story” format. As children navigate through eight different storylines, they learn valuable lessons about consequences and the power of choice, all while aiming to uncover every possible ending to Danny’s day at school.
3. Waiting Is Not Easy!, by Mo Willems
Mo Willems captures the essence of patience and anticipation in “Waiting Is Not Easy!”, featuring the beloved characters Gerald and Piggie. As Gerald faces the challenge of waiting for a surprise from Piggie, young readers are taught the virtue of patience in a friendship where differences are celebrated and emotional support is unconditional. The simplicity of Willems’ text, combined with a humorous take on a situation all too familiar to children and adults alike, makes for a story that resonates with anyone who has ever found waiting to be an insurmountable task.
4. You Are My I Love You, by Maryann Cusimano Love
Maryann Cusimano Love’s “You Are My I Love You” tenderly depicts the mirrored relationship between parent and child through the joys and trials of daily life. With rhyming verse that dances alongside Satomi Ichikawa’s playful illustrations, this story unfolds the myriad ways in which the parent and child roles are intertwined in actions, emotions, and the unspoken depths of love. A perfect read for quiet evenings, this book reassures children of the unwavering bond and affection that is shared with them each day.
5. Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes: A Back to School Book for Kids, by Eric Litwin
Eric Litwin’s “Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes” swings into the hearts of young readers with its groovy protagonist, Pete, who finds rhythm and confidence in every step he takes at school. From the library to the playground, Pete’s upbeat exploration of school life celebrates the new experiences and discoveries that come with learning. Infused with a catchy song to download and sing along, Pete the Cat’s adventure is a reminder that school can be a fun, musical journey, reassuring kids that they too can find their own beat in their school shoes.
6. If I Built a Car, by Chris Van Dusen
In “If I Built a Car,” Chris Van Dusen invites readers into the vivid imagination of young Jack, an inventive spirit who dreams up a car far beyond the ordinary. His envisioned car boasts a plethora of fantastical features, including a pool, a snack bar, and even a robot named Robert to chauffeur. Van Dusen’s rhythmic storytelling whisks us away on a whimsical journey, diving undersea and soaring sky-high, all wrapped in the nostalgia of America’s classic automotive heyday.
7. Duck! Rabbit!, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Tom Lichtenheld
Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s “Duck! Rabbit!” is a playful exploration of perspective based on the classic visual puzzle. This story prompts young readers to consider different viewpoints and the nature of debate. Rosenthal weaves humor and a subtle message about the importance of open-mindedness and the folly of clinging too tightly to one’s arguments, making it a beloved and thought-provoking read.
8. Rosie Revere, Engineer, by Andrea Beaty
“Rosie Revere, Engineer” by Andrea Beaty tells the inspiring story of a young girl who dreams of becoming a great engineer. Rosie learns to embrace her failures as stepping stones to success and to overcome the fear of judgment. This book celebrates creativity, resilience, and the pursuit of one’s dreams, all wrapped in Beaty’s delightful prose, inspiring children to view their flops as positive milestones rather than setbacks.
9. May I Please Have a Cookie?, by Jennifer E. Morris
Jennifer E. Morris’s “May I Please Have a Cookie?” captures the simple yet crucial lesson of using polite words through the story of Alfie, who desperately wants one more of his mommy’s cookies. Employing various comical strategies to get one, he ultimately learns the importance of manners. This charming book serves as an excellent tool for teaching children about the magic of saying “please” and “thank you.”
10. The Most Magnificent Thing, by Ashley Spires
Ashley Spires’s “The Most Magnificent Thing” is an endearing tale about a girl who sets out to create something wonderful. Facing challenges and overcoming frustration, she discovers that perseverance and a fresh perspective are key to achieving her goal. This story not only entertains but also teaches valuable lessons about the creative process, problem-solving, and the importance of staying resilient in the face of failure.
11. Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings, by Shel Silverstein
Shel Silverstein’s “Where the Sidewalk Ends” is a portal into a whimsically subversive world where nothing is as it seems. In this iconic collection of poetry and illustrations, readers encounter a cast of characters as bizarre as they are endearing. From a boy who transforms into a TV to a girl who consumes a whale, Silverstein’s universe is one of delightful anarchy. The poems dance on the fine line between the fantastical and the ordinary, offering a glimpse into a realm where shadows are washed and diamond gardens are planted. It’s a place that belongs not just on a child’s bookshelf, but within the heart of anyone who cherishes the untamed landscape of the imagination.
In “There’s No Place Like Space” by Tish Rabe, readers join the Cat in the Hat on an educational adventure through the cosmos. This journey through the solar system is peppered with Dr. Seuss’s familiar rhyming style, making the vast expanse of space feel close and inviting. Children and adults alike will find themselves learning about planets, stars, and astronauts, fostering a sense of wonder about our place in the universe. It’s a fantastic introduction to the wonders of astronomy, encouraging young minds to dream big and look up at the night sky with newfound appreciation and curiosity.
13. The Baby Tree, by Sophie Blackall
Sophie Blackall’s “The Baby Tree” is a gentle and charming tale addressing the age-old question posed by children: Where do babies come from? A curious boy, upon learning a new sibling is on the way, seeks answers from various sources, each offering their unique—often humorous—explanations. The narrative, enriched with Blackall’s tender and playful illustrations, leads to a tender moment where the boy’s parents provide a factual yet age-appropriate explanation. It’s a warm, sensitive book that navigates the intricacies of reproduction with innocence and grace.
14. Knock, Knock! Who’s There?: My First Book of Knock Knock Jokes, by Tad Hills
“Knock, Knock! Who’s There?” by Tad Hills introduces the youngest readers to the infectious fun of knock-knock jokes. This collection of gags is perfectly pitched to preschool humor, with wacky illustrations and flaps that lift to deliver the punchline. It’s an interactive reading experience that invites laughter and participation, making it an excellent tool for early reading and social interaction. For the little ones just beginning to grasp the joy of wordplay, it’s a doorway to a world of giggles and shared jokes.
15. An Atlas of Imaginary Places, by Mia Cassany
“An Atlas of Imaginary Places” by Mia Cassany is an alluring expedition to the farthest reaches of the imagination. This book sprawls across a landscape where the whimsical and the impossible coexist. From mountains hanging upside-down to bubblegum-spewing volcanoes, each page is a destination unto itself, brimming with intricate details that invite close examination. It’s a book that’s less about the geography of fictional realms and more about the boundlessness of creativity. Young readers are not just observers but co-adventurers, encouraged to dream up their own extraordinary worlds beyond the pages.
Delving into the pages of these vibrant books offers a window into the joyous and boundless realm of imagination that is perfect for the curious minds of young readers. Whether it’s the quirky, lyrical verses in “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” the cosmic explorations in “There’s No Place Like Space,” the sweet clarity of “The Baby Tree,” the belly laughs waiting behind the flaps of “Knock, Knock! Who’s There?,” or the lush, dreamlike realms within “An Atlas of Imaginary Places,” each book is a treasure trove of wonder, learning, and fun. These selections are more than just books for 5-year-olds; they are invitations to adventure and discovery that children and adults will relish experiencing together, time and time again.