Ultimate Book List for Families

As you have probably learned while exploring my blog, we LOVE reading.  We love bookstores, especially the locally owned ones, and can’t get enough of the fantastic Chicagoland libraries.  Maybe it’s because of my influence as a Reading Specialist, but my boys will plant themselves in my lap and bring me book after book after book.  And typically, I really enjoy it.

Except for when they bring me books that are just plain “bleh.”  Yes, you heard me, there are lame books out there, and I really don’t like reading them.  But I do, because any type of reading is great for them, even if it is mind numbing for me.  So on this page you can find books that we consider winners as a family (and funnily enough, my hubby the financial man is the hardest to please with our book selections). And if you want to spread the joy of reaching, how about creating a Little Free Library to share your favorite titles? Read on to learn what made it onto our Ultimate Book List for Families:

Ultimate Book List for Families–For Any and EVERY Day

Picture Books to Inspire Creative Thinkers

Best Books for Preschoolers

Top Picks and Reading Tips for Toddlers

Diverse Picture Books

Stocking Baby’s Bookshelf

Best Bedtime Books

Graphic Novels for Early Readers

Why Elephant and Piggie Need to Be In Your Library

The Best Diverse Picture Books

Ultimate Book List for Families–Seasonal Books

Holiday Books for Interfaith Families

Our Favorite Christmas Books

Books for Your Valentine

31 Books for Halloween

100 Books to Read this Summer

Ultimate Book List for Families–For Moms

Books for Finding Mom Balance

36 of My Favorite Books 

Book Picks for Moms 


Looking for other screen free activities?  Check this out when you have conquered the Ultimate Book List.


  1. jandwblog says

    My boys (2 and 3) LOVE the Larry Gets Lost books! And my daughter (5 months!) has already declared undying love for the Ladybug Girl books. I didn’t even think it was possible for a 5 month old to have a favorite book.

  2. The Momma (aka Therese Moma) says

    My big girls (who are nearly 7 and 8) and our 2 year old love the Pete the Cat series. In particular, my baby girl LOVES Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons. It’s a really cute. Some of our other favourites include the Llama Llama series, the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie series, and the Mo Willems and Doreen Cronin books.

  3. Tara says

    I love to read too. And I love reading to kids when I get a chance. So great! Love your list. I agree there are great books but also not great books too. Great resource list. I’ll have to check these out.

  4. Anita Ojeda says

    My girls loved the Boxcar Children (I read the first one out loud and then they read the next twenty or thirty on their own). We also read the Narnia books out loud to our girls when they were 6 and 7. I memorized Go, Dog Go and Are You My Mother ;).

  5. Natalie Busch says

    We like Pete the Cat too. We also frequent good ol’ Dr. Seuss, any of the “If You Give A Cat A Cupcake” books, and Shel Silverstein. My oldest is also starting to get into the Magic Tree House Series.

  6. Beth says

    Great list, and excited to check out the ones we don’t know! We always love recommendations from avid readers, like when we heard of Cynthia Rylant’s “Poppleton” books from our librarian. Silly and relate-able, like the one about “Dry Skin” or “Grapefruit.” Cute 🙂

  7. frozencokefridays says

    I highly recommend The Neverending Story once your boys get older. It’s a lot like the first movie, but completely different at the same time. (It isn’t much like the second movie at all, unfortunately). My 8-year old and I are reading it together now, and she’s loving it!

  8. Michele says

    I totally love books–if you have been to my website you already know this. Of course I don’t have children so most of the books are geared towards adults (historical romance, thrillers etc) I do occasionally review a children’s book if asked. I totally believe in literacy and agree that children should be read to from a very young age. I know I was and look what happened to me–not such a bad thing!

    • amandasimkin says

      I always enjoy your book reviews because I get so busy that I hardly have any time to read to myself. But when I do…pure bliss. Thanks for being such a fun book resource for people like me!

  9. R U S S says

    Kids who love to read will go a long way, that’s just me. It’s such a delight to know that even in this day & age of everything digital, there are still parents ( and a lot of them ) who still encourage their children to read books. This is such an awesome list that you’ve put together.

  10. Jaime says

    I am a huge bookworm but my daughter has brain damage and she has a very difficult time reading basic words but she loves when I read to her. Right now, it’s Goosebumps books.

    • amandasimkin says

      As a Reading Specialist I know how difficult reading can be for some…there are some great programs like Kurzweil to help children connect the written and spoken word…and books on tape are always fantastic resources as well!

  11. Fi Ní Neachtáin says

    Oh I love reading too and my son has quite a library but none of these books. The Day the Crayons Quit is always on offer in our local bookstore, I’ll have to pick it up.

    • amandasimkin says

      Oh, there are so many great ones to choose from. But sadly I spend more time reading kids’ books than grown ups. Check out my Books for Moms post for some of my recommendations.

    • Amanda says

      My boys are on the younger side so I focus more on what they read…but I’m happy to generate a list for older readers. It was always my favorite task as a Reading Specialist! 😉

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