Seven Essential Children’s Books for Ages 4-8

Reading is one of life’s great joys. Build your at-home library with these seven essential children’s books for ages four to eight.

There’s no denying that between the pages of a book is a lovely place to be. Reading is one of life’s great joys. When a child begins learning how to read, books take on a whole new meaning. This is one habit you definitely want to encourage!  (and making a special reading nook will make it even more fun!)


Seven Essential Children's Books for Ages 4-8

Seven Essential Children’s Books for Ages 4-8

To help you build your library, here are seven essential children’s books for ages four to eight.


The Napping House

“There is a house, a napping house, where everyone is sleeping.” Perfectly paced prose accompanied with colorful illustrations, this charming story will  hold your attention until the very last page. Fun and mishaps are sure to be had when a snoring granny, dreaming child, dozing dog, snoozing cat, and slumbering mouse are involved.


Make Way for Ducklings

This 1941 classic set in the Boston Public Gardens follows Mr. and Mrs. Mallard on their quest to find a safe home for their eight ducklings. A Caldecott Medal winner, this book is a delightful masterpiece of children’s literature. If you’ve never flipped through its pages you and your kids are definitely missing out!


Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

The first in a series of books by author Mo Willems, Don’t Let the Pigeon Ride the Bus! will have you and your kids smiling and laughing from start to finish. This simple tale follows a determined pigeon eager to take over a bus driver’s duties. It’s up to the reader to make sure he doesn’t succeed!


McElligot’s Pool (Classic Seuss)

You can never go wrong with Dr. Seuss. Although McElligot’s Pool is not as well known as say The Cat in the Hat or Green Eggs & Ham, it doesn’t disappoint. A tale of patience and optimism, a little boy eagerly tries to catch a fish and other treasures from a small, forgotten puddle. “If I wait long enough, if I’m patient and cool, Who knows what I’ll catch in McElligot’s pool?” The illustrations are as unique as Seuss’ clever rhymes.


I Want My Hat Back

“Have you seen my hat?” This soon to be classic tells the story of a bear searching for his lost hat. Told in a repetitive style, your young readers will love reading this one aloud to you. The humorous illustrations and dialogue are sure to induce a fair amount of giggles.



Chrysanthemum loves her uniquely beautiful name, but when she goes to kindergarten that all changes. Kids in her class start teasing her for being named after a flower. Her self-assured demeanor is shattered until a special teacher steps in to save the day. This is a perfect book to help teach your school-aged children the importance of self-confidence and treating others kindly.


If You Want to See a Whale

“If you want to see a whale, you will need to know what not to look at.” begins this beautiful picture book. Follow along as you learn what it takes to catch a glimpse of one of earth’s most majestic and elusive creatures. Named one of the top children’s books of 2013 by, this quiet tale makes for a wonderful bedtime story.


About the Author: Clarissa Fidler is a 20-something trying to find her place in this world. She grew up in Seattle, attended college in Utah, and now calls Chicago home. In her free time you’ll find her reading the New York Times, cuddling with her cat Harper, catching up on her favorite blogs, running along Lake Michigan, or checking out a new restaurant.  If you’d like to read more by Clarissa, check out her blog West Hawthorne Place.

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Clarissa is a wife and stepmom embracing life in the Land of Enchantment. She works as a nonprofit communication specialist by day and blogger by night. Some of her favorite things are Dr. Pepper, green chile, baseball, country music, and her yellow lab.

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