List of Top 15 Rated Books for 5 Year Old Kids

#1 We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

This modern classic written by Michael Rosen and wonderfully illustrated by Helen Oxenbury takes us along with a young family of four children with their father as they go on a bear hunt.

Travelling through the tall grass, wading into the river and fighting through a terrible snowstorm (all in the imagination of the children) until they come across a narrow, dark cave. Is there a bear inside? You’ll have to read the book to find out. Your children will simply love this highly enjoyable tale that is easily one of the best books for 5 year olds.


#2 The Napping House

In this house full of sleeping critters, a snoring Grandma, a dreaming child and a flea that is wide awake decides to cause some trouble. This delightful tale written by Audrey Wood and illustrated by Don Wood combines a rhythmic writing style with wonderful illustrations that makes it one of the most unforgettable books for 5 year olds.

While enjoyable as a picture book, the rhythmic text is a perfect way to involve young children into this classic. The inviting atmosphere of a household ready to go to sleep also makes this work a perfect bedtime story.


#3 Sheep in a Jeep

The adventures of a flock of rambunctious sheep, as beautifully written by Nancy E. Shaw, takes a new turn as they discover the joys and pitfalls of driving a jeep. This single adventure is part of a series of books for 5 year olds which depict a wide range of travels for these particular sheep.

The illustrations by Margot Apple perfectly capture the speed, excitement and dangers of five sheep that are not particularly the brightest in the flock.  Whimsical and funny, Sheep in a Jeep gathers momentum from the first page and is sure to be a favorite at reading time.


#4 Freight Train

This simple, yet elegant book about the inner workings of a large freight train was written and illustrated by Donald Crews. Inside this 24 page book are descriptions of how a freight train works from front to back. While there is no story per say, this is still one of the best books for five year olds who have an interest in mechanical objects, particularly trains.

The illustrations are well crafted and the descriptions written in a manner that five year olds will easily understand. This highly popular book that was originally written in 1979 was updated extensively in 2001.


#5 Big Red Barn

Written by the legendary Margaret Wise Brown who penned a number of classic children’s books, this tale takes us to a farm where we see things from the animal’s point of view, even at night when the children are away.

This exceptional tale tells the story of how the corn grows to protect the field mice, the scarecrow is friendly and cheerful and even at night when the animals curl up to sleep the bats come out because it is their time to play. One of the most popular kids books for decades, the Big Red Barn is still a timeless classic.


#6 From Head to Toe

One of the classic books for children, this work by Eric Carle is beautifully illustrated and shows the movements of animals on large, double page spreads.

We see a monkey wave around his arms, a giraffe bend its neck and a host of creatures also moving their body parts around.

Each illustration is capped by a text asking the children, “Can you do it?” with the children responding, “I can do it!”

The cut-paper collages which are also done by Eric Carle are quite imaginative and striking. This classic is one of the best kid books, especially when reading it to a group.


#7 Silly Sally

Another classic by Audrey Wood, Silly Sally is easily one of the best kids books available today. The central character of Silly Sally comes to town while walking backwards, dancing with a pig and doing many other silly things. The wonderful tale subtly teaches how people who are different can be accepted in our world as the townspeople who meet Silly Sally start mimicking her walking, dancing and the like.

The illustrations are simply perfect, especially the appearance of Silly Sally and her wild hair and almost corkscrew smile. This book is a definitely one of the great books for 5 year olds, especially those who are a bit different to show how everyone can be accepted.


#8 I Want My Hat Back

by John Klassen is a great way to teach a child manners. A bear who has lost his hat goes around politely asking other animals if they know where it is. When it comes to books for kids, you can’t beat one that teaches the child to ask for things politely.

It’s also a delightful little mystery to find out what happened to the hat, and features some good humor. In the end, it teaches kids not to lie too, since the culprit gets its just desserts.


#9 Blueberries for Sal

by Robert McCloskey is a classic as children story books go. I recommend a mother reading this to her daughter, since the book features a touching and realistic mother/daughter relationship that includes some mischief along with cooperation, but any parent and child will enjoy the book and its illustrations. The values it instill involve family interaction, and also the need to make preparations for future events.



#10 Those Darn Squirrels and the Cat Next Door

by Adam Rubin is one of the best children books around. You’ll love reading it over and over, and the illustrations will captivate your child. The creative story involves some squirrels that try to put and end to the trouble being cause by the new neighbor’s cat. The cat, Muffin, is tormenting the birds, and the squirrels have had enough!



#11 The Snowy Day

by Ezra Jack Keats is a simple book about a kid enjoying the snow. It’s one of those books for five year olds that is timeless, and perhaps that’s why it has been read to children for over 50 years. In fact, a 50th anniversary edition is available. It also holds some moral significance because the child in the story is African American. Thus, it is a good book for teaching children that race should not separate us.



#12 Time of Wonder

is another classic Robert McCloskey’s book for kids. It is well illustrated, and tells a captivating story of a family vacationing on an island off the coast of Maine.

It’s a great book for introducing kids to natural events, as a hurricane is featured in the story. It teaches kids to think about things in nature that often go unnoticed like where do hummingbirds hide during a hurricane.


#13 Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

by James Dean is another one of those books for 5 year olds that teaches a lesson that is important to learn early on. How does Pete deal with it when one of the buttons breaks off of his favorite shirt?

This book will teach your child to deal with the fact that material things don’t last forever. Pete decides that three buttons are groovy too, and losing a button isn’t going to get him down.


#14 Rocket Writes a Story

by Tad Hills is one of the best kids’ books, especially if you want to inspire your child to become a writer. It’s never too soon to see if the writing bug catches your child’s interest.

It also has an educational story that teaches the value of friendship and how friends can help you find inspiration, as Rocket meets an owl who helps him greatly.



#15 Happy Birthday to You

was written by the famous Dr. Seuss, and is just one of his many books that children love. His word play (and often made up words) will have your child repeating the lines.

The illustrations are fantastic. This will be called for by your child over and over again, especially on their birthday. After all, the book teaches you that every one should get everything that they want at least one day per year.