Tot Gift Guide: Must-Read Kids Books by Age Group

You can’t go wrong with a good book! Whether you’re thinking about stocking stuffers for Christmas or need a gift for a birthday party, we’ve got over twenty must-read books for you to choose from.

When it comes to gift giving, books continue to stand the test of time. Not only is reading crucial for kids’ cognitive development, it’s also great for expanding their vocabularies, building confidence and fuelling their imaginations. Unlike many gifts, books can be passed onto siblings or cherished on the shelf for the next generation of curious little minds. To help you find the perfect books, we’ve listed our absolute favorite children’s classics by age group below.

0-3 Years

Time For Bed


With rhythmic verse and gentle illustrations, Time for Bed is ideal for helping little ones drift off to sleep.

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes


All over the world, babies are different. Yet in some ways they are very much the same: each one has ten little fingers and ten little toes – to play with, to tickle, to wave.

The Day the Crayons Quit


Poor Duncan just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: His crayons have had enough! They quit! What can Duncan possibly do to appease all of the crayons and get them back to doing what they do best? Kids will have a great time imagining their own humorous conversations with crayons.

First 100 Animals


With over 100 animal photographs and names to look at and talk about, little tots will have hours of fun with this sturdy and educational board book.

First 100 Words


Featuring 100 color photographs and words to look at and talk about, little tots will expand their vocabulary while having loads of fun with this classic board book.

Freight Train


With powerful words and images, Freight Train will make your little one feel like a freight train is rolling right past them!

On The Night You Were Born


On the night you were born you brought wonder and magic to the world. Here is a book that celebrates you. It is meant to be carried wherever life takes you, over all the roads, through all the years.

Baby’s Box of Fun Board Box Set


Filled with the most popular Karen Katz illustrated lift-the-flap board books, this set includes “Where Is Baby’s Belly Button?, Where Is Baby’s Mommy?,” and “Toes, Ears, and Nose.”

Brown Bear, Brown Bear


Great for learning simple words and colors, Brown Bear, Brown Bear features a big happy frog, a plump purple cat, a handsome blue horse, and a soft yellow duck–all parading across the pages of this delightful book.

Goodnight Moon


Beloved by generations of readers and listeners, the quiet poetry of the words and the gentle, lulling illustrations combine to make a perfect book for the end of the day.

Where the Wild Things Are 


In the forty years since being published, Maurice Sendak’s classic picture book has become one of the most highly acclaimed and best-loved children’s books of all time. Introduce your tot to Max’s wild adventures and “let the wild rumpus begin!”

3-5 Years

Curious George’s Box of Books


This inquisitive little monkey has become one of the most recognizable characters from children’s literature and will help your child expand their vocabulary, learn numeracy and help them to express their emotions.



Set in Paris, this tale of a brave little girl’s trip to the hospital is as appealing today as it was in 1940. The combination of spirited heroine, timelessly appealing art, cheerful humor, and rhythmic text makes Madeline a favorite.

Where is Pidge?


Where Is Pidge by Michelle Staubach Grimes tells the story of Pidge – the middle child in a big family – who is curious, helpful and fun, but sometimes gets lost in the shuffle.



Olivia is a masterpiece of simplicity that portrays the complex, imaginative psyche of children. Olivia’s boundless energy tests her mother’s patience and her little brother’s endurance, while wrapping herself into the reader’s heart.

The Big Book of Berenstain Bears


Collected in this treasury are: The Berenstain Bears Go to the Doctor, The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room, The Berenstain Bears in the Dark, The Berenstain Bears and the Sitter, and The Berenstain Bears’ New Baby.

Little Critter Storybook Collection


Join Little Critter as he enters the school science fair, builds his own growing machine, trains for a big race, enjoys a snowy day, becomes the captain of a tugboat, drives a dump truck, and spends a weekend with Grandma and Grandpa.

Dr. Seuss’s ABC Book


With Dr. Seuss as your guide, learning the alphabet is as fun and as funny as the feather on a Fiffer-feffer-feff!

5-8 years

The Giving Tree


Since The Giving Tree was first published fifty years ago, Shel Silverstein’s poignant picture book for readers of all ages has offered a touching interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another’s capacity to love in return.

The Story of Ferdinand


Translated into more than sixty languages, this classic tale of a peaceable bull has been a favorite of readers across the world for generations.

The Lion and The Mouse


In award-winning artist Jerry Pinkney’s wordless adaptation of one of Aesop’s most beloved fables, an unlikely pair learn that no act of kindness is ever wasted.

Harold and The Purple Crayon



Harold and his trusty crayon travel through woods and across seas and past dragons before returning to bed, safe and sound. Full of funny twists and surprises, this charming story shows just how far your imagination can take you.

Happy Birthday To You!


Since 1959, Happy Birthday to You!—Dr. Seuss’s joyous ode to individuality—has allowed readers to experience firsthand the thrill of celebrating a birthday as it is done in Katroo.

My Books About Me


With a mix of serious and silly “Yes” and “No” questions; fill-in-the-blanks; images to complete, and simple writing activities, My Book About Me, is an ideal gift for elementary school children and one that will become a cherished keepsake for parents.

National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Space


Featuring fun, short entries about planets, stars, galaxies, and more, this charming book is perfect for reading aloud or for beginning readers to enjoy by themselves.