Feel like you’re striking out when trying to find books to read with your children? Check out this list of children’s book series, many of which have been wildly popular and stood the test of time. Your kids are sure to swoon over these stories.
With every passing month, publishers release more amazing children’s books. We have new diverse books and stories with cultural context. There are more books with positive messages about friendship, gratitude, kindness, and courage. We have a growing number of picture books with illustrations gorgeous enough to hang on the wall.
I LOVE these books. Unfortunately, my kids don’t gravitate toward them like I do. Sometimes, they even complain when I choose them.
They want to read stories about superheroes and Pokemon. They adore the Berenstein Bears books, a favorite collection from my childhood as well. These aren’t bad books at all, but there are so many better options, at least according to my criteria.
Sometimes, they really want to read books I find boring, repetitive, and just plain terrible. Considering we are at vastly different developmental levels (to say the least), I suppose this makes sense.
When my boys and I can’t agree on which books to read, we compromise with a one to one ratio of books they choose and books I choose. We read one from their pile and then one from mine.
I know reading boring books sounds a little painful. Wouldn’t it be so much more meaningful to read books with good messages that teach our kids beautiful life lessons?
Don’t forget, however, that helping our children love books, no matter the content, is paramount when it comes to reading with our children. In due time, they will come to appreciate “high brow” content.
For now, we can mix in books we love with books they love. We definitely don’t want to bore our children with books and suck the fun right out of reading. (Assigned reading in school will do plenty of that, but that’s a discussion for another day.)
If you’re looking for a few good series of picture books your kids are sure to love and you can live with, check these out. My kids adore these and ask for them all the time.
In pursuit of fostering in our children a love of books, these series that our kids love are just one of many tools we can use to help our kids fall in love with reading for the sake of pleasure.
Related Reading: How To Choose Books To Read With Your Children
I’ve linked to one book in each of these series, but if you search your library catalogs, Amazon and Google, you’ll find lots more. Many of them have been around for years, so you should be able to find used copies from places like Better World Books or even your local thrift shop.
Kid-Approved Picture Book Series To Help Foster A Love Of Reading
The Berenstain Bears | You probably know this classic set of stories about the Bear family. There must be hundreds of books in the series, and they continue to add new ones. Some of the older stories feel a little outdated, but each strives to teach our children a small life lesson.
Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish | She’s goofy and the books are filled with plays on words about her silly mix-ups and confusions in everyday life. They also come in a variety of reading levels, so little ones can start reading them out loud not long after they’ve learned how to read.
The Jellybeans by Laura Numeroff | Four young friends that are all different and have varied interests but go well together (like jellybeans) each have a story focusing on their special interest. In each of the respective stories, the main character becomes nervous about displaying her strengths and the other three friends support her on to victory. (I didn’t know until recently she’s the same author who wrote If You Give a Mouse A Cookie.)
5 Minutes (Fill in the blank) Bedtime Stories | These thick books have about 8 – 10 stories that each take 5 minutes or so to read. They all focus on a particular character or type of character. We have 5-Minute Batman Stories and 5-Minute Spiderman Stories, and I’ve seen them for Winnie-the-Pooh, Princesses, Marvel and DC Comics characters and more.
Little Elliot by Mike Curato | Little Elliot is an elephant with a mouse friend who experiences adventures through the city, out in the fall, at the circus and more. My boys really like these simple books, and I think parents will like them too. Although they come in a series and appeal to kids, they have lovely illustrations and feel more modern than many of the series in this list.
Elephant and Piggie by Mo Willems | Each of these stories are simple and also pretty funny. Most are conversations between two unlikely friends, Elephant and Piggie.
Pete The Cat by James Dean | You’re probably familiar with this incredibly popular series. My boys love reading about Pete’s adventures in the sing-song cadence of each story. They might feel boring or repetitive to us, but kids like the repetition.
Arthur series by Marc Brown | Arthur is such a nice character, and I love that each of these books has a little lesson for the reader. They remind me a lot of Berenstein Bears books and are perfect for a little collection as part of your home library.
Goodnight [Sports] by Michael Dahl | Written in the format of Goodnight Moon, each of these stories about different sports follows a child watching a game in his or her local area for their favorite sports team. There are about a half dozen of them I think, so check them all out.
If You Give a Mouse A Cookie by Laura Numeroff | The mouse story is a classic. You probably received it as a baby shower gift. There are many other iterations of the story about a moose, a cat, a pig, and more.
Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty | I really like these books a lot. This is an entire series about children who follow their passions in STEM (science, technology, math, and science) areas. They’re all really cute.
I’ve included them because they are a great compromise book you can read over and over again that will also please your little ones (and you’ll enjoy as well). I think the author did a wonderful job with this series finding a sweet spot that holds children’s interest while also checking all the boxes for adults who want good illustrations, positive messages, diverse characters, and more.
Personalized Books | My boys love reading books where they are a character in the story. Sometimes the stories themselves are hit or miss. We have a few of these, however, and my boys pluck them off the shelves regularly. Lots of companies make them, and they also make great gifts for birthdays and holidays.
Even though adults might not love each of these series, many of these books are wildly popular for good reason. Kids love them! For clarity, I don’t think these are bad books. I really like the Little Elliot and Iggy Peck books. Others on the list are fun reads, just not the books I find the most interesting. Alas, helping my kids learn to love reading isn’t just about me (shocking, I know…).
While I suspect this list includes many books you already knew, sometimes I forget about the “good ol’ books” in my search for new and interesting titles. Hopefully, it dusts off the cobwebs about a whole bunch of books you can read with your kids in between the award-winning and illustrious picture books that we would prefer to read as adults.