According to a study published in Pediatrics, children who have been read to during the earliest stages of their lives by their parents showed significantly greater activation of the brain. In addition to this remarkable physical effect, books teach children about relationships, personalities, and what is good and what is bad in the world they live in. The best books for 6 year olds can help.
While fantasy books encourage imagination and free play, fairy tales fascinate kids and help them distinguish between what is real and what is not. With that said, we’ve compiled the best books for 6 year olds to attract them to the world of books and to help them develop the habit of reading in the long run.
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From highly praised books by Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal, XpressReviews to New York Times Best Sellers, our list covers the 50 best books for 6 year olds to make them love reading even more. We’ve made sure that the topics vary, touching different aspects of a child’s life, such as expression of nature and animal love, friendship, mystery, family values, and, of course, humor and fun! You can be sure that all these books will be beneficial to your child’s cognitive development and emotional intelligence.
1. If Animals Kissed Good Night
The charming illustrations in this book by Ann Whitford Paul paint a perfect picture of how certain animals kiss their offspring goodnight. This book instills into the little one the names of various animals, their baby’s names, the sound they make, and their body parts.
2. I’ve Loved You Since Forever
This book by Hoda Kotb is an excellent depiction of a parent’s devotion to their child. It illustrates that the parent and child share a special bond that extends to before childbirth. The book incorporates simple text and heartwarming pictures of animals and babies.
3. The Wonderful Things You Will Be
Emily Winfield Martin’s rhythmic writing exhibits all the beautiful things that parents think about their children. This book embodies artistic and humorous illustrations that captivate both children and adults alike.
4. God Gave Us You
Lisa Tawn Bergren depicts a tale of a charming young polar bear cub who asks her mother a question of great importance—where did she come from? The mama bear’s response reassures all the little ones and communicates the exact message that they want to hear.
5. 365 Bedtime Stories and Rhymes
This story-time treasure from Cottage Door Press incorporates over 50 well-loved stories and rhymes, much to the delight of the little ones. It allows a different story to fill the wild imagination of the children every night before bedtime, making this one of the best books for 6 year olds.
6. Grumpy Monkey
Jim, the chimpanzee’s friend, cannot comprehend why he is in a bad mood when it’s so beautiful outside. The moral of this book by Suzanne Lang is that sometimes it’s okay to feel down, as long as you aren’t hurting someone in the process.
7. Where the Wild Things Are
Maurice Sendak’s award-winning picture book delineates the story of Max, a naughty boy who is sent to bed without his supper by his mother. Max then imagines running away to a land of Wild Things where everything is the total opposite of what he expected.
This goofy picture novel by John Patrick Green revolves around the lives of two alligators who happen to be InvestiGators. These InvestiGators have a case on their hands, which they solve with the help of their Very Exciting Spy Technology.
9. Ronan the Librarian
The sister duo Tara Lubbe and Becky Cattie came up with the hilarious tales of Ronan the barbarian who somehow became a librarian when he found a book somewhere.
10. Ways to Make Sunshine
Ryan Hart, a pure spirited girl, has a lot on her mind. The money around the house is tight; therefore, complications arise daily. This book by Renee Watson beautifully depicts the story of this young Black girl who knows how to make sunshine out of setbacks, landing easily on our list of best books for 6 year olds.
11. Our Friend Hedgehog
This book by Lauren Castillo depicts the life of a hedgehog who lives on a small island with only her stuffed dog, Mutty. Her life is completely changed when a great storm blows Mutty away. If she wants Mutty back, her only option is to embark on a dangerous quest.
12. We’re Different, We’re the Same
This book by Bobbi Kates features Elmo and his Sesame Street friends and teaches young children and adults alike a vital lesson: although we might look different on the outside, deep down we are very similar.
13. I Am Enough
This book by Grace Byers is a lyrical ode that teaches children the significance of self-love, respecting others, and treating others with respect. Furthermore, it conveys the message that our existence has a purpose.
14. Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
Dr. Seuss’ well-known book’s hilarious verses and illustrations depict the ups and downs that occur in life. It encourages the readers to find the success that lies within and never to give up. A list of best books for 6 year olds simply wouldn’t be complete without Dr. Seuss!
15. The Day You Begin
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson reminds us that feeling different is entirely acceptable. Sometimes, we all feel like outsiders, yet we are brave enough to deal with the situation. If we reach out to others, we’ll find that they will gladly meet us halfway.
16. The World Needs More Purple People
Renowned actress Kristen Bell and director Benjamin Hart try to instill into the reader that Purple People are exemplary as they bring their family, friends, and communities together. They are kind and speak up for what’s right.
17. Hair Love
This book by Matthew A. Cherry portrays the story of Zuri’s hair, which has a mind of its own. It curls and coils in whichever way it wishes. Daddy then steps in to style it one day, but he has a lot to learn.
18. When God Made You
Children long to find their place in the world. Through playful rhyme, this book by Matthew Paul Turner assures them they are deeply loved in every sphere of life, so as to help them spread their wings and fly.
19. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
In this humorous picture book by Mo Willems, a pigeon springs up to take the place of a bus driver when he takes a break from his route. But this pigeon is quite special indeed.
20. Julian Is a Mermaid
This exuberant picture book by Jessica Love flawlessly illustrates how Julian reacts when he notices three women dressed spectacularly. Julian wishes to dress like the three women but contemplates what the others would think of him. This is one book that should absolutely be on any list of best books for 6 year olds.
21. Dog Man
This story by Dav Pilkey of a part-dog, part-man crime-biting canine is quite exhilarating. The three-book boxed set is quite appealing to readers and explores positive traits such as empathy, persistence, kindness, and self-importance.
22. We Don’t Eat Our Classmates
This is a story of Penelope Rex by Ryan T. Higgins. It’s her first day of school, and she is excited to meet her new classmates. But for her, it’s quite hard to make new friends, as they are so darn delicious.
23. Bob Books
Bob Books by Bobby Lynn Maslen are explicitly written to build the little one’s reading skills. They incorporate colorful illustrations that make reading even more fun. Children will love each of these twelve books that are filled with drama, fun, and humorous stories.
24. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
Another classic by Dr. Seuss, this book incorporates silly rhymes that leave every child giggling. It includes simple words and illustrations that encourage children to read all by themselves.
25. NarWhal: Unicorn of the Sea!
NarWhal the narwhal and Jelly jellyfish share an unusual bond. They might not have much in common, but they do like to party, eat waffles, and embark on adventures. This book by Ben Clanton is about two friends as they discover the whole ocean together.
26. How Martha Saved Her Parents from Green Beans
This book by David LaRochelle illustrates Martha’s hatred for green beans. When some mean green beans kidnap Martha’s parents, it is up to her to save her parents and prevent the evil veggies from taking over her town.
27. Uni the Unicorn
The magical story by Amy Krouse Rosenthal depicts the life of Uni the unicorn, who is told that there is no such thing as little girls. But he believes there is a girl out there, waiting to befriend him. This book reminds us that even the wildest of the wishes can sometimes come true.
28. Ada Twist, Scientist
Ada Twist, a scientist, has always been curious. Like her classmates Iggy and Rosie her mind has always been full of questions. This book by Andrea Beaty conveys an essential message that even if things don’t go according to plan, it’s important to continue thinking through the problem and remain curious.
29. Iggy Peck, Architect
In another great story by Andrea Beaty, we meet Iggy Peck. Ever since Iggy was a baby, he has built towers, buildings, and bridges. This skill of his comes in handy when his class is stranded on an island during a picnic.
30. Zoo in the Sky
This tale by Jacqueline Mitton takes you on a journey where you get to see Little and the Great Bear, a scaly dragon, the Great Dog, and many other animals.
31. Pete the Cat
Pete the Cat is an interactive experience for kids by James Dean. It’s a story about a cat who goes walking down the street wearing his brand-new white shoes. As he treads, his shoes change color as he steps in a pile of strawberries and other fruits.
32. Penny and Her Marble
When Penny found a marble in Mrs. Goodwin’s front yard, she picked it up, dusted it off, and took it home with her. But did the marble really belong to Penny? Find out in this book by Kevin Henkes, one of the best books for 6 year olds.
33. Madame Badobedah
When a very old lady with bags stuffed with coins and jewelry arrives at the Mermaid Hotel, Mabel’s parents, the owners of the hotel, are suspicious of her. The moral of this story by Sophie Dahl is how first impressions can sometimes be quite contrary to reality.
34. Magnificent Homespun Brown
This book by Samara Cole Doyon incorporates vivid illustrations and encourages the reader to embrace his/her natural skin color. In addition to that, it includes a carol that promotes the message of self-care and self-love.
35. Fox and Rabbit
An easy-going fox and an anxious rabbit make a somewhat unexpected but perfect pair when planting a tree in their own backyard or searching for hidden treasure. There’s nothing that this duo can’t do when together in this great book by Beth Ferry.
36. Stella Endicott and the Anything-Is-Possible Poem
Stella Endicott is enthralled when her teacher asks the class to write a poem. Stella comes up with a beautiful poem, but her irritating classmate insists that her poetry is a bunch of lies. They both end up in an argument and then sent to the principal’s office in this tale by Kate Dicamillo.
37. Peter & Ernesto: Sloths in the Night
This book by Graham Annable features the lives of two sloths who love the jungle. They are aware of how jungles can be dangerous at night. When their friend goes missing, they gather their trustees and embark upon the quest to find their friend.
38. The Magnificent Makers: How to Test a Friendship
This is a story of two best friends who love science. When a magic portal to the Science Space opens at school, they set out to explore it. This book by Theanne Griffith covers scientific topics that a child learns in school every day.
39. Real Pigeons Fight Crime
Crime-fighting pigeons are real. They secretly protect your neighborhood and fight crime all the time. Beautifully illustrated, this gem of a comedy by Andrew McDonald is hilarious and leaves the reader in a fit of tears.
40. Paolo, Emperor of Rome
This picture book depicts the life of Paolo, a dachshund who is trapped in a hair salon in Rome. When he escapes one day, he goes and lives life the way he always dreamt it. This book by Mac Barnett, landing comfortably on our list of best books for 6 year olds, will leave readers cheering for the little creature.
41. Baloney and Friends
In this graphic novel series, Greg Pizolli introduces Baloney and his friends, who engage the reader as they perform some questionable magic. They encourage the reader to give them a boost when they are feeling down. This highly interactive book will undoubtedly be entertaining for your little one.
42. This Way, Charlie
This tale by Caron Levis about Jack and Charlie is heart-warming. Jack likes to remain distant from the rest of the animals at the Open Bud Ranch, but when Charlie arrives, a powerful friendship begins between the two.
43. Everyone’s Awake
This cleverly rhymed picture book by Colin Meloy depicts the story of a household and their simple goodnight routine that leaves not just the little one but the entire family in stitches with laughter.
44. Charlie & Mouse Outdoors
This hilarious book by Laurel Snyder features Charlie and Mouse, two inseparable brothers. The duo, along with their family, embarks on a series of adventures in which they do all sorts of mind-blowing stuff.
45. Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
This inspirational text by Vashti Harrison is an essential book suitable for all ages. It features true stories of forty pioneering black women in American history and their will to never give up.
Lupita Nyong’o, an Academy Award-winning actress, wrote this book about Sulwe, who has the skin color of midnight. In this picture book, she tries to instill in the children the importance of self-esteem and self-love, and encourages them to see their own unique beauty. The incorporation of these lessons make this one of the absolutely best books for 6 year olds.
47. All Are Welcome
This book by Alexandra Penfold portrays life in a school where everyone is welcome. In this school, the children are allowed to wear hijabs, parkas, and yarmulkes. The moral of this book is that diversity should be celebrated.
48. The Giving Tree
This beautifully written and illustrated book by Shel Silverstein is a masterpiece. It includes the story of a tree who ends up being a shade provider and apple bearer for a boisterous little child.
49. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Do-It-Yourself Book
This book by Jeff Kinney enables your child to write his/her own version of the Wimpy Kid journal. It encourages the little one to draw Wimpy-Kid-style cartoons and comics inside and will entertain your little artist for hours.
50. The Racehorse Who Learned to Dance
Charlie’s racehorse, Noddy, has won the Derby against all the odds and even bested a bunch of kidnappers. But he faces his biggest challenge yet. Will Charlie and Polly be able to teach Noddy how to gallop? Find out in this exciting book by Clare Balding.
More Books for Children
- 30 Unforgettable Books Every Parent Should Read To Their Kids Before They Grow Up
- 15 Children’s Books Best Read on an iPad
- Why Reading Is So Important For Children
Featured photo credit: Josh Applegate via unsplash.com