8 Books Every Child Should Have on Their Bookshelf


Whether you love to read now, or rarely pick up a book, we can all remember a few books from our childhood that were our absolute favourites; ones that we would beg and plead to have read to us over and over again. Books are a fantastic way for your child to be engaged and learning, without them even realizing! Reading encourages development, language skills, and can even help as a learning aid, by connecting words with visuals.

Reading together can also be a great way for you to spend some quality time with your children, orhave some quiet time to yourself while your children read on their own. In honour of National Book Lover’s Day, we have put together a list of 8 books every child should have on their bookshelf. Having some of the classics from our childhood readily available could be the key in cultivating a love of reading, and books, for life!

Check out the 8 books every child should have:

  1. The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein

Who doesn’t know and love The Giving Tree? Suitable for kindergarten children up to second grade (and beyond!), The Giving Tree tells the story of a friendship between a boy and a tree, and the tree’s selfless love for the boy as he grows up and grows old. The Giving Tree celebrates the joys of giving, and is a great lesson for children of all ages!


  1. Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss

Green Eggs and Ham not only tells a fun story, it’s also fun to read! The rhyming scheme makes following along very easy for small children, and fun for slightly older children to read on their own! The theme of the story encourages being open to trying new things, a great moral for small children whose every experience is almost brand new.


  1. Madeline, by Ludwig Bemelmans

A true classic, Madeline was first published in 1939, and has since had 5 sequels to the original book. Telling the story of the smallest of a house of 12 little girls, Madeline is gutsy, adventurous, and always ready to explore something new.


  1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar features, as you can probably guess, a caterpillar who eats its way through a wide variety of food, before finally emerging as a butterfly. This easy to read text is woven with educational themes, including counting, days of the week, identifying foods, and the life stages of a butterfly. Additionally, you and your children will love the hand-drawn collage illustrations, and the “eaten” holes in the pages as you move through the book.


  1. Corduroy, by Don Freeman

Named one of the Top 100 Picture Books of all time in 2012, the story of Corduroy, first published in 1968, is one that is as timeless as it is enjoyable. After closing hours in a department store, teddy bear Corduroy sets out to find the missing button from his overalls. The whimsy and fun surrounding the story will have you and your child smiling from cover to cover!


  1. Curious George, by Hans Augusto Rey and Margret Rey

Brought home from Africa by The Man with The Yellow Hat, this series of children’s books follows a curious brown monkey, and all his adventures learning new things in the big city. Children will be able to easily relate to the things George learns in other books of the series as well, such as learning the alphabet, flying a kite, and riding a bike.


  1. Love You Forever, by Robert Munsch

You will likely love this book even more than your children will, but as they come to understand and appreciate the story more with age, they will love that you used to read this to them as a child. Love Your Forever is the story of the evolving relationship between a boy and his mother, chronicling the experience of the young son throughout the course of his life. The book touches on the cycle of unconditional love, and is a lovely message to share with your children.


  1. The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats

This story perfectly captures the wonderment of a child’s first snowfall, and the joy surrounding this kind of perfect snowy day. The main character, Peter, gets all bundled up to head out to experience all that winter has to offer: the cold air, the cold snow, and even warming up after coming back inside. You and your children will also be able to enjoy the stunning illustrations, using collage throughout the book.

These are just a few of our favourites every child should have on their bookshelf to start a lifetime of books, and loving to read. Do you have a favourite childhood book you will pass on to your children? Share with us in the comments below!


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