Drop Everything and Read: Our Favorite Books from Birth to Age 12+

Although the spring weather has given us a reason to get out and be active, tomorrow, April 12, we celebrate “Drop Everything and Read Day!” So get your books ready, find your favorite spot, and give yourself an excuse to ignore those dishes in the sink or that laundry piling up. 

Drop Everything and Read: Our Favorite Books from Birth to Age 12+

It’s no secret that those that reside in our house love books. You can’t enter a room in our house without finding a bookshelf that is overloaded. Admittedly, we even have tubs of books sorted by genre and reading level in our children’s’ closets just waiting for their pages to be turned.

I want my children to love reading for so many reasons. It opens the world to them. It stimulates their imagination. At times, it offers them an escape.  And, since it is important that adults model good reading habits, I excuse the guilt that sometimes hits when I choose to sit and read for a bit. Knocking out my to-do list seems like less of a priority when I remind myself that I am instilling life-long reading habits in my children. 

If you are looking for a few good books to “drop everything and read”, I’ve compiled my top 10 favorites that we read with our children at each stage. Don’t forget, modeling reading yourself is just as important as reading to your child. So, kick back, relax and crack open your own book while your child discovers theirs. Check out the, “Favorites: 12+” section below if you’re looking for a quick read for yourself. 

Favorites: Birth – Age 2

Moo, Baa, La La La Series by Sandra Boynton
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? by Bill Martin, Jr.
Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhard
On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman
Gallop! by Rufus Butler Seder
I Love You, Sleepyhead by Claire Freedman
Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch

Favorites: 2-4 years

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by John Archambault
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss (we love all Seuss books)

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Series by Laura Joffe Numeroff
Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae (all his books are great)
Muncha, Muncha, Muncha by Candace Fleming
Llama, Llama Series by Anna Dewdney
The Rainbow Fish Series by Marcus Pfister
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney 

You Are My I Love You by Maryann K Cusimano
I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti- Shustak

Favorites: 5-6 years

The Kissing Hand Series by Audrey Penn
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Curious George series by Hans Augusto Rey
Clifford, the Big Red Dog series by Norman Bridwell

Froggy Series by Jonathon London
SkippyJon Jones series by Judy Schachner
Pinkalicious series by Victoria Kann

Bad Dog, Marley! by John Grogan
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Favorites: 7-8 years

Nate the Great series by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
Junie B Jones series by Barbara Park *
If you can excuse the poor grammar 🙂
Fancy Nancy Series by Jane O’Connor
The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne
I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis
Ivy and Bean series by Annie Barrows
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
Pete the Cat series by James Dean

Favorites: 8-10 years

Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney
Beezus and Ramona series by Beverly Cleary
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Because of Mr. Terupt series by Rob Buyea
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

Favorites: 12+ (I enjoyed as an adult as well)

Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
The Maze Runner series by James Dashner
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Hobbit / Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien 
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Need even more suggestions?

If you’re not on Goodreads, I highly recommend this site to track your reading and grab great book recommendations from friends. Have children under 13 that aren’t old enough to be on Goodreads? Check out Biblionasium to get awesome reading challenges, book recommendations and lexile levels appropriate for your young readers. 

Happy Reading!

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Jaclyn Richmond
Jaclyn is an Iowa native with roots in the Midwest, but a heart full of wanderlust. She loves to run, read and travel. She and her husband, Mark, have 3 daughters (13, 11, and 7) and an incredible baby boy in Heaven. She spends her days split quite evenly between teaching Spanish at Xavier High School and taxiing her girls around CR as they try to find their passions. She’s a firm believer that it’s not joy that makes us grateful, but rather gratitude that makes us joyful.