Stories are considered to be very powerful and when it comes to children, it helps and benefits them in many ways. Reading story books help children to have a vivid imagination, understanding of words, develop social skills and stimulate curiosity. Reading storybooks play an important role in all round development of a child. Listed below are some most popular free children's storybooks for preschoolers, children's story books for toddlers and children's story books for teens- all divided by age.. These books are considered to be the top children's bedtime storybooks, children's best story books and famous children's story books, all in one.
Books for 2 to 4 Years Old
1. Grumpy Bird - Written & illustrated by Jeremy Tankard
This book is about a bird who refuses to indulge in any activity. The book ensures that everyone must carry a smile on their face after a read-out loud session. Incredible to help kids understand feelings, what they resemble and strategies to help change their feelings.
2. Hickory Dickory Dock - Written & illustrated by Keith Baker
An engaging and entertaining book based on the famous nursery rhyme that perks the youngsters up. As an old clock rolls in new number, a new creature comes our of the clock and interacts with the mouse. Children usually laugh and groove along while singing their favorite nursery rhyme while the story is being read out. Buy it from Amazon here.
3. Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale - Written & illustrated by Mo Willems
This book is about how a little child named Trixie loses her Knuffle Bunny on a trip to Laundromat with her dad and struggles to bring it to her father's notice on her way back home. Luckily she is able to get hold of her favorite toy again though in slightly different conditions. Excellent high contrast photos of Brooklyn and astounding vivid representations depict the story of little Trixie and her Knuffle Bunny.
4. Little Pea - Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & illustrated by Jen Corace
An engaging story about eating times with enchanting content that families can enjoy together. A sweet and entertaining story in which meals and desserts are swapped and something which fussy eaters and parents can relate to easily. With great illustrations, this book can engage anyone to read it from front to back.
5. My Friend Bear - Written & illustrated by Jez Alborough
This book is really fascinating and tells the story of two lonely individuals and their journey to happiness. The book demonstrates to its readers how they can be companions with everybody and how they should be mindful and caring towards them.
6. Planting a Rainbow - Written & illustrated by Lois Ehlert
This instructive and charming story book teaches kids as to how to plant bulbs, seeds, and seedlings, and support their development. It is a popular children's' book that also teaches preschoolers about colors, flowers and plants from an early age to make them environmentally aware. Buy it from Amazon here.
7. Touch and Feel Jungle Animals Book - by DK Publishing
This book is part of three "Touch and Fee" book series and is ideal for kids to learn about animals by exploring. Each page has an image that your little one can connect with physically and feel it. Along with the story lines, they can learn new things likes names of creatures in a simple and fun manner.
8. The Golden Fish Story Book - Written & illustrated by Alexander Pushkin
Reading books is an activity that can help young children build on on their vocabulary and become more confident communicators. This book is an illustration-filled storybook that any child is sure to love. The book narrates the story of a golden fish who is caught by a fisherman and is willing to fulfill any wish for her freedom.
9. The Little Red Hen - Written by Diane Muldrow & illustrated by J.P. Miller
The story gives good idea to demonstrate to young children the spirit of giving and helping. The book tells the story of a little red hen who is looking to plant seeds but none of her friends is too eager to help her. Book thus teaches the importance of team work and necessity to keep good friends who are willing to help when required.
10. The Snowy Day - Written & illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats
This book is known for its imaginative take on how children love to chase the wonders and want to keep it all for themselves. It tells the story of a 4 year old boy who wakes up to find it has snowed and then went on an adventure and lots of fun making objects out of fresh snowfall. In the end, it also demonstrates who kids love their adventure and fun to never end and continue for ever until the end of time.
1. Beezus and Ramona - Written & illustrated by Beverly Cleary
Beatrice 'Beezus' and Ramona Quimby share an intriguing sisterhood bond. Younger Ramona is that irritating four-year-old younger sibling who is always looking for some kind of a mischief and loves irritating her elder sister. Else Beezus is a nine year old kid who loves her sister a lot, is expected to take care of her younger sister but doesn't completely get the whole picture of responsibility. This is the first book in the series of stories on Beezus and Ramona by the same author.
2. Charlotte's Web - Written by E.B White & illustrated by Rosemary Wells
Charlotte's Web is the most well-crafted children's tale that deserves a very good rating and must be in everyone's "must read" list. This story has numerous significant emotions and feelings. It instructs us to respect other living animals and how to live with other humans or animals in harmony and peace. Written by the author of Stuart Little series, this book narrates the story of a young girl named Fern and how she becomes friend with a pig, Wilbur and his spider friend Charlotte. The beautiful illustrations make this story very interesting to read.
3. Charlie & Lola - Written and illustrated by Lauren Child
It is a collection of animated picture stories by Lauren Child about two young siblings Charlie and Lola and their fun adventures. While Charlie is himself quite young, he is often asked by parents to look after his younger sister Lola who is full of energy and clever tricks. There are total of five great books in this collection of stories that children loves to read.
4. Duck! Rabbit! - Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
A pleasant picture book based on an age old illusion as shown in the book cover art - whether its a duck or a rabbit. This is an account of two individuals taking a look at a similar object and seeing two completely different things. The magnificence of this book is that the besides a funny tale, this book teaches kids that there can be two sides of a coin and right or wrong can often depend on your perspective. Buy it from Amazon here.
5. Fancy Nancy - Written by Jane O'Connor & illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
Meet Nancy, who believes that more is ALWAYS better with regards to being fancy and goes on an adventure to dress up her family in fancy attire for a special evening. This is the book which kickstarted the Fancy Nancy series of books and it has now also been adapted into a TV Show by the same name. Buy it from Amazon here.
6. Mrs Piggle Wiggle - Written by Betty MacDonald & illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
It's about this elderly woman named Mrs Piggle Wiggle who was married to a pirate. She has no children of her own but is excellent in handling children politely and positively adapt their behavior. All moms call her and request her help to guide their unpleasant or misbehaving youngsters. Every section of the book is about a child undergoing Mrs Piggle Wiggle's fixes, from dis-courteousness to childishness, she has some good techniques to fix them all.
7. My GrandMa and Me - Written by Mina Javaherbin & illustrated by Lindsey Yankey
A genuine story of a little youngster in Iran, Mina, who idolizes and follows her grandma. This is a lovely tribute to family and long lasting recollections, illustrated with wondrous detail. The book tells us about the sweet relationship between a child and her grandmother who are inseparable and child's adoration for her grandmother is evident in story and various illustrations.
8. Stuart Little - Written by E.B White & illustrated by Garth Willams
This great book tells the story of Stuart Little, on an extremely dangerous adventure. With highly contrasting representations, book tells the story of Stuart Little who is no ordinary mouse. Living in New York City, Stuart is an introvert, thinker, dresses up in formals or in a sailor suit and talks in English accent. This book talks about his adventure when his good friend, Margalo, disappears from its nest and Stuart decides to track her down.
9. The Mitten - Written & illustrated by Jan Brett
A delightful and extremely innovative youngsters' book based on Ukrainian traditional stories. It tells the story of a young boy Nicki, who drops his white mittens in snow in a forest. A winter foundation with brilliant illustrations and a great blend of creatures makes for a fantastic story that all can appreciate.
10. We Eat Bananas - Written & illustrated by Katie Abey, Imprint: Bloomsbury Children's Books
This is not a read-aloud book but a laugh-aloud book in which animals are seen eating their favorite foods from bananas, to lemons, to pancakes in most amazing ways. In this cheerful festival of food, splendid illustrations with humorous detail are a treat for young kids. Buy it from Amazon here.
BOOKS FOR 9- 12 YEARS OLD
1. Alice in Wonderland - Written by Lewis Carroll & illustrated by John Tenniel
Alice in Wonderland is a fantasy story is about a young lady who falls asleep in a garden while reading and then suddenly come across a talking rabbit, with a pocket watch, who was in fact getting late for a party to attend. But then he in an instance jumps into a big hole and Alice too, curiously, follows the rabbit and ends up in an extraordinary place when her adventure starts. This book has been a favorite of kids for more than 150 years.
2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Written by Roald Dahl & illustrated by Quentin Blake
Charlie Bucket's awesome experience starts when he discovers one of Mr Willy Wonka's valuable Golden Tickets by luck and wins an entire day inside the puzzling chocolate processing plant. Little does he know about the amazement and surprise that are awaiting him! The story is a complete package of dark humor, funny incidents and classic children's literature that blends together giving the readers a playful result. And yes, you get to enjoy lot of chocolate making too !!!
3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid Collection - Written & illustrated by Jeff Kinney
This book is about Greg Heffley, a teenager who is struggling to find his way through the school. He tries lot of things to gain popularity, including being a cartoonist, stage performer, safety patrols etc. but none really works out for him. He even uses his best friend's, Rowley, help but the series of events make Rowley more popular in the school and poor Greg is left behind resulting in some hilarious moments. This is first part of a series of books on this character and now even adapted into major motion picture.
4. Harriet the Spy - Written & illustrated by Louise Fitzhugh
Harriet is a young, intelligent and curious girl who comes from a privileged family and studies in a good school. She has keen interest in investigation and believes that she is just limited in her four walled room. Harriet secretly keeps a mystery journal that she uses to note down her observations about her parents, neighbors, school friends, and even random strangers on the road. Consistently on her course as a private agent, she "watches" and notes down anything important to her. And the fun starts when this secret notebook ends up in the hands of her friends at school and she has to defend what she has written in it.
5. Harry Potter Collection - Written by J.K. Rowling & illustrated by Mary Grandpre
An absolute MUST read for each and every child who adores magic, paying little heed to their age. It is a multi award-winning story of a magical world that has caught the creative mind of millions around the world. The gigantic dreamland, full point by point, the wizarding network, mystical school and exercises, service and even a famous magical game. And to add to the twist, an evil wizard who "cannot be named".
6. Mr Poppers Penguins - Written by Richard Atwater & illustrated by Robert Lawson
Mr Popper is a house painter who wants to tune in to radio projects about penguins. So when an Admiral sends him a real penguin, he is charmed to have it for a pet. But trouble starts when he decides to find a mate for the penguin. This is a warm, interesting, good old family story that makes a great read and has been on all time favorite list for ages.
7. Peter Pan - Written by J.M. Barrie & illustrated by Michael Hague
Meet pixie fairies, mermaids and everything in the between as you venture through an imaginative place for the darling youngsters on an extraordinary excursion. A young boy Peter Pan, who never grows up, spends his never-ending childhood having adventures on the mythical island of Neverland as the leader of the Lost Boys, interacting with pirates, mermaids, Native Americans, and occasionally ordinary children from the world outside. He is also joined by a fairy Tinker Bell in these adventures.
Princess Dairies is a series of kids stories which revolve around a young teenage girl, Amelia Thermopolis of New York who discovers what she is a princess of a small European state Genovia. There are 11 parts of the books which makes up the series, each revolving around the character of the young Amelia, popularly known as Mia. The initial few books from the series have also been adapted into major motion pictures.
9. The Great Shelby Holmes - Written & illustrated by Elizabeth Eulberg
This Sherlock Holmes inspired book is so elegantly composed with an extraordinary plot. John Watson moves with his mother who has as of late left both the military and John's father to Harlem. There he meets an extremely extraordinary young lady named Shelby who is probably the best 9 year old detective world has ever seen. Hesitantly Shelby permits John to follow alongside her as she settles her most recent crime — the mystery of a missing show-dog stolen from a classmate’s secure house.
10. The Jungle Book - Written by Rudyard Kipling & illustrated by John Lockwood Kipling
The Jungle Book illustrates the great connection between humans and animals. It has engaged the young and old readers alike for, well, longer than a century. After being saved from the fierce clutches of tiger Sher Khan, little 'man-offspring' Mowgli is raised by a pack of wolves and before long figures out how to make a home in the wilderness in India. He is often accompanied by his friends and mentors - a panther named Bhageera and a bear named Ballu.