Give the Gift of Books: Top 10 Children’s Books of 2021

Top Children's Books

There is nothing better than giving the gift of knowledge. While a book might not be that 100-piece Lego set or Barbie dream house, it is no less of a meaningful gift. A book is a vehicle for the imagination, especially for children. They can learn about places and people far and wide. That is why children need to get exposure to educational books and ones that engage their imagination!   

Taking time to read with your child not only aids in their development but it helps you create cherished memories and strengthened bonds. Children’s books give you the chance to expose your child to animals, people and places they have never heard of or seen. Here at United Way of Whitewater Valley, we are huge supporters of childhood and youth success. One way our program partners are making this happen is through reading. Organizations like Union County Public Library and The Reading Academy are making reading and literacy a priority in Wayne and Union counties; learn more about the impact of our program partners.  

Books for All Ages 

To help you get started we have created a list of books perfect for children of different ages. These are the top 10 children’s books of 2021. Head to the nearest book store or pick them up at the library. A book could be the most meaningful gift your give this season!   

If you live in Wayne County, you can also submit an application for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. This organization sends one handpicked book to your child each month. This program is currently only available at this time in Wayne County through The Reading Academy. For more information, click here.  

We have added Amazon links to each of the book suggestions to make them easier to find; if you are borrowing from a library, we have included the author for accessibility.   

Top 10 Children’s Books for Babies and Toddlers 

Some of these might be old classics or books you have never heard about, but these are some of the best books for babies and toddlers. They use bright colors, pictures and colors to engage your child’s attention. You can never tell too many stories to your baby or toddler, pick a couple from this list and get to reading.  

  1. Pat the BunnyDorothy Kunhardt 
  1. Sheep In A Jeep: Nancy Shaw 
  1. Goodnight Moon: Margaret Brown 
  1. The Very Hungry CaterpillarEric Carle 
  1. Little Blue Truck: Alice Schertle 
  1. Guess How Much I Love You: Sam McBartney 
  1. From Head to Toe: Eric Carle 
  1. In The Tall, Tall GrassDenise Flemming 
  1. I Like Myself: Karen Beaumont 
  1. Peek-A-Who: Nina Laden 

Top 10 Children’s Books for Young Children 

Your grade school children still love for an adult to read them a children’s book, even though they are learning to read themselves. Put some books you can read in their stockings this year, and we know they will be thrilled. You can also borrow these books at any of the following libraries: Morrison-Reeves Library, Cambridge City Public Library, Center Township Public Library, Dublin Public Library, Jefferson Township Public Library or Union County Public Library.   

  1. Mr. Poppers Penguins: Richard Atwater 
  1. Dear Max: Sally Grindley 
  1. Charlotte’s Web: E.B. White 
  1. Double Bass Blues: Andrea Loney 
  1. Gator Gumbo: Candance Flemming 
  1. How To Save Your Tail: Mary Hanson 
  1. Owl Moon: Jane Yolen 
  1. The Giving Tree: Shel Silverstein 
  1. The Great Kapok Tree: Lynne Cherry 
  1. Roger the Jolly Pirate: Brett Helquist 

Top 10 Children’s Books for Youth 

While your kids might be too old for you to read to them, it is never too late to pique their interest in children’s books. Your child can read so many exciting books that might not be on their school reading list. Giving your fourth or fifth grader a book to read might seem unconventional, but you would be surprised how easy it is for kids to become avid readers. You can even follow along and have them read the book aloud to you! 

  1. Wings of Fire Series: Tui Sutherland 
  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: J.K. Rowling 
  1. The Wild Robot: Peter Brown 
  1. Serafina and the Black Cloak: Robert Beatty 
  1. Little House on the Prairie Series: Laura Wilder 
  1. Real Friends: Shannon Hale 
  1. Because of Winn-Dixie: Kate DiCamillo 
  1. Liberty Port, First Daughter: Julia DeVillers 
  1. Frindle: Andrew Clements 
  1. The Girl with the Glass Bird: Esme Kerr 

We can’t stress enough how critical reading with your children is; this is an essential part of their education and development! The holidays are the perfect time to gift some new books to your children regardless of their age. Whether you are reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar to your toddler or your grade-school child is reading Harry Potter out loud, reading and literacy is a gift.   

We know that not all families have extra funds to buy books because they are expensive. That is why we are blessed to have many excellent libraries in Wayne and Union Counties. These libraries are doing amazing things for the communities, so check the closest library to you for more information about obtaining a library card or borrowing books for your family.   

Get More Information 

We enjoy seeing the positive impact our program partners have on the empowerment and literacy of children and adults. We have so many other fantastic program partners working in our four focus areas: childhood successyouth successeconomic mobilityand access to health. Read more about their stories here, or sign up for our newsletter to learn more about what we do at United Way of Whitewater Valley.