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100 Best Books for Children: 0-5

Each Peach Pear Plum

Take a look at our pick of the best books for 0-5 year olds from the last 100 years.

See our best books for other age groups

  • The Tiger Who Came to Tea

    Judith Kerr
    HarperCollins Children's Books

    Sophie and her Mummy are having tea in the kitchen when in walks a hungry tiger who asks to stay to tea.

  • Where's Spot?

    Eric Hill
    Puffin

    This adorable picture book about Spot the dog is the first in the Spot series

  • Each Peach Pear Plum

    Allan Ahlberg, Illustrated by Janet Ahlberg
    Puffin

    This classic book from author and illustrator team Janet and Allan Ahlberg is a real favourite with families

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar

    Eric Carle
    Puffin

    Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar deserves its reputation as a much-loved classic.

  • The Elephant and the Bad Baby

    Elfrida Vipont, Illustrated by Raymond Briggs
    Puffin

    One day, an elephant offers a baby a ride through the town, and the set off on a great adventure.

  • Dogger

    Shirley Hughes
    Random House

    When Dave loses his favourite toy, Dogger, he is desolate.

  • Lost and Found

    Oliver Jeffers
    HarperCollins Children's Books

    Once there was a sad, lonely penguin who appeared at the door of a young boy. The boy decided he must be lost, so he set off to find his home.

  • Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears

    Emily Gravett
    Pan Macmillan

    Little Mouse is scared of most things, from creepy crawlies and loud noises, to getting lost.

  • I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato

    Lauren Child
    Hachette

    Charlie tricks his younger sister, Lola - an extremely fussy eater - into eating all her least favourite foods.

  • Room on the Broom

    Julia Donaldson, Illustrator: Axel Scheffler
    Macmillan Children's Books

    From former Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson and longtime collaborator Axel Scheffler comes this much-loved tale about a witch and her gang of friends.

  • The Snowman

    Raymond Briggs
    Puffin

    James builds a snowman in the garden, then wakes up in the night to find that it has come to life.

  • Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

    Mem Fox, Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
    Walker Books

    This charming first book is perfect for new arrivals.

  • Dear Zoo

    Rod Campbell
    Campbell Books

    This appealing story, in lift-the-flap, board-book format has been a favourite with toddlers ever since it was first published in 1982.

  • Gorilla

    Anthony Browne
    Walker Books

    Hannah's favourite animals in the whole world are gorillas, but her dad is always too busy to take her to the zoo.

  • We're Going on a Bear Hunt

    Michael Rosen, Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
    Walker Books

    Follow a father and his family as they go out in search of a bear.

  • Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy

    Lynley Dodd
    Puffin

    This hilarious rhyming story follows Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy, as he sets off for a walk in town

  • Not now, Bernard

    David McKee
    Andersen

    The classic tale of Bernard, whose distracted parents fail to notice that their son has been eaten and replaced by a monster.

  • Where the Wild Things Are

    Maurice Sendak
    Red Fox

    First published in 1963, this classic picture book will fascinate both children and adults, evoking the fierce intensity of childhood

  • The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters

    Allan Ahlberg Illustrated by Janet Ahlberg
    Penguin

    Brilliantly designed with lots of little details to spot, this old favourite will be enjoyed time and time again

  • I Want My Hat Back

    Jon Klassen
    Walker Books

    A bear sets out in search of his hat - he loves his hat and he wants it back

  • The Cat in the Hat

    Dr Seuss
    HarperCollins Children's Books

    When Sally and her brother are left alone on a rainy day, they think they are in for a dull time - but then the Cat in the Hat appears.

  • Meg and Mog

    Helen Nicholl Illustrated by Jan Pienkowski
    Puffin

    In this the first story about much-loved characters Meg the witch and Mog her cat, the pair go off to a wild Hallowe'en party with all the other witches

  • Would You Rather?

    John Burningham
    Random House

    Would you rather drink snail squash or eat mashed worms? Help a witch make stew? Tickle a monkey?

  • Princess Smartypants

    Babette Cole
    Penguin

    Princess Smartypants does not want to get married. She enjoys being a Ms. But being a rich and pretty princess means that all the princes want her to become their wife.

  • I Want My Potty!

    Tony Ross
    Andersen Press

    The Little Princess hates nappies, and thinks there must be something better.