Baby & Toddler

Pre-K

The Perfect Birthday Books for Ages 1–6

by Tom Burns

Do you know what’s harder than it looks? Shopping for birthday presents for really young children. Yes, you can do what everyone else is doing and grab them whatever noise-making plastic monstrosity is currently on display at Target, but if you’re actually interested in finding them something that they won’t be sick of in a week, it takes some serious thought. And, even though some kids will disagree with me on this, I think that books always make a great present. They’re personal, they’re entertaining, and they endure – if you find the right one for the kid in question.

So, how do you find the mythical “perfect” book for a child or, more specifically, the perfect book for that five-year-old’s birthday party that you’re invited to next month? Fortunately, some books have that information right in their titles! Here are some age-by-age suggestions — for ages 1 to 6 — for fantastic books that include a child’s age in their titles. That five-year-old will appreciate having a book all about FIVES to read on their fifth birthday, and the kid’s parents will appreciate that you didn’t buy a Furby. It’s a win-win.

  • Age Two

  • No Two Alike

    by Keith Baker

    Two-year-olds will love this rhyming board book, which points out things that come in pairs and can be found on a snowy day. Two almost-identical red birds head out during a winter snowfall and, through Baker’s spare verse, we slowly begin to notice all of the unique characteristics that give everything in nature its fierce individuality. As the title suggests, this book ultimately celebrates that no two things are ever totally, exactly alike. A particularly great choice if you’re shopping for twins.

  • Age Six

  • Now We Are Six

    by A. A. Milne, illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard

    Even though this collection was first published in 1927, it still speaks to children today. Milne, the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh, was an expert at addressing children at their level. Rather than talking down to them or simplifying characters, he UNDERSTANDS children beautifully. That insight is clear throughout the 35 poems in Now We Are Six. Try reading the title poem with your six-year-old and see if they can keep from smiling when Milne declares “But now I am six, / I'm as clever as clever. / So I think I'll be six / now and forever.” This perceptive gem should be a rite of passage for every young reader.

Did we miss your favorite “age in the title” birthday book? Did we overlook the PERFECT title for a five-year-old’s birthday party? Or do you have suggestions for birthday books for kids who are seven, eight, nine, and older? If so, let us know in the comments below!

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