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Pre-K

Growing Reader

The 50 Best Books for
5- and 6-Year-Olds

by Melissa Taylor

There’s so much happening with 5- and 6-year-olds. They’re learning to tie their shoes, practicing cutting out shapes with scissors, some are even ready to ride a bike. There’s a big continuum of development at these ages, and that applies to children’s reading development, too. Some kids are not yet ready to read, while others are reading independently. And that’s as it should be, according to both developmental and literacy experts.

No matter where your child is on this developmental continuum, here you’ll discover the best books to encourage their love of reading. Each book has been carefully selected by our group of experts.

Since we also think that finding books in a series is like discovering buried treasure, we’ve put asterisks next to the titles that are part of a larger series.

So whether your 5- or 6-year-old is building their reading foundation with picture books or reading chapter books on their own, here are our go-to books to entice, entertain, and educate.

Heading out to your local library or bookstore? You can download the full version of the list here.

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The 50 Best Books for 5- and 6-Year-Olds

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Learn more about the experts behind this reading list.

Get the printable version of the list.

Explore our 50 Best series to get great recommendations for other ages.