What books are good for 6 year olds?
By age 6, most kids are in the thick of learning unfamiliar words and comprehension skills. And you may have discovered that reading can be both an exciting and challenging activity.
Picking great books makes this easier on everyone. So, we’ve put together 71 best books for 6 year olds to read together or read independently during this important year. Then, keep reading for tips to help your young one and a free printable!
Best Picture Books For 6 Year Olds
Reading aloud continues to be important as your kids grow and learn to be independent readers. Read these really great storybooks with your kids.
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1. When a Dragon Moves In by Jodi Moore (Ages 5-7)
If you build a perfect sandcastle, a dragon will move in! The power of imagination can make an otherwise normal day at the beach a whole lot of fun.
2. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson (Ages 3-7)
“A Gruffalo? What’s a Gruffalo?” On a walk through the woods, a mouse uses his wit to outsmart a deer, an owl, a snake, and even a Gruffalo! Flowing words and colorful characters make this funny book a great one to read aloud.
3. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett (Ages 4-8
*Inspired the hit movie!
Spaghetti raining down from the sky? For the people in the town of Chewandswallow, the weather brings all three meals a day. But what happens when the weather goes awry?
Things get sticky when the portions start getting larger and the people in the town of Chewandswallow get into trouble. Everyone in the family will have an appetite for this entertaining bestseller!
4. The Good Egg by Jory John (Ages 4-8)
The Good Egg in this story discovers that it’s hard to be good all of the time. And if he doesn’t want to crack under all the pressure, he will have to do something about it.
5. Arnie the Doughnut by Laurie Keller (Ages 4-8)
*2004 Bank Street – Best Children’s Book of the Year
Deep fried, frosted and sprinkled, Arnie the Doughnut is one of the best donuts in town. When Mr. Bing purchases Arnie from the bakery, Arnie thinks he is going on an exciting adventure. He doesn’t realize that adventure involves being eaten!
To save himself, Arnie has to come up with a new plan. Readers will be hilariously surprised with what he comes up with.
6. A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon (Ages 4-8)
Camilla loves lima beans, but she is so worried about what the other kids will think that she won’t
eat them. In fact, she is so worried that she breaks out in a bad case of stripes. Luckily, she discovers that being herself is the best medicine for stripes.
7. Owl Moon by Jane Yolen (Ages 3-7)
In this story, a girl has waited a long time to go owling with her father. Will they find an owl to admire? The author uses descriptive language to give readers the feeling they are on this adventure with this girl and her father.
8. Ada Twist, Scientist (The Questioneers) by Andrea Beaty (Ages 5-7)
*NYT, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Best Seller
Ada Twist has a head full of questions! Although her experiments do not always go as planned, she continues to search for the answer to satisfy her young scientist’s curiosities.
If you enjoy this book, you will also love: Rosie Revere Engineer and Iggy Peck Architect
9. What Do You Do With an Idea? by Kobi Yamada (Ages 3-7)
*New York Times & Award Winning Book
How can you bring your idea into the world? This beautiful story is about a little boy with a big idea. It inspires kids of all ages to welcome their ideas, give them space to grow, and then watch the magic happen.
10. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst (Ages 6-9)
From gum in his hair, to finding a cavity at the dentist AND having lima beans at dinner, Alexander is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Young readers relate to the struggles of growing up and the reality that we all have bad days every once in a while.
Find Alexander the Great here >>
11. Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Chores by Stan and Jan Berenstain (Ages 4-8)
*Classic books for 6 year olds
The Berenstain bear cubs and Papa are good at most things…. except chores. So, when Mama Bear decides to let everyone take a break from cleaning, things get a little messy…. well A LOT messy around the bear house.
12. How to Babysit a Grandma by Jean Reagan (Ages 2-6)
*Excellent Mother’s Day Gift Idea!
With the amazing tips in this book, your child is sure to become an expert grandma-sitter! How to Babysit a Grandma is both funny and heartfelt. And don’t miss the section on “how to keep a grandma busy!”
We also love and have gifted How to Babysit Grandpa!
13. The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak (6 Year Old Books)
*Wildly funny (and popular) read aloud
This book is both clever and silly as you read it completely without pictures! It turns every reader into a comedian because the reader MUST say all the words on the page. No matter how funny they sound.
This incredible author turns something that should be boring into a hilarious experience for kids and adults.
14. Maddi’s Fridge by Lois Brandt (Ages 4-8)
*4x Award Winner!
Maddi’s Fridge is a heartwarming story of a friendship between Sofia and Maddi. When Sofia finds out that Maddi’s family doesn’t have enough food in their fridge, Sofia finds a way to help her best friend.
Important themes are introduced in this book about poverty and childhood hunger, friendship, and keeping secrets.
15. Me and My Dragon by David Biedrzycki (Ages 2-6)
Would you like to have a dragon for a pet? In this funny story, a boy envisions life with a perfect pet dragon. With a dragon as a pet, always keep a fire extinguisher handy and NEVER feed him broccoli!
16. The Cat in the Hat Comes Back by Dr. Suess (Ages 3-7)
The Famous Cat is BACK!
Dick and Sally are shoveling snow when the Cat in the Hat comes to visit, and of course, he stirs up a whole lot of trouble! Go on an adventure with this classic Dr. Suess book great for young readers.
17. Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion (Ages 4-8)
*An all-time top-100 children’s book
Harry doesn’t like baths. When he gets very, very dirty, his own family doesn’t even recognize him! Harry may have to resort to taking a bath to get his family back!
18. Chester’s Way by Kevin Henkes (Ages 4-8)
Chester and Wilson have their own way of doing things and they always do it together. But then Lilly moves into the neighborhood with her own interesting ways. Chester and Wilson may see that others have good ideas too AND gain some new friends.
19. The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes Noble (Ages 4-8)
*Silly and fun!
Discover a hilarious retelling of a class trip to the farm complete with a boa constrictor wreaking havoc on all the farm animals and the poor farmer’s wife!
Or watch this read aloud on video:
20. Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cronin (Ages 4-8)
*From the NYT Bestselling Team
What does a spider write about in his diary? In this humorous book, follow a day in the life of spider and his best friend, a fly!
21. Margaret’s Unicorn by Briony May Smith (Ages 4-8)
*Touching for any child who loves unicorns
When Margaret moves to a new place she goes exploring and finds a baby unicorn. As her grandma teaches her to care for her unicorn, Margaret starts to feel at home in her new place. On a spring day, the baby unicorn’s mother comes back, and Margaret says goodbye for now.
22. If I Built a Car (If I Built Series) by Chris Van Dusen (Ages 3-6)
*Inspires creativity & imagination
I Built a Car is a one-of-a-kind book for young inventors and kids with grand imaginations. Your child will love learning about Jack’s fantasy car. And they’ll be thrilled to read about Jack and his dad’s crazy test drive.
23. The Day You Begin by Jacquelin Woodson (Ages 5-8)
*Featured in its own episode in the Netflix original show Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices!
This New York Times Best Seller is all about highlighting a life truth. There are times we all feel like outsiders. And that’s ok!
You can find the courage to connect when you’re scared. Or when you look different and feel different than those around you. And often, you’ll find that you’re not alone.
24. The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors by Drew Daywalt
*1 New York Times Bestselling Author
“This is the sort of story that makes children love to read.”-School Library Journal
25. The Teacher from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler
Parents and children will enjoy reading this funny story of what can happen when a child thinks his teacher is a fire-breathing dragon!
26. Clark the Shark by Bruce Hale (Ages 3-6)
Clark the Shark thinks school is AWESOME! But as the biggest fish in the school, his enthusiasm for life is a little too much for the other fish to handle.
Adventure in the sea with life-loving Clark the Shark as he learns how to be a better friend and classmate.
27. Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen (Ages 3-6)
What happens when a lion visits the library? As it turns out, this particular lion loves story time and is actually quite helpful with library tasks. He just has to remember that there is no roaring allowed….unless of course there is a good reason.
See Library Lion here >>
28. The Night I Followed the Dog by Nina Laden (Ages 4-10)
*A terrific read-aloud and true “comedic gem” (Parents’ Choice)
When a boy sees his dog jump out of a limousine early one morning, he decides to find out what his “ordinary” dog is up to. Adventure along in this book as he discovers what dogs do when everyone else is sleeping.
Good Books For A 6 Year Old Girl
These are books for 6 year olds that my daughter loved at this age!
29. Dear Girl,: A Celebration of Wonderful, Smart, Beautiful You! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (Ages 3-8)
*Heartwarming & inspiring
Dear girl is a beautiful book that inspires girls to love and accept who they are. This book is refreshing and heartfelt in a world where girls are often told to behave a certain way.
30. Bo’s Magical New Friend by Rebecca Elliot: Unicorn Diaries #1 (Ages 5-7)
*Early chapter book favorite!
Bo is a unicorn with the power to grant wishes. She loves unicorn school and her friends. When Sunny Huckleberry arrives to the forest, will she also be Bo’s friend? And what will Sunny’s magical power be?
If your daughter loves this series, be sure to also check out the Owl Series too!!!
31. The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale (Ages 5-7)
*New York Times Best Selling Series
Who says a princess can’t wear black? Girls love this series following Princess Magnolia. One minute she’s having scones and tea with the duchess, and the next she’s saving the day from monsters!
32. Fancy Nancy and the Dazzling Jewels by Jane O’Connor (Ages 4-8)
33. Brave Irene by William Steig (Ages 3-8)
Irene has to help her feverish mom by delivering a new gown to the palace. While walking through snow and wind, the dress gets blown away! What will happen to Irene on the rest of her journey? And what will happen when she reaches the palace?
Books For Boy 6 Year Olds
Dinosaurs, snakes, trucks, and more! Choose from topics that a lot of boys love!
34. How to Catch a Dinosaur by Adam Wallace (Ages 2-6)
Do YOU have what it takes to catch a prehistoric creature?! Join the Catch Club Kids on another daring adventure to seek out the alluring dinosaur. Discover if they can prove these animals do still roam among us!
35. Snakes by Gail Gibbons (Ages 4-8)
Bestselling author, Gail Gibbons brings us a great nonfiction text all about SNAKES. Learn about
types of snakes, where they live, what they eat, and many more interesting facts.
Readers will learn how to protect endangered snakes and how amazing these cold-blooded creatures are.
36. Step into Reading: Monster Trucks by Susan E. Goodman (Ages 3-6)
*Step into Reading Level 3
Beginning readers will enjoy reading about all things monster trucks in this non-fiction reader. Engaging pictures and facts about monster trucks make this book an easy choice for any boy or girl interested in this topic.
37. Ty’s Travels: Lab Magic by Kelly Starling Lions
*My First I Can Read for beginning readers
Enjoy this book in the Ty’s Travels series as Ty and Corey have an adventure in the museum and become scientists. Simple text, engaging topics, and colorful illustrations appeal to emergent and beginning readers.
38. What If You Had Animal Teeth? by Sandra Markle (Ages 5-8)
What if you had shark teeth? This fun and engaging book will help your child learn about different animal teeth and their importance. Your child will imagine what it would be like if they had each animal’s teeth. They may just discover why their own teeth are just right for them!
Best Chapter Books For 6 Year Olds
Enjoy chapter books that are great for read-aloud or independent readers.
39. Mercy Watson Boxed Set (Ages 5-8)
*Great read aloud books for 6 year olds
Mercy is a pig who foils a robbery, squeezes into a tutu, drives a car…and lots more! Join the mischievous little pig in these unusual adventures.
40. Billie B Brown: The Bad Butterfly by Sally Rippin (Ages 6-7)
Meet Billie B Brown in this series of real-life chapter books. Young readers everywhere relate to her! In this book, Billie B Brown has started taking ballet classes. Will she become the ballerina she hopes to be?
41. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (Ages 6-9)
When Charlie finds a rare and precious golden ticket, he is invited into Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory. He and four other winners have quite a unique time.
And Charlie will end up with the biggest prize of them all. This is a read aloud the entire family will love!
42. Ready, Freddy! #1: Tooth Trouble
Meet Freddy Thresher in the first book of this new 6 year old chapter book series. Freddy is the only one in his first-grade class that hasn’t lost a tooth. That is until he decides that he is going to lose his first tooth one way or another!
43. Dragon Masters Series
*New York Times Bestselling Series
Drake not only discovers that dragons are real, but that he is the Dragon Master!
Adventure along with him and others that have been chosen to train dragons to battle an evil wizard. Illustrations on each page help draw young readers into this series aimed to interest newly independent readers and help them grow.
44. Humphrey’s Pet Show Panic by Betty G. Birney (Ages 5-8)
*Popular chapter books series
Humphrey, the favorite pet in Room 26, enters the town pet show. Will he be able to impress the judges when he is competing with other pets? This is a perfect chapter book series for emerging readers!
45. Pets Rule! #1 My Kingdom of Darkness
Journey along in this early chapter book series as Ember, an adopted rescue Chihuahua, moves in with the Chin family. But Ember is no ordinary chihuahua. He is destined to rule the world one mission at a time.
First mission: Defeat the mean squirrel next door. Young readers laugh with each page turn.
46. Pizza and Taco: Too Cool For School by Stephen Shaskan (Ages 5-8)
*Cool graphic novel
Best friends Pizza and Taco are heading back to school. Soon, they meet the always cool B.L.T. Will Pizza and Taco discover that being too cool can lead to trouble? Read this funny graphic novel chapter book with your kiddo to boost their reading confidence.
Best Educational Books for 6 Year Olds
Does your reader enjoy nonfiction? Check out this list!
47. National Geographic Readers (Level 1-2/ Ages 5-8)
Discover how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly, how many teeth a shark has, and how volcanoes
violently erupt plus MORE in this 6-book set. Vibrant photos and easy-to-understand text give
readers a close-up look at each topic.
48. Fly Guy Presents: Sharks by Tedd Arnold (Great Books For 6 Year Olds)
Fly Guy takes you to the aquarium to teach you all about sharks! Kids who love Fly Guy and Buzz will be interested in learning interesting facts about sharks. Real photographs and cartoons draw readers into this easy nonfiction reader.
49. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Space by Catherine Hughes
What is a black hole? How far away are stars? What is it like on the moon? Captivating photographs and easy-to-read text help kids explore space and answer their curious questions.
50. My Magic Breath: Finding Calm Through Mindful Breathing by Nick Ortner (Ages 2-6)
*New York Times Bestselling author
Help your child discover the magic of breathing in this interactive picture book. It will help calm emotions and equip children with a skill that benefits them for a lifetime.
*Find more breathing exercises for kids here >>
51. Stephen Curry: The Children’s Book: The Boy Who Never Gave Up
*inspiring true story of NBA superstar Stephen Curry
Everyone said that this boy wasn’t good enough to play basketball. He was too small, too weak, and just not good enough. But against the odds, he never gave up. He not only realized his dream, but he became one of the best basketball players of all time.
Get inspired with The Boy Who Never Gave Up >>
52. The Fascinating Animal Book For Kids by Ginjer Clarke (Ages 5-10)
Hippopotamuses can’t swim or float. Instead, they trot along the river bed.
Some mantis shrimp are strong enough to break aquarium glass with their lightning-fast punches.
Engaging close-up photos and fun facts will have your reader learning and excited to read this nonfiction animal book.
*A favorite nonfiction series in our house
Read this highly engaging nonfiction book to find out what would happen if a lion and a tiger met each other. Readers learn interesting facts about how the two animals are alike and different.
Who would likely win in an ultimate battle for survival? Your young reader will be on the edge of his/her seat to find out! Looks for more books in this series.
54. Ordinary People Change the World Series: I am Walt Disney by Brad Metlzer (Ages 5-9)
*#1 New York Times Bestselling author
55. Mars! Earthlings Welcome by Stacy McAnulty (Ages 4-8)
Kids will enjoy learning about the red planet Mars and how it compares to Earth. This is a fun and humorous nonfiction picture book told from the perspective of Mars himself! A great book for space loving kids!
Books For 6 Year Olds to Read Themselves
When your 6 year old is ready, introduce these independent readers.
56. Frog and toad: A Complete Reading Collection by Arnold Lobel (Ages 4-8)
Share in the daily life of two different friends, Frog and Toad, in these Caldecott Medal-winning fables.
This set of books is a Level Two I Can Read for young readers. To start with a good level 1 book, try Time for Bed the Babysitter Said.
57. Silly Milly by Wendy Cheyette Lewison (Ages 4-6)
*Level 1 easy reader
Why does Miss Milly like what she does? Read this easy rhyming text to find out the answer to this riddle!
58. Elephant and Piggie: Complete Collection by Mo Willems (Ages 3-6)
*Caldecott Honor author Mo Willems
Adventure along with friends Elephant and Piggie in this #1 New York Times Bestselling series.
59. BOB Books Set 2 Advancing Beginners by Bobby Lynn Maslen
Note: Set 1 is featured in the books for 5 year old list. But it's equally as good for 6 year olds, and you'll want to start there first if you're at the beginning of your reading journey.
60. Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik (Ages 4-8)
*A beloved classic
Little Bear is perfect for beginning readers with short sentences and easy words. Children will enjoy reading stories about the adventures of Little Bear and his friends.
61. I Can Read Phonics: Pete the Cat by James Dean and Kimberly Dean (Ages 4-8)
*12 Beginner Mini-Books
Use these 12 beginners Pete the Cat books to start your child on their reading journey! This set was reviewed by a phonics expert, and features examples of long and short vowel sounds, as well as common sight words.
62. Easy To Read: Henry and Mudge Get the Cold Shivers by Cynthia Rylant (Ages 5-7)
*Author of over 100 books
When Henry has to take Mudge to the vet for a checkup, he helps his best friend face his fears. Henry and Mudge books are great for beginning and struggling readers.
Activity Books 6 Year Olds Love
Looking for something to keep your child entertained without a screen? Check out these children’s activity and joke books!
63. Awesome Jokes that Every 6-Year-Old Should Know! By Mat Waugh (Age 6)
Be prepared to laugh! The 6-year-old in your life will love reading over 100 funny jokes in this book with easy text and silly illustrations. Look for other books like this for other age levels too.
64. Jumbo Book of Hidden Pictures (Highlights Jumbo Books & Pads)
Have fun searching for hidden objects with 256 pages of picture scenes. This activity book helps your child develop vocabulary and attention skills.
65. Astronomy Activity Book For Kids by Aurora Lipper (Ages 5-9)
*100+ fun ways to learn about space and stargazing
Your budding astronomer can explore space with this interactive activity book.
66. Activity Book For 5-6 Year Olds: Mazes, Spot the Difference, Math Puzzles, Picture Puzzles, and More!: (Gift Idea for Girls and Boys)
Keep your kiddo engaged for hours and hours with this activity book!
67. How to Draw Books for Kids by Jacy Corral (Ages 3-8)
From tasty treats to outer space, this book has simple step-by-step instructions on how to draw cute and silly things!
Advanced Readers Books For 6-7 Year Olds
68. Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat (Ages 6-9)
*Best chapter books series for 6-7 year olds
In the award-winning Nate the Great series, Nate is on the case to solve the mysteries in his
neighborhood. Using evidence and problem-solving skills, Nate helps his friend and solves the case.
This is a great first detective mystery book for young readers who are ready for chapter books.
Related: Mystery books kids can’t put down!
69. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming (Ages 6-11)
The Potts family is an odd bunch. So, nobody is surprised when they come back with a car that looks like a wreck. But soon the family realizes that the car is much more than a car. It’s also a plane and boat, and it’s on a mission to stop a gang.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is perfect for any kid who loves magic and adventure!
70. Narwhal Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton (Ages 5-8)
*The first book of 8!
71. Diary of a Pug: Pug Blasts Off by Kyla May (Ages 6-9)
Introduce your child to the first book in the Diary of a Pug series for newly independent readers. Baron von Bubbles or “Bub” loves his human, Bella. Will Bub be able to help her with her project for the Inventor Challenge? He will have to be able to stand up to his rival, Nutz the squirrel.
Your kiddos will want to read all the books in this cute series.
Common Questions And Tips to Help Young Readers
Is a 6 year old supposed to read?
All kids develop at different rates. By age 6, their thought processes become more complex. In fact, they understand over 20,000 words. (Scholastic) Your child may be able to:
- decode words and read simple books aloud
- recognize sight words
- write words and use invented spelling
How do I help my 6 year old with struggling to read?
If your 6-year-old seems to be struggling, remember that reading independently is a new skill.
- Practice daily. Have your child read with you or to you for 15-20 minutes daily.
- Model reading and discuss books as you read.
- Help your child find ‘just right’ books.
- Ask your child’s teacher for help and book recommendations.
- Be patient! Learning to read is a big job for your child. Continue to praise their efforts and build confidence in your child as they work.
Why is my 6 year old not reading?
Your child may not be ready to be an independent reader yet. That’s okay! Continue to model, practice, and encourage your kiddo as they build their reading skills.
Talk to your child’s teacher if you are concerned. Chances are great that they are already working diligently to help your child.
To Consider With Books for 6 Year Olds
Finally, keep reading! You are opening your child’s world to new possibilities with every book!
Free Printable Books List For 6 Year Olds
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- Ultimate 4 Year Old Books List