13 Soon-to-Be Classic Children’s Books You Should Know

There are certain classic books that parents typically know about — Goodnight Moon, The Velveteen Rabbit, The Giving Tree, anything Dr. Seuss. But there are more classic-worthy children’s books being written every year — many of which are worthy of a spot on your little one’s bookshelf.

Here are 13 soon-to-be-classic children’s books that you probably haven’t heard of. Most of them, if not all of them, were released within the last year or two, and they’re quickly reaching must-read status. Even if your baby is still in the “board book” genre, you might want to keep these in mind for the future:

  • Spoon


    This spoon feels envious of the knives, forks, and chopsticks — all more interesting than him — until his mom explains why being a spoon is so desirable (he can bang on pots! and dive into ice cream!). A charming book that reminds children to celebrate what’s special in each one of us.
    Buy from Amazon.

  • Me…Jane


    Whether your child is an animal lover or just a dreamer, Me…Jane — a pictorial biography of Jane Goodall’s childhood — will resonate with children of all ages.
    Buy from Amazon.

  • The Sleepy Little Alphabet

    The Sleepy Little Alphabet

    In the tradition of ABC books like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, this modern version is a sweet bedtime story that toddlers will want to read each night.
    Buy from Amazon.

  • City Dog, Country Frog

    City Dog, Country Frog

    From the author of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (which is a popular preschool book), City Dog, Country Frog is about a heartfelt bond between a dog and his amphibian friend. This is a book that you’ll keep on reading through the early school years.
    Buy from Amazon.

  • Dot


    Did you ever think of how much you can do with a simple dot? Your children will, after reading this.
    Buy from Amazon.

  • A Ball for Daisy

    A Ball for Daisy

    A Ball for Daisy — a best-selling wordless picture book — is the winner of the American Library Association’s 2012 Caldecott Award, which is the most distinguished award for children’s books. A future classic, for sure.
    Buy from Amazon.

  • Pete the Cat

    Pete the Cat

    “Pete the Cat” — part of a three-book series — is currently topping the best-seller list, and for good reason. With catchy rhymes and fun accompanying songs (which are available for free download), Pete teaches kids to just go with the flow in a very laid-back, “groovy” way.
    Buy from Amazon.

  • The Quiet Book

    The Quiet Book

    Did you know there’s more than one kind of quiet? Clearly “lollipop quiet” isn’t the same as “underwater quiet,” and this book goes through the different types of quiet your child might experience in a day.

    Buy from Amazon.

  • All the Water in the World

    All the Water in the World

    A beautiful introduction to the water cycle and its incredible importance.
    Buy from Amazon.

  • Blackout


    The lights go out, and suddenly this very busy family comes together, as does the surrounding community, to realize how special life can be “off the grid.” It’s especially relevant for today’s children, where kids (and parents!) rely on electronics more than ever.
    See Amazon.

  • I Want My Hat Back

    I Want My Hat Back

    This clever, repetitive book about a bear in search of his hat will have you chuckling right along with your kids.
    Buy from Amazon.

  • I Must Have Bobo

    I Must Have Bobo

    A little boy and a cat both claim a certain sock monkey in this irresistible picture book.
    See Amazon.

  • Up, Tall, and High

    Up, Tall, and High

    This book, which illustrates the differences between “up,” “tall,” and “high,” will have toddlers and preschoolers laughing as they learn.
    Buy from Amazon.

See even more soon-to-be classic children’s books — including Zen Shorts, Press Here, and Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site.

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