Books for Boys

ResourcesI started reading to my boys while in the womb (the first one intentionally, the others by default as I read to older brothers). I didn’t think that reading to my babies would magically make them smarter or necessarily love books more. I was just very excited to share my love for reading with my boys, so we started young.

Here I share with you my list of favorites—picture books, board books, and a few from the wide world of chapter books. It’s certainly not all-inclusive and continues to evolve. But if you’re looking for a few books for your boy, they’re a great start. I’ve included a wide range of reads and arranged them by recommended ages. I also include a quick note about why we like that particular book.

Want to recommend a book not listed? We’re always looking for new books to add to our home library, so feel free to contact me.

Infant/Toddler (ages 0-2)

I Love You Through And Through by Bernadette Rossetti Shustak

This book is for both mom and baby. It’s always my first recommendation for new moms and a gift I often pass along. Yes, it’s cute and easy to read, but I love it most because reading it helps me remember that I need to love every aspect of my babes (both the good and the challenging).

Any of the Sandra Boynton Books

These books are fun to read and are the perfect size to throw in a purse or diaper bag to keep kiddos occupied in the car or at the store. A few of our favorites are DoggiesBlue Hat, Green Hat; and Opposites.

That’s Not My Pirate…(Usborne Touchy-Feely Books) by Fionna Watt

Okay, so for the record, I’ve yet to meet an Usborne Touchy-Feely Book that I haven’t loved. However, this was our first one and remains my favorite. But know you really can’t go wrong with any of them. They’re tactile, shiny, and short. Everything you could want to read to your one-year-old.

Preschool (ages 3-5)

Note: I have the most experience with kids books in this age range, so while our shelves are chock full of picture books I could recommend, I’ve narrowed down a few favorites.

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Tacos? Dragons? What could go wrong, right? We bought our boys this book when they were going through their dragons phase, but it’s still a family favorite. It’s witty, has great illustrations by Adam Salmieri, and is just plain fun for both kids and parents.

Jesus Calling Bible Storybook by Sarah Young

We have been given a number of Bible picture books, but this one remains my favorite for preschoolers. In fact, our copy is starting to look pretty used so it may be time to get a new one. I like how Sarah Young retells the major stories of the Bible in a way that relates to kids. Plus, it includes developmentally appropriate devotionals that are great for spurring faith-based conversations.

Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner

The ornery little kitty who imagines he’s a “Spanglish-speaking” Chihuahua in Skippyjon Jones entertains both kids and parents.  This little kitty goes on all kinds of imaginative adventures, and I have to admit I LOVE reading it out loud. Parents, be warned: If you buy this book, you must make a solemn oath now to commit and DO. THE. VOICES. Trust me. It’s worth it. I recommend that you start off with this original and then check out some of the other titles, including Skippyjon Jones and the Big Bones and Skippyjon Jones Snow What. Many of them also include a CD audio book, which are great for quiet time or car rides.

There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight by Penny Parker Klostermann

Every summer, my boys go to my mom’s house for grandkid camp. This past year, my parents planned activities all surrounding knighthood. They had costumers. They had activities. They had books…including this one, which quickly became a favorite. When I asked my boys why they liked it so much, they said, “Because it’s so funny!” And it is.

How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long

Who doesn’t like a good pirate tale? Your little matey is bound to like this imaginative adventure of a little boy who becomes a pirate for a day. It’s a great little story; plus, illustrator David Shannon outdid himself with all the pictures. Even if your little man can’t read, he’ll love flipping through How I Became a Pirate.

Early Elementary (ages 6-8)

The Action Bible by Doug Mauss (editor), Sergio Cariello (illustrator)

As featured in my “Top 5 Gift Picks for Boys, The Action Bible is a great purchase for young boys beginning to read. I will note that its recommended age range is 9-11, but we bought this for our firstborn when he turned 7, and I’m glad I did. The Bible really comes to life in this graphic novel version of Scripture. I’ve loved watching my son read, and we’ve had a number of great God conversations as a result.

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Who doesn’t love this classic? Charlotte’s Web may be a bit advanced for young elementary-aged kids to read on their own, but Ben and I took time reading one chapter a night to the older boys before bed. They really connected with the story, and we had a great time watching the movie when we were finished.

LEGO Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded

I grew up watching the original Star Wars Trilogy. My sons have proven to be no less enthusiastic about all things Jedi, Wookies, Tie Fighters, and more. Last Christmas, Cohen got this LEGO-version encyclopedia about the Star Wars characters. He will spend long stretches of time sitting in our den, looking through all the pictures, reading about each character, and then relaying facts to me. He for sure knows more than I do at this point. This book is a great nonfiction option for kids interested in Star Wars.

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Ben and I both grew up on The Boxcar Children. Even today, we have a few worn and musty-smelling copies from our youths. While this series may be a bit challenging for kindergarten or even first-grade kids (unless you have a reading genius, of course), you can still read them out loud or with your son as he enters into the world of chapter books. They’re just clean, wholesome books, and while written even before my time (mostly during the 1960s!) my boys really connect with the adventures and mysteries that surround the life of young Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny. Start with the first one, and go from there.

DK Readers L1: LEGO Star Wars: A New Hope by Emma Grange

Have I mentioned my boys like Star Wars? Last Christmas, when Cohen was beginning to read, I bought this early reader version of A New Hope to encourage him to do more reading on his own. It’s no Pulitzer, but it’s been a great addition to our library. One bonus: I love that we can easily throw this (as well as the other books in this series) into a backpack when we are traveling.

For more Life in Blue recommendations, check out the Resources page!

Life in Blue

NOTE: We own every book I recommend on this list. No one is twisting my arm. However, I want you to know that this page contains affiliate links, which means that if you buy something I recommend I may get a small commission. For more on this, check out my disclosure statement.

photo credit: feature image adapted from pixabay (public domain) & created on Canva