children's books adults love

I’ve mentioned plenty of times that I’m a big, fat word nerd. I like big books and I cannot lie (sorry, not sorry). But with two kids and freelancing and, well, life, I read way less than I’d like to.

Correction: I read a ton. I read each of the girls at least one book every day (bedtime rituals for the win). I read plenty of blogs and copy that needs editing. I just don’t read any actual grown up books. So, while I’d love to start a series on Awesome Books for Big Girls, that will have to go on hold for at least a little while.

Instead, my new Bookworms series will focus on awesome sauce kids books. Check them out for your own kids, gift them to your friends’ kids, give them out for baby showers, whatever you want. But I’ll be highlighting great books that get kids excited for storytime–which means they’re excited for reading.

children's books adults love

For this first post, I’m focusing on books that grownups love just as much as kids do. I asked around on Facebook and here on the blog for favorites and got a pretty awesome list. I sat down with Sam and read them all (although there were a couple we couldn’t find) and she made a list of her top 7–none of which will make you groan when the kids pull it off their bookshelf.

Children's books adults love: Tikki Tikki Tembo

1. Tikki Tikki Tembo: Kids love this retelling of a Chinese folktale for its repitition and the ridiculously long name of its protagonist (North West suddenly isn’t so crazy when you compare it to Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo). And you know what? Adults do too. Samantha said “It’s a funny book because the same thing happens two times around, just with two different people.” Samantha’s rating: 5 stars

Children's books adults love: Amelia Bedelia

2. Amelia Bedelia: Who doesn’t love Amelia Bedelia? As Sam says, her stories are “about a girl who just doesn’t understand anything–or she just understands them wrong.” Whether you’re six or thirty six, you can’t help but giggle at the trouble Amelia Bedelia gets herself into. And you know what? The newer versions by Peggy Parish’s nephew aren’t so shabby either. Samantha’s rating: 5 stars

Children's books adults love: Madeline

3. Madeline: This one is another classic. “I love it,” said Samantha. “It has really good illustrations and I love the last part where the writing gets smaller and smaller like a whisper.” Plus there’s that part where Madeline says “poo poo” to the tiger in the zoo. It gets them every. time. Samantha’s rating: 5 stars

Children's books adults love: The Day the Babies Crawled Away

4. The Day the Babies Crawled Away: This one is my favorite on the list, but I’m totally partial to Peggy Rathmann books (she also did Good Night, Gorilla and Officer Buckle and Gloria). The grownups are distracted having fun at a carnival when all of a sudden the babies start crawling away. Luckily, a hero toddler swoops in to save the day. It’s funny and adorable and the illustrations are great. Samantha’s rating: 5 stars

Children's books adults love: When Sheep Cannot Sleep

5. When Sheep Cannot Sleep: We had never read this one before but we both loved it. It’s about a little sheep who can’t sleep (spoiler!). He goes for a walk and runs into all sorts of things. Each page has objects to count as the sheep gets closer to sleep, but the story doesn’t tell you what to count. It’s like a little game and the kids love it. Samantha also thought it was pretty funny because in it “The sheep counts things when we usually count sheep!” Samantha’s rating: 4 stars

Children's books adults love: Caps for Sale

6. Caps for Sale: Another silly classic, this one tells the story of a peddler who can’t sell his caps so he takes a little nap. When he wakes up a group of mischievous monkeys have his caps and he has to figure out how to get them back. Samantha’s favorite part? “When the monkeys do exactly what he does.” Samantha’s rating: 4 stars

Children's books adults love: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

7. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: Just about everyone has heard of this story–especially since it was made into a movie. If you haven’t read it, you should. It’s different from the movie and is written as a story within a story, which the kids love. Samantha’s rating: 4 stars

What do you think? Did we miss any of your favorites? Looking back at it, I’m kicking myself for not including a Mo Willems book. The Knuffle Bunny books are some of my favorites (just not the third one. It makes me cry).

Also, if you have cute pictures of your kids reading send them to me! You can post them on Instagram with the hashtag #bookworms (don’t forget to tag me @cuddlesandchaos so I’m sure to see them!), post them to my Facebook page, or email them to me at I’ll include some of my favorites in future posts!

Written by Jennifer Garry
Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she's not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.