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17 Funny And Thoughtful Books For Children Under 5

Make bedtimes more interesting with these modern classics.

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We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to recommend some great books suitable for kids under 5, and we got some excellent responses:

"Anything written by Mo Willems, especially the Elephant and Piggie series. I'm an elementary school librarian and I can tell you two things - first, they are very popular with every age group because of the style of writing, and second, they are excellent for kids who are just learning to read or are low-level readers." – Amber Martin, Facebook


"Sonya's Chickens, written and illustrated by Phoebe Wahl, is one of the sweetest, most touching books I've ever read. Phoebe Wahl creates some of the most quaint, beautiful illustrations I've ever seen and the storyline is touching and poignant. It does get a bit sad in one part so be warned." – Katie Leigh Brantley, Facebook.

"It’s a great story, with lovely pictures and the chance to do some good sound effects when reading!" – Smorey


"Never fails to make me cry. It was my favorite book growing up and now I read it to my twin boys. It conveys the importance of being selfless and compassionate. I also think it has an underlying message of showing respect for Mother Nature and trees in particular. It’s an amazing and emotional story." – emmalenes

"Amy writes many books that are absolutely wonderful. They are magical and fun and beautiful, but Plant A Kiss is something else. A child plants a kiss, and it grows and grows and she takes it around the world and gives a little bit of it to everyone she meets and when she makes it back to her starting point, the kiss has bloomed into something you couldn't even imagine." – Katyna Singleton, Facebook.


"Oi Frog is incredibly clever with its use of rhyming telling the story of a cat who tells a frog that he should sit on a log, not because it's comfortable, because it's what is right; cats on mats, mules on stools etc" – Georgia Badiali, Facebook

"I love the Pigeon books by Mo Willems (Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late). They are funny, engaging and really entertaining for the grown-up reader as well!" – cwparker82


"There are only three sentences in the book but trust me, you will read it over and over. What starts as a simple picture finding book leads into the complex issue of deforestation. I loved talking to my son about the animals, and what we should do to protect our environment." – crystalc4dc587d85

"My father was an early childhood education specialist and he always recommends the books by Patricia Polocco, but especially her book Thunder Cake. It helped so many of his kids (including me) get over a fear of thunderstorms and other scary things. It has a great voice and incredible illustrations." – Leseratte24


"Hilarious and beautifully illustrated story about a little girl making a sandwich for her father, throwing in all of his favourite things whether they're edible or not. Easily my eldest son's favourite picture book, which he used to laugh at more than any other when we feigned outrage at the ridiculous things being put on the sandwich." – Chris Bertenshaw, Facebook

"It's hilarious and all written like a trick to get grown ups to say ridiculous things. Both my five-year-old and my-two-year old can't stop laughing at this one and request it at bedtime for days on end." – Emily Glavtcheva, Facebook


"We are huge Oliver Jeffers fans. We started reading This Moose Belongs to Me to our son at 8 months and it’s still his favourite book two years later. Every page is held together by tape and I know it by heart so I can recite it in the dark. A precocious boy and his attempt to domesticate a moose. The kid even has a record collection!" – a42ee2dc8c

"My current favorite is The Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena. It’s a story about a little boy and his grandma taking the bus together and has a nice narrative about privilege and appreciating the simple things in life." – ellap4dc3a6e8a


"The Monster at the End of This Book featuring Grover from Sesame Street. You have to do the Grover voice when reading! " – Clair Warnicke, Facebook

"Not Now Bernard by David McKee and A Dark, Dark Tale by Ruth Brown are two books that are amazing to read out loud to kids. When they say ‘again, again’, I am as excited to read them again as they are to listen!" – ArcrasiasBower


"A great book about self confidence with smart rhymes and great illustration. It also features a girl of color as the main character making it a great addition for anyone looking to diversify their classroom library." – libbym47b3f96bb

"A hilarious book written & illustrated by Tony Fucile (who was animation director on The Incredibles) about two boys who unsuccessfully attempt to do nothing when they run out of somethings." – annk491072b86

Submissions have been edited for clarity and length.

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