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The best children's books from 0 to 7 years old [guide]

We have an overview of here the most popular children's books - including a selection of children's book classics and insider tips - for children between the ages of 0 and 7 years.

How is a children's book for first-time readers structured correctly in terms of reading didactics? Which one Text-image ratio is optimal for children and how do children's books differ for the respective age groups? That and more about the Topic "reading" or "learning to read" you can find out in our checklist for children's books.

tip: The compact overview too "Why why why"-Children's books can be found here.

Checklist for children's books

  • Storylines should be simple and comprehensible - both for picture books and reading books as well as for first-time reading books for children from 6 years of age. The following applies: the younger a child is, the fewer storylines should run in parallel in a children's book.
  • In children's books, especially reading books for younger children, it is not just the textual content that has priority. Ideally be several senses at the same time addressed so that a story as a whole can be grasped well. An example of this are children's books in which a story can be "understood" with words, illustrations and tactile elements.
  • Rule of thumb for pictures in a children's book: The younger a child, the fewer colors are needed and the clearer the lines should be. With increasing age, more complex and colorful illustrations can also be captured and processed well.
  • Simple words and sentences should only have a supplementary function in the first months and years of life.
  • For First-time readers from around 6 years of age The following applies: Short texts with few or no nested sentences in large font, left-justified and well-sorted for the eye are ideal. Three- or four-syllable words with complex sound combinations (“au”, “ei” or “sch”) can be spelled, but should not be too abundant so that the content of what is read can be grasped.

In terms of reading didactics, it is importantthat the action should pick up speed from the first page. Concentration and reading power quickly decrease with lengthy introductions - and with it the motivation to continue reading disappears.

Recommended books for children

Of Picture books with clear lines and few colors for very small children over colorful ones Hidden object books with more details and reading books suitable for children, with which several senses are addressed up to First reading books for children from 6 years: Here you can find a selection of suitable ones Children's books for ages 0 to 7 years in a compact overview.

Reading and picture books for children up to 1 year

Picture books or first, simple reading books for children are less about a coherent story and more about the visual aspect. So simple and clear illustrations. Picture books that can be “felt” are also a popular and sensible change for this age group.

Ahoy, little penguin!

The little penguin sets sail with the little bird from the South Pole to make new friends. This is how an adventurous journey with his little steamer begins.

In addition to the adventures told according to their age, the book captivates with straight and simple figures and a chimney from which water splashes: A bathtub book for the little ones that is really fun!

The owl with the bump

A wonderful book for children who want to be comforted.

The poor little owl has a bump - and all of her friends, be it the fox, the mouse or the snake, try to comfort her: with blows, strokes or a plaster. In the end, a kiss from Mama Owl still helps best.

A book with simple rhymes and beautiful pictures that all children will empathize and love!

ministeps: feel it!

Babies and small children prefer to get to know the world - and books too - with all their senses. Reading stories is one option.

It gets even more exciting with this leporello to look, play and feel. It playfully promotes the ability to recognize and differentiate colors and shapes and invites you to touch the pictures and perceive them with different senses.

ministeps: My first crackling book

It is similar with this very appealing "crackling book", which is a real experience for all babies. Each side crackles, wants to be heard and "understood", which by the way also promotes motor skills. A crackling book belongs in every children's library.

Baby's first pictures: animals

Babies are best able to see high-contrast images in the first few months of life. And animals are popular with young children anyway. The picture book "Animals" from the picture book series "Babies First Pictures" is perfect for this.

More selection for picture and reading books for children up to approx. 1 year can be found here ...

Children's books from 1 year

Children from 1 year of age not only like to have (short) stories read out loud, the books are also still like to be “grasped” intensively in the truest sense of the word - a stable design without sharp corners and edges is therefore an important selection criterion. The stories themselves should have a simple and clear storyline so that the attention span, which is still short at this age, does not end before the story ends ...

My very first bedtime stories

Going to bed with children: The ideal opportunity to spend time together and gently end the day. Ideally, this happens with a bedtime story or a short bedtime rhyme.

These seven short bedtime stories and four bedtime rhymes are atmospherically illustrated and invite you to cuddle and dream ...

My nose - for all wise men

Elephant trunks, proboscis monkeys or the nostril of the blue whale: Welcome to the journey to noseland!

This is the case with the cardboard picture book "Meine Nase - für alle Naseweisen" by P. J. Ox (Chamäleon Verlag) Text to image ratio perfect tailored to children from approx. 1.5 years. And quite the illustrations are particularly impressive by Caroline Dittmann, which are kept in pleasantly subtle colors. A clear one Purchase recommendation for children from 1.5 to 4 years.

tip: The second picture book of the small but very fine Chameleon publisherss with the title "Ava holds her breath“Is already in the making. Again there is a father with a little girl. The girl holds her breath while bathing and dives into a magical underwater world. The completion or the climate-neutral printing of this picture book can be supported here.




Guess who that is!

Who does the curly tail belong to? Who is showing off their feathers, and whose puzzles are jumping across the lawn?

Rhymes have a magical effect on children - this book is full of them and invites you to join in and join in, not least through the peepholes on each page through which a tail peeps through and which raises the question of which animal it might belong to?

All of my finger games

Well-known and less well-known finger games - all well explained and with extremely successful pictures. “More!” And “Again!” - such reactions will be the rule in this finger play book, because here people clap, crawl and laugh a lot.

The finger games are also supplemented with short instructions for all parents who do not have that much experience with finger games.

Our opinion: Finger games are part of every beautiful childhood!

Cuckoo! Who's there?

This sliding book is a great change for children from 18 months. The giraffe and other animals are just waiting to surprise curious little explorers. Who is there?

How little animals go to sleep

Another bedtime book that we can warmly recommend!

Eight bedtime scenes with really appealing pictures and rhymes that don't neglect animals. How does the lion say good night? And what does the mouse child enjoy the most before it falls asleep?

So much can be revealed: The animal children love to cuddle before falling asleep, just like your children will do according to this bedtime book.

Car hidden object book

For small children, of course, a Wimmelbuch should not be missing at all.

In terms of the density of details, this car hidden object book is perfectly matched for children from the first birthday. Cars, motorcycles, trucks and many other vehicles are everywhere. A large-format hidden object book with many ongoing stories that can be followed across the pages.

More selection for children's books and radio plays from 1 year can be found here ...

Children's books from 2 years

Children from around 2 years of age now want to be more and more actively involved in reading aloud - passive “getting read aloud” tires and children quickly get bored. Exciting are now hidden objects, for example, in which the children can actively search for (drawn) storylines themselves. In addition, books are always particularly interesting for children when they thematically address current living conditions and deal with situations that are relevant in everyday life - e.g. "going to the potty". Coloring and handicraft books are also a welcome change.
That is one of the bestsellers Children's book "Bunny comforts", Which many book critics call"one of the most beautiful children's books in the world" is looked at.

Bunny comforts

A beautiful and sensitive story of how to deal with life's big and small sorrows - complete with heartwarming illustrations.“- Baby London Magazine

The tower that Charlie builds from building blocks collapses - how bitter! His friends try to cheer Charlie up again, to no avail. Only a little rabbit knows how to alleviate frustration and pain: by sitting quietly by him and simply listening.

This children's book shows in a wonderful way how a child can deal with frustration, pain and loss.
2018 under the Original title "The Rabbit Listended" appeared and already translated into 23 languages, is this Children's book of the year the author Cori Doerrfeld is now also available in German as "Bunny comforts" available. For many critics one of the "most beautiful children's books of all time" for children from 2 years.

Anatol Schulz: Moki dreams of flying

Elephants can't fly? Moki is not so easily convinced of this ... But what is certain is that the author and illustrator Anatol Schulz with his First work a real "high-flyer" succeeded. And the second part "Moki munching mangos" is already in the starting blocks, release date in mid-2021.

Illustrations and text witnesses of great attention to detail, this is rounded off A4 children's book of a interactive part with search picture, coloring picture and drawing aid. A clear buy recommendation for children from 2 to 6 years.




Spring Wimmelbuch

Even for children from two years of age (and beyond) a Wimmelbuch is an absolute classic that does not lose its popularity.

Regardless of whether it is the spring, summer, autumn or winter wimmel book - the author Rotraut Susanne Berner is known for tailoring her wimmel books to perfection for children.

And even as an adult you will be amazed at how many small details and stories can be gradually discovered in these popular hidden object books - even after leafing through several times, you will always come across new surprises ...

Tickle the cockatoo by Nico Sternbaum
The new Hands-on book"Tickle the cockatoo" is the new work by Nico Sternbaum, who has already become extremely popular with “Shake the Apple Tree” or “Swing the Sheep”. Not only does the green cover with the laughing cockatoo appeal to children immediately, the entire book invites them to participate: Here is shaken, pounded and rocked or even blown. In addition, questions such as “What do you do when a rooster gets a sore throat?” Or “Why is it helpful to call a rhyme after a vulture?” Not only bring a smile to children’s faces.
We were able to convince ourselves of "Tickling the Cockatoo", ours Conclusion: Another very convincing hands-on book by Nico Sternbaum that invites children to participate actively and creatively. Clear recommendation for children from 2 to around 4 years.



Doodle coloring book from 2 years

Children aged 2 and over can be real artists - and this book proves it. The doodle coloring book contains motifs from everyday life, in which an essential part is missing and can be inserted by the child. This does not require any outstanding skills: simple doodles also help to complete the pictures.
Sleep well and sweet dreams! My very first minute stories

Sleep well and sweet dreams…

... that is exactly what your children will do after reading these bedtime stories.

These eleven “minute stories” are perfect for reading aloud in the evening, as they only last a few minutes and thus the evening bedtime ritual stays within the frame.

The children learn, among other things, from the kid who doesn't want to sleep, from Leo who is guarded by his cuddly lion during the night, from the little mouse and many others ...

Shake the Apple Tree - A hands-on book. For shaking, rocking, blowing, knocking and seeing what happens then

This is where the children themselves are asked: With this picture book, a lot more can be done than just reading it or looking at its funny, colorful pictures. The children are allowed to shake, rock, rub, knock on the book or turn it upside down, depending on what the little story calls for. For example, you have to shake the apple tree, tickle the tickling monster Kalle or knock on the door of a mysterious lock to see what happens on the next page. A book full of surprises for lots of games, fun and excitement.
Albert is nonsense

Albert is a bright little boy who can also say a lot. But he prefers to lead his mom by the nose by swapping words. With the "transformation pages" every child can join in on Albert's funny jokes!

A children's book for children from around two years of age that invites “lateral thinking” and is loved by many children. The illustrations can also be described as extremely successful and appealing.

ABC, the cat ran in the snow

Rotraut Susanne Berner is primarily known for her popular hidden object books. However, with the book “ABC the cat ran in the snow”, she tickled a classic from the pen over 10 years ago, which is a must in every children's library.

Old rhymes can also sound new and completely different, as the author proves with the help of the ABC cat: With C it always gets stuck in the snow until it is finally continued in the direction of X, Y and Z - the cat goes to bed!

Just scratch your ears for a moment?

A wonderful ritual before going to bed: clapping hands, patting pillows, saying Simsalabim, scratching ears, caressing the back, covering up well and finally giving the good night kiss. This allows the rabbit child in the book to fall asleep peacefully every evening.

We dare to say with certainty: All other children will also find it much easier to fall asleep with this wonderful book!

More selection for children's books and radio plays from 2 years can be found here ...

Children's books from 3 years

From about 3 years on, the ability to concentrate develops more and more in children, and this should also be reflected in the choice of books. First books with slightly longer storylines become interesting from this age - e.g. "Mister Glücklich and his friends". But: variety is necessary even at this age - and yourself actively participate particularly exciting. Books in which colors, numbers, or shapes can be explored are particularly popular at this age.

Mister Happy and his friends (Mr. Men and Little Miss)

The countless stories of “Mr. Men und Little Miss ”, which in the German translation become different characters with descriptive names such as Mister Lustig, Mister Muscle or Miss Sonnenschein.

The themes of the stories are always determined by the characters of the main characters and make all children and adults laugh.

This anthology is a must in every children's library!

Open and close, I can do that!

A popular cardboard picture book that invites you to participate with Velcro, buttons and a bow. Motor skills are trained in a playful way so that children can dress themselves - whether it is a zipper on the jacket, press studs or the loop on the shoe and the snap fastener on the backpack. "Recommended" rating for children from 3 years!
Participate book

Colors, numbers, room-location orientation - small children from around 3 years of age can easily learn this with this interactive book. Magically illustrated by the well-known French artist Hervé Tullet.
My motley cut-out book: cut, glue, paint

Cut out, glue on, color in - these are the basic skills that children from 3 years of age can practice with this book. Nico Sternbaum provides simple motifs that can first be cut out by the child, then glued to the appropriately illustrated page and partially colored in. This promotes fine motor skills and concentration in equal measure.