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The Best Children's Books to Cultivate Creativity, Resilience, and Independence

Updated: Apr 6

best children's books ages 3, 4, 5

Hi everyone! My name's Erin and this is my blog. Thank you for dropping by. I'm thrilled to see you here!!


Apart from being a Business English coach, publishing educational materials, and running a business with my husband, I'm also a 24/7 mom, the job I'm most proud of.


My daughter and I love reading together. While she's still too young to read on her own, she's an expert at firing hundreds of questions at me every three seconds. God forbid, if I try to turn the page myself, lol.


So I thought: why not share our favorite children's books with the world?


Below you'll find our collection of the best children's books to cultivate creativity, resourcefulness, and independence.


Just a heads-up: this article contains affiliate links. If you decide to buy anything, I'll receive a small reward. So, a big thank you in advance!

Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev , children's book, description, buy
"Strictly No Elephants" by Lisa Mantchev

1. "Strictly No Elephants" by Lisa Mantchev (illustrated by Taefun Yoo)


"Strictly No Elephants" by Lisa Mantchev (illustrated by Taefun Yoo) is a charming story about a boy and his pet elephant. They aren't welcome at the local Pet Club: the sign on the door reads "Strictly No Elephants." So the boy decides to start a new club with the new sign "All are welcome." The book teaches children about the importance of kindness, friendship, and diversity. Love this one!!!







Octopus Shocktopus! by Peter Bently, children's book, what's the book about
"Octopus Shocktopus!" by Peter Bently

2. "Octopus Shocktopus!" by Peter Bently (illustrated by Steven Lenton)


Another favorite is a book called "Octopus Shocktopus!" by Peter Bently (illustrated by Steven Lenton). It is a unique, super creative, funny story about an octopus that lands on a roof. It helps with chores, plays with kids, and even saves Pumpkin Pie, the neighbor's cat. Until one day... it disappears. The story is fascinating and kind. The verse is engaging, simple, and witty!! "Octopus Shocktopus!" is a real page-turner.







Big Bear and Little Fish by Sandra Nickel, book for kids, description
"Big Bear and Little Fish" by Sandra Nickel

3. "Big Bear and Little Fish" by Sandra Nickel (illustrated by Il Sung Na)


"Big Bear and Little Fish" by Sandra Nickel (illustrated by Il Sung Na) is a heartwarming book that follows the unlikely friendship between a large bear and a small fish. Big Bear wanted to win "the biggest" teddy bear in the lottery, but she got a little fish instead. Big Bear learns valuable lessons about empathy, kindness, and diversity. The story inspires readers to embrace our differences!







"ACamping Spree With Mr Magee by Chris Van Dusen, description
"A Camping Spree With Mr Magee" by Chris Van Dusen

4. ''A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee" by Chris Van Dusen


"A Camping Spree With Mr Magee" by Chris Van Dusen is a delightful book that follows the adventures of Mr Magee and his trusty dog, Dee. The two set out on a camping trip in their camper. However, the peaceful adventure takes an unexpected turn when a hungry and short-sighted bear confuses their hitch for a marshmallow. Humorous illustrations and engaging rhymes make this book one of our favorites!!







Where's My Joey? by Wendy Monica Winter (illustrated by Roxana Chitanu (Antochi), description, book for kids
"Where's My Joey?" by Wendy Monica Winter (illustrated by Roxana Chitanu (Antochi)

5. "Where's My Joey?" by Wendy Monica Winter (illustrated by Roxana Chitanu (Antochi)


"Where's My Joey?" by Wendy Monica Winter (illustrated by Roxana Chitanu (Antochi) is a story about Joey, a young kangaroo, and his mother, who's searching for him everywhere. She has been to Ruby Rabbit, Emil Emu, the Kookaburra Family, and even called her Canadian friends, but Joey is nowhere to be found. Then suddenly she remembers!! Through vibrant illustrations, engaging storytelling, and interesting facts about Australia at the end of the book - the tale captures the minds of young readers... and their parents.






"Room On The Broom" by Julia Donaldson (illustrated by Axel Scheffler), children's book, description
"Room On The Broom" by Julia Donaldson (illustrated by Axel Scheffler)

6. "Room On The Broom" by Julia Donaldson (illustrated by Axel Scheffler)


"Room On The Broom" by beloved Julia Donaldson (illustrated by Axel Scheffler) takes you on a journey with a friendly witch and her friends. As they soar through the sky on their broomstick, they face different challenges. One should definitely read the book, if only for the episode where 'a horrible beast' says: "Buzz off! - THAT'S MY WITCH!" Charming, hilarious, and whimsical, the story is one of our favorites.




PANTemonium by Peter Bently and Becka Moor, children's book, description
"PANTemonium" by Peter Bently and Becka Moor

7. "PANTemonium" by Peter Bently and Becka Moor


"PANTemonium" by Peter Bently and Becka Moor is a story about Fred the Giant. His "super-stretchy and strong" underpants are stuck on the hook of his fishing rod sweeping up everyone and everything on his way. With hilarious illustrations and playful verse, the book promises giggles and fun for all ages.








Mother Goose Treasury, by Parragon Books, nursery rhymes, favourite children's nursery rhymes, old nursery rhymes, beloved nursery rhymes
"Mother Goose Treasury" by Parragon Books

8. "Mother Goose Treasury" by Parragon Books

"Mother Goose Treasury" is a collection of nursery rhymes and poems. My daughter loves flipping through the pages of the book: the illustrations are gorgeous. Some of the well-known nursery rhymes in the "Mother Goose Treasury" are "Humpty Dumpty," "Jack and Jill," "Hey Diddle Diddle," "Little Bo-Peep," and "Mary Had a Little Lamb," among many others. Our favorite these days is "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear." We'll read and do the same actions as Teddy. So much fun!



The Wonderful Things You Will Be, by Emily Winfield Martin, description
"The Wonderful Things You Will Be" by Emily Winfield Martin

9. "The Wonderful Things You Will Be" by Emily Winfield Martin


"The Wonderful Things You Will Be" by Emily Winfield Martin is a book that celebrates the potential and uniqueness of every child. It highlights qualities such as kindness, creativity, curiosity, and individuality. Your kid will love whimsical, gorgeous artwork. And the heartwarming message makes it one of our beloved bedtime stories.








The Gruffalo, by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, kids' book, buy, description, best book, favourite book
"The Gruffalo" by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

10. "The Gruffalo" by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler


"The Gruffalo" tells the story of a clever mouse who avoids being eaten by a fox, an owl, and a snake. The mouse invents a scary creature called the gruffalo. Imagine the mouse's surprise when the gruffalo turns out to be real! "The Gruffalo" is a delightful tale of courage, intelligence, and the power of imagination. Definitely, one of the best books to teach kids 'thinking outside the box'.






The One and Only Sparkella, by Channing Tatum, illustrated by Kim Barnes, Sparkella, description, what's about, best books for kids
"The One and Only Sparkella" by Channing Tatum (illustrated by Kim Barnes)

11. "The One and Only Sparkella" by Channing Tatum


"The One and Only Sparkella" by Channing Tatum (illustrated by Kim Barnes) is a story of a young girl named Ella who loves to sparkle! However, when she wears her sparkly outfit to her new school, she faces teasing and even some "giggles". Throughout the book, Ella learns to embrace her individuality and express herself confidently. It's the book that celebrates each child's uniqueness! My daughter has reread the story a thousand times. We love the illustrations and the heartwarming message. By the way, it's a good book for parents as well. You might learn a thing or two from Ella's father!



Grumpy Monkey. FRESHLY SQUEEZED, by Suzanne Lang, illustrated by Max Lang, description, what's about
"Grumpy Monkey. FRESHLY SQUEEZED" by Suzanne Lang (illustrated by Max Lang)

12. "Grumpy Monkey: FRESHLY SQUEEZED" by Suzanne Lang


"Grumpy Monkey. FRESHLY SQUEEZED" by Suzanne Lang (illustrated by Max Lang) is another book about the adventures of Jim Panzee, a grumpy but lovable monkey. This early morning, Jim grabs his 'stress orange' and sets off for his Wednesday walk. The jungle is quiet and peaceful. However, his friend and neighbor Norman decides to join him. Soon, every creature in the jungle follows suit. It's just too much for poor Jim. This funny story is perfect for young readers learning about emotions and coping strategies. Readers explore how to deal with unexpected changes and embrace life's surprises with a positive attitude.



All in a Day, by Chihiro Takeuchi, description, what's about, best children's books, creativity
"All in a Day" by Chihiro Takeuchi

13. "All in a Day" by Chihiro Takeuchi


"All in a Day" by Chihiro Takeuchi is about the daily routines of the residents and workers within the same building. Children can engage in interactive search-and-find adventures as they observe people's activities during the day. Throughout the book the author asks readers questions like "How many cats can you see?", "Has the wind changed direction? How do we know?", "Which of our friends have gone to sleep?", etc. My daughter loves these little challenges. By the way, it's great for kids who are learning to count. The book is engaging, fun, and easy to read.



Unstoppable Me, by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer and Kristina Tracy, what's about, description
"Unstoppable Me!" by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer with Kristina Tracy (illustrated by Stacy Heller Budnick)

14. "Unstoppable Me!" by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer with Kristina Tracy (illustrated by Stacy Heller Budnick)


"Unstoppable Me!" by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer and Kristina Tracy is an excellent book! Children will learn invaluable life lessons like the magic of positive thinking, believing in oneself, and dealing with emotions. Every time my daughter and I read it, we're reminded about the importance of courage and determination when facing life challenges. We find the illustrations gorgeous and the messages incredibly uplifting—very inspiring!






Busy Betty, by Reese Witherspoon, illustrated by Xindi Yan, description, best children's books
"Busy Betty" by Reese Witherspoon (illustrated by Xindi Yan)

15. "Busy Betty" by Reese Witherspoon (illustrated by Xindi Yan)


Betty is a busy bee. She's curious, creative, and full of energy. Sometimes, she's so caught up that she forgets to finish what she started. Today, her friend Mae is coming over for a playdate, and Betty decides she needs to wash her smelly dog, Frank. What a mess! But rather than getting upset about the mess, Mae has a brilliant idea! Together, Betty and Mae decide to start their own business. How cool is that?







To be continued...




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