Whether you’re buying for your own kiddos or someone else’s, these educational books for kids are bound to delight. And books make excellent gifts. Just ask my many niblings, who each receive a book along with another item for every birthday and Christmas.
Okay, so one of them might say that “books are so boring,” but she doesn’t mean it and happens to read voraciously. Do you know why? Because we encouraged this love of learning early. (And because she’s awesome.)
If you’re here, you know the value of books, or at least want to teach that value to some young soul. You’ve come to the right place! Books are my love language. I pride myself on recommending and gifting titles that I know the recipients will love.
This list of educational books for kids is intended to inspire a love of learning in young readers. Thus, “educational” in this sense covers a variety of topics. There are options for every kid from little scientists to those learning to manage big emotions. Of course, this is by no means a comprehensive list. Worry not; there are more lists linked at the end if you need additional ideas.
Be forewarned: you are in the hands of a person who just bought a fifth bookcase because she ran out of room on her others. I am incapable of bookish restraint. So, get your credit card ready and enjoy!
15 Educational Books for Kids
I Am My ABC’s: An Alphabet Story of Affirmations! by Jerusha Labady; illustrated by Bojana Stojanovic
This absolute gem of a picture book not only reinforces alphabetic knowledge, but encourages self-esteem. The affirmations include great messages like “I am strong” for the letter s. Perfect for repeated readings!
The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin by Julia Finley Mosca; illustrated by Daniel Rieley
This award-winning STEM focused picture book is the true story of an autistic girl who grew up to be a leader in modern science. The rhyming cadence and vivid illustrations make this an engaging and inspirational read.
Our Skin: A First Conversation About Race by Megan Madison and Jessica Ralli; illustrated by Isabela Roxas AOC
Research has repeatedly found that children notice racial differences from infancy, developing preferences by nine months and prejudices by the age of three. Consequently, the authors of this board book offer a tool to begin an important conversation. With an interactive format and additional resources in the back matter, this is a perfect way to begin your child’s anti-racist education.
All About Weather: A First Weather Book for Kids by Huda Harajli
Written by an elementary school teacher, this book introduces young children to important weather concepts. It includes information about seasons, reading thermometers, and more. Great for preschoolers and kindergarten children.
The Magical Yet by Angela DiTerlizzi; illustrated by Lorena Alvarez
Recently, a dear friend of mine asked me for a book recommendation in place of Oh, the Places You’ll Go! and I was delighted to share this find. In The Magical Yet, readers learn the power of yet. There might be things they don’t know how to do and goals they haven’t accomplished, but they needn’t despair. The power of yet is its sense hopefulness and possibility.
School is Wherever I Am by Ellie Peterson
Learning happens everywhere. That’s the message of this fabulous picture book. In it, a child who loves the learning that happens in school discovers that school encompasses more than a building. It’s a wonderful exploration of the value of all kinds of learning beyond the academic. Considering how much time children have spent outside of school buildings in recent history, it’s a timely lesson.
Together by Mona Damluji; illustrated by Innosanto Nagara
Illustrator Innonsanto Nagara has been a part of several iconic board books that are must-haves for any library. In this newest outing, Nagara and poet Mona Damluji help young readers understand the power of collective action and responsibility.
Listening to My Body by Gabi Garcia
Young children have a lot to learn about understanding and regulating their emotions. Luckily, books like this one offer adults the necessary tools to help them. With guidance on mindfulness and noticing both physical and emotional sensations, this book is an excellent resource.
The Wonder of Thunder: Lessons from a Thunderstorm by Sharon Purtill, Illustrated by Tamara Piper
If you know a kiddo who is afraid of storms, this is the perfect gift. They’ll be introduced to Sally Storm. This lovable character will teach them about rain, lightning, and thunder in an endearing manner bound to calm their fears.
From the Start: A Book about Love and Making Families by Stephanie Levich and Alana Weiss, Illustrated by Darren Gate
Next, I’ll share a new and thoughtful book. Levich and Weiss wrote a story for all of the many families built through adoption, IVF, and surrogacy. With sweet prose and inclusive illustrations, this celebration of love is a must-read.
Sometimes We Do by Omo Moses, Illustrated by Diego Chaves
Of course, a fantastic math educator would write a book that encourages kids to love math. In this educational book for kids, Moses introduces children to a variety of math concepts through everyday interactions. Kids will enjoy main character Johari’s fanciful imagination while learning important math skills.
Circle! Sphere! by Grace Lin
Another STEM gem, award-winning author-illustrator Grace Lin’s math story will introduce young readers to geometry. Using different shapes of wands, the children in the story enjoy seeing what sorts of bubbles they can create. This teaching tale includes plenty of hands-on activities for caregivers and kids to try out.
Just in Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book by Yuyu Morales
This award-winning picture book tells the story of Señor Calvera’s quest to find his grandmother a birthday gift. Primarily written in English with Spanish words for each letter of the alphabet, it’s a hilarious story of a well-meaning skeleton who doesn’t quite understand what makes a good gift.
Tree Full of Wonder by Anna Smithers, Illustrated by Martyna Nehman
As someone who loves the Lorax despite her love-hate relationship with Seuss, I am always on the lookout for books with an environmentalist lens. This rhyming tale is just that. Smithers teaches readers all about how trees work and why they’re so important in this beautifully illustrated tale.
Idia of the Benin Kingdom by Ekiuwa Are, Illustrated by Alina Shabelynk
Teach your little one about African history with this gorgeous picture book. In it, readers will learn the story of Queen Idia, a wise and brave leader. Aire imagines Idia’s childhood in this award-winning tale.
There are many more educational books for kids out there, so don’t worry if you haven’t found the perfect gift yet. (See what I did there?) You find what you’re looking for in one of these great posts:
- 50 Must-Read Board Books for Babies and Toddlers
- 15 Books about Shapes for Preschoolers
- 10 Science Books for Babies and Curious Kiddos
- Book Riot Children’s Book Archives
- The Best Children’s Books by Age: A Guide to Great Reading
- 10 of The Best Children’s Books that Promote Critical Thinking
- Books to Boost Young Readers’ Cultural Literacy