This year there seemed to be as many great children's books in the first half of the year as the second, great news for all of us book lovers who didn't have to wait until the big fall books to find the gems. Case in point, The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems--our top pick for 2014 that released in April--is hilarious whether you're 4 or 44.
Deciding on the top 20 children's books is always difficult, but I won't complain about having so many beloved books to choose from over the course of 2014. Below is a sampling of the Best Children's Books of 2014, the top five (of a total of 20) across all ages. You can also see the top 20 for each category:
Top 5 Children's Books of 2014:
1. The Pigeon Needs a Bath! by Mo Willems (ages 3-5): A new book in the beloved Pigeon series, even the flies think the pigeon needs a good scrub. Hilarity ensues as pigeon does everything he can think of to avoid a bath but when the inevitable happens, the pigeon is pleasantly surprised.
2. The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm (ages 9-12): The clever, funny, and uplifting story of 11-year-old Ellie, who is entering a new chapter of her life when her grumpy scientist grandfather ends up living with them under strange circumstances. As Ellie discovers new friends and interests, she and her grandfather form a unique bond that results in the gift of possibility for both of them.
3. The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel (ages 9-12): Historical fiction for young readers at it best, The Boundless successfully mixes history, folklore, and imagination into a sweeping adventure story. Will and Maren's paths cross twice around the Boundless, a train of epic proportion. Though they live very different lives, they are united in the face of the murderers, thieves, and deception aboard the train's inaugural run.
4. The Heroes of Olympus Book Five: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan (ages 9-12): The final book in the Heroes of Olympus series, Riordan brings his A-game to end the story of these Greek and Roman demigods' battle to save the world from Gaea's destructive force. Action-packed adventure, witty characters, and suspense make this one a page-turner from beginning to end.
5. Leroy Ninker Saddles Up: Tales from Deckawoo Drive, Volume One by Kate DiCamillo (ages 6-8): Award winner Kate DiCamillo kicks off a new chapter book series with a character readers may remember from one of ther Mercy Watson books, Leroy Ninker. A sweet and funny story about a would-be cowboy and the horse he loves, this is a great book for reluctant readers and young enthusiasts alike.
You can see all of our favorite chidlren's books of the year here.