LitPick Five Star Book Recommendations - great books for 5 - 8 year olds

By LitPick Book Reviews

By LitPick Book Reviews

If Grandma Were Here

Amber L. Bradbury and Jessica Corbett

$9.99 $9.19

If Grandma Were Here is a heartwarming picture book that explores the idea of missing one’s grandma in a way that is easy for young children to comprehend. The cute, colorful pictures, illustrated by Jessica Corbett, really help the young reader connect the words on the page to their own lives. At first, I found the fact that the illustrations in this book featured two different grandmothers interacting with the same children slightly confusing. But, it is a nice recognition that grandmas come in many different ages and ethnicities, helping break down the stereotype that all grandmas look and act a certain way. This book first explores all the different activities children can do with their grandma and then ties everything together in the end with the deeper message that no matter how far apart the reader and their grandma might be, their grandma will always be with them, right inside their heart. This would be a great jumping off point for conversations between a parent and child about how to cope with missing their grandma. Based on the depictions of angels of the two grandmas on the front cover and on a page at the end of the book, it seems that this book is meant to address missing a grandma who has passed away. However, this book is extremely relatable to a much wider audience given our current pandemic circumstances. In a time when many children are unable to visit their grandparents to avoid making them sick, this book is a reminder that they aren’t as separated as it might seem. I would recommend this book to anyone ages 3-6, especially those missing their grandma.

Edward the Egg: Coloring Tales of Adventure

Julia Fagundus and Madison Mirra

$8.99 $8.27

What a creative way to write a book! Edward the Egg is a perfect bedtime storybook as it includes many short tales that are perfect in length and imagination for a child before bed (or any other time they want!). I really liked how the author left pages open in each story for the child to draw and color a picture related to what they read. Most importantly, it taught a valuable lesson of how to try new things even if it seems difficult like how a breakable, small egg could learn to drive a four-wheeler! Another lesson that was taught was the need for help and how to help others. For instance, in each story, Edward cracks and is taped together by new friends. It shows both that we all need help and that we need to help others, even those we don't know. I would highly recommend this book for any young audience or parents looking for a great bedtime storybook!

Mommy, Daddy Please Teach Me!

Michael A. Brown and Zoe Ranucci


Mommy, Daddy Please Teach Me! is a great picture book that would be applicable to young readers because they would learn about needed life skills. For example, they would be exposed to important skills such as cooking, cleaning, hygiene, financial matters, and career pursuits, which would then open up the conversation about such matters with their caregivers. The pictures fit the story perfectly because they aid the reader in imagining the story more clearly. This book was entertaining and I’m 13, so I think the author did a fantastic job of making the book interesting for young ages. Overall, this was one of the best picture books I read, and I would highly recommend it and rate it 5 out of 5 stars.

LaLa and the Unfair Bear

Tela Kayne and Goran Vitanovic

$8.89 $8.18

This is a fun book for younger kids. My sister, who is 5 years old, likes for me to read LaLa and the Unfair Bear to her. The pictures are bright and fun, pleasing to see. The lesson in gratitude is also perfect for any kid, as we all sometimes get a bit jealous when we think others have it bettter. This is the third book I've read with LaLa as the main character, and I think it's good for young readers to have consistency in relationship with a character who is learning things readers, too, are learning.

The Curious Club

Jolyn Farber


The Curious Club is a perfect book for youngsters with big personalities and lots of questions. Its rhymes and near-rhymes make the book interesting to read, and they also help it flow well. I find each of the little girl’s questions and ideas to be very interesting. Author Jolyn Farber does a great job of showing how young kids often think outside the box, coming up with ideas that most adults might not consider. This is a great book for parents and children to read together.

Filigree's Midnight Ride

Dorothy Hearst, Pam Berkman, et al.


Filigree’s Midnight Ride is an adventurous book that shows that anyone can do anything, no matter what size. This book stands out from other books I have read because it has a deep meaning about second chances. Everyone deserves a second chance. I recommend this book for 5 to 8 year olds because of the easy vocabulary, black-and-white illustrations, meaningful message, and historical undertones.

Ivy + Bean One Big Happy Family

Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall

$5.99 $5.51

Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family retains its beautiful, simple charm and hilarity. I loved reading once more about all the crazy hijinks Bean and Ivy got up to in this book. It made me laugh and giggle so much. This book is such an amazing story, and it makes me happy to see Annie Barrows has not lost her special touch and that Sophie Blackall is still making beautiful illustrations.

Fabulous Faith in Meet My Worry Monster

Melissa Webster


This children's book has delightful illustrations that every young child will love. The story is written for very young children, but readers of all ages can relate with the book's message. Everyone worries sometimes, and this book encourages the reader to understand how negative worrying can be. It teaches you that you are stronger than you think. What a great message for everyone!

Button Nose the Sad Little Bear

Gina Lobiondo and Brittany Wilder

$10.00 $9.20

This adorable tale about friendship would make a wonderful addition to any bookshelf! Button Nose, the main character, is a cute little bear with a sad face. Little Girl is his playful companion who loves him unconditionally and takes him everywhere she goes. Beautiful illustrations fill every page of this book, making it visually appealing. Real pictures about the author’s youth also fill the pages in the back of the book, letting readers know that this story is based upon her childhood. This charming story would be an excellent read-aloud for young children and a perfect first reader for those beginning the journey of reading on their own!

Don't Turn the Page

Rachelle Burk and Julie Downing


My little sisters loved this book! This book is very fun book for young kids. It holds their interest and it gets their imagination going at the same time. It grasps their attention while it teaches them basic preparation for bedtime such as brushing their teeth, putting on pajamas, etc. I recommend this book for parents who have children who don’t like bedtime, as well as preschool teachers who like getting a variety of books for their class. The age group that will be most interested in this book is 2-6.

The Tooth Fairy Trap

Rachelle Burk and Amy Cullings Moreno


The Tooth Fairy Trap is an excellently written and charming children's book. I would have enjoyed it very much as a child! It's also one of those Junie B. Jones style books, which older children and adults can also enjoy. I found the characters to be interesting and well-dimensioned. For instance, Bradley's pet hamster is grumpy and full of personality. The written messages that Bluna exchanges with the (nicer) children are also extremely genuine and heartfelt. At one point, Bluna wishes that she could play with one of the little girls!

Vin and Dorky Duet

Maggie Lyons


When he walks through the door and sees the sharky grin on his sister's face, Vin rightly suspects Meg is hatching a plot. Worse still, he's central to the outcome. Meg tells him everyone expects him to play her duet for trumpet and piano at the student concert. Vin is horrified. His only escape is to persuade another trumpet player to take his place. Meg has the hunky Brad Stewart in mind, and she challenges Vin to introduce her to him. To do that he must first befriend Brad's nerdy brother, Eyeballs, the last person Vin wants to be friends with until Meg's promise of a David Beckham autographed soccer jersey changes the seventh-grader's mind. He has five days to accomplish his mission-Operation BS. Vin's game plan, thwarted by exploding fish tanks, magnetic compost heaps, man-eating bubble baths, and other disasters ultimately succeeds, but not exactly as he expects .

Always Looking Up: Nancy Grace Roman, Astronomer

Laura Gehl, Louise Pigott, et al.

$16.99 $15.63

Always Looking Up by Laura Gehl is a picture-perfect introduction to Nancy Grace Roman, a renowned astronomer. It is the story of Nancy Grace’s life from childhood through adulthood, and Gehl is dynamic in describing how a young girl who is impassioned with the universe can make all the difference in the world.

What I Tell Myself About Talent

Michael A. Brown


What I Tell Myself About Talent can be described as an uplifting, inclusive, and exciting journey for young children. The book ties in the benefits of hard work and determination to show readers to be themselves and do what they love. Every young child needs to experience this story to see the vast vocational opportunities in the world and the challenges that can shape them into insightful human beings. The author does a fantastic job of subtly showing readers that their role in others’ lives molds the image of themselves and what readers are called to do in the world. What I Tell Myself About Talent is a five-star story that guides readers to be themselves first and finding their calling second.

The Harvest Sprites

Hayley Nystrom and Alexandra Bulankina


The Harvest Sprites by Hayley Nystrom is a fun rhyming book that is great for beginning readers or read-aloud. The author does a great job of making this book informational without compromising the storyline - it teaches young children about the environmental changes and cultural celebrations that make fall so unique through the lives of the Harvest Sprites. I really like how the book includes Harvest Sprites of all ages and races enjoying the season. The book references fall holidays such as Halloween, Dia De Los Muertos, and Diwali but leaves room for parents and children to further investigate whatever aspects of fall most interest them. Another aspect of The Harvest Sprites that makes it so unique is it’s prominent visual aspect; Alexandra Bulankina fills the pages with bright kid-friendly illustrations that enhance the delightful story. I would highly recommend this colorful book for children ages 2-6.

Special Magic

Elena Paige

$19.99 $18.39

In her past adventures, Evie the Everyday Witch has only succeeded with the help of her friends. She is convinced that everyone thinks she is actually bad at being a witch! That is why Evie is so determined to prove herself as the most clever witch around in Special Magic, the third book in the Evie The Everyday Witch Series by Elena Paige. When magical creatures inexplicably begin to wreak havoc in her town, Evie is determined to save the day completely on her own and forbids her friends - human, witch, and magical pets - to help. But as circumstances become more complicated, Evie soon finds herself in more trouble than she bargained for and is forced to decide between letting her friends help her or using Special Magic. Will she be able to defeat whoever is causing all the trouble in her town by herself or will she learn to accept her friends’ help once again? Special Magic, the third book in the Evie The Everyday Witch Series by Elena Paige, was a fantastical, quirky, and fast paced book. I would highly recommend reading the first and second books in the series before this one to better connect with Evie and her many friends through their backstories, relationships, and adventures. One thing I love about this book is the way the author wove important life lessons all throughout the plot. While Evie’s bright and quirky friends teach readers the importance of letting true personality shine, Evie learns through her adventure that friendship and cooperation can be more important than individual heroism. Unlike other fairy tales which commonly feature witches as the antagonists, this book is unique in that witches are portrayed as the “good guys” and get the chance to fight evil. In addition to the exciting storyline, several cute cartoons really help to bring this book to life. I recommend this book to fantasy lovers ages 7-13.

Simon's Skin

Nidhi Kamra and Diane Brown


Nidhi has explained deep psychology through her simple words. The illustrations by Diane are also meaningful and aptly bring out the mental picture kids try to form while reading. This book will help kids learn to accept their skin early in life and save themselves the trouble of trying to fit into someone else’s shoes for no reason. The universal feeling of love and acceptance find a way through the pages inside this book as the author reminds us of the consequences we might face while trying to put on other’s skin. This moral has been portrayed in a friendly manner which is appealing for kids and parents.

A Christmas Love Story: Nicholas Nutcracker & Brittany Ballerina

Maureen L. McCabe and Anastasiia Khmelevska


A Christmas Love Story begins with a sweet woman named Harmonie Homeowner and her Christmas decorating. Harmonie loves the holidays because she spends time with her big family, and who doesn’t love the holiday magic?! As Harmonie decorates her cozy home for Christmas, the author introduces two ornaments to readers, Nicholas Nutcracker and Brittany Ballerina. While each of them has their specific professions and talents, they are both lacking something in their lives: true love! When Harmonie places the ornaments on the tree, Nicholas Nutcracker and Brittany Ballerina are placed near each other! As sparks fly, something unexpected splits them up! Will Nicholas Nutcracker and Brittany Ballerina find each other and fall in love?! Opinion: A Christmas Love Story is a dream come true for Christmas lovers! The story blends familial connection with holiday cheer and some innocent romance. The illustrations make the words come alive, and the author’s tone creates a perfect picture for readers to truly experience this heartfelt tale. The author brings together lively characters through alliterated names and exciting lives. This book is perfect for Christmas romantics and just in time for the holidays!