Abracadabra—make amazing books appear! We’ve compiled this list of 16 enchanting, magical, and adventurous books. You’ll see books about typical magical subjects like bunny rabbits and wizards, but you’ll also find books that’ll transport you to new worlds and faraway places. Use these books to inspire the imagination and creativity of the kids in your life.
Eva is given a box of tricks for her birthday. What does she conjure up? A polar bear! Rabbits! A big party! The book’s illustrations feature pops of color that really give it a special feel. This is a quick read that encourages imagination. Read it to your preschoolers.
The pictures in this book are incredibly beautiful and intricate. The author cut the scenes out of paper, arranged each piece in a diorama, and photographed them. They truly shine in this wordless book. You see two sisters, one who goes outside to create a bunny made of snow. She comes inside to show her wheelchair-bound sister what she’s made, but it begins to melt. Both sisters take the bunny back outside and it magically comes alive! They’ll follow it to the forest and have quite an adventure. Preschoolers will like the story and even adults will marvel at the pictures.
This classic picture book is full of childhood magic. The story follows Max, a misbehaving little kid who’s been sent to bed. Alone in his bedroom, Max sets sail for the place where the Wild Things live! His journey there is magical, but he returns home when he smells dinner cooking. This is a must-read for every preschooler and kindergartner!
Open this book and step into the magical world of Narnia. It’s a cold, snow-covered land that’s ruled by the evil White Witch. Four siblings end up in Narnia and interact with all sorts of interesting characters. In the end, Aslan the Lion triumphs over the White Witch, and Narnia is transformed back into a prosperous land. This classic book is a fantastic read-aloud for elementary students.
Elena’s papa is a glassblower. She wants to learn how to do it, too, but she’s told that girls can’t be glassblowers. So, she travels to Monterrey because that’s where the great glassblowers live. She meets many magical creatures along the way. Will she finally achieve her dream when she arrives in Monterrey? The story is set in Mexico and incorporates several common Spanish phrases. A Spanish-English glossary is included at the beginning of the book. This book is a great inspiration for elementary-aged children.
Kids will love interacting with the tree in this book as it changes with the seasons. They’ll see a brown tree to start but, after tapping it, the tree magically sprouts a leaf. Kids will pat, clap, wiggle, jiggle, and even blow the tree a kiss throughout the book. Kids ages 3-7 will enjoy the magic changing of the seasons in this book. It’s available as a board book, too.
When a little boy draws a picture of flying cows, his dad thinks he should draw something more realistic. The picture is picked up by the wind and flies far away to a cattle farm. When the cows look at the picture, they’re inspired and do indeed start flying! But, everyone else is too busy to notice them. This is a cute rhyming book that’s full of imagination. A great pick for preschoolers.
This Caldecott Honor Book tells the story of Annabelle, a young girl who brings a little color to a dark town through her knitting. She begins knitting and magically, her box of yarn never runs out. She knits sweaters for her classmates, her ill-tempered teacher, trees, cars, and everything around her. A greedy Archduke steals the magical box of yarn, but it eventually finds its way back to Annabelle. The illustrations are seemingly simple, but add to the contrasts in the story. This is a good choice for preschoolers and early elementary kids.
A lonely little girl uses a red marker to open up a whole new world of magical possibilities in this book. It’s a wordless book, so the story moves entirely through the watercolor illustrations. The girl will ride on a magic carpet, captain a boat, travel to a castle, and wind up in the hands of a mean emperor. This adventure has a happy ending and is a great bedtime book for early elementary kids.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai wrote this picture book based on her childhood in Pakistan. In it, she wishes for a magic pencil that would erase the bad in the world and make her dreams come true. She’d draw a lock on her bedroom door to keep her brothers out and she’d erase the smell of the nearby garbage dump. Her wishes and dreams become more realistic in the later pages as she works for justice and women’s rights. This is an excellent kid-friendly telling of Malala’s life. It’s appropriate for elementary kids.
This is the book that started it all! In this, the first book of the series, Harry Potter is just a normal boy who lives with his mean and spiteful aunt and uncle. He soon discovers that he is a wizard! He attends the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where plenty of magical adventures come up. There’s a bit of danger and suspense, but nothing upsetting. It’s a great read-aloud for elementary kids.
A cowboy named Tornado Slim meets an unusual coyote one day. The coyote gives Tornado Slim a cowboy hat and a special letter to deliver to Fire Gulch City. The cowboy runs into disaster after disaster as he travels to Fire Gulch City, but every time, his cowboy hat saves the day. What’s in the letter? It’s a surprise at the end. This is a humorous read that will delight kids who are 4-8 years old.
Frogs flying on lily pads—it’s not the type of thing you expect to happen on a random Tuesday night. This picture book takes kids into a sleepy town one Tuesday evening. Frogs sail through the skies, but nobody really notices. They return to the pond before daybreak, but their lilly pads line the streets as a sure sign that something odd has happened overnight. There are just a few words in this book, leaving kids with the opportunity to make up their own narration. It’s a great choice for preschoolers and early elementary kids.
Maxine is sitting on the porch with Grandma one hot summer night. Grandma tells Maxine about the magic that happens on the night of a blue moon. A magic ring falls from the moon and carries Maxine off on an adventure. She heads to the Arctic, to the savanna, and to New York City. The illustrations in this book make it so that every reader experiences the magic that Maxine feels. This one is a fun read-aloud for kids who are 4-8 years old.
With every new hat Martin puts on, a new magical adventure begins. He’ll become a train engineer, direct traffic, deliver mail, and fight fires. This book is from the ‘80s, but the creativity and excitement of each adventure is timeless. Preschoolers and early elementary kids are sure to enjoy reading it.
When Justin loses the hat his grandma made for him, he is forced to look for it in the lost and found. The old custodian, the one everybody is afraid of, shows Justin the lost and found box. What treasures will he find there? Will he change his feelings about the old custodian? The illustrations in this book are detailed and expressive. It’s an engaging book for elementary kids.