The princess is locked in a tower and needs rescuing by the unassuming underdog. This is a tale as old as time. But the best fantasy books for kids contain a few underdogs your riveted reader will never see coming: a tiny mouse, a young girl with untapped magical power, and a dung farmer—yes, for real.
Whether your little learner is new to the world of fantasy books or they’re a young fantasy fanatic, the fantasy and folklore genre offers a myriad of benefits. The imaginative world an author builds can stimulate your child’s creativity, boost their vocabulary, and teach them to find victorious heroes in the most unlikely places.
Crumbled! (The Misadventures of Nobbin Swill)
By Lisa Harkrader
Fairytale meets adventure in this comedic tale of Nobbin Swill, a dung farmer (yes, the very one) who dreams of a more fulfilling life. When he finds a shiny ring in a not-so-shiny pile of poo, he knows it’s his ticket out of the dung-laden field for good. The only obstacle standing between him and his newfound freedom? Helping Prince Charming solve the mystery of the missing children, Hansel and Gretel. Whether your 7- to 12-year-old is a jokester, a belly-laugher, or a master of bizarre antics, they’ll enjoy flipping through this story independently alongside illuminating illustrations.
There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Book
By Jomike Tejido
Have you heard of the old woman who lived in a shoe? Well, this old woman lives in a book-shaped house—and her six children have gone missing! With some quick thinking, she enlists the help of a few esteemed children’s story characters to help her find her missing brood of babes. The Three Bears? More like the three helpers. Humpty Dumpty? Prepared to assist. If your preschool reader is familiar with nursery rhyme characters, they’ll be enthralled by this imaginative retelling complete with thoughtful illustrations to help them follow along.
We Are Water Protectors
By Carole Lindstrom
Join an earnest Native American narrator as she encourages your 3- to 6-year-old to take a stand for environmental justice. The story’s foundation is laid upon two of the earth’s most valuable elements: water and land. When an evil black snake threatens to poison these sacred resources, your young reader will receive an easy-to-follow lesson on water pollution and the importance of caring for our planet. Little ones learning to read will grasp the basic components of a story, while younger listeners will follow the footsteps of brave environmentalists—which could someday be them!
Ragweed (Poppy #1)
A country mouse, Ragweed, packs his bags and heads for adventure in the big city—and it’s better than he could have imagined. He finds excitement, friends, and a band of musical rats who just so happen to need a bandmate. He couldn’t ask for anything more! Well, except for the city to be rid of those frisky feline foes. With bold and zany characters peppered through each page, Avi creates an engaging atmosphere for your reader to identify the character traits of protagonists, antagonists, and every creature in between. With such an action-packed plot, Ragweed is at the top of our list of the best fantasy books for kids.
Once Upon a Tim (Once Upon a Tim #1)
By Stuart Gibbs
Full of middle-school humor, Once Upon a Tim centers Tim, a peasant who wishes he was anything but. By some magical miracle, a prince offers him the chance to prove himself worthy of more, so Tim and his friends suit up on a quest to save the princess from the evil Stinx. Throughout the book, Gibbs plants challenging vocabulary words around context clues to help 7- to 10-year-old readers learn with ease. If you’re looking for a book that’ll have your reader exploring the dictionary and craving even more complex mystery books, this is it.
Amari and the Night Brothers
By B. B. Alston
When Amari’s older brother, Quinton, mysteriously goes missing, no one seems to bat an eye. Searching for clues, Amari soon finds herself in a supernatural world full of mermaids, yetis, and weredragons. To find her brother, she’ll have to use her recently discovered magic and compete against other kids who’ve spent their lives honing their magical might. This unforgettable novel leaves plenty of discussion points for parents and children, like the importance of persevering, feeling confident in your skin, and overcoming everyday challenges.
Introduce Your Reader to the Best Fantasy Books with Literati
Once your child immerses themselves in the vast worlds of magic, talking animals, and unlikely protagonists, they’ll be more than ready for their next round of the best fantasy books for kids. Take the guesswork out of book buying and let us do the heavy lifting. We’ll find titles your child loves, and that grow their budding minds.
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