The best children's books to spark your child's imagination

Carolyn Watson Dubisch Author Of Dragon Stones
By Carolyn Watson Dubisch

Who am I?

I've spent decades teaching art to preschool and elementary school-aged kids in New York, California, Arizona, and here in Mexico where I live now. Children’s minds make connections that adults rarely do, especially in their art. Watching their imaginations at work have helped me keep my mind fresh when it comes to my own writing and art. Stories and books like these in my list connect to a child’s sense of wonder. Something that so many people lose as the world wears them down. I’m thrilled to share authors and artists here who have held onto that magic and I look forward to more books from all of them.

I wrote...

Dragon Stones

By Carolyn Watson Dubisch,

Book cover of Dragon Stones

What is my book about?

A dull visit to their Aunt’s house turns into a magical and thrilling adventure when Lizzy and her brother Ron venture into the nearby forest. An inviting path leads to a shrouded lake in the woods… Perfect for skipping stones, but who or what keeps throwing them back?

The books I picked & why

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By Jed Alexander,

Book cover of Red

Why this book?

The classic fairy tale of “Little Red Riding Hood” told in magnificent and detailed illustrations. The art is carefully rendered in black and white with bright red highlighting each page creating a unique look. This book, fortunately, has created a happier ending than Red getting gobbled up by the wolf. This mixture of a classic tale told through a new lens is truly enchanting.

My Muddy Puddle

By Kristina Nearchou, Tiffany Everett (illustrator),

Book cover of My Muddy Puddle

Why this book?

This book captures the joy and wonder of being a child. The little girl becomes fascinated by the giant muddy puddle, that becomes so much more in her mind. The illustrations add to this book perfectly, and are brightly colored and rich in detail. Told in verse it tells such an imaginative story that every child can relate to.

Lulu and the Missing Tooth Fairy

By S.E. Richey, Jhon Ortiz (illustrator),

Book cover of Lulu and the Missing Tooth Fairy

Why this book?

Magical creatures, especially fairies, are always a plus in any book. This little story of Lulu waiting for her tooth fairy in training trying to track her down across the globe is much fun. I also love the layered and carefully done illustrations by artist Jon Ortiz. That childhood sense of wonder is perfectly captured in this book.


By Jill Dana, Rachel Tan- Hwee (illustrator),

Book cover of Butternut

Why this book?

This is such an unusual and charming story of Butternut squash that’s living in a supermarket. Poor Butternut was shelved in the wrong spot and he’s on a quest to find where he belongs. It’s genius and imaginative and full of bright illustrations. To take such a mundane environment and turn it into a magical world truly takes talent and I think it will inspire children who read it.


By Aaron Becker,

Book cover of Journey

Why this book?

This wordless story begins with a little girl desperate for a playmate from her distracted family. Finally, she resigns herself to her room where she finds a red crayon. With the crayon she draws a door to an enchanted world. There’s a forest, a castle, and an airship all within this richly illustrated adventure.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Little Red Riding Hood, adventure, and teeth?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Little Red Riding Hood, adventure, and teeth.

Little Red Riding Hood Explore 8 books about Little Red Riding Hood
Adventure Explore 95 books about adventure
Teeth Explore 10 books about teeth

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Girl Who Loved Giraffes, Strictly No Elephants, and Mr. McGill Goes to Town if you like this list.