How long does it take to read the 50 best-rated children’s books in the US?

5 min to read
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From the shiny pages of The Rainbow Fish to the snappy rhyming of The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss, the books we read in our childhood stay with us for a lifetime.

Looking at book ratings, length in words, and average read speed per minute for children in Grades 1-5, our new study reveals the best-rated children’s books and how long it’ll take your children to read them at home.

A bar chart that shows the reading minutes idenitifed in this article

Reading the top 50 best-rated children’s books

Here’s how long it takes children on average to read the top 50 best-rated children’s books:

  1. Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin and James Dean - 5.4 minutes
  2. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss - 10.9 minutes
  3. Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry and Vashti Harrison - 7.2 minutes
  4. Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love - 55.3 minutes
  5. What Do You Do With an Idea? by Kobi Yamada and Mae Besom - 51.9 minutes
  6. Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller - 46 minutes
  7. Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts - 59.9 minutes
  8. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson - 23.6 minutes
  9. The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! by Mo Willams - 56.1 minutes
  10. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney - 13.2 minutes
  11. The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne and Ernest H Shepard - 10 hours and 28 minutes
  12. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce and Joe Bluhm - 1 hour and 20 minutes
  13. Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen and Kevin Hawkes - 1 hour 13 minutes
  14. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers - 1 hour
  15. Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper - 10 hours and 36 minutes
  16. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein - 1 hour and 21 minutes
  17. Jenny and the Cat Club by Esther Averill - 5 hours and 9 minutes
  18. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw - 48 minutes
  19. The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson - 19.1 minutes
  20. The Three Questions by Jon. J. Muth - 48.9 minutes
  21. Elephant and Piggie (Series) by Mo Williems - 3 hours 40 minutes
  22. Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss - 10.6 minutes
  23. I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen - 6.2 minutes
  24. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss - 21.9 minutes
  25. Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling - 8 hours and 45 minutes
  26. Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? by Bonnie Bader - 1 hour and 52 minutes
  27. The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen and Dan Hanna - 10.5 minutes 
  28. Corduroy by Don Freeman - 8.6 minutes
  29. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith - 7.9 minutes
  30. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems - 7.2 minutes
  31. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss - 8.2 minutes
  32. Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard - 8 minutes
  33. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle - 2.8 minutes
  34. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd - 3.9 minutes
  35. Paddle-to-the-Sea by Holling Clancy Holling - 1 hour 29 minutes
  36. Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry - 1 hour and 49 minutes
  37. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff - 56.4 minutes
  38. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury - 38 minutes
  39. The Colour Kittens by Margaret Wise Brown, Alice Provensen and Martin Provensen - 6.4 minutes
  40. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson - 8.4 minutes
  41. Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats - 5.3 minutes
  42. Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day - 49.8 minutes
  43. Click, Clack, Moo by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin - 7 minutes
  44. We are the Ship by Kadir Melson - 3 hours
  45. The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr - 9.9 minutes
  46. Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton - 55.9 minutes
  47. Stellaluna by Janell Cannon - 18.3 minutes
  48. Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley - 10.1 minutes
  49. The Bad Seed by Jory John and Pete Oswalk - 14.5 minutes
  50. Madeline (Series) by Ludwig Bemelmans - 1 hour and 16 minutes

4 Top Tips to Help Children Enjoy Reading

1. Make books a part of family life:

Having books around your home will make them easy to access throughout the day — whether you’ll be reading with your children or they’re reading alone. Adding in a nightly bedtime story to your routine is a great way to bring in reading with the added bonus of spending valuable time with your children.

2. Read about something they’re interested in:

To help keep your children engaged, let them pick out different subjects for you to read together. You can also consider different types of reading materials such as fiction, non-fiction, magazines, and poetry.

3. Ask questions:

Ask your children about the storylines, characters and twists and turns within the story. This will help keep them interested and more likely to read along with you.

4. Make the most of rhyme and repetition:

Books and poems with rhymes and repeated words or phrases are great for getting your kids to join in and remember the words. This can be particularly helpful with young, new readers.

For more information on virtual learning or teaching at home, please visit our Support & Resources guide. 

Methodology & Research: Data collected April 2021. Full data on all 50 books available on request.

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