If you’re nurturing a Disney fan, then look no further! Books filled with magic, friendship, and life lessons begin here. One of the best ways to get kids to the next level in their development, school, and life is with books and a regular reading habit. Since studies show that kids with books at home have a better chance of academic and social success, why not start early? Check out all our favorite Disney books for toddlers and kids. From first reader series to picture books to chapter books. Wherever your child is on their reading journey, there will surely be something fun here for them to get excited about.
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Whether you are just getting started building your book collection, or need a few fresh titles to add to the mix, here are some favorites from Disney Books right now that we absolutely love. And if you want a preview of any of these ahead of time you can check out all the Disney Books on Libby for free to see which titles are best for your kid’s Disney bookshelf. We’ll identify little reading tips throughout the post, but if you’re a parent just beginning to work with your child on Reading, be sure to check out the Reading Milestones Guide to see what you should be working on with your child, at each age level. Here’s what we cover.
- Toddler Ages 2-5
- Kids Ages 6-8
- Kids Ages 9-12
Best Disney Books for Toddlers 2-5
While we love Disney Books for Babies, because a reading habit, word recognition, and learning how to turn a page are important, in this post, we’re going to focus on the slightly higher age levels. For Toddlers, we’re highlighting the Best Disney Books for Toddlers, ages 2-5. At this age, the practice of sitting down to read is most important. Books at this level are shorter, with simple words. Children will often want books at this level to Read, and Re-Read. The books here are Pre-K and Kindergarten Reading Levels.
Tips for Parents Reading to Toddlers
- Ask your child questions about the book, as you go along. “Where’s the flower? Do you see a cloud?”
- Point and identify pictures, as you say the words throughout the book.
- When reading yourself, give your child a book to pretend to read as well.
- Practice turning the pages in the right direction.
- Re-read favorite stories often, so your child can commit words to memory.
- Put aside time to read daily.
Classic Disney Storybook Collection
Depending on which Disney Classic Storybook Collection you choose, they all have a collection of stories worth reading and teaching your child. The Disney Classic Storybook Collection ( 2001) is the main one, with about 27 variations of other Disney Books in the Storybook Collection. Check out the entire Disney Storybook Collection for all of them including Bedtime Stories.
Winnie the Pooh Collection by A. A. Milne
While the original Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne may be somewhat heavy, with lots of words and minimal pictures, sharing Winnie the Pooh’s story at a young age is always a good idea. As such, the Winnie Pooh and Friends books are perfect for little ones to start learning all those social norms that Pooh and Friends teaches. Check out the Winnie the Pooh Treasury Collection
Disney Little Golden Books Collection
Nothing says childhood like little golden books. And when they include Disney stories, they’re just some of the Best Disney Books for Toddlers in our opinion. Check out the 12-book collection of Disney Little Golden Books for Toddlers.
Princess Series by Cynthia Rylant
We can never get enough fairy tales. And these picture books by Cynthia Rylant are absolutely gorgeous. Walt Disney’s Cinderella picture book is illustrated by Walt Disney Animations’ most famous woman illustrator- Mary Blair. Beautiful books for any collection. Check out the Cynthia Rylant Fairytale Books.
Mother Bruce Series by Ryan T. Higgins
We love Mother Bruce. This is a fun, and funny series kids will adore. He has a whole series of books as he tackles the trials of parenting baby geese. Super cute illustrations and even a Christmas title make this adorable picture book set perfect for Disney-loving children. Check out the Mother Bruce Series for all the titles.
Best Disney Books for Kids 6-8
By the age of 6, most children have their sight words firmly under their belt and are moving on to leveled readers. Typically noted by Levels 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on on the cover. They will most likely find their favorites fast. Even at this age, reading, and re-reading are essential. The Best Disney Books for Kids 6-8 come in many shapes and sizes. Non-fiction titles and more complex stories arrive at this age. One of the most important things to know as a parent with a child this age is that school will box them into a “Reading Level”. But, in order to learn, they have to try reading above that level. So while the bulk of their reading will be repetition of books at their level, be sure to ADD harder books for them to. That’s how learning happens.
Tips for Parents and Kids Reading 6-8
- Read familiar stories.
- Use the sounding out, phonics reading technique to learn new words.
- Begin pointing out punctuation. Pause at a comma, Stop at a period.
- Play with the beginning, middle, and end of a story. Have them make up stories of their own.
- Aim for books slightly higher than their “Reading Level.”
- Let them decide what to read next, even if it’s above their level.
The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton
Ah, a Halloween-Christmas Mashup classic picture book for the whole family. Be sure to watch the film version as well. This is such a good story for both holidays all about accepting who you are, finding your path, and appreciating your strengths and the strengths of others. It’s also on our Best Disney Christmas Books List for good reason. A must-read/see, every season. Grab Tim Burton’s Illustrated Nightmare Before Christmas Book for a slightly spooky Christmas story.
Ordinary People Change the World Series
Featuring Walt Disney himself alongside the most influential people of our time, these picture books give a glimpse into the lives of Rosa Parks, Albert Einstein, Amelia Earhart, and more. Even Muppets creator Jim Henson is featured. Each book dives into the story of one person, making these lovely digestible bits of knowledge that kid’s that remember and return to. One of the main components of literacy is that a child transitions from Learning to Read to Reading to Learn. So books like these are critical at this age for beginning that shift. Check out all the people included in the Ordinary People Change the World Collection.
Star Wars Series by Caitlin Kennedy
This first-reader series follows our favorite Star Wars characters through some tough times. Perfect for younger readers, kids can learn new vocabulary and problem-solving! Check out all of Caitlin Kennedy’s fun Star Wars Books for Kids 6-8, to get them familiar with the Star Wars universe!
Best Disney Books for Kids 9-12
By now, children should be expert readers. Still, many of the books for this age group center around just having fun. Great books for this age are Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Timmy Failure; both being books that help kids make fun of themselves when they make mistakes as they try to navigate the world. Also at this age comes an appreciation for books within genres. Kids typically learn between 9-12 if they like fantasy, non-fiction, sci-fi, romance, or coming-of-age stories. Books like the Warriors Series, Redwall, Chronicles of Narnia, and more find strong followings at this age. Disney Books for Kids 9-12 tend to be fun, but thoughtful, and full of lessons. Non-fiction books at this level are more in-depth and include loads of details. Typically with a humorous bent, books at this grade level are often competing with friends, sports, and school activities for airtime.
Tips for Kids Reading 9-12
- Expand reading to different genres, poetry, biographies, etc.
- Learn major concepts in science math, history, and more through non-fiction.
- Begin to understand the story structure and the Hero’s Journey.
- Identify parts of speech and devices like similes and metaphors, and how they connect to storytelling.
- Comprehension improves.
- Understands major elements of stories, like time, place, plot, problem, and resolution.
- Read and write on specific topics for fun, and understand what style is needed.
- Identify favorite kinds of books.
Seriously. Timmy Failure is super fun. For both chapter book readers and adults. You just can’t help loving this mistake-making kid detective. Add in his sidekick polar bear companion- Total, their own detective agency Failure Inc. and a lot of mysteries to solve around town and you have one good story. Thankfully you can dive into the whole series. And watch the movie version on Disney+. Check out the complete Timmy Failure Series.
Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan
This fantasy series, by Rick Riordan, follows Percy, a “normal” 12-year-old, who finds out he has connections to the gods and is the only one that can save everyone. Taking on a quest to find the villain responsible for stealing Zeus’ thunderbolt, this series is filled with Mythology, that will have kids eager to learn more. A great way to introduce kids to rich Greek History, under the guise of a fantastical story, with a child in the role of hero. A classic book series, to own or gift, and one that they’ll read over and over. Check out the Percy Jackson Book Series.
P.L. Travers held pretty tight to her illustrious nanny Mary Poppins, known worldwide, as we learn in the film Saving Mr. Banks. And once you read the actual books you’ll see why. These are perfect Read-Aloud books for kids 8 and up. Take turns reading chapters before bed, and work through the series together. While these are digestible for younger children, the lessons held within are more relevant for the 8-12 crowd. Grab the Mary Poppins Book Collection.
Classic Fairytales Collectors Books
And if you’re looking for something beautiful to add to your bookshelves, grab these gorgeous illustrated hardcover versions of your favorite classic fairytales. These make great Disney gift books and share some of the best stories of all time. the MiniLima Editions is a beautiful collectors edition and a great way to introduce kids to classic fairy tales. Shop the Fairytale Book Collection.
The Best Disney Books for Kids
There you have it. Chances are we’ll add to this list as we find amazing stories in beautiful book editions to share. In the meantime cozy up with one of these favorites. And take new adventures from home. If you’re looking for Disney Books for Tweens and Teens or Disney Books for Adults, check out the posts for our recommendations. Check out all our favorite Disney Books for Kids on Amazon.
Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.