30 Best Kids Books to Read in May

Check out my latest monthly book list! This May book list is filled with picture books, graphic novels, and chapter books you can share with kids of all ages this month. There’s something for everyone to keep your kids reading all month long.

Find a warm spot outside and enjoy reading in the sunshine on a picnic blanket or on the front porch swing. Grab a good book and snuggle up for cozy quality time together reading aloud or independently. However you decide to enjoy a book, you’ll find some excellent new reads on this April book list!

These lists can be very helpful if you’re searching for great books to engage reluctant readers. The exciting May books on this list will spark your child’s imagination and grab their attention as they discover new interests and explore new worlds together!

Enjoy fun books for Star Wars Day, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, and more! Plus, discover creative new holidays you might not have thought about before like International Harry Potter Day and US Dinosaur Day. 

Best Books For Each Month Of The Year!

We love reading great books together! Whether I’m reading aloud to Emily or we’re sitting side-by-side with individual books, there are plenty of great stories to explore, mysteries to solve, and amazing new characters to meet. Our passion for discovering new books has helped us to create these monthly book lists.

I hope this May book list for kids of all ages will inspire your family to fall in love with a great new book too. Get ready to discover the best books for Cinco de Mayo and more with this fun list of May books for kids of all ages!

30+ May Books for Kids of All Ages

I can’t wait to share this fun collection of May books for kids of all ages with you! These books cover every topic from Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month to Mother’s Day. Whether searching for picture books with beautiful illustrations, inspiring chapter books for older readers, or graphic novels to engage your quirky kiddos, there’s something for everyone on this May book list!

Star Wars: A Jedi You Will BeStar Wars Are You Scared, Darth Vader?Chicks and Salsa

 

A Jedi You Will Be

This book is perfect for May 4th, also known as Star Wars Day! A Jedi You Will Be by Preeti Chhibber is an amazing opportunity for kids to learn alongside Luke Skywalker as he learns to use the Force. Yodas’ wise words will help Padawans of all ages learn important Jedi lessons with iconic movie sequences and whimsical art.

Are You Scared, Darth Vader?

Does Lord Vader ever get scared? Find out in the picture book Are You Scared, Darth Vader? by Adam Rex. This funny and a little bit scary story is the perfect picture book for May 4!

Chicks and Salsa

On May 5, we celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Join in the fun and explore other cultures with your kids and this cute picture book by Aaron Reynolds. Chicks and Salsa is all about a group of chickens and one smart rooster who have decided to make an epic snack.

Dinosaur Lady: The Daring Discoveries of Mary Anning, the First Paleontologist (Women in Science Biographies, Fossil Books for Kids, Feminist Picture Books, Dinosaur Gifts for Kids)Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a NeighborhoodDinosaurumpus![DINOSAURUMPUS][Paperback]

 

Dinosaur Lady

Dinosaur Day is a quirky holiday to celebrate on the third Tuesday in May. This year, celebrate with your dino fans and learn more about Mary Anning, the first paleontologist, in Linda Skeers’ book, Dinosaur Lady: The Daring Discoveries of Mary Anning. Extend the learning with some fun activities from my free Mary Anning Unit Study.

Dinosaurumpus

Another fun Dinosaur Day picture book is Dinosaurumpus by Tony Mitton. This cute book is perfect for preschool and early elementary readers who love dinosaurs. It’s a silly rhyming story about dinosaurs who learn to dance.

Harlem Grown

May is the perfect month to learn more about gardening. Learn about how one man’s big idea turned into a garden that saved an entire community in Tony Hillery’s Harlem Grown. Sales from this true story help fun the community garden project in Harlem, so you’ll be helping grow a garden as you read this picture book together too!

Let Me Help!: ¡Quiero Ayudar! by Ada, Alma Flor (2013) PaperbackBy Kevin Henkes Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse: Photo Album (Hardcover) May 1, 2001Love You Forever

 

Let Me Help!

One of my favorite Cinco de Mayo picture books is Let Me Help! by Alma Flor Ada. Perico, the cute parrot in this story, only wants to help Abuela make tamales for Cinco de Mayo. What could go wrong?

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse

May 6 through 10 is Teacher Appreciation Week. It’s the perfect time to honor your child’s teacher. Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes is a great picture book for this week. It’s a beautiful book with big emotions and a satisfying ending for kids.

Love You Forever

Sunday, May 12 is Mother’s Day, and Love You Forever is the perfect picture book to read your kids at bedtime on Mother’s Day. This classic story by Robert Munsch tells the story of a mother’s love for her son with repetitive verses your kids can follow as you read. 

Mama Built a Little NestWhat is May Day - Social Studies for Kids, May Day for Kids, 1st of May Traditions, European May Day Traditions, May Day Traditions Around the World, ... May Day (What Holiday is That? Series)Nuts in Space

 

Mama Built a Little Nest

Another beautiful Mother’s Day picture book is Mama Built a Little Nest by Jennifer Ward. Explore the nature of motherhood with children as you learn about mothers in the natural world with this book. Follow along as these bird moms care for their young in this non-fiction picture book for kids.

May Day Around the World

May Day Around the World by Tori Telfer is a nonfiction book that’s perfect for learning about world cultures and geography with your elementary-age students. Each page explains how different cultures celebrate May Day in countries like Sweden and France. 

Nuts in Space

If you’re looking for a silly and funny read-aloud to share with your little ones for Star Wars Day, don’t miss Nuts in Space by Elys Dolan. This hilarious picture book is a spoof of Star Wars featuring a cast of really funny squirrels.

Suki’s KimonoOn The Morn Of MayfestThe Art of Miss Chew

 

On the Morn of Mayfest

The best-known May Day picture book to read aloud is On the Morn of Mayfest by Erica Silverman. The spontaneous May Day parade in this story might inspire your little ones to celebrate in their own way this May. Plus, they’ll love the rhyming verses in this whimsical book.

Suki’s Kimono

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which makes it the perfect time to learn more about Asian culture and heritage. This May, read Suki’s Kimono by Chieri Uegaki. Kids will enjoy reading about the special kimono Suki receives from her grandmother and sharing their favorite memories with their grandparents as they read.

The Art of Miss Chew

Don’t miss the captivating illustrations of Patricia Pollacco in The Art of Miss Chew this May. This picture book for elementary students tells the story of Trisha and a special art teacher, Miss Chew. It’s perfect for celebrating Asian American Heritage Month and Teacher Appreciation Week at the same time! 

A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet)Esperanza RisingFront Desk (Front Desk #1) (Scholastic Gold)

 

A Wrinkle in Time

If you’re searching for a chapter book to read aloud this May or something for more advanced readers to read independently, check out A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. This classic novel for kids ages 10 and up is perfect for upper-elementary and middle-grade readers to explore this May.

Esperanza Rising

As you prepare for Cinco de Mayo, make time to read Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan. This inspiring immigration story shares how a girl rises above difficult circumstances. It’s an important book for kids ages 9 to 12.

Front Desk

One of our favorite new books is Front Desk by Kelly Yang. As a winner of the Asian / Pacific American Award for Children’s Literature, this book is the perfect chapter book for the month of May. Your kids will love getting to know Mia and hearing all her interesting stories as she manages the front desk at her parents’ hotel.

Knights vs. DinosaursLove, AmaliaThe Boy Whose Head Was Filled with Stars: A Life of Edwin Hubble

 

Knights vs. Dinosaurs

Celebrate Dinosaur Day with Knights vs. Dinosaurs, a unique book from Matt Phelan that explores what would happen if knights fought dinosaurs. In this entertaining ALA Notable Book for middle grade readers, kids will get a kick out of reading about the knights of the round table as they battle dinosaurs crafted by Merlin. Plus, it’s filled with lots of fantastic illustrations! 

Love, Amalia

If you’re searching for moving Hispanic literature to share with your kids this May, don’t miss Love, Amalia by Alma Flor Ada. In the book, Amalia deals with loss after her best friend moves away. She’s also learning to love her cultural heritage and embrace wise words from her abuelita along the way.

The Boy Whose Head Was Filled with Stars

The Boy Whose Head Was Filled with Stars is a great read for Star Wars Day! What better way to celebrate May 4 than by reading a beautifully illustrated biography about Edwin Hubble. This award-winning book from Isabelle Marinov gives kids important questions about the universe to ponder and invites them to explore together with Edwin Hubble. Extend the learning with some fun activities from my free Edwin Hubble Unit Study.

The Enormous EggThe House on Mango StreetThe Mother-Daughter Book Club Collection: The Mother-Daughter Book Club; Much Ado About Anne; Dear Pen Pal, Pies & Prejudice, Home for the Holidays

 

The Enormous Egg

Oliver Butterworth’s The Enormous Egg is a fun read for dinosaur fans this May. Imagine what would happen if you found a giant egg, cared for it meticulously, and then it hatched a dinosaur! That’s exactly what happens to 12 year old Nate Twitchell in this popular book for elementary age readers. 

The House on Mango Street

The House on Mango Street is a national bestseller by Sandra Cisneros. This coming of age story follows Esperanza Cordero, a latino girl growing up in Chicago. Esperanza must learn to be proud of where she’s from, find her place in the world, and tell her story.

The Mother-Daughter Book Club

This Mother’s Day, read a great book together with your daughter. Check out The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick. Find out what happens when the daughters join the moms’ ritual of reading Little Women together. 

This Is How I Roll: A Wish NovelThree PenniesWho Was Frida Kahlo?

 

This Is How I Roll: A Wish Novel

In Debbi Michiko Florence’s middle-grade novel This Is How I Roll, a girl dreams of becoming a famous sushi chef just like her dad, but he refuses to teach her. This novel explores growing up in a different culture, family relationships, and the importance of following your dreams. 

Three Pennies

Three Pennies by Melanie Crowder, a kid bounces from foster home to foster home caring along her “book fo changes” and three pennies everywhere she goes. Finally, she finds somewhere she could stay forever in this book about mothers and daughters for middle school readers. 

Who Was Frida Kahlo?

This Cinco de Mayo, meet Frida Kahlo and get to know the amazing woman behind the art. Who Was Frida Kahlo? by Sarah Fabiny introduces early elementary readers to Frida Kahlo, her art, and her impact on Mexican culture. 

Then, learn more about Frida Kahlo in my Who Was Frida Kahlo Mini Unit Study. This unit study is versatile and can be used with a variety of ages. It’s filled with interest-led learning activities and custom coloring pages to make learning about Frida Kahlo and Mexican culture tons of fun this Cinco de Mayo!

Family Style: Memories of an American from VietnamYasmin Boxed SetMexikid: (Newbery Honor Award Winner)

 

Yasmin

The Yasmin book series from author Saadia Faruqi is a great book series to explore with early elementary readers for Asian American Heritage Month. Kids will fall in love with Yasmin and her spirited second grade adventures.

Family Style: Memories of an American from Vietnam

Winner of the Excellence in Young Adult Nonfiction Award, Family Style: Memories of an American from Vietnam by Thien Pham tells the story of a Vietnamese immigrant struggling to fit in after moving to America. From a refugee camp in Thailand to a new home in California, follow along in this young adult graphic novel as Thien shares memories of strawberries, potato chips, and so much more. 

One of the things that makes Thien Pham’s book so unique is that it’s written as a graphic novel. Graphic novels are a great choice for reluctant readers, quirky kids, and anyone else who wants to explore different mediums of storytelling. These books are engaging and bring stories to life in new ways while helping kids learn to use context clues and develop strong reading comprehension skills.

Mexikid

Another award-winning graphic novel for May is Mexikid by Pedro Martin. Mexikid is a Newberry Honor Award Winning novel about a Mexican American boy and his family roadtrip. This fun and engaging book is one your kids will want to share with everyone!

More Activities for Learning this May

Discover more of our favorite May activities for learning and fun with my May Homeschool Printables that are Absolutely FREE. These activities are easy to add to any lesson plan, rainy day, or carschooling adventure with your kids. You’ll get fun printables for Mother’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, and Star Wars Day!

Do you have a favorite picture book, chapter book, or graphic novel to read with kids this May? Share your favorite books in the comments. Emily and I would love to read your favorites too!


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