10 Short Stories for Kids Ages 4-8

Short stories for kids are a great resource.  From fable and fairy tale to myth, mystery, and everything in-between, there should always be a collection of short stories for kids ready to read.

Here are 10 of our favorite short stories for kids:

10. Even Monsters Need Haircuts

Even Monsters Need Haircuts by Matthew McElligott is a hilarious tale of a boy who aspires to be a barber, just like his father.  The little boy’s imagination however, takes him to an entirely new dimension as he opens his late night barbershop.  The twist comes when it’s discovered that all of the boy’s clients have one thing in common – they’re monsters!

There are no worries about children getting scared by this book; these monsters aren’t the usual scary variety.  They act just as any “non-monster” would as they play pranks, read papers, and talk with friends – teaching the lesson that one cannot make judgments based on appearance.

9. Meet Einstein
Meet Einstein” by Mariela Kleiner turns a potentially dull topic into a lively and exciting way to present learning for kids.

Along with an adorable pup and an amusing frog, a welcomingly illustrated Einstein offers a very basic introduction to science, light and gravity that will make you want to jump into the book and start experimenting right away.  Information in the back of the book even includes a background on Einstein and a few questions that parents can use to ask their kids!


8. Dinosaur Cousins?
Dinosaur Cousins?” by Bernard Most is a perfect short story for kids that any dinosaur devotee in the family will love.

After posing questions like “Could a rhinoceros have descended from a triceratops?” the author gives a short bio on each dinosaur. Your dinosaur fan will be on cloud nine, and even your young readers will enjoy the comparison game. This picture book is guaranteed to be read again and again.

7. Shampoodle


Shampoodle by Joan Holub is the perfect short story for kids who love dogs!

Follow the children (and their dogs) as they travel to Salon Shampoodle to look their best.  The dogs have a different plan in mind however, opting for fun over grooming.  The groomers get more than they bargained for with this group of canines. The dogs would rather have fun than sit still for a haircut.

Your children will enjoy the very elementary plot, with the entertaining situations these mischievous dogs get themselves into and the amusing companion illustrations.”

6. Time to Sleep, Sheep the Sheep!


Time to Sleep, Sheep the Sheep” by Mo Willems is the perfect short story for younger kids who still have a short attention span, as well as those who are just beginning to learn to read.

In this funny short story, Cat talks all of her animal friends into taking a nap.  During Cat’s effort however, she finds her friends Giraffe, Owl, Horse, and Sheep all in a different phase of their bedtime routine.

5. Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You
Nancy Tillman’s book, “Wherever You Are: My Love will find you” is a warming and wonderful story to read while cuddled up next to your children.

This sentimental story conveys the love parent to child through every page, showing that no matter where you go, my love will follow.  Heartwarming stories like let you spend quality time with your children, and brings them the comforting reminders they need to know that they’re truly loved, without being overpowering.


4. Woolbur
Woolbur” by Leslie Helakoski is a salute to independence in children everywhere.  In this positive story, Woolbur steps to the beat of his own drum and lets the light of his free spirit bring freedom to the rest of the flock.

Even the youngest reader will be able to relate to this book, learning the valuable lessons associated with trying to “fit in”.

3. Can I Play Too? (An Elephant and Piggie Book)
Elephant and Piggie: Can I Play Too?” by Mo Willems is a fantastic short story for kids.  This book conveys feeling through clever illustration that captivates both you and your children from page one.

In this short story, Willems combines frequent repetition and the use of sight words in a humorous tale that will help your children learn to read.  This children’s book is sure to please time and time again with its terrific humor, illustrations, and superb story-line.

2. Flotsam
Flotsam by David Weisner is one of the Reading Kingdom’s recommended short stories for children.

In this Caldecott Medal winner, a curious, science-minded boy finds and picks up any objects that wash ashore.  One day, he finds an underwater camera full of amazing photos that are sure to keep the reader captivated as they explore the mysteries of the deep, as well as their own imagination.

1. Little Owl Lost
Little Owl Lost” by Chris Haughton is one of the Reading Kingdom’s favorite short stories for kids with pictures.

Follow the adventures of the little owl that falls out of the nest, and the characters who vow to help him return home.  As the little owl describes his mother’s (misleading) features, squirrel (and later frog) journey to return owl to his mother in this masterfully illustrated classic.

Do you have one or more favorite short stories for kids you’d like to see on our list?  Let us know!

If your children are just beginning to learn to read short stories, accelerate the learning process with a free 30 day trial of the Reading Kingdom online reading program for kids.  Our award winning program uses the unique “Integrated Six Skill Method” to teach children how to read, write, and spell up to a third grade level.  We’ll see you in our magical land of literacy soon!