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Most popular children’s books around the world (infographics)

Most read children's books around the world

What books are children’s favorites in Canada, Argentina, Norway, Turkey, or Benin? Take a look at the new series of infographics.

Most parents know and read to their children such books as classic fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen or a 2012 book written by R.J. Palacio entitled Wonder. What about children’s books written by authors from other countries?

A team from The Toy Zone, an online platform helping parents choose toys their kids will love to play with, has released a set of interesting infographics that map the most popular children’s across the six continents.

How were the books selected? Wikipedia and Goodreads were the main sources of data, which was collected in April 2021.

First, the list of children’s authors from every country was being made using Wikipedia. Next, the team used Goodreads to get ratings and number of reviews for each author and each book.

For each country, the most popular books were defined as the highest rated among the 20 books with the most user ratings.

Below, you will see infographics for each continent, presented in two visuals:

▸ A map with average Goodreads ratings (light blue background).

▸ A bookshelf with books covers (light brown background).

Make sure to check out the original list on The Toy Zone. You will find here links to high-resolution images, a detailed world map with all analyzed titles, and an interactive table with ratings, page count, date of first release, and the title in English.

Which book on the list are you going to read to your child?

Most popular children's books from around the world

Most read children’s books around the world

North America

Most read children's books in North America

The most read children’s book in the United States is R.J. Palacio’s Wonder, published in 2012, about a boy who has a genetic condition, which has left his face disfigured.

Love You Forever, written by Robert Munsch and published in 1986, is the most popular book in Canada. The story follows a mother who sings a lullaby to her son at each stage of his life.

A Movie in My Pillow, Jorge Argueta’s story about a young boy with two homelands, is the most read book in Honduras and El Salvador, while The Two of Them by Aliki is the children’s favorite in Honduras.

Most popular children's books from North America

Anne of Green Gables is the oldest book here, going all the way back to 1921. But it’s a more modern book that’s the most well known. Wonder, published in 2012 is USA’s favorite children’s book. R.J. Palacio’s modern classic is about embracing the beauty that’s all around us.

South America

Most read children's books in South America

Dailan Kifki by Maria Elena Walsh, a hilarious story about an elephant who has been adopted by family, is the most read book in Argentina.

Most children in Chile read Papelucho by Marcela Paz, a story about a boy who has a terrible secret he can only write about in his diary.

Petey by Ben Mikaelsen is the most read children’s book in Bolivia, while Nina Bonita written by Ana Maria Machado is loved in Brazil.

Most popular children's books from South America

Papelucho by Marcela Paz is the most popular children’s book in Chile, and it has been rated more times than any other book on this map. It’s also the oldest book here, published in 1947. The most recent book was only published in 2020: El encargo by Claudia Rueda.

Europe

Most read children's books in Europe

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the most read book in the United Kingdom, while Derek Landy’s Kingdom of the Wicked, a part of the Skulduggery Pleasant YA fantasy series, is No. 1 in Ireland.

Children in Norway are in love with Astrid the Unstoppable by Maria Parr, a funny and heartwarming story that will delight fans of Pippi Longstocking.

Hervé Tullet’s Press Here, an interactive book containing colored dots and inviting the child to use their imagination, is the most read children’s book in France.

Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen are most popular in Denmark, and Uri Orlev’s Run, Boy, Run in Poland.

Most popular children's books from Europe

Europe has a long and rich history of fairy and folk tales, but Tomo, the second picture book in the Moomin series written by Tove Jansson, is the oldest book on this map. It was first published in 1960 and is the most popular children’s book in Finland.

Middle East & Central Asia

Most read children's books in Middle East and Asia

In Turkey, most children read Ekmek Parasi, Muzaffer Izgü’s childhood stories that full of positive energy and witty humor, which sold over 10 million copies.

Orange and Blue: The World of Barzu by Marina Abrams, a wonderful trip around Central Asia, is the most read book in Kazakhstan.

The most read children’s book in Israel is Maira Kalman’s Ooh-la-la: Max in Love, a story about the dog poet who finds in Paris the love of his life.

Most popular children's books from Middle East Asia

Samad Behrangi portrayed the lives of poor children and used allegorical themes to criticise the Shah’s regime. His book One Thousand Peaches tells the story of two friends who find a peach and decide to plant its seed.

East Asia and Oceania

Most read children's books in East Asia and Oceania

The Elven Ambassador, Pieretta Dawn’s fantasy novel and the final part of the bestselling YA trilogy, is the most popular children’s book in Thailand.

The most read book in Australia is Then – Morris Gleitzman’s heartbreaking children’s novel set during the Nazi occupation of Poland during the Second World War.

In Vietnam, most kids read A Different Pond by Bao Phi, while Slinky Malinki is the most popular children’s book in New Zealand.

Most popular children's books from East Asia and Oceania

Then, written by Morris Gleitzman, tells the story of Jewish orphan Felix and his best friend Zelda, who have been captured during the Nazi occupation of Poland during the Second World War. It’s the most popular children’s book from Australia and sits alongside some wonderful stories in this region.

Africa

Most read children's books in Africa

Fire Storm, the 3rd part of the One Dollar Horse series by Lauren St. John, about a teenage Casey Blue and her champion horse, is the No. 1 book in Zimbabwe.

Beautiful Debo by Béatrice Lalinon Gbado is a story about two little girls are fascinated by a beautiful woman they meet at a market. The book is most read by children in Benin.

Notre Maison by Walid Taher is the most popular children’s book in Egypt; in Nigeria it’s Nnedi Okorafor’s Akata Warrior, and in Namibia it’s When You Dance with the Crocodile by Erna Müller.

Most popular children's books from Africa

Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor is Nigeria’s most popular kids book, and with almost nine thousand ratings is the most well known book on this map. With 496 pages, it’s the longest book here. If you’re looking for a quicker read, E Is for E-Waste (Zambia) is short and sweet at only nine pages.

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