15 Children’s Books That Make Us Cry Every Time

According to pediatricians, reading to your baby is both a sweet way to bond with him and an important activity to make sure he’s developing critical language skills. And sometimes that bonding and learning activity incites tears … from mom, especially if the reading material is on our list of the top 15 all-time baby book tearjerkers.

I should warn you that even the sight of some the book covers on the list is enough to make you feel sniffly, so grab some tissues! 

“My 3-year-picked that book to read when our new baby was all of 3 days old. All three kids and my hubs were on the bed with me. I was an emotional postpartum mess as it was, filled with elated joy and crying at the drop of a hat from how much love was oozing from my every pore. When we got to the mother dying, I was barely making it through. Then when he is singing to his own daughter, I could not get one syllable out. Kids looked at me like, ‘What the he** is with Mom?’ Ha!” – Melissa H., Saint Paul, Minnesota

“I find it beautiful that the tree would (and does) give all that it has to make someone it loves deeply happy. The tree is happy because the boy is happy. There is also the message of the cycle of life happening and the whole ‘what is it all for?’ theme. The boy chases his dreams and wants, but at the end of it all, he doesn’t really need anything, just the tree. It takes him his whole life to realize that.” – Angie H., Saint Paul, Minnesota

“This book is such a sweet and gentle story. The babies are so adorably drawn and I love that it has a multicultural perspective. And the end makes me cry every time. I am a sap.” – Michelle R., Abilene, Kansas

“Our Tree Named Steve (or as my 4-year-old calls it, ‘the book that makes Mommy cry’). When my best friend gave us this book, she prefaced it with, ‘I challenge you to read this book without crying.’ I have yet to beat the challenge.” – Anna J., Saint Paul, Minnesota

“I read that to each of my girls on their birthday and ugly cry my whole way through.” – Nicole S., Denver, Colorado

“My kids got actually profoundly concerned with me as I ugly-gag-cried through the chapter as Charlotte prepares for her death. It had always made me sad as a kid – and I read that book a hundred times – but the first time I reread as an adult, I was shocked how moving and deeply sad it was. The kids were whispering to each other as I read through it, ‘Is she okay?’ ‘No, you ask her.’” – Rebecca M., Highland Park, Minnesota

"When the girl and Corduroy both realize they always wanted a friend. Blurg. I’m tearing up now.” – Marta S., Saint Paul, Minnesota

“It is a book about a boy being sad about a beloved pet dying. How do younot cry? But it has such a good message about grief and love.” – Sarah F., Costa Mesa, California

“As a family with deep attachments to loveys, this one gets me right in the heart.” – Tracy R., Saint Paul, Minnesota

“This is such a good book about friendships. I had full fledged sobs the first time I read it. And the second. And the third…” – Glory V, Yuma, Arizona

“My husband and I are both engineers, and he reads this book to our 2-month-old daughter every day. It always chokes me up and I love the message about the importance of trying, following your dream and not letting anyone tell you that you can’t be something.” – Jessica M., Destin, Florida

“This one is so sweet, and it is a way that we talk to my son about being adopted. We tell him we loved him so much we wanted to go anywhere to find him. It was one of the first books we read him at the orphanage where we met him for the first time. Sniff.” – Andrea N., San Diego, California

“The illustrations are lovely and the message about understanding your feelings just gets to me. This is one we read when we are feeling mad or sad, and it helps.” – Beth T., Seattle, Washington

“I read this to my daughter before her first day of preschool. Big mistake. I was a sobbing mess before the end of it. It’s supposed to help kids who are afraid to say good-bye but I’m the one who really needed it, I guess.” – Lainey D., Des Moines, Iowa

– Susie T., Tucson, Arizona

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