Which Sesame Street book is best?

“Sesame Street” is one of TV’s most revolutionary education series for children. Since it first aired in 1969, its puppet characters have become icons beloved by children and adults. Its characters have inspired a plethora of merchandise, including children’s books. These books offer children guidance for different stages in life and how to navigate them.

Popular ones such as “The Monster at the End of This Book” teach kids the importance of facing their fears. Sesame Street books will provide invaluable learning opportunities for your kids, giving them a headstart in life. 

What to know before you buy a Sesame Street book

The characters and monsters on Sesame Street have full-fledged personalities. Each one faces recurring issues that they address in their own interesting ways. Here are some of the main characters and what they teach:

Big Bird: This 8-feet, 2-inches-tall yellow bird likes to make new friends and encourages children to be curious and to ask questions about new things. He also helps them feel that it’s okay not to have the answer to everything.

Elmo: The enthusiastic red monster likes to learn new words and ideas through laughter, singing and play. Elmo inspires kids to use their imaginations and normalizes stumbling along the way as they try to learn new things.

Oscar the Grouch: Oscar is a messy, grouchy green monster who loves trash and stinky smells. He teaches kids that it’s possible to show care for others even if you’re grumpy. He also teaches about recycling and reusable materials.

Ernie and Burt: Ernie and Burt are best friends who appear together on the show. Ernie is mischievous and fun-loving and likes to play practical jokes on Bert. Bert, the mature of the two, is the voice of reason. Together they show that it’s possible to be friends with those who are different.

Cookie Monster: This blue, furry, googly-eyed monster loves to gobble cookies. His distinctive way of speaking makes him relatable to kids of levels of speech abilities. He teaches kids the importance of self-control when reaching their goals.

What to look for in a quality Sesame Street book

Type of book

  • Picture storybooks: These books feature text and colorful illustrations and artwork to support the storyline. The illustrations help children understand the information better.
  • Patterned concept books: Concept books enhance a child’s understanding of an idea, theme or relationship. The books describe words and ideas through illustration using a rhythmic flow and a strong pattern to make it easy to read along.
  • Participation books: This storybook offers an enjoyable participatory experience for young children. They get involved in the reading experience by following the book’s suggestions to touch their toes, clap their hands or cover their eyes. 
  • Poetry: Poems introduce children to the different sounds of language and how to use words to rhyme. Rhyming poems that use playful words and imagery can assist in developing their phonemic awareness.
  • Alphabet books: These books help children learn and recognize letters and how they are used in language. They range from basic ones that show objects beginning with letters to more advanced books that tell a story in the alphabet format.
  • Counting books: Children can learn how to count through the fun illustrations of items numbered from one to five or one to 10. The more advanced ones count to one hundred or a thousand.
  • Nursery rhymes: These books pass down the timeless tales that have existed for many generations. Parents often read these rhymes and songs to their kids, creating a great bonding activity.
  • Informational books: These non-fiction books are on educational topics that interest children, such as food, animals, sports, space or seasons. In some books, the labeled illustrations help kids better grasp the material. 

Educational elements

Sesame Street books are layered with educational value. It helps develop a child’s concentration, ability to focus, communication and social skills. They learn new words and sounds that enhance their literacy skills. The colorful characters and fun storylines spark a child’s imagination and stimulate their curiosity. Many of the books go beyond academics and touch on elaborate themes like the importance of empathy, respect for others, resilience, emotional intelligence, self-confidence and dealing with conflict.


Sesame Street’s age group appeals most to 3- to 5-year-olds, but younger and older children also enjoy the show and the books. Sesame Street books are categorized based on four different age groups: 0-2, 3-4, 5-6 and 7 and older.


Each book features one or more Sesame Street characters. If your child likes a particular character, it would be a good idea to buy books that feature them more prominently. Besides the core characters, you can expect to find other monsters like Count Von Count, Rosita, Grover, Aloysius Snuffleupagus (“Snuffy”) and Abby Cadabby.

How much you can expect to spend on a Sesame Street book

Most Sesame Street books are priced $5-15. Storybook collections and book sets range $10-$25 depending on the number of books in the set and the packaging used.

Sesame Street book FAQ

How will Sesame Street books help your kids?

A. Sesame Street takes on a “whole child” approach to education, covering cognitive, academic and social-emotional development. The high-quality educational content supports the development of math, science, and literacy skills in kids and exposes them to various languages, cultures, music and dance. 

Are there Sesame Street books for adults?

A. Many adults grew up watching Sesame Street when they were children and still feel a connection to it.  Sesame Street teamed up with Macmillan Publishers to create a “Guide of Life” series that includes titles like “The Joy of Cookies: Cookie Monster’s Guide to Life” and “The Pursuit of Grouchiness: Oscar the Grouch’s Guide to Life.” Adults will also appreciate the relaunched version of the Little Golden Books.

What’s the best Sesame Street book to buy?

Top Sesame Street book

The Monster at the End of This Book (Sesame Street)

The Monster at the End of This Book”

What you need to know: This popular classic that features Grover piques the curiosity of young readers.

What you’ll love: The book tells a story about Grover’s distress over finding a monster at the end of the book. He pleads with readers not to turn the page, but this encourages kids to do the opposite and feel empowered by choosing. The book is available in Kindle, hardcover, softcover and paper versions.

What you should consider: Some readers found the book too small and the letters tiny. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Sesame Street book for the money

We're Different, We're the Same (Sesame Street)

We’re Different, We’re the Same, and We’re Wonderful”

What you need to know: This colorful and charmingly illustrated book teaches children the importance of diversity and acceptance.

What you’ll love: The book is written in a sing-song verse format explaining how our body parts like hair, nose and eyes are the same. It also highlights how our differences make the world an interesting place in which to live. 

What you should consider: The Sesame Street characters play a less prominent role in the book.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Sesame Street Elmo Manners Books for Kids Toddlers

Sesame Street Elmo Manners Books

What you need to know: This book set that features Elmo and friends is perfect for teaching kids the concept of manners.

What you’ll love: Kids will find these colorful and richly illustrated books a joy to read. These softcover books are 16 pages each and measure 5-by-5 inches. The collection includes the following titles: “Let’s Share,” “Be Polite,” “Please and Thank You,” “Good for You,” “Taking Turns,” “Be a Friend,” “All About Feelings” and “Working Together.”

What you should consider: Some readers said the storylines are challenging to understand and are not timely.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Seline Shenoy writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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