We of course love t-shirts for our kids featuring their favorite superheroes, pop culture references, rock bands, and athletes. And our kids love them too. But there’s something extra special about the t-shirts that show the world who our kids are, and not just who they love.

So next up in our 2018 Back to School Shopping Guide, we’ve put together some of our favorite t-shirts for kids that celebrate a love of books and reading. Pretty cool way to add a little fun to their back-to-school wardrobe, don’t you think?

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There’s been no compensation for inclusion in our back to school guide; just the stuff our editors love

Cool, smart slogan t-shirts for kids: When in Doubt Tee by Out of PrintHermione Granger Library Tee | Out of Print Clothing

Leave it to Hermione Granger to remind our kids that it’s okay not to know all the answers — and that even the teacher’s pet needs to look things up all the time. Besides, yay for libraries!



Cool, smart slogan t-shirts for kids: The Book Was Better Youth Tee by KidteezThe Book Was Better Youth Tee | The Instant Message

Some of our favorite movies were adapted from books, but we subscribe to the rule that if our kids want to see the movie, we need to read the book together, first. Thanks to this shirt from KidTeez for helping them understand why. (And really, isn’t the book pretty much always better?)

Related: 30+ of the coolest backpacks for 2018 to send kids back to school in style

Cool, smart slogan t-shirts for kids: Why Tee by This Girls Tees
This Girl Asks Why Science T-Shirt | This Girls Tees

While we originally included this tee in our collection awesome STEM t-shirts for kids, it’s also about the power of research and reading. Our kids should never be afraid to question things that seem confusing or wrong, or go look up answers. In fact, when it comes to life and learning, why? may be most important question there is.

I Love Reading Kids Rainbow T-shirt at Red Bubble

I Love Reading Kids Rainbow T-Shirt | Red Bubble

Reading is in. Rainbows are in. Together? Perfect kids t-shirt. Love this 70s-esque design from RedBubble shop BubbSnug, which goes all the way up to a size 12 plus adult sizes.

Related: 5 of the top back-to-school fashion trends, and where to find them for less.

This is how we roll: Cool literary tees for kids | out of print clothingThis is How We Roll T-Shirt | Out of Print Clothing

I can never resist a good pun. Especially one about books. This one hails from one of our favorite literary gift shops, and if this one isn’t right for your toddler or grade schooler, browse their collection which also features original book cover art from favorite kids’ books, from Corduroy to Harry Potter to Maurice Sendak, more arcane books like The Spider and the Fly (a favorite of my own kids.)


Cool kids t-shirts for book lovers: Reading is Lit tee at Teespring

Reading is Lit Kids T-Shirt | Teespring

Speaking of puns…f you’re going to go with any kind of ” ____ is lit” t-shirt for your kids, make it this one. I love this so much!

Literary tees for kids: Million books I haven't read...a twist on the Hamilton line

There’s a Million Books I Haven’t Read | Red Bubble

If you have a Hamilton fan, they’ll appreciate the twist on one of Lin-Manuel’s best known lyrics in this kids’ literary t-shirt by KsuAnn for Red Bubble. Just you wait…


Wonderful kids tee to celebrate reading | Threadless

Giraffe Book Lover Tee | Lim Heng Swee for Threadless

If your kid values books more than pretty much any other gift, this tee will be a perfect fit. It may also make them wish they were a giraffe so they could reach that top shelf a little more easily.

Mo Willems READ tee from the NY Public Library is a great way to promote a love of books in young kids!

Mo Willems READ tee | NY Public Library Shop

There’s no clearer way to express a passion for books than this tee that simply states, READ. Of course it doesn’t hurt that it features some of kids’ most beloved picture book characters: Mo Willems’ Elephant, Piggie, and of course, The Pigeon.