9 Tall Tales About Paul Bunyan for Young Readers

The best of the American legend and his blue ox.

The Best Paul Bunyan Books for Kids

Celebrated in American folklore for his superhuman strength, Paul Bunyan, a giant lumberjack, and his adventures are well documented in children’s storytelling. Young readers have long heard the tales of how Bunyan and his blue ox, Babe, created the Grand Canyon, among other great American landscapes. Here are nine of our favorite Paul Bunyan books for kids.

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1. Paul Bunyan: A Very Tall Tale by Jo Weaver (K–2)

A good introduction to the American legend for beginning readers, this book introduces readers to the tall tale genre by telling the story of how Bunyan and Babe roamed about cutting down trees and creating famous landmarks.

2. Paul Bunyan by Steven Kellogg (1–3)

This classic picture book, with its wonderful illustrations of Bunyan’s adventures, still holds up.

3. Paul Bunyan’s Sweetheart by Marybeth Lorbiecki (1–4)

What will it take for Bunyan to find love? Readers will find out in this sweet, age-appropriate spin-off of the classic story.

4. Paul Bunyan: My Story by David L. Harrison (2–4)

Readers will get a kick out of hearing Paul himself tell how he did such amazing things.

5. Paul Bunyan Swings His Axe by Dell J. McCormick (2–4)


First published in 1936, McCormick’s timeless Bunyan stories still entertain young readers today!

6. Paul Bunyan by Dr. Stephen Krensky (2–4)

Some of your students will no doubt relate to this version of the tale, which paints Bunyan as a too-big misfit.

7. American Tall Tales by Mary Pope Osbourne (3–6)

Bunyan’s story is truly a highlight in a book that includes the stories of other folk heroes, including Johnny Appleseed and John Henry. 

8. The Tall Tale of Paul Bunyan by Martin Powell (3–6)

Upper-elementary readers and comic book fans will get a kick out of this hilarious graphic-novel version of the Bunyan legend. 

9. Tall: Great American Folktales by Martin Powell (3–6)

Readers will meet Pecos Bill, Johnny Appleseed, and John Henry in addition to Bunyan in this story collection.

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Plus, our favorite biographies for teens and tweens.

9 Tall Tales About Paul Bunyan for Young Readers