How many books did you read in the classroom yesterday or at bedtime last night? 1, 2, 3, a gazillion?
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?… These are just a few of the books that most preschoolers will request every single day. Keeping up with the demand of a voracious book lover can be challenging.
Here is your one-stop-shop for all things related to reading books with preschoolers. I’ve got the best book lists, reading tips, and book activities that will have your preschoolers craving more and more books which is music to a parent or teacher’s ears.
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When choosing books for preschoolers, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Choose books that are engaging. Great characters and lots of dialogue draw a preschooler right into the story.
- Know your child or group of kids. Attention span will vary from child to child. Start with shorter books and build your way up to lengthier stories.
- Match books to a child’s interests. If you have a child who loves monsters, then grab a big stack of monster books. Kids love to learn more about topics they are passionate about at any given moment.
Each reader, of course, has her own personal reading taste. But, there are some books that can almost be assured to be loved by all preschool children. The two that I hear teachers and parents say over and over again are…
Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin and illustrated by James Dean is a sure hit. Really anything by Pete the Cat can be inserted here. I personally prefer the original four books that were written by Eric Litwin. The others, in my opinion, have become commercialized and the quality of the story isn’t there like in the first four books.
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems is great for eliciting lots of participation and giggles. That silly pigeon wants to drive the bus, but the bus driver has asked the reader to make sure that doesn’t happen. Move right into Elephant & Piggie books after you have read the Pigeon books.
See what parents and teachers say are the other must-reads for preschool.—>Giant List of Popular Preschool Books
Each year I share a list of books that have been favorites in our house for the past year. They are some of our most popular book lists for kids. Here are the two that apply to the preschool years: Favorite Books for 3 Year-Olds and Favorite Books for 4 Year-Olds. I’m pretty sure they will be hits with your preschoolers too.
More Great Book Lists
Just like we need a variety in our diet, we also need to expose kids to a variety in their reading diet too. Having multicultural books on our shelves is a must. Add a good helping of multicultural books for preschoolers to your shelf too.
Books are also a great teaching tool. Preschoolers learn about colors, shapes, feelings, sequencing, and more. Explore some titles to help with that development.—>Books for Preschoolers to Teach Basic Concepts has over 40 book suggestions.
Here are some other related preschool book list posts to check out.
A change of seasons is a great opportunity to help your child learn and grow through books. Below are some of our favorite books to celebrate each season and the holidays of the season.
For holiday-specific books, we have you covered too!—>Click here for Holiday Books and Activities.
Books for Preschool Themes
This growing list of preschool books for different themes pairs with our Preschool Literacy Units. Any unit of study is always richer with some quality reading material.
Books for Special Milestones
Preschoolers usually encounter many special milestones during these precious years. Here are some book lists to fit those special times
Hopefully, you won’t need this list, but Death of a Sibling books too.
Preschool Books and Activities
Our literacy time centers around books. We thrive on using a book as a springboard into real-life learning and playing.
*Each month a new Book Activity is shared on Growing Book by Book. It’s an early literacy building hands-on activity paired with a favorite children’s books. Here are a few to start with the students.
*Virtual Book Club for Kids is a monthly club that to use on a regular basis. Each month a preschool book is selected and participating bloggers share hands-on activities that correlate with the book. Here are just a few of our favorites.
*One of my very favorite activities to do at home with preschoolers (and older kids) is Family Dinner Book Club. Each month a book, themed menu, table craft, conversation starters, and a family service project are shared. Here are a few past favorites.
James Herriott’s Treasury for Children ( I LOVE this book.)
*Another book project near and dear to my heart is helping my preschoolers learn to give to others. We created a monthly project that would help us focus on reading, creating, and then sharing with others. All the books, activities, and service projects were put together to create my first book, Read, Create & Share. It’s a great way to bring books to life with preschoolers.
Nursery Rhymes, Fairy Tales, and Folk Tales
I bet you have a few fairy tales and nursery rhymes memorized. They are true classics. We were on a huge Three Billy Goats Gruff kick for awhile.
Add a good mix of nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and folk tales into your child’s reading diet.
Here are our all-time favorite rhyming books to build phonological awareness.—>Click to see the Not To Be Missed Rhyming Books.
And speaking of rhymes, I have some rhymes and songs your preschoolers will love. Plus, they will help build your child’s phonological awareness.—>35 Songs and Chants to Build Literacy Skills
Circle Time Books
Some books lend themselves better to circle time read-alouds. Here are my top picks of circle time books.—->Circle Time Books
More Tips for Reading Books with Preschoolers
Here are some common questions with answers and tips when it comes to reading books with the preschool crowd.
How do I deal with a squirrelly preschooler during a read-aloud?
It’s the nature of preschoolers to be a bit squirrely. They are an active bunch of youngsters. I so wish I could find a way to bottle that amazing energy and take a dose myself.
Just because kids are moving during a read-aloud doesn’t mean that listening isn’t happening. Many kids need to keep their hands busy to help with concentration. Why Can’t My Child Sit Still When I Read? is a post I wrote with ideas to keep kids focused during a read-aloud.
Should I read a chapter book to a preschooler?
Many preschoolers are also ready to start listening to chapter books. This read-aloud time has opened so many doors for us on our reading journey. We do have to be wise when starting this new adventure though.—->Tips for Reading Chapter Books with Preschoolers
Then, check out this month-by-month list of chapter books to read.—>Chapter Books for Preschoolers
How do I interest my preschooler in books?
If your child doesn’t have his own library card, now is a great time to get him one. Preschoolers thrive on new independence and having their very own library card is a big deal (and great responsibility.)
I think my preschooler is ready to read on her own? What should I do?
There is a big age range when it comes to learning to read. I know some children as young as 3 who are ready to read and I know many more that aren’t ready until age 6 or 7. If your child is ready, and you are looking for books that are easy but not boring, then this is the list for you.—>Easy But Not Boring Beginning Reader Books
Building a Preschooler’s Library
Ok, now you have oodles of book recommendations to read with your preschoolers, but how do you build a personal library for her?
We are huge fans of the library. Though it doesn’t build your child’s personal permanent library, it’s an excellent way to test out books you may want to purchase. If you find that you are checking out the same book over and over again, then it might be one that you want to consider buying.
I do think that it is important that a child has a set of books that she can call her own too. There is a great pride and ownership that comes from a personal library.
Here are a few tips for building a library.
- Give a special book on birthdays and holidays. Write a note inside the book telling why you selected the book and date it. I guarantee that these will be treasured books down the road.
- Ask grandparents, parents (if you are a teacher), and guests to parties to bring a book instead of a toy as a present.
- Here are some more ideas for getting books for FREE or almost free.—->8 Ways to Get Books for Free
Now you have a gazillion more preschool books to read to your budding readers. Start stocking the shelves because soon that little one will be reading to you
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