Do you have some preschoolers that you think might be ready to listen to chapter books? I’ve found that around age 4 1/2 some preschoolers are ready to enjoy listening to longer pieces of text with some picture support. Below are some chapter books for preschoolers that will be a good fit.
First, not all chapter books are appropriate for preschoolers AND not all preschoolers are ready for chapter book read-alouds. In fact, you have to choose first chapter book read-alouds very carefully. I have a whole post with details.—>CLICK HERE FOR TIPS ON READING CHAPTER BOOKS TO PRESCHOOLERS.
And, chapter books are not meant to replace picture books. We should still read lots and lots of picture books to preschoolers for many years to come.
If you are ready to try chapter books with your preschoolers, I have some good choices for each month of the year. You might try these as a whole group read-aloud or recommend them to families who are looking for book suggestions.
Month by Month Chapter Books for Preschoolers
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The books on this list contain short or episodic chapters, contain lots of dialogue, and provide picture support.
You will also find some books that are part of a series. If you find your kids love a particular series, you can then recommend the other books to families to enjoy at home too.
Preschoolers who enjoyed the movie Toy Story will love Toys Go Out by Emily Jenkins. Three toys (a stuffed stingray, a stuffed buffalo, and a red plastic ball) become friends and their days are full of discovery and adventure. (part of a trilogy)
Get kids excited about the first chapter book read-aloud by reading the picture book version Toys Meet Snow also by Jenkins.
Mercy Watson offers lots of picture support. For October, try Mercy Watson: Princess in Disguise by Kate DiCamillo. The Watsons decide their pig should dress up and trick-or-treat this year. Giggles are sure to follow. And, preschoolers will want to follow Mercy Watson through other adventures. (part of a series)
Nate the Great Talks Turkey by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat is a fun read for November. Nate is a detective and along with his dog, Sludge, they solve mysteries. In this book, Nate is on the hunt for a loose turkey. (part of a series)
Have Fun, Anna Hibiscus is the story of a little girl and her family who live in Africa. In this book, Anna travels to Canada for Christmas to see her grandparents. She discovers that Canada is very different from Africa. (part of a series)
James Herriot’s Treasury for Children by James Herriot isn’t really a chapter book. It’s a collection of stories. But, I have to include it on this list. The animal stories are beautiful and must-reads for preschoolers.
If you blended Mary Poppins with Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, you would probably end up with Mrs. Noodlekugel. Daniel Pinkwater entertains us with a delightful woman who entertains two young children with magic and surprises in her little home. You must serve cookies to the kids during this read-aloud. (part of a series)
Little Bear Treasury by Else Minarik contains sweet stories about a Mama Bear and her Little Bear. Whenever inquisitive Little Bear has a need or request, Mama Bear is always there to help.
When you think of classic storybook friends, Frog and Toad usually top the list. Frog and Toad Storybook Treasury by Arnold Lobel shares lots of adventures from kite flying to taking walks. All adventures are shared between two friends.
Spring is a wonderful time to study baby animals.
Chibi: A True Story from Japan by Barbara Brenner is the true tale of a mama duck in search of a place to raise her little ones. She happens to find a spot in the heart of Tokyo. A photographer visits to document the experience and ends up being a help to the duck family.
Warm up to this book by reading the picture book, Make Way for Ducklings by McCloskey. It will be fun to compare the two stories.
Charlie & Mouse by Laurel Snyder is a newer book to add to your read-aloud line-up. Charlie and Mouse are brothers with lots of imagination. Kids will love to spend time with these two in the four stories that make up the book.
The Littles by John Peterson is a classic book about a family of little people who live in the walls of a house. A new family moves in for the summer sparking trouble and danger. Luckily, the Littles have a plan! (first book of a series)
The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation by Shannon Hale is part adventure and part pure imagination. In this book, the Princess Magnolia decides to take a break from keeping monsters away from the goats. But, when she arrives at the beach, is she truly off monster duty? (part of a series)
My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett is the story of a boy, a talking cat, and a bag of “tools” that travel to an island to save a baby dragon. This book won a Newbery honor in the 40s. (first book of a trilogy)
If one of the books above doesn’t grab you or you have time to add another chapter book into your schedule, check out these titles.
Fox & Crow Are Not Friends by Melissa Wiley- just three chapters
Penny and Her Marble by Kevin Henkes
Socksby Beverly Cleary- a little bit longer than the others on this list.
Would you like a list of these books that you can print and keep in your lesson plan binder? I have a FREE printable list for email subscribers.
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The plan is in place for the year. Now, it’s time to read to the kiddos. Let me know which book they liked the best.