Books Your Child Should Read Before Kindergarten

Alborough, JezTeddy

Where’s My Teddy?

When a small boy named Eddie goes searching for his lost teddy in the dark woods, he comes across a gigantic bear with a similar problem.

 


Asch, FrankHBMoon

Happy Birthday, Moon 

When Bear decides to give the moon a birthday present, he climbs a mountain to get close enough to ask what day is the moon’s birthday.

 


Bang, MollyTenNineEight

Ten, Nine, Eight

Numbers from ten to one are part of this lullaby which observes the room of a little girl going to bed.

 


Barton, Bryonthreebears

The Three Bears

While three bears are away from  home, Goldilocks ventures inside their house, tastes their porridge, tries their chairs, and finally falls asleep in Baby Bear’s bed.

 


Bemelmans, Ludwigmadeline

Madeline

Madeleine, smallest and naughtiest of the twelve little charges of Miss Clavel, wakes up one night with an attack of appendicitis.

 


Brett, Janthemitten

The Mitten

After Nicki accidentally drops his white mitten in the snow, it becomes an object of curiosity for a mole, a rabbit, a badger, a tiny brown mouse, a big brown bear, and others, as they all crawl into it.

 


Brown, MarciaStonesoup

Stone Soup

When three hungry soldiers come to a town where all the food has been hidden, they set out to make soup of water and stones, and all the town enjoys a feast.

 


Brown, Margaret Wisegoodnightmoon

Goodnight Moon

The classic bedtime story that has lulled generations of children to sleep is the perfect first book to share with a child.

 


Brunhoff, Jean debabar

The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant

An orphaned baby elephant goes to live in the city with a kindly old lady who gives him everything he wants, but eventually he returns to the forest where he is crowned king of the elephants.

 


Burton, Virginia Leemikem

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

When Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel, Mary Ann, lose their jobs to the gasoline, electric, and diesel motor shovels, they go to a little country town where they find that one new job leads to another.

 


Campbell, RodDearZoo

Dear Zoo

Each animal arriving from the zoo as a possible pet fails to suit its prospective owner, until just the right one is found. Movable flaps reveal the contents of each package.

 


Cannon, Janellstella

Stellaluna

After she falls headfirst into a bird’s nest, a baby bat is raised like a bird until she is reunited with her mother.

 


Carle, Ericveryhungrtycaterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

As a tiny green caterpillar eats his way through the book, he is transformed into a beautiful butterfly, in a board book edition of the classic picture book.

 


Christelow, Eileenfivelittlemonkeys

Five Little Monkeys Jumping in the Bed

A counting book in which one by one the little monkeys jump on the bed only to fall off and bump their heads.

 


Crews, DonaldfreightTrain

Freight Train

The train rolls along slowly at first, slowly enough to count the cars, to name their colors, and identify their functions, until it starts to pick up speed.

 


Cronin, Doreenclickclack

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type

When Farmer Brown’s cows find a typewriter in the barn they start making demands, and go on strike when the farmer refuses to give them what they want.

 


Degen, Brucejamberry

Jamberry

A little boy walking in the forest meets a big lovable bear that takes him on a delicious berry-picking adventure in the magical world of Berryland.

 


Dorros, Arthurabuela

Abuela

While riding on a bus with her grandmother, a little girl imagines that they are carried up into the sky and fly over the sights of New York City.

 


Eastman P.D.areyoumymother

Are You My Mother

Baby Bird’s mother is out looking for food when his little egg hatches, and he begins a courageous, hilarious, touching adventure to find her, in a simple story perfect for toddlers and babies.

 


Ehlert, Loisfeathersforlunch

Feathers for Lunch

A humorous backyard adventure follows the foibles of a sneaky, hungry cat who attempts to catch some tasty birds for lunch, with feather-tickling results.

 


Emberley, Edgoawaybiggreen

Go Away, Big Green Monster!

Die-cut pages through which bits of a monster are revealed are designed to help a child control nighttime fears of monsters.

 


Falconer, Ianolivia

Olivia

Whether at home getting ready for the day, enjoying the beach, or at bedtime, Olivia is a feisty pig who has too much energy for her own good.

 


Feiffer, Julesbarkgeorge

Bark George

George is a puppy who does not sound like a puppy should, despite the efforts of his mother.

 


Fleming, Denisemamacathasthreekittens

Mama Cat has Three Kittens

While Fluffy and Skinny follow Mama Cat around all day, Boris is more happy sleeping, but his siblings do not understand why Boris will not play and begin to look into the matter, in a charmingly illustrated picture book for preschoolers.

 


Fox, Memwhereisthegreensheep

Where is the Green Sheep?

There are red sheep and blue sheep, wind sheep and wave sheep, scared sheep and brave sheep, but where is the green sheep?

 


Gag, Wandamillionsofcats

Millions of Cats

An old man makes an unwise decision when he brings too many cats home to his wife, who asked him to bring home just one.

 


Galdone, Paulthreelittlepigs

The Three Little Pigs

Presents a unique new twist to the beloved children’s story of the three little pigs.

 


Gerstein, Mordicaimanwhowalked

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

Offers the incredible and true story of French aerialist Philippe Petit who walked, danced, and performed tricks for more than an hour on a tightrope set up between the two towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. 

 


Goble, Paulgirlwholoved

The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses

Though she is fond of her people, a girl prefers to live among the wild horses where she is truly happy and free.

 


Guarino, Deborahisyourmamaallama

Is Your Mama a Llama?

A young llama asks his friends if their mamas are llamas and finds out, in rhyme, that their mothers are other types of animals.

 


Henkes, Kevinkittensfirstfullmoon

Kitten’s First Full Moon

When Kitten mistakes the full moon for a bowl of milk, she ends up tired, wet and hungry trying to reach it, but her adventure eventually leads her back home where something special is waiting just for her, in a board book edition of the Caldecott Medal-winning picture book.

 


Hill, Ericwheresspot

Where’s Spot?

Already available in board book format, this very first Spot book now has a brand-new cover in a fresh, vibrant color that makes it jump off the shelf.

 


Hoban, RussellBreadandJamforFrancess

Bread and Jam for Frances

Frances decides she likes to eat only bread and jam at every meal, until to her surprise, her parents grant her wish.

 


Hoban, Tanaisitred

Is it Red? Is it Yellow? Is it Blue?: An Adventure in Color

Full-color photographs guide young children in learning about shapes, sizes, and relationships.  

 


Holabird, Katherineangelinaballerina

Angelina Ballerina

A little mouse named Angelina becomes the famous ballerina Mademoiselle Angelina after much practice at Miss Lilly’s Ballet School.

 


Hutchins, Patrosieswalk

Rosie’s Walk

Although unaware that a fox is after her as she takes a walk around the farmyard, Rosie the hen still manages to lead him into one accident after another.

 


Jenkins, Stevewhatdoyoudo

What Do You Do with a Tail Like This?

Young readers can explore the many amazing things animals can do with their ears, eyes, mouths, noses, and feet, in a beautifully illustrated, interactive guessing book.

 


Johnson, Crockettharoldandthepurplecrayon

Harold and the Purple Crayon

Harold goes for an adventurous walk in the moonlight with his purple crayon.

 


Juster, Nortonhellogoodbye

The Hello, Goodbye Window  

A little girl loves going to her Nanna and Poppy’s house because their kitchen window is a magical portal to a world of discovery and imagination, in a delightful story that celebrates childhood and the love of family.

 


Kent, Jackcaterpillarandpolliwog

The Caterpillar and the Polliwog

Impressed by the proud caterpillar’s boast that she will turn into a butterfly when she grows up, a polliwog determines to watch the caterpillar very carefully and turn into a butterfly too.

 


Kimmel, Ericanansi

Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock

Anansi the Spider uses a strange moss-covered rock in the forest to trick all the other animals, until Little Bush Deer decides he needs to learn a lesson.  

 


Kraus, Ruthcarrotseed

The Carrot Seed

A young boy plants and cares for a carrot seed that everyone says will not grow, but he lovingly tends to his seed, and he eventually grows a large carrot.

 


Leaf, Munroferninand

The Story of Ferdinand

Ferdinand likes to sit quietly and smell the flowers, but one day he gets stung by a bee and his snorting and stomping convince everyone that he is the fiercest of bulls.

 


Lionni, Leolittlebluelittleyellow

Little Blue, Little Yellow

Little Blue and Little Yellow are the best of friends, and when they reunite after not being able to find each other, they give each other such a big hug that they turn green.

 


Lobel, Arnoldfrogandtoadarefriends

Frog and Toad Are Friends

Frog and his best friend Toad enjoy many summer adventures. 

 


London, Jonathanfroggygetsdressed

Froggy Gets Dressed

Rambunctious Froggy hops out into the snow for a winter frolic but is called back by his mother to put on some necessary articles of clothing.

 


Martin, Billbrownbearbrownbear

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Children see a variety of animals, each one a different color, and a teacher looking at them.

 


Martin, Billchickachicka

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

In a rhythmic alphabet chant, all the letters race one another up the coconut tree.  

 


McBratney, Samgueeshowmuch

Guess How Much I Love You

During a bedtime game, every time Little Nutbrown Hare demonstrates how much he loves his father, Big Nutbrown Hare gently shows him that the love is returned even more.

 


McCloskey, Robertmakewayforducklings

Make Way for Ducklings

After raising her ducklings on a secluded island, Mrs. Mallard leads them to the Boston Public Garden to eat peanuts.

 


McLimans, Davidgonewild

Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet

Endangered animals are drawn into uniquely crafted letters in this bold alphabet book that provides information on the habitat and class of these rare creatures and the threats facing them.

 


McPhail, Davidpigsaplentypigsgalore

Pigs Aplenty, Pigs Galore

The silence of the narrator’s cozy home is abruptly ended as a herd of partying pigs enters the scene and takes over his surroundings, where they make oatmeal in the sink, play music through the night, and order pizza pies to be delivered. 

 


Meddaugh, Susanmarthaspeaks

Martha Speaks

Problems arise when Martha, the family dog, learns to speak after eating alphabet soup.

 


Meltzer, Bradiamabraham

I Am Abraham Lincoln

An entry in an engaging series that focuses on a particular character trait that made the featured role model heroic follows Abraham Lincoln from his childhood to the presidency, showing how he always spoke up about fairness and eventually he led the country to abolish slavery. 

 


Noble, Trinkajimmysboaatethewash

The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash

A slapstick comedy details the hilarious results when Jimmy’s class takes a trip to a farm and encounters the pigs and where Jimmy’s pet boa makes friends with the farmer’s wife.

 


Numberoff, Lauragiveamouse

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

A young and very accommodating boy discovers you can never tell where it will stop if you give a lively, but demanding, mouse a cookie.

 


Penn, Audreykissinghand

The Kissing Hand

When Chester the raccoon is reluctant to go to kindergarten for the first time, his mother teaches him a secret way to carry her love with him.

 


Piper, Wattylittleengine

The Little Engine that Could

Although she is not very big, the Little Blue Engine agrees to try to pull a stranded train full of toys over the mountain.

 


Potter, Beatrixtaleofpeterrabbit

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Adventurous Peter Rabbit disobeys his mother and wanders into Mr. McGregor’s garden.

 


Rathmann, Peggygoodnightgorilla

Good Night, Gorilla

A zookeeper finds his normal nighttime routine upset when a mischievous little ape steals his keys and lets all his animal charges out of their cages.

 


Rey, H.A. curiousgeorge

Curious George

The curiosity of a newly-captured monkey gets him into considerable trouble.

 


Rohman, Ericmyfriendrabbit

My Friend Rabbit

After letting Rabbit play with his toy plane, Mouse finds himself in a real jam as the plane gets stuck high in a tree, but despite Rabbit’s persistent assistance, Mouse’s plane just won’t come free.

 


Rylant, Cynthia therelativescame

The Relatives Came

The relatives come to visit from Virginia and everyone has a wonderful time.

 


Say, Allen grandfathersjourney

Grandfather’s Journey

A Japanese American man recounts his grandfather’s journey to America which he later also undertakes, and the feelings of being torn by a love for two different countries.

 


Seeger, Laura Vaccarofirsttheegg

First the Egg

Using simple text and illustrations, shows how animals and objects change, including tadpoles to frogs and seeds to flowers, in a book with cutouts so that certain colors from the previous picture help create the next picture.

 


Sendak, Mauricewherethewildthingsare

Where the Wild Things Are

A naughty little boy, sent to bed without his supper, sails to the land of the wild things where he becomes their king.

 


Seuss, Dr. greeneggs

Green Eggs and Ham

Sam-I-Am tries to persuade his friend to try green eggs and ham.

 


Seuss, Dr. catinthehat

The Cat in the Hat

A cat in a hat wrecks havoc on the house of two children while their mother is away, then magically cleans up.

 


Shannon, Davidduckonabike

Duck on a Bike

A duck decides to ride a bike and soon influences all the other animals on the farm to ride bikes too.

 


Shaw, Charlesitlookedlikespiltmilk

It Looked Like Spilt Milk

A continuously changing white shape silhouetted against a blue background challenges the reader to guess what the shape is.

 


Simmons, Janecomealongdaisy

Come Along Daisy

Daisy the duckling becomes so engrossed in playing with dragonflies and lily pads that she temporarily loses her mother.

 


Simont, Marcstraydog

The Stray Dog

A family befriends a stray dog, names him Willy, and decides to keep him.

 


Slobodkina, Esphyrcapsforsale

Caps for Sale

A band of mischievous monkeys steals every one of a peddler’s caps while he is taking a nap under a tree, in a delightful board-book rendition of the popular children’s story.

 


Taback, Simmsoldladywhoswalloedafly

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

In a traditional nonsense poem, an old woman swallows a fly, a spider, a bird, a cat, a dog, and a horse. 

 


Walter, Virginiahipizzaman

Hi, Pizza Man

While a young girl waits for the delivery of a hot pizza, she provides the appropriate animal sounds for a variety of pretend animal pizza deliverers.

 


Wells, Rosemary noisynora

Noisy Nora

Feeling neglected, Nora makes more and more noise to attract her parents’ attention.

 


Westcott, Nadineladywiththealligator

The Lady with the Alligator Purse

The old jump rope/nonsense rhyme features an ailing young Tiny Tim.

 


Willems, Modontletthepigeondrviethebus

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

When the bus driver decides to take a break from driving, a wild and wacky pigeon pleads and begs to take his place, capturing the antics of a preschooler’s temper tantrum. 

 


Wood, Audreynappinghouse

The Napping House

A cozy bed, a snoring granny, a dreaming child, a dozing dog, a snoozing–WAIT! There’s a surprise in store, and little ones will want to discover it over and over again. Snuggle in for Don and Audrey Wood’s timeless, cumulative sleepy time tale that’s truly like no other.

 


Yolen, Janehowdodinosaurssay

How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight

Mother and child ponder the different ways a dinosaur can say goodnight, from slamming his tail and pouting to giving a big hug and kiss.

 


Yolen, Janeowlmoon

Owl Moon

On a winter’s night under a full moon, a father and child trek into the woods to see a great horned owl.

 


Young, Edsevenblindmice 

Seven Blind Mice

In this retelling of the Indian fable, seven blind mice discover different parts of an elephant and argue about its appearance.

 


Zimmerman, Andreatrashytown

Trashy Town

Little by little, can by can, Mr. Gillie, the trash man, cleans up his town.

 


Zion, Geneharrythedirtydog

Harry the Dirty Dog

When a white dog with black spots runs away from home, he gets so dirty his family doesn’t recognize him as a black dog with white spots.