Great Books for Preschoolers

Preschoolers love to read books with rhymes, predictable language, and repetition, and the books on this list are full of participatory fun!

van Lieshout, Maria

In this alphabet book, a child sees road signs from A to Z from the backseat of a car. Point to the letters as you say each letters name; this will help your child learn the letters and recognize each letter's shape.
Feiffer, Jules

"Bark, George!" says his mother. But George doesn't bark, he MEOWS! Then he QUACKS! What's wrong with George? Making the silly animal noises in this book is a wonderful way for young children to explore language sounds, so be silly and have fun!
Wilson, Karma

When Bear is too sick to play, his animal friends go to his cave to make him soup and tea and keep him company. After sharing this story with your child, write or draw a get-well card to Bear or to a friend. Even if they can't write as adults do, this kind of activity helps children understand that written words stand for what they say.
Shea, Bob

A little boy sits in the corner of his classroom dreaming about his big plans for his future.
Takeuchi, Chihiro

Robot has lost his arm -- can you help him find a new one? Step into a charming mechanical world invented by a striking new picture book artist. One morning, a robot wakes up to find he is missing an arm. He and his robo buddy search inside and outside the house, through a garden, an amusement park, a library and even a candy shop, but it's nowhere to be found. Where can the arm be, and what might make a suitable replacement? A lollipop? A fish bone? How about a fork? Can You Find My Robot's Arm? humorously invites children to explore the beautiful and intricate hand-cut images of Chihiro Takeuchi.
Gaiman, Neil

A story about a panda who is prone to very big sneezes. This is a fun story to have your kids retell. Storytelling practice can help kids understand what they read.
Willems, Mo

Pigeon REALLY wants to drive the bus, but the bus driver says "No!" Should Pigeon be allowed do drive the bus? As you read this story with your preschooler, ask him or her what will happen next in the story before you turn the page. Making predictions is an important part of getting ready to read!
Rosenthal, Amy Krouse

From the award-winning author of Little Pea, Little Hoot, and Little Oink comes a clever take on the age-old optical illusion: Is it a duck or a rabbit? Depends on how you look at it! Readers will find more than just Amy Krouse Rosenthal's signature humor here, there's also a subtle lesson for kids who don't know when to let go of an argument. A smart, simple story that will make readers of all ages eager to take a side, Duck! Rabbit! makes it easy to agree on one thing, reading it again!
Fox, Mem

A bedtime tale chock-full of rhymes you will recognize.
McMullen, Kate & Jim

A big city garbage truck makes its rounds, consuming everything from apple cores and banana peels to leftover ziti with zucchini. Try using a big, deep voice as you read this book -- don’t' be afraid to be silly and have fun!
Sherry, Kevin

A giant squid brags about being bigger than everything else in the ocean--almost.
Thomas, Jan

The cows drive poor chicken crazy in this silly book. This book is both fun to read and act out.
LaRochelle, David

When Cow gets her hooves on the farmer's car, she takes it for a wild ride through the country. This entire story is told with two words: "moo" and "baa". It's the inflection in the words, the way they are said, that brings meaning. Besides being super fun, this book will help your child learn that the way you say words can change their meaning.
Numeroff, Laura

This bedtime book can be sung any time of day. The short songs all go with familiar tunes. Singing helps slow down langauge so kids can more easily hear the smaller sounds that make up words. A great snuggly read!
Morales, Yuyi

Niño's imagination takes flight as he pretends to be a Lucha Libre, fending off monstrous opponents with his toys, but when his little sisters awaken from their naps, he is in for a no-holds-barred wrestling match that will truly test his skills. Talk with your child about the action in the story, and about the Spanish and English words sprinkled throughout.
Klausmeier, Jesse

Do it! Open this little book and read it! You'll find several smaller books, one inside the other. Try sharing this book with your child, then make your own little books together by folding pieces of paper in half.
Litwin, Eric

Pete the Cat gets into colorful adventures while out walking in his new white shoes. Unfortunately, his shoes don't stay white. Does Pete get mad? Goodness, no! This book has plenty of repetition, encourage your child to chime in. The more often you read it together, the easier it will be for your child to "read" it herself.
Niemann, Christoph

Simple, rhyming text follows two boys and their father as they spend a rainy day riding the various lines of the New York City subway system.
Lamb, Albert

As he gets into bed, Timmy Bear asks his mother to play a game with him in which they remember everything he did during the day, but in reverse order. Try asking your child to recount what has happened in his day. This is an important activity for getting ready to learn to read.
Crews, Nina
J398.8 CREWS

This collection of nursery rhymes, both familiar and lesser known, is illustrated with photographs in a city setting. Try reading them with a loud voice…or a quiet voice….or a silly voice. Make reading time fun!
Diesen, Deborah

The pout-pout fish believes he only knows how to frown, even though many of his friends suggest ways to change his expression, until one day a fish comes along that shows him otherwise.
Freedman, Deborah

Every day, Snail waits for Fish to return and tell him a story. But one day Fish asks Snail to take a leap out of their book into a new pirate book in the library! Read this simple story with your child, then talk about other books Fish & Snail might want to try.
Mack, Jeff

This book was designed to look like it was created by a child, using torn paper, crayons, cotton, duct tape -- whatever! After sharing, help your child write his/her own story about what he/she can do.
Kerley, Barbara

Nonfiction, or "true" books, are wonderful to share with preschoolers! This book has big, beautiful photographs that will inspire great conversations and adventures. Talk to your child about what's happening in the photos. The more you talk with your child, the more words they will learn!
Fox, Mem

Can you find the green sheep? You will encounter other silly rhyming sheep along the way. Play with those rhyming words so your child can pick apart the smaller sounds that make them up.
Field, Eugene

A classic lullaby poem about three fishermen who try to catch the stars in nets of silver and gold.