Book recommendations for children age 0-6
Growing young readers is an important of our globegarden Curriculum Discover the World and belongs to our learning area Language Speaks.
Reading aloud to children is definitely an adventure: the questions, the comments, the “helping,” … and of course, their sincere love of snuggling up with a great book. Lots of experience with diverse, top-quality books in our centers goes a long way towards instilling a big appreciation for reading, so we prefer our shelves to be fully stocked and updated often. Read some of our recent top picks!
Books for Infants and Toddlers
Written by Susan Meyers; illustrated by Marla Frazee
Endearing rhymes and beautiful illustrations celebrate what babies — and the adults who love them — do best.
Little Chickies/Los Pollitos
Written and illustrated by Susie Jaramillo
This charming book is based on a popular Spanish children’s song— rhyming and “lift the flap pages” make it an irresistible read.
Peck, Peck, Peck
Written and illustrated by Lucy Cousins
All about a little woodpecker’s independence and his father’s unconditional love, this book gives infants & toddlers a chance to stick their fingers through the holes that the woodpeckers make.
This is the Construction Worker
Written by Laura Goodwin; illustrated by Julian Hector
Follow a female construction worker throughout her day with lilting rhyme, rich vocabulary, and detailed illustrations.
Who Said Moo?
Written by Harriet Ziefert; illustrated by Simms Taback
Red Rooster asks this very question of his animal friends in this entertaining, interactive, and boldly illustrated lift-the-flap book.
My Family, Your Family!
Written Kathryn Cole; illustrated by Cornelia Li
“A celebration of all kinds of families, especially yours. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to families, and the ones in this book have what matters most — love!”
Baby Bear Counts One
Baby Bear Sees Blue
Where, Oh Where is Baby Bear?
Written by Ashley Wolff
There are plenty of sweet bear stories, but it’s the gorgeous linocut illustrations that really make this trio of concept books stand out. They are lovely for building children’s vocabulary and content knowledge about a bear’s habitat, too.
Mrs. Peanuckle’s Alphabet
Written by Mrs. Peanuckle
Everything about this series is downright adorable. Each book marches through a nature-themed version of the ABCs with engaging facts about bugs, birds, veggies, fruits, trees, or flowers—all while using cheerful mixed-media art.
Bear is Awake!: An Alphabet Story
Written by Hannah E. Harrison
We love preschool books that combine alphabet information with a great picture story. Hearing kids’ reactions as the narrative about a hungry bear unfolds is a treat. A is for “awake…”
Circle Under Berry
Written by Carter Higgins
Explore shapes, colors, and prepositions with this most inventive of preschool books that’ll really get your class talking. It starts out simple but ramps up as the book goes on, making it a great multi-age concept book. Extension ideas abound, from offering it with loose parts for kids to explore or creating your own class version with cut and glued shapes.
Dig, Dump, Roll and Wheels by Sally Sutton
Sally Sutton earned a special place in our book-loving hearts with Roadwork, Construction, and Demolition. These two more recent titles have a guessing game structure, which makes them perfect for reading aloud to construction and vehicle-loving kiddos.
Books for Preschoolers
The Peas Series
Written by Keith Baker
The original title in this series, LMNO Peas, is a longtime preschool books favorite because it combines two preschool loves: the alphabet and exploration of occupations. (Plus, could those little peas be any cuter?) We love having the latest installment, LMNO Pea-Quel, on hand for our Pre-K kiddos as they start to tune into lowercase letters, which are highlighted in this book.
The Big Umbrella
Written and illustrated by Amy June Bates; co-written with Juniper Bates
With each turn of the page, children are shown how everyone can be included, and they’ll be excited to see who is welcomed next under the big umbrella.
A Book for Benny
Written by Judith Koppens; illustrated by Marja Meijer
Sam, a little girl, searches for the perfect book for her dog, Benny. Children will be delighted by Benny’s humorous ways of indicating his book preferences.
The Day the Babies Crawled Away
Written and illustrated by Peggy Rathmann
In this family favorite, a young boy sees babies leaving the fair to chase butterflies, frogs, and even bats. The babies ignore pleas to come back; then, this young hero saves the day.
Flora and the Flamingo
Written and illustrated by Molly Idle
Youngsters can put their own words into this story about Flora, who loves to dance — she wants to imitate the graceful flamingo’s beautiful moves, but the flamingo is not interested.
Written and illustrated by Leo Timmers
With fun-to-read rhymes, Gus uses recycled material to creatively solve his friends’ needs. Some vehicles are too hot, or too cold, or too slow, and Gus helps them all.
Written and illustrated by Emily Gravett
Pete the badger is a neat freak, but when his cleaning gets out of control, the entire forest ends up suffering. Pete works with his buddies to make things right.
Too Tall Houses
Written and illustrated by Gianna Marino
A competition over whose house is taller almost causes Owl and Rabbit’s friendship to come tumbling down. This story explores problem-solving as they learn to work together.
Kindness Makes Us Strong
Written by Sophie Beer
Kindness is a universal theme in preschool, and this title brims with optimism and age-appropriate examples. Share it with kids and then celebrate their own kind ideas and actions.
What Color is Night? and What Sound is Morning?
Written by Grant Snider
These poetic titles celebrate the nuanced colors of night and the sounds of the very beginning of the day. Bedtime and early mornings are preschooler prime times, of course, so these are highly relevant preschool books. They’re great springboards for activities about looking and listening carefully and describing colors and sounds in your school environment, too.
Written and illustrated by Oge Mora
For Ava and her mom, Saturdays are special. But what happens when their special day turns into a disaster? They take a deep breath, focus on the good, and find a solution, of course!
Love Makes a Family
Written by Sophie Beer
Most preschool classrooms engage in some kind of study of families, and this book is a must-have to encourage an inclusive view on the topic. Illustrations are colorful and engaging and sweetly portray many different variations on family structure.
What’s the Weather?
Written by Shelley Rotner
Since we love every single one of Shelley Rotner’s gorgeous photo essays, it was hard to choose one to feature, but this title is particularly interactive for classrooms having conversations about the weather.
Good Morning Yoga
Good Night Yoga
Written by Mariam Gates
Yoga storytime is one of our favorite ways to incorporate yoga in the preschool classroom, and these are two of our go-to’s for energizing or winding down our littlest yogis.
A Space for Me
Written by Cathryn Falwell
We go back to many of Cathryn Falwell’s books with kiddos year after year, and this new offering about the ups and downs of sibling relationships is equally relevant. Alex shares a room with his brother Lucas and is desperate for some space of his own—but when he finally gets it, he finds he misses his brother’s familiar presence.
Books for K1+K2 Age Children
Written by William Steig
Brave Irene is Irene Bobbin, the dressmaker's daughter. Her mother, Mrs. Bobbin, isn't feeling so well and can't possibly deliver the beautiful ball gown she's made for the duchess to wear that very evening. So plucky Irene volunteers to get the gown to the palace on time, in spite of the fierce snowstorm that's brewing-- quite an errand for a little girl.But where there's a will, there's a way, as Irene proves in the danger-fraught adventure that follows. She must defy the wiles of the wicked wind, her most formidable opponent, and overcome many obstacles before she completes her mission.
Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch
Written by Eileen Spinelly
One wintry day, a postman delivers a mysterious package with a big pink bow to a lonely man named Mr. Hatch.
“Somebody loves you,” the note says.
“Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch sings as he dusts his living room.
“Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch whistles as he does his errands in town.
“But who,” Mr. Hatch wonders, “could that somebody be?”
After some time, Mr. Hatch discovers just who his secret admirer is and, in doing so, enjoys the biggest surprise of his life!
Written by Kathryn Cave
A simple story, about a small creature who does his best to join in with the others. But he's different. No matter how he tries, he just doesn't belong.
Then Something turns up and wants to be friends. But Something Else isn't sure he's like him at all...
Kathryn Cave's poignantly simple story is brought to life by Chris Riddell in this enchantingly original picture book - now reissued with a new cover look.
Balloons Over Broadway
Written and illustrated by Melissa Sweet
For 80+ years, the Thanksgiving Day parade has been a holiday tradition. This book explores its history and the true story of its original puppeteer.
Brown Girl Dreaming
Written by Jacqueline Woodson
This collection of poems tells the author’s childhood story — a picture of growing up Black in the 60s and 70s, her family’s experiences with racism, and her dreams to be a writer.
Lotus & Feather
Written by Ji-li Jiang; illustrated by Julie Downing
A lonely young girl who has lost her voice rescues a rare, injured crane with her grandfather and nurses the crane back to health. The bond they form heals them both.
Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth
Written by Nicola Davies; illustrated by Emily Sutton
This reference guide gives children a look into the vast diversity of life on our planet and the part each organism— including us — plays in maintaining the delicate beauty of its balance.
What Do You Do With An Idea?
Written by Kobi Yamada; illustrated by Mae Besom
A young boy cannot get rid of something that’s following him. When he realizes that it’s his very own idea pursuing him, he begins to nurture it and sees that it can become a reality.
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise
Written by Dan Gemeinhart
Coyote Sunrise has been traveling with her father for five years—ever since her mom and sisters were killed in a car crash. On their journey home, Coyote meets some unlikely friends.
Written by Michelle Knudsen
When a lion visits the library, no one knows what to do: there are no rules about lions in the library. But soon he's indispensable - "What a helpful lion," people say. "How did we ever get along without him?" But one day the head librarian falls and breaks her arm, and the only way the lion can get help is to roar. And that is breaking the rules.
Michelle Knudsen has worked in several libraries in New York. She is the author of Fish and Frog, and many other books for children. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Kevin Hawkes is the illustrator of many award-winning books for children, including Weslandia (9780744577358) and City Circus (9780744573657), both by Paul Fleischman, and Me, All Alone at the End of the World (9781406304824) by M. T. Anderson.
Written by Derek Munson
Teach kindness, courtesy, respect, and friendship: It was the perfect summer. That is, until Jeremy Ross moved into the house down the street and became neighborhood enemy number one. Luckily Dad had a surefire way to get rid of enemies: Enemy Pie. But part of the secret recipe is spending an entire day playing with the enemy! In this funny yet endearing story one little boy learns an effective recipe for turning a best enemy into a best friend. Accompanied by charming illustrations, Enemy Pie serves up a sweet lesson in the difficulties and ultimate rewards of making new friends.
The perfect book for kids learning how to make friends or deal with conflict
Ideal as a read aloud book for families or elementary schools
Created by Derek Munson who has directly shared his children's stories with over 100,000 kids across the globe.
Little People Big Dreams
Written by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara
Discover the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream. Told as a story, with a facts and photos section at the back, this sweet series for kids celebrates triumph over adversity through some of history’s favorite characters. The series continues to grow and expand, introducing children around the world to artists, trailblazers, and dreamers who each made a big impact in the world around them.
About this Review
These parent resources and book reviews, developed by our educational experts, will help you select the best books for your child, at every age and stage. Reading quality children’s books together strengthens your child’s early development.