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Top 25 Books for Toddlers & Preschoolers

The number one question I got as a kindergarten teacher was  “What should I be reading to my child each night?” and the follow up question “What questions do I ask after I read the story?”

I created this list of the top 25 books that should be in every toddler/preschooler’s home library. These well-written, award winning books include character education, numbers and number sense, rhyming words, sequencing, gorgeous illustrations, and, of course, they’re super fun to read & kid approved. Your child will not only enjoy these books now but for many years to come.

Ten Black Dots by: Donald Crews

A perfect book for toddlers and all the way to elementary students. This book is about 10 black dots and what you can do with them. It not only introduces number sense, counting, ways to make ten, but it is a lot of fun to read. Your child will begin noticing numbers and quantities all around them after reading this book.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom  by: Bill Martin Jr.

A fun, quick read about the letters of the alphabet. This book is filled with rhyming words, which is great for early readers. It is also a fun book to read together and soon your little one will begin reading most of this book themselves.

The Doorbell Rang  by: Pat Hutchins

A great book about sharing, sequencing, and simple math. This book is about a mother who made cookies for her kids but the doorbell keeps ringing. The kids share their cookies as each new person enters their home until they are almost out of cookies. Your little one will love this sweet ending.

Edward the Emu  by: Sheena Knowles

A precious book about Edward the Emu. He was tired of being an Emu so he decides he wants to be another animal. See what happens as he tries to become different animals.

My Five Senses  by: Aliki

A great and informative book about the five senses. This is a perfect read to get your little one thinking about their senses. Go outside after reading this book and see if your child can try to use and notice all of their senses.

Goodnight Moon   by: Margaret Wise Brown

This book is a classic bedtime story that has been around for many years. This is one of my favorite books to read to my child. It is so well written and the words will seem to put your little one to sleep.

Goodnight Gorilla   by: Peggy Rathmann

This is a book about a gorilla who follows a zookeeper around the zoo as he is saying good night to all of the animals. Each time you read this book you’ll notice something new in the pictures you may have missed the time before. A super cute story that has my little one giggling each time.

The Little Red Hen   by: Paul Galdone

A classic story about a little red hen who asks for help from her friends but not one of them want to help her. The perfect story to read to your little one about pitching in and helping to get the work complete.

Harry the Dirty Dog by: Gene Zion

This is a cute story about a dirty dog named Harry who didn’t want a bath. Your little one will love how this story plays out.

Knuffle Bunny  by: Mo Willems

This book may be for me more than it is for my son. It’s such a sweet book about a little girl’s adventure with her dad to the laundromat until something happens. Every parent can seem themselves in this story. Definitely a fun read.

Llama Llama Red Pajama  by: Anna Dewdney

A cute rhyming book about Llama Llama wanting his mother after she tucks him into bed. A great story to read to your little one before bed.

The Monster at the End of this Book by: Jon Stone

There is a monster at the end of this book! Grover does not want you to turn any pages. Your child will get a kick out of this one!

Are You My Mother?   by: P.D. Eastman

One of my absolute favorite books. It’s about a mother bird who left her nest and the baby bird hatched. The baby bird goes searching for his mother but can’t seem to find her anywhere.

Orange Pear Apple Bear  by: Emily Gravett

A short book with only 5 words in it. But the 5 words repeat over and over in meaningful ways.

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes  by Eric Litwin

This has always been a favorite book of mine. My kindergarten students absolutely loved Pete the Cat, even at the end of the school year it was still their favorite. My two year old son loves it as well and requests this story quite often.

My Friend Rabbit  by: Eric Rohmann

This is a cute story about two friends, Mouse and Rabbit. Rabbit means well as he tries to help Mouse.

Rattletrap Car  by: Phyllis Root

This is a fun rhyming book about a family trying to get to the lake in their rattletrap car.

You are (Not) Small  by: Anna Kang

A book about two creatures who can’t decide who is small and who is big until two guests show up.

The Tub People  by: Pam Conrad

This story is a tad longer than the other books. It’s about tub people who always sit on the side of the bathtub until one of them goes missing.

Up and Down by: Oliver Jeffers

A sweet book about a penguin who really wants to fly and will try everything to be able to do it.

The Very Busy Spider  by: Eric Carle

An Eric Carle classic story about a very busy spider who was too busy to play with the animals. Read with your little one to see what the spider was doing.

When the Elephant Walks  by: Keiko Kasza

When the Elephant Walks is about animals scaring each other. It definitely has a cute ending.

The Crayon Box that Talked  by: Shane Derolf

A great book about crayons in a crayon box who don’t get along until they go home with a little girl and they begin to work together.

Yo! Yes?  by: Chris Raschka

This cute book is about two strangers meeting and talking to each other.

Dear Zoo  by: Rod Campbell

This book is about a child writing to the zoo and asking for a pet. See what the zoo ends up sending him.

Drop me a note below if you’d like for me to add some questions that a kindergarten teacher would ask your child while reading this book.

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