Preschool & Kindergarten

Excellent Reading for Preschoolers


Feelings by Aliki

This classic picture book from beloved author-illustrator Aliki is a great way to explore feelings with younger kids—no matter the emotion, Feelings explores it—and helps children understand and express their own feelings.

Clifford Goes to Kindergarten by Norman Bridwell

Clifford Goes to Kindergarten by Norman Bridwell

Emily is starting kindergarten and she’s a little nervous. The teacher sent a note home that says each child can bring something from home to make the transition a little easier. But the teacher didn’t bet on a child bringing somethingor someoneas big as Clifford!

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

When young fruit bat Stellaluna is separated from her mother, she’s adopted by a family of birds with very different habits in this award-winning classic.

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don Wood

Little Mouse will do all he can to save his strawberry from the Big, Hungry Bear, even if it means sharing it with the reader. The Little Mouse and the Big Hungry Bear are known and loved by millions of children around the world. Little Mouse loves strawberries, but so does the bear… How will Little Mouse stop the bear from eating his freshly picked, red, ripe strawberry.

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble: Book and CD

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig

Sylvester can’t believe his luck when he finds a magic pebble that can make wishes come true. But when a lion jumps out at him on his way home, Sylvester is shocked into making a wish that has unexpected consequences. After overcoming a series of obstacles, Sylvester is eventually reunited with his loving family. Illustrated with William Steig’s glowing pictures, this winner of the Caldecott Medal is beloved by children everywhere.

The Emperor's New Clothes

The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen, illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton

Two rascally weavers convince the emperor they are making him beautiful new clothes, visible only to those fit for their posts, but when he wears them during a royal procession, a child recognizes that the emperor has nothing on.

Ada Twist, Scientist

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts

Inspired by real-life makers Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie, this beloved #1 bestseller champions STEM, girl power and women scientists in a rollicking celebration of curiosity, the power perseverance, and the importance of asking “Why?”

Dragons Love Tacos

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

Dragons love tacos. They love chicken tacos, beef tacos, great big tacos, and teeny tiny tacos. So if you want to lure a bunch of dragons to your party, you should definitely serve tacos. Buckets and buckets of tacos. Unfortunately, where there are tacos, there is also salsa. And if a dragon accidentally eats spicy salsa… oh, boy. You’re in red-hot trouble.

The Wonderful Things You Will Be

The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield

Martin The New York Times bestseller that celebrates the dreams, acceptance, and love that parents have for their children… now and forever. From brave and bold to creative and clever, Emily Winfield Martin’s rhythmic rhyme expresses all the loving things that parents think of when they look at their children. With beautiful, lush illustrations and a stunning gatefold that opens at the end, this is a book that families will love reading over and over.

Stone Soup by Marcia Brown

Stone Soup by Marcia Brown

Three soldiers come marching down the road towards a French village. The peasants, seeing them coming, suddenly become very busy, for soldiers are often hungry. All their food is hidden under mattresses or in barns. Then follows a battle of wits, with the soldiers equal to the occasion. Why, of course—even with no food, they can still make a wonderful soup! To make a truly perfect stone soup, they will of course also need a carrot or two… a cabbage… and so it goes.

The Little House Board Book by Virginia Lee Burton

The Little House Board Book by Virginia Lee Burton

The little house first stood in the country, but gradually the city moved closer and closer… Since 1942, generations of readers have been enchanted by the story of this happy home and her journey from the pleasures of nature to the bustling city, and back again.

The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone, illustrated by Michael Smollin

The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone, illustrated by Michael Smollin

Lovable, furry old Grover is distressed to learn that there’s a monster at the end of this book! He begs readers not to turn the pages, but of course kids feel they just have to see this monster for themselves. Grover is astonishedand toddlers will be delightedto discover who is really the monster at the end of the book!

Just a Little Critter Collection

Just a Little Critter Collection by Mercer Mayer

Celebrate 40 years of Little Critter® with seven classic stories in one book, including: Just for You (the very first Little Critter® story!); Just Go to Bed; All by Myself; I Was So Mad; When I Get Bigger; Just a Mess; and I Just Forgot. This 176-page hardcover collection is a wonderful way to introduce growing up.

The Story of Ferdinand

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson

Ferdinand is the world’s most peacefulandbeloved little bull. While all of the other bulls snort, leap, and butt their heads, Ferdinand is content to just sit and smell the flowers under his favorite cork tree. Leaf’s simple storytelling paired with Lawson’s pen-and-ink drawings make The Story of Ferdinand a true classic.

A Chair for My Mother: A Caldecott Honor Award Winner

A Chair for My Mother
by Vera Williams

A heart-warming story about family, community, and the power of working together toward a common goal.

The Gruffalo

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler

When Mouse takes a stroll through the woods, he meets a fox, an owl, and a snake who all want to eat him! So Mouse invents a gruffalo, a monster with “terrible tusks and terrible claws, terrible teeth, and terrible jaws.” But will Mouse’s frightful description be enough to scare off his foes? After all, there’s no such thing as a gruffalo… is there?

The Rainbow Fish

The Rainbow Fish
by Marcus Pfister

The rainbow fish with its iridescent scales is the most beautiful fish in the whole ocean. But since he is also vain and proud, he becomes more and more lonely over time. Then he realizes that you can’t win friends through beauty. He overcomes his pride and begins to distribute his glitter scales to the other fish.

The Kissing Hand

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, illustrated by Ruth Harper

Since its first publication in 1993, this heartwarming book has become a children’s classic that has touched the lives of millions of children and their parents, especially at times of separation, whether starting school, entering daycare, or going to camp.

Excellent Reading for Kindergarteners

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett, illustrated by Ronald Barrett

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett, illustrated by Ronald Barrett

The town of Chewandswallow was very much like any other tiny town—except for its weather which came three times a day, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But it never rained rain and it never snowed snow and it never blew just wind. It rained things like soup and juice. It snowed things like mashed potatoes. And sometimes the wind blew in storms of hamburgers. Life for the townspeople was delicious until the weather took a turn for the worse. The food got larger and larger and so did the portions. Chewandswallow was plagued by damaging floods and storms of huge food. People feared for their lives. Something had to be done, and in a hurry.

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

by Kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum thinks her name is absolutely perfect—until her first day of school. “You’re named after a flower!” teases Victoria. “Let’s smell her,” says Jo. Chrysanthemum wilts. What will it take to make her blossom again?

Kindergarten, Here I Come!

Kindergarten, Here I Come! by D.J. Steinberg, illustrated by Mark Chambers

This adorable picture book celebrates all the familiar milestones and moments shared by every single kindergartener. Whether it’s the first-day-of-school jitters or the hundredth-day-of-school party, every aspect of the kindergarten experience is introduced.

All Are Welcome

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold, illustrated by Suzanne

Join the call for a better world with this New York Times bestselling picture book about a school where diversity and inclusion are celebrated. The perfect back-to-school read for every kid, family and classroom!

The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash

The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes, illustrated by Steven Kellogg

Noble Jimmy’s boa constrictor wreaks havoc on the class trip to a farm.

What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page

What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page

A nose for digging? Ears for seeing? Eyes that squirt blood? Turn the page to find out which marvelous animal these attributes belong to. With six full spreads illustrated in cut-paper collage and an end glossary with even more fantastic facts, learn about species of birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, mammals, and arthropods, stirring the imaginations of readers young and old.

Little Bear Boxed Set

Little Bear (Box Set) by Else Holmelund Minarik, illustrated by Maurice Sendak

Father Bear Comes Home: Little Bear’s father is finally coming home from a long fishing trip. Little Bear is very excited to see him—even if he doesn’t bring the toy Little Bear has been hoping for! Little Bear’s Visit: Little Bear likes to visit Grandmother and Grandfather Bear. He likes Grandfather’s hat and Grandmother’s cooking. But most of all, he loves to listen to their stories!

Magic Tree House Boxed Set by Mary Pope Osborne, illustrated by Sal Murdocca

Magic Tree House (Box Set) by Mary Pope Osborne, illustrated by Sal Murdocca

Magic. Mystery. Time-travel. Get whisked back in time in the magic tree house with Jack and Annie in this boxed set featuring books 1-4 of the #1 bestselling chapter book series!

The Queen of Kindergarten

The Queen of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

MJ is more than ready for her first day of kindergarten! With her hair freshly braided and her mom’s special tiara on her head, she knows she’s going to rock kindergarten. But the tiara isn’t just for show—it also reminds her of all the good things she brings to the classroom, stuff like her kindness, friendliness, and impressive soccer skills, too! This is the perfect book to reinforce back-to-school excitement and build confidence in the newest students.

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

Poor Duncan just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: His crayons have had enough! They quit! Blue crayon needs a break from coloring all those bodies of water. Black crayon wants to be used for more than just outlining. And Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking—each believes he is the true color of the sun. What can Duncan do to appease all of the crayons and get them back to doing what they do best?

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

Miss Rumphius
by Barbara Cooney

Alice, who longed to travel the world, live in a house by the sea, and do something to make the world more beautiful, has a timeless quality that resonates with each new generation.

George and Martha: The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends by James Marshall

George and Martha: The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends by James Marshall

George and Martha, those incomparable hippos, will delight readers of all ages in these five funny, warm, and wonderful stories. This 368-page hardcover edition will bring joy and giggles for years and makes an excellent gift.

Frog & Toad The Complete Collection

Frog & Toad The Complete Collection by Arnold Lobel

Once upon a time there were two good friends, a frog and a toad… from writing letters to going swimming, telling stories to finding lost buttons, Frog and Toad are always there for each other… just as best friends should be.

The Wonky Donkey

The Wonkey Donkey by Craig Smith, illustrated by Katz Cowley

With over two million copies sold in the United States alone, readers are in love with this spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey! The international blockbuster by Craig Smith and Katz Cowley is now available as a board book, allowing the very youngest children to join in the fun.

The Relatives Came by Cynthis Rylant, illustrated by Stephen Gammell

The Relatives Came by Cynthis Rylant, illustrated by Stephen Gammell

In a rainbow-colored station wagon, the relatives came. When they arrived, they hugged and hugged from the kitchen to the front room. All summer they tended the garden and ate up all the strawberries and melons. They plucked banjos and strummed guitars. When they finally had to leave, they were sad, but not for long. They all knew they would be together next summer.

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback

Joseph had a little overcoat, but it was full of holes—just like this book! When Joseph’s coat got too old and shabby, he made it into a jacket. But what did he make it into after that? And after that? As children turn the pages of this book, they can use the die-cut holes to guess what Joseph will be making next from his amazing overcoat, while they laugh at the bold, cheerful artwork and learn that you can always make something, even out of nothing.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead, illustrated by Erin Stead

Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In Amos McGee’s case, all sorts of species, too! Every day he spends a little bit of time with each of his friends at the zoo, running races with the tortoise, keeping the shy penguin company, and even reading bedtime stories to the owl. But when Amos is too sick to make it to the zoo, his animal friends decide it’s time they returned the favor.

The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Starting kindergarten is a big milestoneand the hero of this story is ready to make his mark! He’s dressed himself, eaten a pile of pancakes, and can’t wait to be part of a whole new kingdom of kids. The day will be jam-packed, but he’s up to the challenge, taking new experiences in stride with his infectious enthusiasm! And afterward, he can’t wait to tell his proud parents all about his achievementsand then wake up to start another day.

PLEASE NOTE: As an Amazon Associate, Mothers Truly Matter earns from qualifying purchases. Much of the information in this post was inspired by Kristen Ivy and Reggie Joiner’s Parenting Your Four-Year-Old and Parenting Your Kindergartner available on and should not be construed as providing specific psychiatric, psychological, or medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand the lives and health of themselves and their children. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist.

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