See the best preschool books in one place!
Books are a great way to teach and engage preschool learners. But how do you decide which books to focus on? With the thousands of children’s books available today, choosing great books for your kids can seem overwhelming and time-consuming! We’ve put together the ultimate list of preschool books to save you time and to keep your kids happy and in love with reading.
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Best Preschool Books
Teaching our kids to be kind, thoughtful, honest, and accepting is so crucial, especially in our modern world. That’s why friendship books are some of the most treasured books for preschoolers! Here’s a sample of some of our favorites, and be sure to check out the full list of the best friendship books for kids.
Kids of all ages have an innate fascination with farm animals and farm life. Maybe it’s because we quickly teach toddlers the different sounds animals make! Books on farm animals are instant favorites among preschoolers everywhere and some of the best preschool books.
A musical introduction to farm animals that is one of the best books for preschoolers! This toe-tapping rhyming story will have your kids singing along and dancing too! This adorable book features a snappy do-si-do where the animals sing along and dance together. The rhythm and rhyme are hard to resist and will have your child remembering every dancing animal!
This favorite is a perfect farm book for preschoolers. It is a rhyming story with an emphasis on sounds — a child’s delight! As an added bonus, this farm book is all about helping and kindness:
The hen came flapping
with the chick and the duck,
and everybody pushed
the Little Blue Truck.
This book on farm animals easily becomes a favorite read-aloud for any family or classroom!
A great introduction to all things farm life! The simple, rhyming text takes us on a journey through a typical day at the farm. Margaret Wise Brown includes sound words to help the animals come to life along with lovely and detailed illustrations. This book is a great tool for learning about day and night and winding down for bedtime. The relaxing tone makes it one of the best read-aloud books for toddlers and preschoolers!
The Best Animal Books
Once you’ve covered the farm animals, there’s a whole world of other animals out there, above and below the water! Check out these favorite animal books for kids, as well as some of the best ocean books.
A colorful rhyming text that draws in young readers with a new ocean creature on each page! Learn about dolphins, swordfish, jellyfish, and blue whales. Read on about the deep sea and barnacles too! A great book to teach about new ocean animals and build young vocabulary.
Readers will delight in the unique clear/see-thru pages in this book that show the hidden creatures hiding behind the rocks and seagrass. Eric Carle’s classic storytelling comes to life with this vivid look at how ocean fathers care for their eggs and babies. With every turn of the page, we meet a new ocean character and learn about how the father helps the mother nurture them. This preschool book fosters curiosity about ocean life!
Starting school and going to school is a whole new world for preschoolers! Finding the right books to help them feel confident and excited makes all the difference. Check out our top picks below, then see our full list of the best back to school books for kids.
Any Pete the Cat book is fantastic for the first day of school, but this one is especially loved! The infamous Pete the Cat is rocking in his school shoes and discovering all the corners of the schoolyard. He learns about the library, the cafeteria, the playground and all the other cool, groovy places that his school has to offer. This book comes with a free download of his groovy song, “Rocking in my school shoes”! This book is a kid favorite because it’s so catchy and fun and the kids love to sing along!
Your preschoolers will immediately relate to Louis, who has a hard time keeping his words to himself and waiting for his turn to speak. He just can’t control it, and he ERUPTS! But when others interrupt Louis, he realizes that it’s rude. This book focuses on helping students learn a strategy for keeping their “volcano” of words under control and showing respect to their teacher and peers.
Chrysanthemum LOVES her name; that is, until the first day of school when she meets all the other kids. They begin to tease her about her name being too long and think it’s silly that she is named after a flower. This book is a great lesson in teaching children about teasing and how our words impact how others feel. Chrysanthemum learns to love and accept her name again, which is a beautiful lesson for young children.
We all grow up with things that we wish we could change about ourselves. And many times the things that make us different are the things which make us special and unique! These accepting differences books are sure to help children see their, and others’, uniqueness as their special strength.
As a preschool teacher, I can tell you that some concepts are really hard to teach, especially when it comes to social/emotional areas. Children need lots of practice and modeling, and one of the most effective approaches is storytelling. Luckily for us, there are lots of kindness books for kids to help children relate it to everyday life! Check out the top preschool books below, and then be sure to see the full list of teacher and parent recommended books on kindness.
This book was written to help young students understand how words and actions make others feel. Positive words and actions “fill” your bucket while hurtful things “dip” into your bucket and steal our joy. This book is so helpful for children who are still learning to use kind words, share, and be respectful. It’s one of the best books for preschoolers!
This is a lovely story of kindness, generosity, and friendship. The story seems simple on the surface, but it tugs rather hard at the heartstrings. Making the boy happy makes the tree happy, but as time passes it becomes more difficult for the tree to give. The Giving Tree teaches the true meaning of selfless love. How special it is to be so loved.
Thankfulness and gratefulness is something we should be intentional about all year round! These sweet preschool books will help young children learn and practice these important social/emotional skills throughout the year. Check out our full list of gratitude and thankfulness books for more ideas!
Our two favorite characters, Elephant and Piggie are back at it! This time they come together to teach us the importance of being thankful and sharing our appreciation for others. The hilarious dialogue and simple illustrations make this book a winner!
Scanlon leads us through a gorgeous poem depicting a day of activities shared by friends and family. The day is not perfect, but this thoughtful book portrays the clear message of appreciating the beautiful things that our world, life, and family have to offer.
I am always on the hunt for amazing read-aloud books! There’s something about an incredible read-aloud that makes circle time, bedtime, and special moments through the day so much more magical! Reading should be fun and exciting, and with all of the wonderful books available, there is no reason to settle for less. See the full list here of the best-loved read-aloud books!
The Pigeon books are so funny! They don’t have a lot of words, and the illustrations are perfect for young children. If you are looking for a light-hearted and silly book, this one is fantastic! It is always a big hit and will become a preschool storytime favorite!
Rhyming stories are one of the most important foundations that we can give children to help them read, write, and build their vocabulary. An added bonus is that rhyming is fun! Reading rhyming stories aloud, as well as singing rhyming songs and nursery rhymes on a regular basis also helps build imagination, improve memory, and even develop musical rhythm.
Poor Pout-Pout fish! His days are glum and dreary and he never smiles. The other ocean animals try to cheer him up but he is convinced that’s just who he is. “I’m a Pout-Pout Fish, with a pout-pout face, and I spread the dreary-wearies all over the place!” Until he meets a new fish who gives him a simple kiss and turns his frown upside down. This rhyming story outlines the power of positive thinking!
The Best Books for Feelings and Emotions
When preschoolers are having trouble regulating their BIG feelings and emotions, what’s a teacher or parent to do? Pull out a sympathetic story, of course! Below are some of our favorite preschool stories about managing feelings and emotions.
A common emotion for preschoolers is the fear of monsters. A book from our list of not so scary monster books can be just the ticket to help them overcome it! Here’s one of our favorites.
This award-winning picture book has been a staple on bookshelves for over 50 years. Little Max finds himself in trouble and sent to his room so he embarks on an imaginative journey. He dreams up a forest, an ocean with his own personal boat, and of course wild things!
While these are our best book recommendations for preschoolers, there are tons of other books we love to read. For some additional books we recommend, see our entire book library below.
Best of Books
- Best Books About Farm Animals
- Best Ocean Books for Kids
- Best Read-Aloud Preschool Books
- Best Rhyming Books for Kids
- Best Yoga Books for Kids
- Best Friendship Books for Kids
Books for Social/Emotional Growth
- Powerful Preschool Books that Celebrate and Accept Differences
- Books on Kindness
- Books that Teach Gratitude and Thankfulness for Kids
- Books About School for Kids
- Pumpkin Books Perfect for Reading this Fall
- Fantastic Fall Books for Preschoolers
- Not So Scary Monster Books for Kids
- Winter Books
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