Favorite Books for Preschoolers

Welcome to this weeks edition of 4 Moms, 35 Kids: How Moms of Many Manage.  This week we’re sharing some of our favorite books for preschoolers.

Although we read lots of books to our preschoolers, I  limited this post to mostly picture books  I’ve  intentionally tried to keep this the short, short list.  If you are interested in more suggestions let me know, ’cause I have more.

Beautiful Stories

Just Like a Baby – Each family member does his/her part to welcome a new baby into the home.

If You Were Born A Kitten – Stunning artwork and gentle verse about how different creatures are born.

All the Places to Love – Love of family, land and heritage combine as the family welcomes its newest member. I can’t read this without crying.

I Love My Mommy Because… and I Love My Daddy Because … – A  list of things parents do to care for their children, paired with pictures of parent animals caring for their young. We have these as board books and they are perennial favorites.

Rhythm, Rhyme and Poetry

Rumble in the Jungle and  Commotion in the Ocean – Nearly everyone in our home (including non-readers) can ‘read’ these books without once looking at the text. Catchy and humorous verse and the very favorite of book of whomever is between the age of 2 and 4.

Paul Revere’s Ride – Longfellow’s classic poem, beautifully illustrated.

Snow Day – This book will have you smelling, feeling, hearing and experiencing the wonder of a perfect snow day.

Over in the Meadow – I love books that can be sung and this is one of my favorites.

The House that Jack Built – I probably would not have included this on the list, but my kids may have rebelled.

Fireman Small – Classic rhyme about a fireman who is busy all day fighting fires and saving lives and just when he’s about to climb into bed….but I don’t want to spoil the book for you.

Old Chisholm Trail: A Cowboy Song – Another singing book. {rolls eyes}

When We Were Very Young and others by A.A. Milne

Just for fun stories that make us smile

“Stand Back”, Said the Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze” – Animals scurry to try to avoid the horrible results of an elephant’s sneeze. As silly and delightful as it sounds.

My Lucky Day – We do not believe in ‘luck’, but this charming story of a pig who knocks at the door of a fox and his subsequent adventure generally gets us chuckling.

The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear – A tale about a mouse trying to protect his strawberry from the big, hungry bear. The pictures are just as lovely as the words.

Bear Wants More – Another rhyming book, bear wakes up and spends the day trying to slake his hunger.

History, Science and True Stories

The Bear That Heard Crying – Based on the true story of 3 year old Sarah who is missing in the New Hampshire woods in 1783 for 5 days and the bear who brought her comfort.

Pinky is a Baby Mouse and Other Baby Animal Names – A lovely book in rhyme that introduces kids to the names of baby animals

Rebel – A tale of a child’s courage in the face of the rule of a new and oppressive regime and of the people who stood behind him.

Classics we love

They Were Strong and Good – The story of mothers and fathers and their mothers and fathers. Real people who were strong and good.

The Story of Ferdinand – This is NOT one of my husband’s favorites, but the children and I enjoy it when he’s not around. 🙂

Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business – Just a silly story about a peddler and some monkeys, but all of our children have loved this book.

Make Way for Ducklings

Goodnight Moon

Bible Instruction

OK, so these aren’t picture books, but someone recently asked about what books we use to teach the Bible to our preschoolers, so I thought I’d include them here.

Leading Little Ones to God: A Child’s Book of Bible Teachings – Simply and beautifully explains about the basics of God, His Word and salvation to young children.

Wisdom and the Millers: Proverbs for Children – Simple Proverbs applied through stories to which little children can easily relate.

Big Truths for Little Kids: Teaching Your Children to Live for God.

What are your favorite books for preschoolers?

Visit the other moms of many to find out about their favorites:

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14 Responses to Favorite Books for Preschoolers
  1. Jama
    January 20, 2011 | 8:15 am

    All the Places to Love is a favorite here too. I often give it to people expecting their second or subsequent child. I love the illustrations as much as the book. Stand Back Said the Elephant I’m Going to Sneeze is hilarious and one I often select to read to visiting children. I did a post on my favorite preschool books a few months back. http://lifeinafullshoe.blogspot.com/2010/10/books-books-and-more-books.html


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:


    You are the one who gave us our copy of “All the Places to Love”. Thank you!


  2. Alene
    January 20, 2011 | 9:56 am

    “All the Places to Love”! Yes! I found an autographed copy at a garage sale – first time I’d seen it and I stood there reading it and crying and then made my children come over and read it to them. The lady had a $5 price tag on it, but when she saw me putting it back on the table (out of my budget) she gave the book to us because we loved it the way she did. Such a sweet God-memory for me.


  3. Bonni
    January 20, 2011 | 9:59 am

    We read and reread the Wisdom with the Millers over and over again. As the children grew older, they gleaned new meaning from the stories. Have you used the Women of the Bible series by Shirley M. Starr for your daughters? They are not meant for preschoolers. I would say that ages 6 or 7 would be a good place to start. Mrs. Starr writes about each of the women in the Bible, and how we can learn from them, to be all that Jesus wants women and girls to be.


  4. Marijo Taverne
    January 20, 2011 | 10:59 am

    I’m a book-o-phile, yet you’ve mentioned several books in this post that I’m not at all familiar with. More to look for the next time I’m at Half-Price!


  5. Sarah
    January 20, 2011 | 2:25 pm

    You have mentioned some of our favourites too-“Make way for the ducklings” was a great find for us, last year. I love these lists as they are so helpful to look back on when I want to get new books for the children.
    Some of our best books may be less well known in the US. We love “Milly Molly Mandy” by Joyce Lankester Brisley is great for little girls, and their Mums. This is probably best for 4 years plus.
    Kim Lewis has written some beautifully illustrated farm books (I don’t recommend “The Last train”).
    I have some more listed on my blog, under book lists.


  6. Jean Anderson
    January 20, 2011 | 4:33 pm

    Have you come across Wee Gillis by Munro Leaf (who wrote The Story of Ferdinand)? It’s pretty funny. Our preschoolers love “The Rattletrap Car” by Phyllis Root and Jill Barton, and books by Benedict Blathwayt – the pictures are really detailed. Also, the Hairy Maclary books by Lynley Dodd, published here in New Zealand and catchy and easy-to-read.


  7. Taryn
    January 20, 2011 | 11:00 pm

    The Oxcart Man is a family favorite. Now we’re ordering books for the 4 granddaughters from Christian Light Publications and keepersofthefaith.com.


  8. Sara
    January 21, 2011 | 1:12 am

    We usually try out new books as one of the toddlers pulls them down from the shelves at the library! This is fun getting new and trustworthy recommendations! One that we came upon that my 2 year loved is called, “Pelle’s New Suit” by Elsa Beskow. It has beautiful illustrations that tell the story of a boy who shears his lamb and uses the wool to make a new suit!


  9. Jean Anderson
    January 21, 2011 | 6:41 pm

    Oh and I forgot – anything by Christopher Wormell…


  10. hrn_fmly
    January 21, 2011 | 10:11 pm

    Oh!! Thank you, Thank you. I loved “All the Places to Love.” When my son was little I borrowed it from the library, but could never remember the name to purchase/find it for my other children. The artwork is very moving; I wanted to cry everytime I read it. (A good cry, though.) Thanks for jogging my memory!


  11. Susan
    January 24, 2011 | 12:35 pm

    I LOVE “All the Places to Love”!! It has both great text (tear-jerker) and wonderful illustrations. I discovered this title through “The Book Tree”, which has been an invaluable resource in our home for finding wonderful Christian children’s literature.
    Thank you for the suggestions!


  12. Amy Mac
    January 28, 2011 | 10:08 pm

    Who is the author of “Snow Day”, there are at least a half dozen books by that title at our library system? Thanks.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    The author of Snow Day is Lynn Plourde.

    If you click on the title of any of the above books, it will take you to the amazon page for that book and you have the author, illustrator, ISBN and any other info that you may need to find exactly what book I’m talking about.


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