Delight Your Baby With These Adorable Interactive Books

Delight Your Baby With These Adorable Interactive Books

Babies and toddlers need sturdy books that have simple, clear illustrations with minimal text, and also present early learning concepts in an engaging way that invites interaction.

Keep reading to discover highly unique, carefully crafted, interactive books for babies and toddlers.

When you give these books as a baby shower or birthday gift, you’ll introduce the recipient to a whole new world of delightful books. You’ll also find charming books for your own baby or toddler, that are sure to become treasured family favorites in no time.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, A Family of Readers earns a small commission. 

First Focus Frieze Books

Does your baby resist tummy time? Then these First Focus Frieze books are for you! Each book folds out and stands up, so you can position it in front of your baby. High contrast, simple pictures capture your baby’s attention and make tummy time easy and fun.

black and white books for babies for tummy time


Little Red Penguin Books

On each page of the Little Red Penguin “lift the flap” books, this adorable little guy asks your baby or toddler a question. Then, your little one can lift the flap to reveal the answer!


Baby’s Very First Touchy-Feely Books

Baby’s Very First Touchy-Feely Books include a sensory element, with each animal having a different texture for babies to feel. With lots of colors, objects and adjectives in the simple text, these books are great for vocabulary development. High contrast illustrations make these books especially appealing to babies and toddlers. books for toddlers


Baby’s First Rolling Books

The cardboard wheels on Baby’s First Rolling Books actually roll, adding an extra element of fun to these books. Help your little one develop sequencing and memory skills in Baby’s Very First Bus Book. Each book also develops critical thinking skills with questions that involve the reader in the simple story.

books for toddlers


Baby’s Very First Slide and See Books

Baby’s Very First Slide and See books are perfect for helping older babies and toddlers develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. They also teach cause and effect, as children operate the simple slide mechanism to change the picture. These books are super engaging physically, with just a little bit of text on each page.

books for toddlers


Baby’s Very First Playbook Words

Baby’s Very First Playbook Words is a series of unique books that combine fine motor activities with cheerful illustrations and vocabulary development. Each book contains grooved “fingertrails” for your baby or toddler to trace, plus plenty of holes to poke at and peek through.

books for toddlers

books for toddlers


What’s Happening?

The What’s Happening? series of books is an introduction to the “look and find” genre for older babies and toddlers. Each two page spread has questions about the illustrations. Little ones will love searching the colorful pictures and gleefully pointing to the object that answers the question. These books provide lots of opportunities for conversation and interaction with your child.

two books for babies


Very First Book of Things to Spot

The Very First Book of Things to Spot series is a set of “look and find” books for ages 18 months and up. These books provide endless hours of entertainment for toddlers. They’re perfect for teaching concepts such as shapes, sizes, colors, animals, counting and MUCH more. Children develop listening and thinking skills as they listen to your prompt and then search for that object.

books for babies


That’s Not My…Board Books

That’s Not My…Board Books are simple and delightful. Each book features repetition, different textures and clear illustrations that are similar and consistent across the whole series. Once you and your child fall in love with one of these books, you’ll want all the others that feature your family’s favorite themes. And there are a ton of themes, ranging from fairies to monsters to unicorns to trains. These are a “must-have” for any baby or toddler’s library.

books for babies

books for babies


My First Word Books

Each of these My First Word Books has over 200 words with matching pictures. They are AMAZING for helping your toddler develop vocabulary. Start off by pointing to a picture and saying its name. As time goes on, ask your little one, “Can you find the _______ ?” Finally, see if your child can touch a picture AND say the name by themselves.

books for toddlers

Are You There?

In each of Are You There? books, a different little animal is hiding. Peeking through die-cut shapes in the pages, you’ll think that you have caught a glimpse of the hiding animal. But when you turn the page, you’ll discover something entirely different. For example, an elephant’s trunk turns out to be a snake. Kids love the thrill of turning the pages and being surprised, until finally the hiding animal is revealed at the end of the book.

books for toddlers


Click through to add a few of these carefully designed, gorgeously crafted books to your family library today. Share in the comments – which ones did you choose?


Want to save this post for later?

Pin “Delight Your Baby With These Adorable Interactive Books” to your favorite Pinterest board.


happy baby laying on its tummycovers of interactive books for babiesInteractive Books for Babies and Toddlers Interactive Books for Babies and Toddlers




Children’s Books to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission and the First Moon Landing

Children’s Books to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission and the First Moon Landing

Can you believe that on July 20, 2019, America will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing by the Apollo 11 mission? It was an important event in modern United States history, and one that should be part of every child’s “background” knowledge. We have such a valuable opportunity this summer to introduce our children to this monumental event! 

I curated this list of books about Apollo 11 and the first moon landing VERY carefully. Many of the children’s books (and adult books too) on this subject seem to have been put together hastily. I read them with the following criteria in mind:

  • Is this book well written and engaging?
  • Is it also written in a kid-friendly way?

It takes a talented children’s book author and an equally talented editor to make a heavy science topic and a complex story easy for kids to understand and fun to read. But the books on this list have managed to accomplish this – even the “adult” book I included at the end.

I’m thrilled that there’s a board book available. Although it does contain a lot of text, the illustrations are clear and age-appropriate. It’s a great way to involve even your babies and toddlers in a family commemoration of this historic event.

Enjoy this list of books about the Apollo 11 mission and the first moon landing. You’re sure to find a few that will help your family mark the 50th anniversary of this historic event.

To the Moon and Back by Smithsonian Kids

This little book, Smithsonian Kids: To the Moon and Back is about the Apollo 11 mission and it is designed specifically for toddlers and preschoolers! It’s a sturdy board book with sliding tabs, spinning wheels, and flaps to peek under. Photographs are combined with clear illustrations to create a realistic depiction of our historic journey to the moon and back.

If You Decide To Go To The Moon by Faith McNulty

If You Decide To Go To The Moon puts the young reader in the captain’s chair, describing what it would look and feel like to travel to the moon. The final destination is The Sea of Tranquility, right where the Apollo 11 mission landed 50 years ago this summer. Artwork by the acclaimed children’s book illustrator Steven Kellogg adds texture and relatable realism to this gem of a book.

The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons

The Moon Book is an updated re-released edition of a classic book by Gail Gibbons, an acclaimed author of science books for kids. It’s a perfect introduction to the moon – its orbit, its effect on tides, and its surface. Meticulously researched and vetted, this book shares the most up-to-date information available about the moon.

Moonwalk: The First Trip to the Moon by Judy Donnelly

I was so glad to find a “First Reader” book about Apollo 11 and the first moon landing. These books are carefully crafted to share non-fiction information in language that is accessible to early readers. Moonwalk: The First Trip to the Moon presents just enough information to tell the whole story accurately, with the support of excellent photos and realistic illustrations. The result is a simple, perfect introduction Apollo 11 and the first moon landing. It’s a great choice for a read aloud or for early readers to tackle on their own.

My Little Golden Book About the First Moon Landing by Chip Lovitt

Another fabulous find – how awesome is it that there is a Little Golden Book about Apollo 11? My Little Golden Book About the First Moon Landing tells the story in classic, gentle Little Golden Book style. This one’s a treasure.

To the Moon and Back: My Apollo 11 Adventure by Buzz Aldrin

To the Moon and Back: My Apollo 11 Adventure is a GREAT book. It’s told in the first person by Buzz Aldrin, and packed with simple explanations of some complex space travel concepts. It’s also an exciting pop-up book with stunning illustrations, AND it includes a model of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module.

Apollo Expeditions to the Moon: The NASA History 50th Anniversary Edition by Edgar M. Cortright

This newly released, updated edition of Apollo Expeditions to the Moon was issued to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. At 368 pages, this collector-quality book features 160 stunning color photos (and countless black and white photos) accompanying a collection of gripping essays by astronauts, engineers, and NASA administrators. The result is a compelling narrative of the entire Apollo project, as told by those who created the story. Although this is not meant to be a children’s book, it is written at a level that can be understood by readers (or listeners) of all ages.


Want to save this post for later?

Pin “Children’s Books to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission and the First Moon Landing” to your favorite Pinterest board.


picture of astronaut on first moon landing with text "Kids' Books to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11"apollo 11 first moon landingphoto of apollo 11 with text that says Kids' Books to celebrate the 50th anniversary of apollo 11earthrise from the moon with text Kids' books to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11




Banish Summer Boredom with the Best Interactive Activity Books for Kids – Part 2

Banish Summer Boredom with the Best Interactive Activity Books for Kids – Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of “Banish Summer Boredom with the Best Activity Books for kids. Hopefully you’ve read part 1 of this epic list of activity books for kids. If not, click over and check it out!

Interactive activity books for kids are an appealing alternative to screen time, and just what you need to keep boredom at bay on long summer days. Enjoy the list below and add a few to your family library today.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, A Family of Readers earns a small commission.

Drawing Books

These Step-by-Step Drawing books make it easy for kids to draw people, animals, dinosaurs and more. The directions and illustrations are clear, and space is provided for practice right in the book. Use these as inspiration for sidewalk chalk art this summer! 8.5″ by 10″, ages 4+, and totally appropriate for older kids and even adults.

Usborne Books Step By Step Drawing Books


And here’s another set of clear step by step drawing books.

Usborne Books I Can Draw Books


Little Transfer Books

Each 7″ by 9″ Little Transfer Book has fun scenes to fill in with hundreds of included “transfer stickers.”  Just rub the front of the image directly onto the page and watch it transfer quickly and easily. Ages 4+.

learning activity books for kids


Rub-Down Books

The 9.5″ by 11″ Rub-Down books are a more “grown-up” version of the Little Transfer Books, with beautiful nature themes. Ages 5+.

educational activity books for kids


Rubber Stamp Activities Books

These three Rubber Stamp Activities books include clear instructions to complete fun scenes by stamping simple shapes to create animals. 10″ by 9″, ages 4+.

Discover and Follow Your Child's PassionsMake regular trips to the library and/or the bookstore so that your child can explore different types of books.


Fingerprint Activities Books

There are five books in this series of Fingerprint Activity books. They are full of colorful scenes waiting for your child to add their own “fingerprint art.” Each book includes a handy attached ink pad with seven vibrant colors. 9″ by 10,” ages 6+.

Discover and Follow Your Child's PassionsMake regular trips to the library and/or the bookstore so that your child can explore different types of books.


Fold & Fly Books

This Fold & Fly series includes books with flying dinosaurs, dragons, bugs and spaceships. And of course, plenty of planes! Tear out the page you want and follow the detailed instructions to create your Fold & Fly craft. 6″ by 9,” ages 6+.

Usborne Books Fold and Fly


Paper Doll Books

Two Paper Doll books are available. One has a cover that becomes a stand-up backdrop and the other one includes outlines of clothes to draw on and design original outfits.

Usborne Books Cut Out Paper Dolls


Activity Books with Stickers

Each of these Activity Books is chock full of activities, puzzles, pictures to color, mazes and plenty of stickers. Themes range from “Beastly Bugs” to “Dangerous Animals” and “Telling Time” to “Fractions and Decimals”

Usborne Activity Sticker Books


Mosaic Sticker Books

These unique Mosaic Sticker books allow your kids to create a range of different pictures and scenes using simple, geometrically-shaped stickers. Ages 6+.

Usborne Mosaic Sticker Books


Maze Books

These Maze Books let your child explore their way through imaginatively illustrated mazes to find lost friends, escape danger, and discover treasure. Ages 6+.

maze books for kids


Find and Color Books

Each page of these Find and Color books challenges your child to find and color specific items within the black and white illustrations. Coloring in the rest of the scene is fun, too. These books are great for improving visual discrimination and attention to detail.

spot and find and color activity books for kids


Foil Art Books

Introduce a new art form to your family with these unique Foil Art books. Each book contains ten adhesive “picture cards,” which are divided into little shapes. Peel the paper backing off one shape at a time, and then place a piece of colored foil on top, shiny side up. Rub the foil, and it transfers into that space. Once the picture has been foiled, it’s time to use it for a craft. Each book contains several pages of ideas and examples such as birthday cards, picture frames, or nameplates.

Usborne Books Foil Art


Muddle & Match Books

In these Muddle & Match books your kids can make up their own funny stories and create crazy characters as they flip through the split pages.

Usborne Books Muddle and Match Books


Color & Pop-Up Books

These Color & Pop-Up books combine two favorite kids’ activities –  coloring and pop-up books! Color each scene and then each pop-up character. Follow the directions to fold and glue each character to its own two-page spread, and you’ve made your very own pop-up book!

Usborne Books Pop-ups


Magic Painting Books

Magic Painting books are gorgeous updated versions of simple water painting books of the past. Brush water over the detailed black and white illustrations and watch the colors appear.

Usborne Books Magic Painting Books



Treat your kids to a few of these interactive activity books, and watch their imagination and creativity soar. They’re a confidence-building alternative to screen time, and provide opportunities for kids to improve attention and build concentration skills. Which ones will your kids love?

Did you see Part 1 of “Banish Summer Boredom With the Best Activity Books for Kids?”


Want to save this post for later?

Pin “Banish Summer Boredom With Activity Books for Kids – Part 2” to your favorite Pinterest board.


travel activities for kidsActivity Books for Kids Activity Books for Kids


11 Colorful Books About Rainbows Your Kids Will Love

11 Colorful Books About Rainbows Your Kids Will Love

Spring has sprung, and springtime rains and happy sunbeams bring rainbows to bright blue skies. Celebrate spring evenings with bedtime read-alouds from this list of wonderful rainbow books for kids. Or, choose a few to read aloud while your little ones enjoy rainbow arts and crafts.

Books about rainbows are a great way to teach little ones about colors, and older kids are fascinated by the science that creates these wonders of nature. There’s something for kids of all ages on this carefully curated list. Read on to find the perfect rainbow books for your family.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, A Family of Readers earns a small commission.

Light Makes a Rainbow by Sharon Coan

Light Makes a Rainbow is part of an excellent “Science and Literacy” series of books by Teacher Created Materials. It provides a very clear, easy-to-understand explanation of how and why rainbows appear. The explanation is perfect for kids of any age, and the text itself is an “early reader” level.
rainbow books for children


All the Colors of the Rainbow by Allan Fowler

All the Colors of the Rainbow is another “early reader” book, part of the Rookie Read About Science series. books about rainbows


My Color is Rainbow by Agnes Hsu

My Color is Rainbow is a sweet story about a white arch searching for his color and all the other colors he meets on his journey. You may find your family talking about being “green and helpful,” “orange and friendly,” or “blue and peaceful” as you go about your day.


children's books about rainbows


Ava and the Rainbow (Who Stayed) by Ged Adamson

Ava and the Rainbow (Who Stayed) is the story of the most beautiful rainbow ever, who came one day after a rainstorm…and stayed. Ava is so happy that her friend stayed, but is staying what rainbows are really meant to do? This is a poignant story about appreciating things that are special.

rainbow books for children


What Makes a Rainbow? by Betty Ann Schwartz

In this clever little book, a different colored ribbon loops across the top of each page, which features pictures of familiar items of that same color. After you follow the ribbon through the book, you’ll come upon a special surprise on the last page. What Makes a Rainbow? is a unique and imaginative take on rainbow books for children.


A Rainbow of My Own by Don Freeman

If you know Corduroy, then you’re familiar with the gentle, distinctive artistic style of Don Freeman. In A Rainbow of My Own, a little boy embarks on a search for the end of the rainbow, and imagines what it would be like if he found it.


How the Crayons Saved the Rainbow by Monica Sweeney

In How the Crayons Saved the Rainbow, the sun and clouds have always cooperated to take care of Earth. Their favorite task is to create rainbows, until one day an argument sends both of them off to sulk. With no rainbows, all the colors fade away and world becomes a gloomy, sad place. Fortunately, a single box of crayons still exists, and escapes their classroom to save the day. This cute book teaches children about persistence, teamwork and friendship.


Rainbow by Marion Dane Bauer

Rainbow by Marion Dane Bauer is part of the “Weather Ready-to-Read” series of books for early readers. It shares the “science” of rainbows with a short, easy-to-read narrative story and artistic illustrations.


The Rainbow Goblins by Ul De Rico

This book is similar to an old-style Grimm’s fairy tale, so bear that in mind when considering it for your children.  However, the story is utterly captivating in that fascinating way that original fairy tales are, and the illustrations are detailed and sophisticated. The Rainbow Goblins is the tale of seven colorful brothers who prowl the land to feed on rainbows.


Rainbow by Jane Cabrera

Rainbow by Jane Cabrera is the perfect rainbow book for babies and toddlers. It’s a board book with die-cut pages, full of colorful objects and animals to point to and name. Each object is labeled, so this is a good book for early readers, too.


Penguins Love Colors by Sarah Aspinall

Penguins Love Colors features adorable wide-eyed baby penguins on a quest to create a special gift for Mommy. It’s a simple, straightforward story that little kids love. The illustrations are bold, bright, and clear.

Add some color to your family library today with a few new rainbow books for kids.


Want to save this post for later?

Pin “11 Colorful Books About Rainbows Your Kids Will Love” to your favorite Pinterest board.

rainbow books for childrenbooks about rainbows for childrenchildren's books about rainbows




Banish Summer Boredom with the Best Interactive Activity Books for Kids – Part 1

Banish Summer Boredom with the Best Interactive Activity Books for Kids – Part 1

I love activity books for kids. They are a great way to show kids that books and reading are FUN. Carefully chosen interactive activity books provide enrichment for avid readers and motivation for struggling or reluctant readers. They’re available as both fiction and non-fiction, allowing kids to be exposed to a variety of texts.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, A Family of Readers earns a small commission.

How to Use Activity Books for Kids

When my kids were little, I used this type of book as an alternative to screen time on weekends and school breaks, and in the car. I kept a few on hand in our craft cupboard, and would stock up before school breaks or road trips.

My family lives in a hot part of the country. During the summer it’s often too hot to play outside in the middle of the day. I pulled out activity books after lunch, to use until the late afternoon hours when it was cool enough to head for the front yard or the park. Of course, activity books are great for rainy or snowy days, too.

Activity books are great for adding some structured entertainment to play dates. I loved to take a few along to family gatherings to provide a fun experience for the cousins to enjoy together.

Do you ever feel that opportunities for casual family conversation are disappearing in our fast-paced, technology-driven lives? I sure do! Pull out a few interactive activity books for your family to work on together, and listen as the bonding begins.

Activity books are welcome gifts for your children’s friends; keep a few on hand to avoid last minute trips to the store.

In this post I’ve reviewed my favorite interactive activity books by Usborne Books & More. They offer beautifully designed, brightly colored books that come with toy vehicles, jigsaw puzzles and of course, STICKERS! Usborne Books & More has gorgeously illustrated books that feature painting, drawing, coloring, and paper crafting (such as origami or making paper airplanes.) There are detailed “Search & Spot” books, and classic puzzle books with games, mazes and puzzles.

Interactive Activity books are a fantastic addition to any family’s library. Scroll to take a peek at my favorites, and choose a few to banish summer boredom at your house!


Wind-Up Books

Wind-Up books come with a little themed wind-up vehicle which zooms around a track inside the book. The pages in between the tracks have a fun and engaging story to read aloud.  Each 10″ by 12″ book has a compartment to hold its matching wind-up vehicle so it doesn’t get lost. And winding up the vehicle provides some fine motor skill practice for your little one! Ages 3+.

Usborne Books Wind Up Books


Pull-Back Busy Books

The Pull-Back Busy Books come with a little matching vehicle or insect to go along with the story. To make one of these little toys move, pull it back on its wheels and let it go! Each 9″ by 11″ book has four tracks. The illustrations are detailed but clear, with lots of little items to look for as you go along. Parents and older siblings love these books, too! Ages 3+.

learning activity books for kids


Book and Jigsaw Puzzle Sets

These matching Book and Jigsaw Puzzle Sets come in a variety of subjects to suit kids of all ages. The puzzle images are beautiful illustrations, and range from 30 to 300 pieces. Some also include a black and white version for kids to color in with their own crayons, markers or colored pencils. These make a perfect activity for a quiet afternoon at home. Ages 6+.

educational activity books for kids


First Sticker Books

There are almost twenty First Sticker books to choose from, so you’re sure to find one that will delight your child. Each 8.5″ by 11″ book features themed scenes that your child can complete with the dozens of included stickers. The stickers are a little bigger than most, so that little hands can manage them easily. Many of them are labeled, providing opportunities for building vocabulary. These stickers can be re-positioned a few times before sticking permanently. Ages 4+.


Little Stickers Books

Each 16 page Little Stickers book comes with dozens of reusable stickers for tons of fun. The themes are perfect building vocabulary and background knowledge in your child; pets, the zoo, the aquarium and the farm. Plus, there’s a unicorn Little Stickers book! Keep one of these in your purse to pull out for spontaneous on-the-go fun.  Approximately 7″ by 9,” ages 3+.

Usborne Books Little Sticker Books


Sticker Dolly Dressing

The Sticker Dolly Dressing book series features a wide variety of themes ranging from sports to pets to princesses to weddings. Each 9″ by 12″ paperback includes hundreds of stickers to dress the characters. Ages 6+.

Usborne Books Sticker Dolly Dressing


Sticker Dolly Dressing Fashion Designer

This Sticker Dolly Dressing Fashion Designer set of books is more limited with only five titles, each related to the fashion world. The text offers design suggestions for dressing the characters. 9.5″ by 12″, ages 6+.

Usborne Books Sticker Dolly Dressing Fashion Designer


Little Sticker Dolly Dressing

These little 7″ by 9″ Little Sticker Dolly Dressing books are darling. Nine themes include unicorns, mermaids and princesses. Several of the titles are available in Spanish.  Ages 4+.

Usborne Books Little Sticker Dolly Dressing


1001 Things to Spot

These 1001 Things to Spot books will keep your child happy and busy for hours. Each 9″ by 10.5″ themed book features beautifully illustrated two page spreads with hidden items to find. Improve your child’s counting and observation skills with these nifty books. Ages 3+.

Usborne Books 1001 Things to Spot


Picture Puzzle Books

These jumbo 10″ by 12″ Picture Puzzle books are also full of hidden images to find. Each super-detailed two page spread contains hints and challenges. For instance, the clue “who has a mouthful of leaves?” is on a page full of different dinosaurs. Children develop thinking skills as they look for similarities, differences and various characteristics. These sturdy books are for ages 4+.

Usborne Books Picture Puzzle Books


Crossword Puzzle Books

These conveniently sized 5″ by 8″ Crossword Puzzle books are perfect for travel. In fact, one of the themes is “Travel” and another is “Vacation!” The puzzles in each book start out easy and increase in difficulty. The questions/prompts are in a variety of formats – some offer synonyms, and others are fill-in-the-blank facts. Ages 6+.

crossword puzzle books for kids


Trivia Books

These three 5″ by 8″ Trivia books are full of fascinating facts about animals, dinosaurs, and general knowledge. Ages 6+.

trivia books for kids


Logic Games

These 5″ by 8″ Logic Games and Logic Puzzles books are full of mind-bending logic puzzles, questions and games. Answers and solutions are included. Ages 6+, but these are pretty challenging and are better for slightly older kids, perhaps 8+.

Usborne Books Logic Puzzles


Color By Number Books

This set of four Color by Number books features detailed illustrations to color by number. As the spaces are filled in with color, objects and scenes are revealed. 8.5″ by 10″, ages 6+, except for My First Color by Numbers, which is for ages 4+.

color by number books for kids


Patterns to Color Books

These 8.5″ by 10″ Patterns to Color books feature much more detailed, intricate themed patterns. Ages 6+, but in my opinion these are better for kids with well-developed coloring skills. Once completed these could be framed and displayed or given as gifts.

Usborne Books Patterns to Color


Doodling Books

This collection contains a variety of books and card sets that offer a combination of doodling, drawing and coloring. Thick pages prevent markers from bleeding through. Sizes vary, generally for ages 6+.

Usborne Books Drawing Doodling and Coloring


This list of the best interactive activity books for kids grew so big we needed to split it into two posts. Don’t miss Part 2 – it’s got tons more awesome activity books.

Check out Part 2 of “Banish Boredom With Activity Books for Kids.



Want to save this post for later?

Pin “Banish Summer Boredom With Activity Books for Kids” to your favorite Pinterest board.


travel activities for kidsActivity Books for Kids activity books for kids Activity Books for Kids


The Cutest Mother’s Day Books for Kids

The Cutest Mother’s Day Books for Kids

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, A Family of Readers earns a small commission.

When my kids were little, we loved to celebrate holidays with themed crafts, themed food, and themed books. As the kids got older, we added themed movies and even T.V. show episodes. “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray, anyone? Now that my kids are young adults, I display children’s picture books as holiday decor and happily use any holiday as an excuse to make a festive snack for my husband and myself.

Enjoy this list of children’s books about Mother’s Day. You’ll love the sweet reminders about how much children care about finding a special way to let Mom know she is loved.


What Not to Give Your Mom on Mother’s Day

What Not to Give Your Mom on Mother’s Day by Martha Simpson suggests the gifts we should NOT give our moms for Mother’s Day.

The Night Before Mother’s Day

The Night Before Mother’s Day by Natasha Wing is another installment in this wonderful series. Dad and the kids send Mom off with her running pals so they can prepare to celebrate Mother’s Day in style.

The Berenstain Bears We Love Our Mom

The Berenstain Bears We Love Our Mom by Jan Berenstain. Brother Bear and Sister Bear realize just how much Mama Bear does for them and are off on a quest to find a special way to thank her and show her how much they love her.

Biscuit Loves Mother’s Day

Biscuit Loves Mother’s Day by Alyssa Satin Capucilli. Do your little ones love Biscuit? In this simple story, Biscuit follows along as his friend prepares special ways to celebrate Mom.

Fancy Nancy’s Marvelous Mother’s Day Brunch

Fancy Nancy’s Marvelous Mother’s Day Brunch by Jane O’Connor. Most Mother’s Day books are about kids preparing surprises for Mom. And often, things turn out just fine. But what will happen when Fancy Nancy tackles Mother’s Day brunch? This cute book has 13 “lift-the-flaps” for kids to enjoy, and the illustrations are richly detailed.

Pinkalicious: Mother’s Day Surprise

Pinkalicious: Mother’s Day Surprise by Victoria Kann. Pinkalicious manages Mother’s Day breakfast just fine, but is stymied by writer’s block when she wants to write a special poem for Mom.

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day by Anne Rockwell. In this book we get to visit Mrs. Madoff’s classroom again and join the kids in creating a Mother’s Day craft as a gift for Mom.

The Mother’s Day Mice

The Mother’s Day Mice by Eve Bunting. Eve Bunting’s lyrical storytelling is perfectly matched to Jan Brett’s richly detailed illustrations in this adventure story. Three brave little mice venture out to find the perfect gifts for Mother only to find themselves thwarted by a predator.

T. Rex and the Mother’s Day Hug

T. Rex and the Mother’s Day Hug by Lois G. Grambling. T. Rex’s friends are all ready with gifts for Mother’s Day, but T. Rex wants to maintain his (ill-fated) tradition of DOING something for Mom.

Mother’s Day Surprise

Mother’s Day Surprise by Stephen Krensky. Violet is a young snake whose friends are busily making gifts for Mother’s Day. Violet wants to do the same, but with no arms, legs or teeth, how can she make a gift?


Which of these cute books will you add to your family’s collection?



Want to save this post for later? Pin “The Cutest Mother’s Day Books for Kids” to your favorite Pinterest board!

Mother's Day Books for kidsmother's day books for kidsMother's Day Books for KidsMother's Day Books for Kids Pin

St. Patrick’s Day Books for Kids of All Ages

St. Patrick’s Day Books for Kids of All Ages

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, A Family of Readers earns a small commission.

I had a ton of fun curating this epic list of St. Patrick’s Day books for kids for all ages.

It includes non-fiction books that teach about the holiday itself, and fiction books with silly plots featuring characters enjoying St. Patrick’s Day traditions. You’ll find St. Patrick’s day board books for babies, rhyming books for preschoolers and chapter books for older kids.

Choose a few that suit your family, and make a tradition of reading one each day during the week leading up to March 17th. Reading aloud is a great tradition to add to any holiday celebration!


Saint Patrick by Tomie dePaola

Written by the fabulous Tomie dePaola, Saint Patrick is a newly released board book that tells the story of St. Patrick’s life. Aimed at your youngest readers, it explains how he decided to share his love of God with the people of Ireland, and shares some of the legends about him. Before I read this little book, I didn’t know why the shamrock is associated with St. Patrick’s Day!

Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie dePaola

Also by Tomie dePaola, Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland is a more sophisticated picture book version of Saint Patrick. The religious aspect is highlighted, and the text is more complex. This is a great book to help kids of all ages learn about St. Patrick’s Day.

Ten Lucky Leprechauns by Kathryn Heling

Ten Lucky Leprechauns is a perfect book to read aloud to babies, toddlers and preschoolers. The rhyming is wonderful, and the book develops the concept of counting from one to ten. As you can see from the cover picture below, the illustrations are adorable.

That’s What Leprechauns Do by Eve Bunting

Anything written by Eve Bunting is going to catch my eye, and That’s What Leprechauns Do is no exception. Three leprechauns set off to leave a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, promising themselves they will not get into mischief. (You can imagine how that turns out!) Gorgeous watercolor illustrations by Emily Arnold McCully manage to convey plenty of detail.

The Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Ever by Teddy Slater

The Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Ever is another fun rhyming book. Join along as an extended Leprechaun family happily marches along in a St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Jack and the Leprechaun by Ivan Robertson

In Jack and the Leprechaun, a little mouse accepts an invitation to attend a family party in Ireland. His cousin Sean tells him that nobody has ever been able to catch Liam the Leprechaun, but Jack Mouse is determined.

St. Patrick’s Day by Gail Gibbons

Gail Gibbons is another author whose books will always catch my eye. She doesn’t disappoint with St. Patrick’s Day. It’s simple and informative, like all her awesome nonfiction books. St. Patrick’s Day briefly tells the story of Saint Patrick’s life, and includes the most well-known legends, too.

The Leprechaun’s Gold by Pamela Duncan Edwards

The Leprechaun’s Gold is based on an Irish legend I had never heard before, so this book was a great addition to my classroom library. Two villagers compete to see who is the best harp player. When one of the players starts scheming to cheat in order to win, clever leprechaun trickery saves the day.


Tim O’Toole and the Wee Folk by Gerald McDermott

To me, the best thing about Tim O’Toole and the Wee Folk is uniqueness of the writing style and the sophistication of the vocabulary. This is the type of book that develops our children’s oral language and deepens their vocabulary. It’s a great story, but the quality of the writing is what really makes this book stand out.

St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning by Eve Bunting

St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning is an early work by Eve Bunting and Jan Brett. What a gem for any fan of either one of these two ladies! In this gentle story, Jamie is too little to participate in the St. Patrick’s Day parade with his family. You’ll smile at his determination as he comes up with a resourceful way to ease his disappointment.

The Story of the Leprechaun by Katherine Tegan

The Story of the Leprechaun is a sweet little book about a shoemaker who is also a leprechaun. I love that this book includes a cute map of the setting. Kids can flip back to the map and follow along as the story unfolds.

How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace

How to Catch a Leprechaun is a bestselling book about the mayhem and mild destruction that leprechauns cause in our homes when we are not looking. Here in the United States, this book has helped to create a new tradition along the lines of “Elf on the Shelf.” On March 17th, parents and teachers enjoy creating crazy messes and leprechaun footprints for kids to discover at home and at school. A related fun activity is to have kids plan and build “leprechaun traps” as a STEM project. (Even if the traps never successfully catch a leprechaun.?)

The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day by Natasha Wing

Read The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day to discover what happens when two siblings manage to build a leprechaun trap that succeeds! This rhyming story weaves in some of the most popular St. Patrick’s day legends and traditions. It’s part of an awesome bestselling “The Night Before…” series by the author. There’s a “The Night Before…” book for every holiday and every significant event in a child’s life.

The Itsy Bitsy Leprechaun by Jeffrey Burton

The Itsy Bitsy Leprechaun is a darling twist on the classic nursery rhyme for kids. Bright, clear illustrations along with the lyrical rhyme make this a perfect St. Patrick’s day book for babies and toddlers. And there’s a whole series of “Itsy Bitsy…” board books by the author, so you can find one for every holiday!

Leprechaun in Late Winter by Mary Pope Osbourne

Leprechaun in Late Winter is a “Magic Tree House Merlin Mission,” one of a new sub-series of Magic Tree House books for slightly more advanced chapter book readers. Young time travelers Jack and Annie journey to Ireland of 150 years ago for an adventure that explores the fun of Irish legends while teaching about the culture, geography and history of Ireland. In my mind the Magic Tree House books are the very best series for launching early readers into chapter books.

Leprechauns and Irish Folklore: A Nonfiction Companion to Magic Tree House Merlin Mission #15: Leprechaun in Late Winter

The Magic Tree House series has a fabulous companion series of nonfiction books, with titles to complement many of the original fiction books. Leprechauns and Irish Folklore: A Nonfiction Companion to Magic Tree House Merlin Mission #15: Leprechaun in Late Winter goes along with the fictional Leprechaun in Late Winter. It’s jam-packed with information about Irish history and the tradition of storytelling. With the Common Core’s focus on nonfiction, these companion books are a valuable addition to any home or classroom library. 

S is for Shamrock: An Ireland Alphabet by Eve Bunting

Another wonderful book by Eve Bunting, S is for Shamrock: An Ireland Alphabet has the added delight of being an alphabet book! The short rhyming text is great for smaller children, and the information-rich sidebars make this book valuable for kids up to middle elementary school age. With beautiful illustrations, it provides a quick overview of Irish history, culture and legends.

Hooray for St. Patrick’s Day by Joan Holub

Hooray for St. Patrick’s Day is a perfect book for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. It has fun rhyming, clear illustrations and the lift-the-flap element make this book interactive. Searching each page for the elusive leprechaun also makes this book interactive and especially engaging. And for all its simplicity, it shares plenty of St. Patrick’s Day traditions from a child’s perspective.

St. Patrick’s Day by Anne Rockwell

St. Patrick’s Day is sweet, gentle story set in Mrs. Madoff’s classroom. The students have all worn green today and are working on St. Patrick’s Day reports and projects. I love that the children are multi-cultural, and I got a kick out of millennial Mr. Siscoe’s ponytail. This story weaves in St. Patrick’s Day history and traditions through the reports and projects that the students are proudly working on. Like many of the authors on this list Anne Rockwell has written many other wonderful books for children.

Clever Tom and the Leprechaun by Linda Shute

When humans match wits with leprechauns, who inevitably comes out ahead? In this story, Clever Tom catches a leprechaun and believes he is on his way to riches. Of course it doesn’t turn out quite as he had planned. Clever Tom and the Leprechaun is beautifully written, with an “Irish” feel to the language the author uses.

Too Many Leprechauns by Stephen Krensky

In Too Many Leprechauns, Finn O’Finnegan returns home to his village of Dingle, only to discover that the local leprechauns have taken over. This is another book that is beautifully written, making for a lyrical read aloud with lots of opportunities for vocabulary development. Be sure to look closely at the illustrations, which add to the humor and are necessary to understanding details of the plot.

Rosco the Rascal at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade by Shana Gorian

Rosco the Rascal at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is #4 in an excellent series of books for kids who are just beginning to read chapter books. In this story, Rosco and his humans go to a St. Patrick’s Day parade, where they have an adventure and learn about Irish legends and traditions.

As a teacher and a mom, I love celebrating holidays with special books to read aloud. I hope this list will inspire you and make it easy to add reading aloud to your family’s St. Patrick’s Day traditions!


Want to remember this post for later?

Pin “St. Patrick’s Day Books for Kids of All Ages” to your favorite Pinterest board.

st. patrick's day books for kids st. patrick's day books for preschoolers st. patrick's day books for toddlers st. patrick's day books for elementary kids saint patrick's day books for kids st. patrick's day books to read aloudst. patrick's day books for kids st. patrick's day books for preschoolers st. patrick's day books for toddlers st. patrick's day books for babies st. patrick's day books to read aloudst. patrick's day books for kids st. patrick's day books for preschoolers st. patrick's day books for toddlers st. patrick's day books for elementary kids saint patrick's day books for kids st. patrick's day books to read aloud


Halloween Books for Kids (A Book Talk Featuring My Two All-Time Favorites)

best halloween books for kidsThis post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, A Family of Readers earns a small commission.

Today I’m so excited to introduce a new feature here at A Family of Readers.

Click below to watch my first video Book Talk, about two of my very favorite Halloween books for kids, Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman and The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams.

You’ll discover why your kids will love these books, and pick up a few fun tips for reading them aloud.








10 Terrific Alphabet Books to Treasure With Your Kids

10 Terrific Alphabet Books to Treasure With Your Kids

Teaching the alphabet to toddlers, preschoolers or kindergartners doesn’t ever have to be tedious or boring, or hard work – for you or your child. It can and should be fun and easy for everyone in your family.

alphabet books for childrenAlphabet books are an important part of your family library.They provide exposure to letters and sounds with all the benefits of reading aloud to your child.

Kids who have seen and heard the alphabet through the happy experience of being read aloud to by a loving adult will absorb so much knowledge about letters and sounds. You’ll be amazed at how easily and naturally it happens.

Try to snuggle up together with at least one alphabet book every day. Keep book baskets in convenient places throughout your home, and make sure each basket contains an inviting alphabet book. Stow a couple in the back seat of the car, and send one along on trips to the grandparents’ house.

The great thing about alphabet books is that as soon as your child can recognize a handful of letters, they can “read” an alphabet book by looking for the letters they know.

This list was so hard to narrow down, but here are ten of my favorite alphabet books, in no particular order.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, A Family of Readers makes a small commission.


A to Z by Sandra Boynton

My husband and I loved reading Sandra Boynton books to our kids. A to Z by Sandra Boynton is filled with her whimsical animal characters, each one representing a letter and performing an activity starting with that same letter.

Most of the activities are likely to be familiar to young children, but some provide more unique opportunities for vocabulary development. My personal favorite is “Aardvark Admiring,” with an illustration of a smiling aardvark adjusting his bowtie.

There’s no particular storyline – just simple, clear illustrations of one animal and one activity representing each letter. It’s a great book for introducing the alphabet to toddlers, and preschoolers can quickly memorize it and “read” it to themselves.

how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

Max’s ABC by Rosemary Wells

Next up is Max’s ABC by Rosemary Wells. The “Max” books by Rosemary Wells are subtly hilarious and the sibling relationship between Max and Ruby is so sweet.

I’ve seen kids get so excited when they realize that they already know Max and Ruby from other books and the Nick Jr. television show.

This alphabet book features a silly storyline that gets crazier and crazier as Ruby tries to help Max solve the problems created when his ants escape from their ant farm. I love that each page focuses on just one letter while still maintaining a plot! The rhythm of the story makes it fun for adults to read and easy for kids to chime along with. 

(As an aside, a great thing about the 40+ Max books is that there is one for just about every childhood experience imaginable.) I always enjoyed finding books that matched what was going on in my kids’ lives when they were little.

how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

No list of alphabet books would be complete without the classic Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr.  I included this book in this post, and everything I said over there applies here, too.

I appreciate that this book features lowercase letters in addition to uppercase letters. (One of my pet peeves is that kids need exposure to both uppercase and lowercase letters, right from the start.)  I also love that John Archambault illustrated the letters crisply and clearly so that it’s easy for children to tell them apart and notice the differences in their shapes.

how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet



The Sleepy Little Alphabet by Judy Sierra

How cute is the idea of Alphabet Town? In The Sleepy Little Alphabet, parents (the uppercase or capital letters) are trying to put the children (the lowercase letters) to bed. It is not going smoothly. Excuses and stalling abound, and will be familiar to parents and children alike.

To me, half the fun of the naughtiness and silliness is in the expressions on the letters’ faces. The uppercase parents actually look harassed, and the lowercase kids are gleeful.

The illustrations are simple and clear, but there is plenty of detail to notice. Lowercase “f” is holding flowers, lowercase “j” is jumping, and lowercase “s” is swinging. In a nice satisfying ending, lowercase “y” is yawning, and lowercase “z” is snoring cute little “zzzzzzz’s”.

how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

Click on the video below to watch as I share my new favorite alphabet book.


Dr. Seuss’s ABC

Another classic, Dr. Seuss’s ABC is as zany as any of the Dr. Seuss books, and equally as fun to read aloud. Full of nonsense words, awesome rhythm and ridiculous rhymes, it asks “Big B, little b, what begins with B?” and then answers with a tongue-twisting alliteration of a response.

The illustrations are vintage Seuss, colorful and imaginative.

Two things I really like about this book: it includes both lowercase and uppercase letters, and it matter-of-factly presents the ideas that letters represent sounds and words begin with specific letters.

how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet



Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert

It’s always nice to find a themed alphabet book that can be used in many ways. Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables weaves in nutrition, culture and geography with pictures of fruits and vegetables from all over the world, illustrated in Lois Ehlert’s unique watercolor collage style.

It’s sort of a picture dictionary of fruits and vegetables, with an encyclopedia included at the back in the form of a detailed, illustrated glossary. I bet you’ll come across a fruit or vegetable that you haven’t heard of before!

This one is great for older children as well; you could find the locations on a map or prepare a newly discovered fruit or vegetable for the family to try.

how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet


My First ABC by DK

My First ABC by DK is part of the “My First Books” series and it certainly lives up to that name. This sturdy board book is perfect as a first alphabet book for babies, with just a few clear and colorful photographs for each letter.

This visual style and layout is the easiest for babies to focus on at a very young age. A few months later, it lends itself beautifully to asking a baby or toddler “Can you find the ________?” and watching chubby little fingers proudly point to the item named.

Each photograph is labeled clearly, making it easy for adults to point to the word as we read it. This starts developing print awareness, the understanding that the little black marks on the page have meaning. An early understanding of this concept makes learning to read so much easier later on.

how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet


Sesame Street: Elmo’s ABC Lift-the-Flap

Elmo’s ABC Lift the Flap offers a rich experience in so many ways. The pages are busier than some of the other books I’ve mentioned, and a single two-page spread offers plenty to look at, find, discuss, or do.

Each letter is on a large flap that lifts up to reveal a picture and a sentence or two. Many smaller flaps throughout the book lift up to show pictures underneath. Almost everything on each page is clearly labeled.

If you want to keep the flaps intact, you might want to keep this book reserved for reading to and with your child, as opposed to reading by your child.

This is a great choice for toddlers and preschoolers who love Sesame Street and are familiar with the characters.

how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet



A Is for Apple (Smart Kids Trace-And-Flip)

A Is For Apple is a simple book that offers so much. It’s an interactive book that offers a kinesthetic aspect, with grooved letter shapes for kids to trace with an index finger or stylus.

Uppercase and lowercase letters are included, with two simple pictures for each letter. One of the pictures is printed on a flap, and the other is revealed when the flap is lifted.

Perfect for children ages one to three, this book makes a great first birthday gift or gift for any one-year-old.

how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet



Z Is for Moose by Kelly Bingham

Like Sleepy Little Alphabet and Max’s ABC, Z Is for Moose has a definite plot. It elicits giggles and roars of laughter, as Moose impatiently tries to claim his time on stage during Zebra’s ABC production. Be sure to look carefully at the illustrations to catch all the humor.

When Moose isn’t chosen to represent the letter “M,” his tantrum is epic, and readers will wonder how this situation can possibly be resolved. Because Z is NOT for Moose, right? Turns out that it can be, when friendship saves the day.

how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet
I hope you’ll use this list as a starting point for a baby’s or toddler’s alphabet book collection, or as inspiration for expanding the library of a preschooler or kindergartner.

Include alphabet books like these in your read alouds on a regular basis, and I promise you’ll be delighted with your child’s easy, natural progress.

Want to save this post for later?

Pin “10 Terrific Alphabet Books to Treasure With Your Kids” to your favorite Pinterest board.


alphabet books for children

alphabet books for kids















10 Classic Books to Read to Preschoolers

10 Classic Books to Read to Preschoolers

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, A Family of Readers earns a small commission. 

I’ve written a post about the importance of reading aloud, and I’ve written a post about how to read to preschoolers, so I decided it was time to publish a post recommending my choices for the best books for preschoolers.

Remember, when choosing books for preschoolers, look for

  • Books that highlight basic concepts, such as colors, shapes, letters and numbers.
  • Rhyme, rhythm and repetition.
  • Photographs and illustrations that are clear, colorful and engaging.
  • Simple, fun plots with action that moves quickly.
  • Stories about everyday life and familiar events in a child’s day-to-day life.
  • Main characters (human or animal) who are your child’s age or just a little bit older.

Here is a list of my ten favorite classic books for preschoolers. These are books that have been around for a generation or more, and are tried and true. They are books I’ve read over and over again in my classroom over the years, and books I read so often to my own kids that the whole family had them practically memorized. When I need a baby shower gift or a gift for a new baby, I nearly always choose a few of these titles and wrap them in a sturdy, attractive basket.

In almost all cases, the authors of these books have also written other, equally wonderful books. If you find that your child falls in love with a particular book on the list, explore other titles by that author and see what other favorites you discover.


Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin, Jr.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear takes a simple two-sentence rhyme and repeats it throughout the story, creating a lilting rhythm that I love to read out loud. It’s a question and answer format, which is a natural language pattern that preschoolers are drawn to.

Because it’s a short rhyme and the clear, simple pictures support the words so directly, kids memorize this book quickly and are able to join in as you read. It effortlessly provides exposure to the basic preschool concepts of colors and animals. 

If I had to pick the single most absolutely perfect book for toddlers and preschoolers, this would be it.This book has something of value to offer every preschooler and their family. In Kindergarten and first grade, it’s a book that early readers love to revisit, delighted that they can truly read it themselves. Include this one in baby shower gifts for sure. Click here to browse other books by Bill Martin, Jr.

books to read to preschoolers


The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is another book that is just about perfect. It’s a simple story plot that manages to incorporate days of the week, colors, and numbers without feeling contrived at all. Carle is describing an event in nature that is simple to understand, yet universal in concept – growth and change over time.

There’s no rhyme, but the repetition is tons of fun, and invites enthusiastic participation – “But he was still hungry!” The die cut holes left in the fruit by the caterpillar are perfectly sized for little fingers to poke through – again, an irresistible invitation to participate. Click here to check out other stories by Eric Carle. He is amazingly prolific.

picture books for toddlers


Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault

Remember in this post, when I suggested reading through a book to find the rhyming parts ahead of time?  It’s a good idea to do that with this Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Although I love it dearly and it does have great rhymes, the rhythm and cadence is unusual and it takes a little bit of practice to read this book out loud smoothly. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is an alphabet book with lots of action and a fast, exciting pace.

The letters themselves are the characters, and the phrase “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” repeats often enough that kids can jump right in and read it with you. Click here for more “Chicka Chicka” books.


Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

We all relate to Where the Wild Things Are because Max represents the naughty child in all of us, who sits in time out and thinks resentful thoughts about the parent who busted them, fantasizing about letting loose and creating a wild rumpus with a bunch of wild things. Or am I the only one who thinks that?

Really though, this book takes us on a boundary-stretching imaginary journey with Max. He bosses the wild things around and goes a little crazy before waking up in a more relaxed mood, happy to see that his mother has relented and placed his supper on the table.

Where the Wild Things Are has a clear plot about a familiar situation (getting in trouble), simple illustrations, and a relatable main character of preschool age. Other books by Maurice Sendak are here.

picture books for preschoolers


Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino

Is Your Mama A Llama? manages to be poignant while lighthearted. The theme of being separated from a parent is one that kids relate to, even if it hasn’t happened to them. I’ve seen my students really empathize with Lloyd the baby llama, seeming to really feel his mounting concern as he asks each young animal, “Is your Mama a llama?”

The rhyme is more complex in this book, creating a smooth rhythm that makes it easy to read aloud. Children quickly begin to chime in with the last word of each rhyming interaction between Lloyd and his friends. Although this is a well-written story, I think that the illustrations by the more prolific and better known Steven Kellogg make this book really stand out.

picture books for kids


The Mitten by Jan Brett

The illustrations in The Mitten make it age-appropriately suspenseful, much more so than the words on the page. When my daughter was a preschooler, she would become giddy with anticipation as each animal crowded into the mitten, and we got closer and closer to the end of the story. When the satisfying end of the story arrived, she would be so relieved that it was over.

Jan Brett’s artwork is clear and directly supports the story, but it is definitely not simple. As the years go on and your child matures, together you will notice more and more subtle detail in the illustrations of this book. Don’t miss Jan Brett’s other gorgeously illustrated books.

books for toddlers and preschoolers


If You Give A Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie by Felicia Bond. After a young boy gives a mouse a cookie, the mouse places more and more demands on the boy, who complies willingly enough. Each of the requests the mouse makes are activities that are common in a preschooler’s life, such as coloring a picture to tape up on the refrigerator.

Together the mouse and the boy work their way through these demands/activities, working their way back around to giving the mouse a cookie. I especially love the illustrations, which are relatable and subtly humorous in the facial expressions and body language of the boy and the mouse. This book lends itself well to casually talking about sequence. Check out the whole series here.

best picture books for preschoolers

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

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear is fun because the point of view is new and different. The main character carries on a conversation with the reader, which children seem to just love. This book is suspenseful, as the mouse tries to convince us that his red ripe strawberry is in terrible danger of being eaten by the big hungry bear. Kids get a kick out of the solution to this problem, too! Don and Audrey Wood have written and illustrated other classic books, which you can find here.


Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

You’ve really got to include Love You Forever in baby shower gifts, too. Years ago whenever I read this book to my first graders, they would say, “Oh no, she’s going to cry!” and I always did.

Throughout their lives, a mother sings to her son, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, As long as I’m living, My baby you’ll be.” At first she is holding him and rocking him, and eventually she is gray-haired and sneaking into her son’s house to sing to him. Right after this is the part where the story flips and I cry, so I’ll just stop here.

Trust me, don’t miss this one. It’s a book for you as much as it is a book for your child. Robert Munsch has written lots of other great books, but they are not all such tearjerkers.

books for preschoolers

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Theodore Geisel is the king of silly rhyme, making Dr. Seuss books must-have classics in a preschooler’s book collection. Green Eggs and Ham is my favorite, because in addition to the rhyme, it has repetition. Some of the Seuss books do not, although they are full of rollicking rhyme and have fantastic rhythm. This repetition makes it easy for children to start to memorize this book and join in with gusto – “I do not like them, Sam I am!” Plus, the story line and concept of refusing to eat something one has not even tried, is so familiar to preschoolers. Explore all the other fabulous Dr. Seuss titles here.


Let me know in the comments which books you would put on your family’s top ten list!