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Favorite Books for Pre-Readers

We surveyed early childhood experts to create this list of favorite books for preschoolers.
Cover image for Harold's ABC
Harold's ABC
by Crockett Johnson Illustrated by Crockett Johnson
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Cover image for Good Night, Gorilla
Good Night, Gorilla
by Peggy Rathmann Illustrated by Peggy Rathmann

In this practically wordless bedtime story, a weary zoo keeper bids good night to his charges and then goes home to bed. He doesn't notice, however, that clever Gorilla has pickpocketed his keys and is letting the animals out of their cages, one by one.

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Cover image for Franklin Says "I Love You"
Franklin Says "I Love You"
Series: Franklin
by Paulette Bourgeois Illustrated by Brenda Clark

Franklin is a very lucky turtle. He has the best friends, the best little sister, the best goldfish and, of course, the best mother. But when he discovers that his mother's birthday is coming up, he can't find the best present.

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Cover image for Fidgety Fish
Fidgety Fish
by Ruth Galloway Illustrated by Ruth Galloway

Tiddler is a very fidgety fish. So much so, that when his mother has had enough, she sends him out into the sea to swim, "Watch out for the Big Fish," she warns. Tiddler flips and glides and swims faster than a rocket.

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Cover image for Corduroy
Series: Corduroy
by Don Freeman Illustrated by Don Freeman

Don Freeman's classic character, Corduroy, continues to stir the hearts and imagination of children and adults around the world.

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Cover image for A Color of His Own
A Color of His Own
by Leo Lionni Illustrated by Leo Lionni

Elephants are gray. Pigs are pink. Tigers have black and orange stripes. It seems that every animal has its own distinctive color, except the chameleon. And that makes the little chameleon hero of this picture book very sad. Every time he moves, he changes color!

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Cover image for Clifford the Big Red Dog
Clifford the Big Red Dog
by Norman Bridwell Illustrated by Norman Bridwell
Imagine having a dog bigger than a house! In the original story that has sparked the imaginations of young readers for generations, a little girl gets a tiny puppy who grows up to be the biggest dog in the whole world. He's so big that he can fetch robbers...and their car!
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Cover image for A Chair for My Mother
A Chair for My Mother
by Vera B. Williams Illustrated by Vera B. Williams
Acclaimed author/illustrator Vera Williams tells of a young girl, who along with her waitress mother, saves coins in a big jar in hopes that they can someday buy a big, new, comfortable chair for their apartment, the kind of chair her mother deserves after being on her feet all day in the Blue Tile Diner.
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Cover image for Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Series: Alexander
by Judith Viorst Illustrated by Ray Cruz

In this contemporary classic, veteran children's author Viorst introduces us to Alexander, a kid with an unruly crop of hair, who gets out of bed to face a day that seems to grow increasingly worse with each passing minute.

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