Choosing Books for Your Preschooler

Find the best books for your pre-reader's budding library.



Choosing Books for Your Preschooler

The preschool years are a period of rapid language development, so now is a great time to add to your child's book collection with picture books, activity books, and bedtime books that introduce new words and cater to his interests. Below are some basic recommendations from reading specialists, librarians, preschool teachers, and experienced parents:

  • Picture Books: Tell Me a Story
    Whether read-aloud or read-alone, picture books offer your young child the chance to answer her never-ending questions about the world around her. She's ready to listen to simple stories with basic plots, but illustrations are still the main attraction for this age group. Look for bright, big pictures and be sure to talk about them as you read.
  • Favorite Characters
    From Bob the Builder to Dora the Explorer, from Franklin to Barney, from Madeline to Miss Spider, favorite characters serve as trusted tour guides to kids of this age. Topics range from emotions to weather to ABCs.
  • Favorite Subjects
    Does your child have a case of the "whys”? It's important to take her questions seriously. And when you don't have an answer, there's likely a children's book that does. The key is to find basic stories that relate to your child's experiences.
  • Rhyming Text
    Catchy text makes for great entertainment. Look for rhythmic and/or rhyming text that's fun to read aloud and relatively easy to memorize so that your child can join in when she's ready. Nursery rhymes and poetry collections are good places to start.
  • Classic Tales
    There is a reason that the tales you grew up with are still around. From The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant by Jean de Brunhoff to The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, classic stories introduce universal themes in the most comforting and creative ways.
  • Activity Books: Busy Hands, Busy Minds
    Activity books provide vital learning skills and endless entertainment for this age group. Hunt-and-find books, such as the I SPY series, encourage visual discrimination, while sticker books and oversized books show that reading can be fun.
  • Bedtime Books: Sweet Stories for Sweet Dreams
    A nice, soothing bedtime story can provide some welcome downtime after a busy day at school or day care.
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