Book Reviews: Read Alouds for Preschoolers

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One of the beauties of having SIX KIDS is that I have always had little ones. Yes, it’s full of challenges, but the preschool years are such a precious time in a child’s life.

Currently, I have two preschoolers: a rough and tumble, four year old boy and a nurturing, knows-how-to-change-GI-Joe’s-diaper, two year old girl. They are quite the pair. He is all boy; she is very girl. But, for the most part they are great friends.

When he’s not kicking her.

And she’s not hitting him with a stick.

One of the things that they both love to do is listen to stories. The two of them could sit with me for hours reading books. I only wish I had hours to devote to the activity. Instead we settle for a handful a day. Here are some of our favorites:

The Toot and Puddle series by Holly Hobbie is a great collection of stories, featuring two pigs who are best friends. One is the brave adventurer, while the other prefers the comforts of home. Much like my FishChick and FishBoy 4! We have enjoyed all the different books in the collection and were pleased to see that one had been made into a movie which we saw at Christmastime.

Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathman tells the story of a lonely, albeit boring, police officer whose reputation is given a major boost when he starts taking Police Dog Gloria along for Safety Presentations. Little does Officer Buckle know that his dog is miming his safety tips. The dog’s antics are hilarious. And the message and lesson that Officer Buckle learns are precious.

Who can’t love Frances? I remember listening to these books by Russell Hoban when I was in preschool. Only then they were on 45 records! Bread and Jam for Frances is probably my favorite. First, I love food and the book is filled with great descriptions. Second, I love the witty way that Frances’ mom teaches her a lesson about eating what’s placed in front of you. This is a must read for all those who fight the Dinnertime Skirmishes.

My mother collects Caldecott Award winning books, those children’s books that are prized for their illustrations. So, we have been the happy recipients of her library’s cast-offs. Blueberries for Sal is one of the keepers. It recounts the tale of Sal and her mother clambering up Blueberry Hill in search of blueberries to can for the winter. Their encounter with bears is told in sweet detail. A great book to read while munching on blueberry muffins.

Alfie and Annie Rose are two pink-cheeked cherubs from the British Isles. They are much like my little pair of preschoolers. This series by Shirley Hughes features adorable illustrations and fun stories that little ones can relate to.

What’s your favorite book to read to little ones?

Tell us in the comments.

Related: Book It! Story Stretchers
TGIF: Read!

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  1. Thanks for the book ideas! I have a crazy 4 year old and 2 year old who will not sit still for longer than 2 seconds, literally!! But as soon as I open up a book they both run to my lap and will sit for hours if I let them. I LOVE it but always struggle with finding books that we all like and what is appropriate for their age.

    We really enjoy the book “Corduroy” as well as a book by Kevin Lewis called “Chugga chugga choo choo.” It is nothing special but I’ve been reading it to my 4 year old since he was like 3 months old so now it is our “family book” and we read it almost every night! We are on our 3rd copy of the book now. Kids are hard on books!!

    Thanks for the ideas.


  2. Tessy and Tab little books. my kids are addicted! Its a subscription where they send a little book every 2 weeks. and the books are about things important to preschoolers- holidays, field trips, even time outs! My M-I-L gives it as a gift each Christmas and it is truly the best gift. 🙂

  3. Awwwww, ‘Blueberries For Sal’ was my favorite book as a kid. I remember taking it out repeatedly from my elementary school library.

    Have you read the ‘Scaredy Squirrel’ series by Melanie Watt? I think there are 3 book so far, all about a neurotic squirrel that is…, well…scared of everything!! Cute pictures too.

  4. We also love Toot & Puddle and it's now on every afternoon on Noggin if you get that channel. It's nice to have a cartoon that I love to watch with my daughter.


  5. Some of our favorites:
    If You Give a Moose a Muffin and others in this series
    Curious George books
    Little People Lift the Flap or Look and Find books
    Bear series of books by Karma Wilson
    Anything by Eric Carle
    Go, Dog, Go! by P.D. Eastman
    Goodnight Moon
    Pat the Bunny

    Thanks for sharing your favorites. I’ll be checking out Toot and Puddle next week at the library. 🙂

  6. thanks for the recs! as a fellow homeschooler, i’m always looking for new things to read!

  7. We love Toot and Puddle here, too! (And the fact that they’re on Noggin from DirectTV every afternoon!) We also love Max and Ruby books…about Big Sister and Little Brother bunnies and their adventures. For beginner readers, we find Biscuit books are great!!

  8. Well, we are a bit beyond the preschool age, but these are books we enjoyed here:

    *anything by Jan Brett-wonderful illustrations. These actually would be enjoyed by the older kids, as they are written more to a 1-3 grade level.

    *Mercer Meyer’s Little Critter series

  9. Love Toot and Puddle.

    The Little Critter series has cracked us up. I really like Just Go to Bed.

    The kids have enjoyed a collection of Berenstein Bear stories that a friend gave to us. One they often ask us to read is The Berenstein Bears Get the Gimmies.

    One of my favorite books is Click Clack Moo Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin.
    love children’s books.

  10. We love Pinkalicious, Fancy Nancy, Good Night Moon, Guess How Much I Love You, and Clifford around here. 🙂

  11. I jumped online to check and make sure I had all the library books to return to the library. There you were with some new ideas for my rough 4 year-old boy and gentle 22-month-old girl. Thanks!
    We like Curious George a lot, many of the Golden Book collections, Goodnight Moon, and this week we really got into Hoppameleon (very cute and colorful) as well as an old book, Who Stole the Farmer’s Hat?

  12. My girl will sit through LONG books, so even though she’s just three, we have a big collection of books for a little older kids: We too read many of the Jan Brett books with fav’s currently being Daisy Comes Home and Gingerbread Friends. We love Harold and the Purple Crayon and both of the Miss Smith books, Miss Smith’s Incredible Story Book and Miss Smith Reads Again. We of course love all the Frances, Madeline and D.W. books.

  13. I’m so in love with Shirley Hughes books right now! I LOVE her illustrations and the stories are so cute. I read them to my boys even now, as toddlers. She has the “nursery” collection, which are more elementary than the Alfie and Annie ones. I discovered these on another friend’s blog and checked out all the ones my library owns!! 🙂

  14. Thanks for sharing. I’m looking forward to checking these out!

  15. Since having kids, I have come to LOVE children’s literature. If I had a better memory or had made a list somewhere (better yet), I’d mention all my favorite titles and authors.

    Here’s one I happen to have at home from the library right now.
    “Bear Feels Scared” by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman.
    They have a number of these books, “Bear Snores On” (my initial exposure to these two authors), “Bear Wants More”, “Bear Stays Up”, “Bear’s New Friend”, “Bear Feels Sick”. I can’t wait to read all of them.

    I also like the dinosaur books by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague.