Reading List for Preschoolers

Developing an early love for literacy in young children is crucial for a child’s future school success. Research shows academics improve if children develop an enthusiasm for reading at an early age. You can help your preschooler enjoy books by reading these titles on this Summer Reading List for Preschoolers!

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

This story is about Sam-I-Am convincing another character to eat a plate of Green Eggs and Ham. During the story, there are a lot of repetitive phrases and rhythmic text, making this story is easy to remember and recall. This book is also packed full of rhyming words, such as mouse/house, box/fox, train/plane.


Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

This book is hilariously funny and engaging. It’s about Pigeon, a funny bird who really wants to get permission to drive a bus. It’s great for teaching your preschooler print awareness, a very important pre-literacy skill. The colored text and bold words can help your child learn more about how words work in a story. Plus, it’s a book they can laugh out loud with!


Swimmy by Leo Lioni

This is a story about a clever little fish named Swimmy. After all of his siblings are eaten by a bigger fish, he teaches all of the other ocean fish to work together to stay safe, and enjoy the beauty of the ocean. This book will teach your preschooler new vocabulary words, such as “anemone” and “marvel.”


Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

This story is about a little girl named Chrystantheumum, and she thinks her name is absolutely perfect, until her second day of Kindergarten where her new classmates tell her otherwise. This book is great for encouraging your child to accept everyone for who they are, no matter what their name may be. This book is also good for helping to develop your preschooler’s self-esteem and embracing his or her individuality. 


Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

This story is about Alexander and his horrible day. It’s so bad that he wants to move to Australia. This book is great for teaching your preschooler that we all have bad days, and it’s ok. What matters is how we deal with them. This is a great book for practicing the pre-literacy skill of retelling. After reading the book together, have your child “retell” the story by just using the pictures.

Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel

This book contains five stories in one, each telling about some of the nice things Frog and Toad do for each other. The main theme in these books is friendship. This book is great for print awareness and helps your child begin to read words and understand that print goes from left to right. Since there are some easy words mixed with sight words, this is a great book for beginning readers. 

I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont

This book is written to the tune of “It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More,” making it super fun for your child to sing along with. It’s about one creative little boy who floods his environment and self with colors of paint everywhere! Until…Mama comes! Not only is this book fun and engaging, but it’s a great way to practice naming colors and parts of the body, such as arms, legs, and neck.


It looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw

This book is full of objects created by spilled milk blobs. Children can guess the familiar objects until the very end when they have to use their own imagination! It’s a great book to introduce some everyday words to your preschooler and encourages creativity while stimulating their minds. This book is also recommended because of the print awareness. The text is on the left side of the page spread, while the illustration is on the right. This format emphasizes the importance of connections between words and pictures.


My Kindergarten by Rosemary Wells

This book is a true account of what happens on a day in the life of Kindergarten. If your preschooler is getting ready to enter Kindergarten, this is a great book to show them that it’s an exciting place! The pages are filled with bright letters, so ask your child to point to them and name them while you are reading.


The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss

This story is about a little boy’s faith in his planted carrot seed, despite everyone else’s doubts. This story is simple and brief, making it easy for your child to recall and retell. It’s the perfect book for teaching beginning, middle, and end.

Erica Leggiero is the blogger over at eLeMeNO-P Kids. She is a M.Ed. in Elementary/Reading Education and she firmly believes play is the way children learn about themselves, the people around them, and the big world! She is also a huge advocate of developing lifelong readers in children at a young age.

Want to add new books to your library without breaking the bank? Shop discounted books for kids and families on Educents.

What are your preschooler’s favorite books to read? Tell us!