Reading preschool books aloud to students is the best—the excitement, the comments (both related and unrelated, of course!), and the magical hush that falls over the classroom when you share the perfect title. A preschool classroom that’s fully stocked with diverse, top-quality books makes a huge difference for kids. Read on for 50+ of our recent top picks!
Psst: Don’t think we forgot about all our old favorite preschool books—many are included on this list of Books That Will Make You Nostalgic for Preschool.
(Just a heads up! WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)
1. Luli and the Language of Tea by Andrea Wang
There are lots of kids in the childcare room while their adults attend English as a Second Language classes, but none of them speak to each other. That is until Luli makes a plan to bring them together to share tea and cookies. This is an adorable, heartwarming story about connecting with others that could definitely inspire many preschool tea parties!
Buy it: Luli and the Language of Tea on Amazon
2. Berry Song by Michaela Goade
A young girl and her grandmother gather berries together and thank the earth, celebrating Tlingit traditions and the seasons. Definitely add this lovely, relatable book to your preschool books that represent indigenous cultures.
Buy it: Berry Song on Amazon
3. Bodies Are Cool by Tyler Feder
This title belongs in every single classroom collection of preschool books. It’s hands-down the most positive and inclusive book we’ve ever seen about physical appearance. No matter your shape, size, hair, skin color and markings, features—bodies are amazingly cool.
Buy it: Bodies Are Cool on Amazon
4. Circle Round by Anne Sibley O’Brien
There’s so much to talk about in the pictures of this sweet counting book. At the park, more circles (a ball, bike wheels, Hula-Hoops) mean more chances to play with friends!
Buy it: Circle Round on Amazon
5. Ice Cream Face by Heidi Woodward Sheffield
We can’t have enough preschool books about feelings. This one explores emotions through the best context: ice cream! Kids can easily imagine how it would feel to be waiting in line for ice cream, eating ice cream, even dropping ice cream. Lots of fun follow-up project possibilities too!
Buy it: Ice Cream Face on Amazon
6. Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle by Nina LaCour
Family stories are staple preschool books. When Mommy goes away for the week, a little girl and her Mama make their own fun. Then they are happy to be reunited when Mommy returns.
Buy it: Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle on Amazon
7. Everybody in the Red Brick Building by Anne Wynter
Preschool books with fun sounds make great read-alouds. Late at night, a series of noises wakes up everyone in an apartment building one by one. What will lull them back to sleep? Illustrations by one of our favorites, Oge Mora, make this book sing.
Buy it: Everybody in the Red Brick Building on Amazon
8., 9. & 10. Baby Bear Counts One, Baby Bear Sees Blue, and Where, Oh Where, Is Baby Bear? by Ashley Wolff
There are plenty of sweet bear stories, but it’s the gorgeous linocut illustrations that really make these concept books stand out. They build children’s vocabulary and content knowledge about a bear’s habitat too.
11. Mrs. Peanuckle’s Alphabet series by Mrs. Peanuckle
Everything about this series is downright adorable. Each book marches through a nature-themed version of the ABCs with engaging facts about bugs, birds, veggies, fruits, trees, or flowers—all while using cheerful mixed-media art.
Buy it: Mrs. Peanuckle’s Alphabet series on Amazon
12. Bear Is Awake! An Alphabet Story by Hannah E. Harrison
We love preschool books that combine the alphabet with a great picture story. Hearing kids’ reactions as the narrative about a hungry bear unfolds is a treat. A is for “awake. …”
Buy it: Bear Is Awake! An Alphabet Story on Amazon
13. The Peas Series by Keith Baker
The original title in this series, LMNO Peas, is a longtime preschool book favorite because it combines two preschool loves: the alphabet and exploration of occupations. (Plus, could those little peas be any cuter?) We love having the latest installment, LMNO Pea-Quel, on hand for our pre-K kiddos as they start to tune in to lowercase letters, which are highlighted in this book.
Buy it: The Peas Series on Amazon
14. Again, Essie? by Jenny Lacika
Big brother Rafael wants to protect his toys from his toddler sister Essie. He fits together boxes and other found materials to make a wall. Will it work? Explore vocabulary like “tall,” “skinny,” “wide,” and more. We think every preschool classroom should have a full set of the Storytelling Math series books because they are SO good. Many are also available in Spanish, and each one includes “Exploring the Math” activity ideas.
Buy it: Again, Essie? on Amazon
15. Five Hiding Ostriches by Barbara Barbieri McGrath
Five little ostriches wonder what to do when they spot a lion. This adorable spin on “Five Little Pumpkins” is such fun to read aloud and act out as a class.
Buy it: Five Hiding Ostriches on Amazon
16. Circle Under Berry by Carter Higgins
Explore shapes, colors, and prepositions with this most inventive of preschool books that’ll really get your class talking. It starts out simple but ramps up as the book goes on, making it a great multi-age concept book. Extension ideas abound, from offering it with loose parts for kids to explore or creating your own class version with cut and glued shapes.
Buy it: Circle Under Berry on Amazon
17. Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer
Most preschool classrooms engage in some kind of study of families, and this book is a must-have to encourage an inclusive view on the topic. Illustrations are colorful and engaging and sweetly portray many different variations on family structure.
Buy it: Love Makes a Family on Amazon
18. Kindness Makes Us Strong by Sophie Beer
Kindness is a universal theme in preschool, and this title brims with optimism and age-appropriate examples. Share it with kids and then celebrate their own kind ideas and actions.
Buy it: Kindness Makes Us Strong on Amazon
19. House: First Words Board Books by Michael Slack
We’ve used this collection of little label books—each features contents of a room in a home—in so many ways. Share them to get kids talking about their own homes or as examples to inspire kids’ own label books. The little books fit into the box like a puzzle, so they make for a great item for independent exploration during quiet time too.
Buy it: House: First Words Board Books on Amazon
20. Wheels by Sally Sutton
Sally Sutton earned a special place in our construction book-loving hearts with Roadwork. This more recent title has a guessing game structure, which makes it perfect for reading aloud to kids who love vehicles.
Buy it: Wheels on Amazon
21. Penguin Bedtime Classics illustrated by Carly Gledhill
These are not your typical fairy tales! This board book collection distills classic tales down to a few basic—but still engaging—short sentences and fills in the gaps with diverse, fresh-feeling illustrations.
Buy it: Penguin Bedtime Classics on Amazon
22. If You Find a Leaf by Aimee Sicuro
A girl finds a leaf and imagines all the different things it could be. Gorgeous illustrations are so fun to pore over with kids. Add this to your preschool books for inspiring fall projects!
Buy it: If You Find a Leaf on Amazon
23. A Very Big Fall by Emmy Kastner
Here’s one for every kid who’s every worried over an upcoming change—even those that are supposed to be exciting. When the squirrels really talk up the fall changes to come, the little leaves get uneasy, especially Maple. This would be such fun to act out with puppets or flannel board pieces!
Buy it: A Very Big Fall on Amazon
24. A Spoonful of Frogs by Casey Lyall
A witch heats up her cauldron for making a delicious soup, with plenty of wholesome ingredients and topped off with frogs. But she can’t keep the frog from jumping off the spoon! This is a hilarious read-aloud with fun pretend-play connections.
Buy it: A Spoonful of Frogs on Amazon
25. The Winter Bird by Kate Banks
A nightingale with a broken wing can’t fly south for the winter. Luckily, the kind winter forest animals help it adjust to the unfamiliar cold and snowy weather. This is one of our new favorite preschool books for talking about both seasonal changes and kindness towards others.
Buy it: The Winter Bird on Amazon
26. & 27. What Color Is Night? and What Sound Is Morning? by Grant Snider
These poetic titles celebrate the nuanced colors of night and the sounds of the very beginning of the day. Bedtime and early mornings are preschooler prime times, of course, so these are highly relevant preschool books. They’re great springboards for activities about looking and listening carefully and describing colors and sounds in your school environment too.
28. What’s the Weather? by Shelley Rotner
Since we love every single one of Shelley Rotner’s gorgeous photo essays, it was hard to choose one to feature, but this title is particularly interactive for classrooms having conversations about the weather.
Buy it: What’s the Weather? on Amazon
29. Pete the Cat and the Perfect Pizza Party by Kimberly and James Dean
Obviously, Pete the Cat is a preschool classroom’s best friend. We love this new fave—next to our all-time #1 Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, of course—for talking all things pizza and all things starting with the letter P. Preschoolers giggle endlessly over Pete’s pals’ silly topping choices.
Buy it: Pete the Cat and the Perfect Pizza Party on Amazon
30. Pizza Day by Melissa Iwai
This realistic narrative about a family who makes pizza from scratch—think growing veggies and making homemade sauce—gives kiddos lots to talk about! After reading, it’s definitely time for some pizza-making of your own.
Buy it: Pizza Day on Amazon
31. Every Color Soup by Jorey Hurley
Soup is a close second to pizza for preschool cooking and food conversation possibilities. Elegant in its simplicity, this title features a single color word matched to a soup veggie on each page. We love pairing it with a paint color exploration, painting full sheets of paper, and chopping them up into “soup” pieces.
Buy it: Every Color Soup on Amazon
32. & 33. Good Morning Yoga and Good Night Yoga by Mariam Gates
Yoga story time is one of our favorite ways to incorporate yoga in the preschool classroom, and these are two of our go-to’s for energizing or winding down our littlest yogis.
34. Find Fergus by Mike Boldt
Kids just love this book! Part story about a bumbling bear, part seek-and-find challenge, it’s perfect for sharing with a small group. Fergus wants to hide, but he needs a lot of guidance, which of course, young hide-and-seek experts find hilarious. We love preschool books that encourage pre-writers too—this one’s good for inspiring some list-making!
Buy it: Find Fergus on Amazon
35. Boxitects by Kim Smith
This is our newest favorite spirited STEAM tale. First of all, the amazing made-up words: Boxitect. Blanketeer. Spaghetti-tect. Kids want to be all of them. There is a nice underlying message about the value of teamwork, and tons of cardboard-box creation inspiration too.
Buy it: Boxitects on Amazon
36. Kitten and the Night Watchman by John Sullivan
The dad in this touching story works night shift security at a construction site. Its hushed descriptions of his rounds—complete with repeated sightings of a small, gray kitten—mesmerizes kids. The text is richly detailed without being too much for preschoolers, and we love the nod to families in which parents work varying schedules.
Buy it: Kitten and the Night Watchman on Amazon
37. Alphonse, There’s Mud on the Ceiling! by Daisy Hirst
Monster sibs Natalie and Alphonse love playing outdoors but are frustrated to live in a tall apartment building. Creativity wins, though, and the story is full of their imaginative adventures both indoors and out. We like sharing a story about playing outside that also acknowledges the diversity of kids’ homes.
Buy it: Alphonse, There’s Mud on the Ceiling! on Amazon
38. A Story for Small Bear by Alice McGinty and Richard Jones
Small Bear is eager for her story time before settling in for winter’s sleep, but Mama tells her there’s preparation to be done first. Will they finish getting ready in time? This is hands down one of the sweetest preschool books we’ve read recently and weaves in so many preschool curriculum topics—family relationships, seasons, forest animals—and, of course, the power of stories.
Buy it: A Story for Small Bear on Amazon
39. Ruby’s Sword by Jacqueline Véissid
When preschoolers discover stick swords, our impulse can be to squash them in the name of safety. Imaginative Ruby shows us another path, though—one of ants rescued, apples procured, and fictional dragons challenged by a fearless knight, along with a satisfying, friendship-filled ending. Bookmark this for sharing each year when talking about using sticks in safe—but fun—ways.
Buy it: Ruby’s Sword on Amazon
40. Green on Green by Dianne White
This delightful journey through the colors of the seasons is particularly nice to share if you have a child in your class who’s expecting a sibling. The mother in the book subtly grows with each change in season, and by year’s end, the family celebrates a new arrival.
Buy it: Green on Green on Amazon
41. Penguin series by Salina Yoon
Penguin had our hearts back with Penguin and Pinecone, one of our favorite tales about the power of friendship that evokes amazing reflections from kids. In each subsequent story, Penguin sensitively grapples with a new social-emotional challenge, and we—and our penguin-loving preschoolers—are here for all of them.
Buy it: Penguin series on Amazon
42. Bird House by Blanca Gómez
A young girl finds an injured bird while on a walk with her abuela. They nurse it back to health and release it—and receive a surprise visitor the following spring. If you’re looking to add to your collection of gentle preschool books for reading aloud again and again, this is a good choice. It’s also available in Spanish.
Buy it: Bird House on Amazon
43. Natsumi! by Susan Lendroth
Natsumi has tons of energy, just like many preschoolers we know. Her grandfather helps her channel it into the perfect pastime: drumming! We like to pair this book with … you guessed it: plenty of percussion invitations.
Buy it: Natsumi! on Amazon
44. & 45. Daniel Finds a Poem and Daniel’s Good Day by Micha Archer
If you think poetry isn’t for preschoolers, think again. They dictate the most perfect poetic lines, and this pair of titles is the best springboard. Daniel is an honest, observant, caring delight of a character.
46. Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
This feel-good story tells of a little girl who plays dress-up with her mother’s headscarves. We love sharing it when talking about families or when conversations about head coverings arise among students.
Buy it: Mommy’s Khimar on Amazon
47. I Really Want To See You, Grandma by Taro Gomi
This story is for every kid who fiercely misses a special relative. Yumi desperately wants to see her grandma, so she sets out for her house. What she doesn’t know is that Grandma has also decided to make a visit, causing some frantic back-and-forth.
Buy it: I Really Want To See You, Grandma on Amazon
48. Being Frog by April Pulley Sayre
April Pulley Sayre’s photos are unparalleled for encouraging kiddos to study nature and observe like scientists. We love all her titles, but this one is particularly helpful for classrooms that study frog life cycles.
Buy it: Being Frog on Amazon
49. What Happened to You? by James Catchpole
This is one of our new favorite preschool books for building empathy around differences and disabilities. Joe just wants to play pirates at the playground, but the other kids can’t contain their questions about why he has only one leg. It’s a great #OwnVoices story for opening discussions about balancing curiosity with respect for privacy.
Buy it: What Happened to You? on Amazon
50. Listen by Gabi Snyder
We love preschool books that encourage mindfulness and wonder, and this does both. A girl practices listening to the myriad small sounds around her, naturally encouraging preschool students to do the same.
Buy it: Listen on Amazon
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