Look through my list of must-have books for little learners and fill your preschool, pre-k, or kindergarten room with wonderful titles! These books have been handpicked for little learners to learn and enjoy reading making them perfect for circle time. Reading is such an important skill and immersing children when they are young is a great way to help instill a love of books. I divided the books into categories but many would fit in multiple categories which is what makes them so amazing! Reread these books multiple times, for various learning objectives improves reading comprehension, book knowledge, vocabulary, fluency, and more!
If you are looking for more ideas to make learning fun and hands-on in your classroom? Check out my Math for Little Learners Curriculum, Alphabet Build It Mats Bundle, and the Science for Little Learners Curriculum to bring more hands-on activities into your classroom!
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Favorite Alphabet Books
Join Mouse on an artistic adventure as he creates all the letters of the alphabet. Each letter is created in an artistic technique that begins with that letter. A great book to teach letters and art styles!
Rhymes, bright colors, and silly antics will engage your students in this fun book about the alphabet. Practice the alphabet order and recognizing letters in this classic story.
This book focuses on capital and lowercase letters by introducing children to different fruits and vegetables from around the world. It also features a section at the end that gives facts about each fruit and vegetable.
Encourage your students to use their imagination while you read this book. They get to become a garbage truck and this truck LOVES his job! Silly pictures, stinky garbage, and a funny truck will bring laughter to your room as you read and put items in for each letter of the alphabet (even a stinky diaper and underwear).
Favorite Counting Books – Check out my Counting Book List HERE
Young children will love counting the things they see under the water in this cute book with cutouts and illustrations. The cutouts allow children to feel and learn while practicing one of the most important basic skills.
Sing, rhyme, and have fun while counting in this book written for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students. Add puppets or fake frogs to act out the book! The book comes with a CD to play the song and your students are going to love it!
Duck is stuck and he must get his friends to help. Count his friends as they come to help get him out of the mud. Simple text with bright, cute pictures are perfect for little learners. It’s a fun rhyming book too with repetitive text!
Over in the Ocean In a Coral Reef
This book is so fun with its rhymes, songs, and interactive text. Little learners will enjoy this book about the ocean habitat while they count the creatures they see.
Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
Pete the Cat is a cool character that stays calm even in the midst of a problem. Pete’s buttons keep popping off but he stays calm and shares a funny ending! Students will count backward and practice simple subtraction sentences.
Count black dots as they create something new on each page. One dot can be a sun, while 2 dots can be eyes. Explore what the dots can become when they work together. Give students black dot stickers for them to create something using their imagination. Put the pages together to create a counting class book!
Favorite Shape Books – Check out my 2D Shape Booklist List or my 3D Shape Book List
Help students discover shapes all around them in their environment with this fun book. The little girl finds shapes in unexpected places in her city. A great read to introduce shapes or practice them even more.
Next up, The Shapes of Things! This book is a must in a preschool, pre-k, or kindergarten classroom. The book features rhymes and simple pictures that show children what simple shapes can make when they are put together. Find the shapes all around you!
Review opposites in this fun book that shows different dinosaurs on each page. The text is very simple and shows students the opposites very plainly. I like to use this book to introduce opposite words and it’s so much fun to act out.
Join little fish as he explores the ocean and makes tons of new friends! There are all kinds of creatures in the ocean: big and small, colorful and camouflaged, fast and slow and so many more friends to make. The fish may not look all alike but they can sure have fun together! It includes tons of fabulous comparison and math vocabulary words.
Favorite Sequence and Retelling Books
Bear is hibernating and the other animals are using his cave as a place to get warm. Practice retelling and sequencing as children recall the animals’ order into the den. Plus, teach about hibernation and things animals do in the winter.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
A story that has been popular for years in classrooms. It is great for teaching retelling or sequencing with repetitive text and simple vocabulary. Students love to chant the text and will be so proud that they are “reading” the story.
Read about a day with Mama Cat and her three kittens. Everyone follows Mama except Boris! He is causing problems since he won’t follow directions. Students can practice retelling and sequencing the things they do in the story.
The bridge goes up and everyone must wait! Students can practice sequencing while they read about how everyone waits in line for the bridge to go back down. This book is also perfect to teach about waiting and taking turns.
Jan Brett does a wonderful job at putting several teaching strategies into one book: sequencing, retelling, imagination, and foreshadowing. This book features a picture on each page foreshadowing the next event. Students love seeing what animal squeezes into a mitten next!
Granny goes to sleep and the child crawls on top of her. Next comes the dog to lay on top. Then, the cat and a mouse. But what happens when someone sneezes…
Students will love this book about a little caterpillar trying to fill his tummy. Teach about the life cycle of a butterfly, eating healthy, and sequencing in this great preschool book.
Favorite Social-Emotional Books
Encourage children to dream big like Gerald the giraffe. He just wants to dance but he wasn’t built for dancing. Then, he meets a friend who shows him he can dance and do whatever he wants. It also features rhymes and pictures that your little learners will enjoy.
Little Llama has to go to bed but once he is there he gets a little scared! Mama Llama is busy cleaning the kitchen and says she will be right there but she is taking so long! Little Llama learns ways to cope and manage his feelings in this bedtime story.
Share with children the magic of breathing to calm your emotions in this book written for young children. The interactive book shows children how to breathe when they are feeling angry, sad, or overwhelmed. Act out each emotion, talk about how it looks on the outside and feels on the inside.
This is a great read for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students to learn about patience. The truck gets stuck and people must wait for help to arrive. Also, teach about problem-solving in this cute story.
The characters grow a huge carrot but they can’t get it out of the ground. They must work together to create a plan to get it out of the ground so they can enjoy this yummy carrot.
The fish is sad and spreading the grumpies; read about how he changes his attitude when he meets his friends. The book features rhymes and teaches children about choosing to have a positive attitude.
Share with children about how to talk about their emotions, their struggles of the day, and the triumphs they achieved. The pictures are bright and bold which will keep your readers interested and they will learn so much about emotions and handling them.
George can’t bark! He can make other noises but not a bark! Little learners will love the storyline and laugh all the way to the end. Plus, they will love the surprise ending! Watch and talk about how George solves his problem and how it feels.
Fairy Tales – If you need more diverse fairy tales, check out my Giant Fairy Tale Book List HERE
Tell the classic tale of the little red hen with cute, lower grade-level appropriate pictures. Teach students about hard work and teamwork.
Next up, The Three Little Pigs! Share the classic story with students to teach them about perseverance and hard work. Things get difficult for the pigs but they have to keep trying to get away from the big, bad wolf.
Share this classic nursery rhyme with your students in book form. I love the pictures that accompany this rhyme.
This book features the classic rhyme and a finger puppet. Teach students about perseverance and trying hard.
Jane Cabrera shares the classic story of Twinkle, Twinkle with adorable pictures. Nursery rhymes are a great teaching tool and this story is definitely one you should be reading in your room.
Share with children the importance of acceptance and that it is okay (actually awesome) to be different! Some people may need more help, while others may look different than you. Always treat others with kindness: this is the message that Todd Parr is presenting in this book.
Join Lola on her weekly trip to the library with her Mom. She loves picking out new books and walking through her town. Teach children about librarians, storytime, and spending time at the library. There is a whole series with Lola and each one is amazing!
Celebrate all the beautiful skin tones of people in the world. Children will love seeing different people and real-life images of kids having fun!
The umbrella is so big that there is plenty of room for everyone when it starts to rain. Teach acceptance and helping others in times of need is the focus of this book. It doesn’t matter if you are tall, hairy, or wearing green; there is room under the umbrella. Need a Spanish version?
Families are special to us and this book shows how families can look different in each household. Students need to see their family represented in the classroom and this book has so many different types of families in it showing students every family is welcome in your classroom!
Show children how they can create great things from their building materials! Each page shows a child building a structure then the real photo of what the child is building. This is a great book for a STEM project and encourages students to use their imagination.
Learn about primary colors and mixing colors to make new shades. Three white mice find some jars of paint and have a ball creating a masterpiece.
Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes
Pete is back with another silly story perfect for young children! They love the rhymes, songs, and silliness of Pete. In this story, he wears white shoes and goes on a walk. He steps in different things and changes the color of his shoes. Then reread this book to talk about what you can do when something doesn’t go your way!
Click Clack Moo Cows That Type
The cows find the old typewriter and start requesting things from the farmer. They want electric blankets or no milk that day. They continue to request things and soon other animals join in. Farmer Brown has a big problem on his hands. I also LOVE that the cows are writing letters to the farmer in this book showing students an authentic reason to write! You can grab a fun FREEBIE for this book HERE.
Someone spilled some milk and the mess looks like different things on each page. Encourage your students to use their imagination and explore what they can see in the spilled milk. Each page is a new surprise and the ending will have your kids guessing.
This book encourages students to use their imagination to see what a simple box can turn into! Students would love to bring this story to life by creating their own projects with an empty box. Students LOVE boxes so bring in boxes and create amazing things.
Read this story and watch your students’ imagination come to life as they imagine their snowmen coming to life at night. The author shares a wonderful story about what snowmen do at night while we sleep which also makes this book fun to retell. You can find FREE retelling cards HERE. The author has created a whole line of these stories that my students love!
I hope that this book roundup of best books for little learners gives you some ideas for growing your preschool, pre-k, or kindergarten classroom library. Sharing quality children’s literature with your students is so important and beneficial to their growing minds. If you want ideas on how to make circle time and read alouds powerful and engaging, check out THIS POST.
Check out my Nursery Rhyme Literacy and Math Centers post to get great ideas for using literature in the classroom!
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For more of my favorite books, check out my themed Book List Blog Series which features themed book lists to accompany your lessons and activities! These are sure to keep your library shelves full! If there is a book list for a theme you need, just let us know so we can create it for you!