By Michelle Mady
I have been teaching in Early Childhood Education centers for the past 15 years. In that time, I have learned so much, including what works. There’s something about curling up with a child and a good book that is the best cure for the drop-off blues.
There’s something about curling up with a child and a good book that is the best cure for the drop-off blues.
Although the cuddle is really what the child is needing, I have found that some books work a lot better than others.
Books with predictable text, sing-song rhythms, and interesting characters are best to bring a child’s attention into the story. I have read hundreds of books to young children, and I have a top 10 list that are great additions to your child’s library.
“Pete The Cat” by Eric Litwin
Yes, this is actually a collection of books, and while any Pete book is a great choice, my favorite is “Pete The Cat: I Love My White Shoes.”
This book has some silly color fun at the expense of Pete’s shoes. It is read with a fun rhythm and has predictable text so your children can “read” along, and it’s all done with a positive attitude!
My second Pete book choice is “Pete The Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons.” It is a similar read and a great choice for when the shoes get too repetitive for adult ears!
“Let’s Go For A Drive” by Mo Willems
Elephant and Piggie books are fantastic, so any one of them is a great read. But there is something about “Let’s Go For A Drive” that has my kids invested in the outcome. There’s a bit of adventure, a lot of teamwork, and a willingness to be flexible as long as you get to hang out with your friend!
“Vegetables In Underwear” by Jared Chapman
The name says it all, doesn’t it? How can vegetables be more likable than in underwear? This is a silly pick, but naming the vegetables is half the fun; you really don’t need to read the words at all! Sit with your child and just name colors of vegetables and underwear and let the giggles take over the room.
“The Napping House” by Audrey Wood
This is a great book that reminds me of the old song “There’s A Hole In The Bottom Of The Sea.” It is a story that has a similar domino effect where one character’s action cause another character’s action. Read it with a whisper and add a “SHHH” after each reading of “...and everyone is sleeping” on each page for some attention-grabbing fun.
“Press Here” by Hervé Tullet
An interactive read, “Press Here” is a great way to have fun while reading. The book asks the reader to do certain actions, like pressing and shaking the book, to create action on the next page! “Mix It Up” is another great interactive book by the same author.
“Don’t Let The Pigeon Stay Up Late” by Mo Willems
With this author’s second series on my list, Pigeon books are a must for any preschool library. The pigeon has to follow the rules, but is having a hard time. It is your job, as the reader, to make sure he does what needs to be done! Don’t let him stay up late or drive a bus. Make him share his hot dog or take a bath.
“Good Night Gorilla” by Peggy Rathmann
This book has little text, and it all consists of the words “good night” which means even the youngest reader can help read along! Follow the zoo keeper as he closes up the zoo for the night. But the animals have a plan of their own before saying goodnight for the last time.
“The Bear Snores On” by Karma Wilson
There is a cozy party going on in the winter in the woods. Unlikely friends curl up together in a cave and share treats and company. But, it is a bear’s hibernation cave, and when a pepper flek floats to his nose, causing him to wake up, everyone is surprised at his reaction! Learn about friendship and sharing in this fun snore of a story.
“City Shapes” by Diana Murray
In this story, follow a girl who lives in the city and looks at her surroundings in shapes. While color recognition is found in many books, this fresh perspective allows the reader to look a bit harder at the great illustrations and find shapes on each page.
“Mercy Watson” by Kate DiCamillo
My girls LOVE Mercy Watson books. They are chapter books, but with just 3 or 4 pages per chapter, they are great for older preschoolers or kindergarteners. Read a chapter or two each sitting and learn about the silly pig who is loved by (almost) everyone in the neighborhood.
About the author: Michelle is a mom of 5 children ranging in age from 5 to 15. As a toddler and preschool teacher, she shares experiences, activities and guidance to other parents, as both a parent and as a professional early childhood educator, at any stage of their parenting journey.
Photo credit: iStock.com/ferrantraite