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Books for Preschoolers Take One

21 January, 2011

Inspired by the 4 Moms 35 Kids crew I thought I’d put up my own list of favourite books for preschoolers. It will be incomplete – which is why I’ve written “Take One”.

In no particular order:
1. Where Is The Green Sheep? By Mem Fox and Judy Horachek. Of course, a list from me had to include some Australian authors. This title, however, has universal appeal and nothing particularly Australian about it. It has the added bonus that the board book is not an abridged version of the text but the whole text. This book comes with a recommendation from Mark.
2. Hairy Maclary From Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd. Lynley Dodd is a New Zealander but this book could be set almost anywhere. It’s rhyming text is memorable and not at all insipid like many rhyming texts for the preschool age group. Zoe knew it off by heart as a 2yo.
3. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell. This was the first book I bought our first child but I loved the book long before then. The illustrations are simple and focused and the text is repetitive and predictable – in a good way not a horribly clichéd way. It has flaps which makes it a favourite of preschoolers too.
4. Spot books by Eric Hill. Rhiannon tells me that Spot is her favourite. For the next five minutes anyway ;-). While not an individual book, the series contains simple text that preschoolers can easily relate to. The simple illustrations make it easy to point out objects and the colours are bright but not over the top. My favourite would have to be a cloth book with flaps called Hello Spot. It has lasted four children so far and several trips through the washing machine.
5. That’s Not My… By Fiona Watts and Rachel Wells. Again, not a single book, but a series. This is Zoe’s personal recommendation. The books contain textured panels on each page and help increase vocabulary while connecting it with the concrete. The books are sturdy too. From book to book they can be a bit repetitive but 2-3 in a family library would be an asset.
6. We’re Going On A Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. This book is one that is easily memorised and has worked its way into our family vocabulary. This book is available in all sorts of formats but I would recommend the board book edition.
7. Winnie The Pooh by A. A. Milne. Reuben recommends this and I would have to agree. A longer book that is interesting to preschoolers and topically appropriate as well. It’s nice to have a novel that is not going to frighten young children or introduce them to topics that are too mature for them. A classic and for good reason. Stick with the original though, not the mass marketed cartoon spin off stories.
8. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. We have this book in English and Spanish. There are so many basic concepts that can be taught using this book, and yet it is engaging and not “educational” in tone. If you ever wanted a book that could teach about day and night, the days of the week, life cycles, healthy eating, numbers, colours and who knows what else, then this is your book.
9. Bumpus Jumpus Dinosaurumpus by Giles Andreae. This is one of Reuben’s favourite books and he’s had it memorised for years. A must for any dinosaur fans.
10. Time for Bed by Mem Fox. This is the perfect settling for bed book, and the one we read to Zoe on the day she was born. The illustrations are peaceful and calming, as is the rhyming rhythmic text.

There’s ten to whet your appetite. I’m sure we’ll think of many more in the coming days and weeks.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. googerber permalink
    28 January, 2011 1:39 pm

    Good list! A new favourite in our house is “Pat The Bunny”, perhaps the original touch and feel book? From the 1940s, a Golden Book production. It is a very simple read but the actions required are more elaborate than just touching – there is peek-a-boo, putting a finger through a hole, smelling, waving…Ralph loves it so much he will want it read again and again. He already knows all the things to “do”. If I had to buy a 1yo a book I would send them this, for sure. You should check it out from your local library, if it isn’t just “an American thing”!

  2. Alison Gerber permalink
    1 February, 2011 1:58 am

    Yep that one at Dymocks is the one. We just read it today!

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