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Read Aloud Suggestions

100 Recommended Books to Read Five Practices

An annotated list of books to reinforce the Every Child Ready to Read @ Your Library (ECRR) five practices of talking, singing, reading, writing and playing. Visit your library to look for these books. Here is a sample of some of the books. For more, check out these book-talks on content and tips for sharing them with your child. Enjoy!

  • Making Faces: A First Book of Emotions. Abrams Appleseed, 2017. 978-1419723834
  • Graux, Amelie. I Love to Eat. HMH, 2012. (Series) 978-0547848426
  • Arrhenius, Ingela. Where’s the Giraffe? Nosy Crow, 2017. (Series) 978-0763693343
  • Campbell, Rod. Farm Animals. Little Simon, 2015. 978-1481449847
  • Bee, William. Stanley’s Colors. Peachtree, 2016. (Series) 978-1561459483
  • Scheffler, Axel. Higgly Hen. Nosy Crow, 2016. 978-0763693244
  • Campbell, Rod. Dear Zoo. Little Simon, 2005. 978-1416947370
  • Teckentrup, Britta. Don’t Wake Up Tiger. Nosy Crow, 2016. 978-0763689964
  • Schories, Pat. Jack and the Missing Piece. Front Street, 2004. (Series) 978-1932425178
  • Henkes, Kevin. A Good Day. Greenwillow, 2007. 978-0061857782


101 Great Picture Books for Preschoolers

Visit your library to look for these books. Here is a sample . . .

Actual Size
by Steve Jenkins | Just how big is a crocodile? What about a tiger, or the world’s largest spider? Can you imagine a tongue that is two feet long or an eye that is bigger than your head?
Art Box by Gail Gibbons | Introduces the tools contained in an art box, as well as a simple explanation of primary and secondary colors.
Bark, George by Jules Feiffer | What is a mother to do when her puppy, George, meows, moos, oinks, and quacks instead of barking?
A Beach Tail by Karen Lynn Williams | A simple tale of a day at the beach with a boy and his dad.
Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson | As Bear hibernates, he is unaware that other animals have taken refuge in his cave. (series)
Bedhead by Margie Palatini | Oliver is having a bad hair day; nothing his parents or sister tries begins to help.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr. | This classic picture book will have children chiming in and easily predicting the next rhyme.
Building Our House by Jonathan Bean | Join a girl and her family as they pack up their old house in town and set out to build a new one in the country.
The Bus for Us by Suzanne Bloom | Today is Tess’s first day of school and her very first ride on a school bus. As a multitude of vehicles passes by, Tess eagerly asks, “Is this the bus for us, Gus?”
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina | Can a peddler outwit a band of monkeys who snatch his caps while he naps?
Chato and the Party Animals by Gary Soto | Chato, the barrio cat, discovers that his best friend, Novio Boy, never had a birthday party so he decides to organize one.
The Cloud Book by Tomie DePaola | Introduces the ten most common types of clouds, the myths that have been inspired by their shapes, and what they can tell about coming weather changes.
Come on Rain by Karen Hesse | As the downpour approaches, Tessie gathers her neighborhood friends for a romp in the raindrops.
Curious George Rides a Bike by H. A. Rey | George helps a little boy with his paper route and gets into all sorts of trouble.


It’s Never Too Early: Great Books to Share with Infants and Toddlers

Visit your library to look for these books.

miceReading to Babies

  1. Read to your baby for short periods of time, several times each day.
  2. Share cloth books or board books with rounded (not pointed) edges.
  3. Choose books with bright, colorful, uncluttered pictures.
  4. Hold the book so your baby can see the pictures (seven to eight inches from a newborn’s face).
  5. Sing the songs and chant the nursery rhymes.
  6. Read with expression.
  7. Use reading time as a time to cuddle with your baby.

Compilations for Babies (These make great baby presents.)

Animal Crackers: A Delectable Collection of Pictures, Poems and Lullabies for the Very Young by Jane Dyer | Traditional poems and lullabies are mixed with contemporary and multicultural works.
Baby’s Lap Book by Kay Chorao | Chorao offers a rhyme collection that will provide many happy hours for babies and those who love them.
Here Comes Mother Goose & My Very First Mother Goose by Iona Opie | Two classic collections of nursery rhymes with wonderful oversized illustrations by Rosemary Wells make great baby gifts.
Mary Engelbreit’s Mother Goose: One Hundred Best-Loved Verses by Mary Engelbreit | A classic collection of over 100 beloved nursery rhymes illustrated by a popular artist.
Pio Peep!: Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes by Alma Flor Ada | Here is a lovely bilingual collection of traditional rhymes that honors childhood and Spanish and Latin American heritage.
This Little Piggy and Other Rhymes to Sing and Play by Jane Yolen | Over 60 lap rhymes, clapping rhymes, finger and foot rhymes, and songs are presented with simple instructions for parents to play with their babies. An accompanying CD includes 13 songs from the text.


Informational Picture Books

Visit your library to look for these books.

Why use Informational Picture Books with young children?

  1. Research shows using informational pictures encourages a new vocabulary, preparing babies and toddlers for future literacy skills when they start school.
  2. Using Informational Picture Books or nonfiction during storytime tends to produce more interaction between the adult and the child.
  3. Children have the opportunity to learn about the real world and develop an understanding of their place in it.
  4. The text found in Informational Picture Books produces more questions and a greater range of vocabulary than narratives alone.
  5. By exploring the world through Informational Picture Books, children can extend critical thinking and become motivated to continue learning about subjects that are of interest.
  6. Children have increased motivation to read by reading or being read to on subjects that are of interest to them.


dogActual Size by Steve Jenkins | A fabulous look at the actual size, drawn to scale, of 18 different animals or insects. More information on each creature is contained in the end matter.
Air Is All Around You by Franklyn M. Branley | The concept of air and its importance in our world is presented along with easy-to-replicate activities. (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science series)
Airport by Byron Barton | This is the perfect book with simplistic text for a very young child who is going on a first plane ride.
Apples by Gail Gibbons | Everything you would want to know about this popular fruit: from the different varieties, how they grow, identification of parts, various uses, how to plant a tree, etc.
Babies Don’t Eat Pizza: A Big Kids’ Book About Baby Brothers and Baby Sisters by Dianne Danzig | As a pediatric nurse, the author has spoken to thousands of children about what to expect when a new brother or sister arrives. Humorous illustrations add to the reassuring text.
Backhoes by Linda D. Williams | Powerful full-page color photographs, with key parts of the vehicles labeled, are enhanced by the large format. The machines, their parts, and the work they do are described in an easy-to-read, large-print text. (Pebble Plus: Mighty Machine series)
Big Wheels by Anne Rockwell | Big-wheeled trucks such as bulldozers, dump trucks, cranes and wrecking balls are introduced to the youngest child.
Bread Comes to Life: A Garden of Wheat and a Loaf to Eat by George Levenson | This covers the planting of wheat seeds, to the harvesting, and the actual making of different kinds of bread, along with a simple recipe that a “four-year-old can make.”
Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin | Chinese New Year, also called Lunar New Year since other countries besides China observe it, is one of the most celebrated holidays in the world. Described here are the customs and traditions associated with it.
Bugs Are Insects by Anne Rockwell | This well-illustrated text explains and visually shows that all insects have six legs and three body parts. Other creatures that are not insects (i.e., spiders and daddy longlegs) are also depicted. (Let’s-Read-And-Find-Out Science series)
The Busy Body Book: A Kid’s Guide to Fitness by Lizzy Rockwell | Different parts of the body from the brain, muscles, lungs, heart, intestines and blood vessels are diagrammed and the importance of exercise for the body is described.
Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow by Joyce Sidman | This collection of verse celebrates the ecosystem of a meadow with pairs of “poetry riddles.”


Easy Reader Books

Visit your library to look for these books.

Introduction to Beginning Readers

bearPictures are on every page in pre-emergent and emergent books. The illustrations support the content and serve as essential visual clues to help decode the text and concepts that young readers may otherwise find difficult. It is a common misunderstanding that picture books are the best format choice for beginning readers. Picture books themselves may be very sophisticated, not always offering the content and formula that beginning readers need to practice
their reading skills. Picture books are generally written with the intention to be read aloud to children, which conversely means they are written in levels higher than the ability of the child’s reading level. We still have included some picture books in the list and have noted the format because they were just wonderful choices to supplement and vary the traditional beginning reader format.


These books are for the very beginning readers. A good deal of white space per page provides children hard at work a place to rest their eyes. Additionally, the space between the words should be wide and clear to help children learn where one word ends and another word begins.

The Big Game by Louise A. Gikow | A child who has trouble with some of the soccer skills finds an important role as goalie. (My First Reader series)
Big Pig and Little Pig by David McPhail | Despite their differences, Big Pig and Little Pig are great friends. When they get together, these piggy pals have nothing but fun. (Green Light Readers series)
A Big Surprise by Kristi T. Butler | Armed with wrapped birthday presents, several animal friends travel to a mouse’s house for her surprise birthday party. (Green Light Readers series)
Biscuit and the Little Pup by Alyssa Satin Capucilli | After meeting a shy little pup in the park, Biscuit does his best to make him come out of his shell by offering him his favorite ball, chewy bone, and a warm invite into his cozy hideaway. (My First I Can Read series)
Chicken Said “Cluck!” by Judyann Ackerman Grant | Earl and Pearl do not want Chicken’s help in the garden, especially since she always gets in the way, until a swarm of grasshoppers arrives and her true talent shines. (My First I Can Read series)
Cloudy Day/Sunny Day by Donald Crews | The day is gray and cloudy. It’s a good day to snuggle up with a book, a fine day for make-believe, until . . . the sun bursts through the clouds! Now it’s a great day to fly a kite, the perfect day to ride a bike. (Green Light Readers series)
The Day I Had to Play With My Sister by Crosby Bonsall | Older brother thinks he knows the rules to hide-and-seek. But little sister has her own idea of how to play. And the resulting confusion, compounded by a lively dog, is hilarious. (My First I Can Read series)
Desert Animals by Sharon Gordon | Easy to read text with rebuses explores animals that live in the desert.
Dirty Larry by Bobbie Hamsa | No matter what he does, Larry always gets dirty—except in the shower. (Rookie Reader series)
Dragon Egg by Mallory Loehr | A dragon’s egg rolls out of its nest in a cave, continuing along a road, past a castle, and through a town, where it bumps against a rock and cracks. (Step into Reading series)
Freddie and Flossie and the Leaf Monster by Laura Lee Hope | Freddie and Flossie are raking the leaves when they notice their pile start to shake! And it has eyes and a tail! Could it be the dreaded leaf monster? (Ready to Read series)


Healthy Bodies

It Is Never Too Early: Great Books About Nutrition and Activity

Visit your library to look for these books.

bunPhysical Activity Related Books

Our Community Garden by Barbara Pollak | Audrey and her friends each have a plot in a community garden where they raise their favorite vegetables. After the harvest, the children make dishes from their produce and the community gathers for a feast.
Peppa Pig and the Vegetable Garden by Candlewick Press | Peppa and her brother, George, love to help Granny and Grandpa Pig in the garden. Soon they discover that everything grows from seeds and that even an apple has seeds inside!
Plant a Little Seed by Bonnie Christensen | Readers follow two children who plant seeds in their community garden, tend the seeds, and watch the plants grow until they can be harvested.
Plants Feed Me* by Lizzy Rockwell | An easy-to-read text describes the parts of plants that humans eat such as leaves of the cabbage, carrot roots, and walnuts within a shell.
Rainbow Stew by Cathryn Falwell | On a rainy summer day, three children and their grandpa pick vegetables from his garden and then cook them and make his famous Rainbow Stew. A recipe is included.
To Market To Market* by Nikki McClure | A child visits the stalls at a farm market to purchase certain foods. Where the food is grown and how it is produced are shown for each item.
Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens | This is a great story to share with children about a gardening partnership between a hare and a bear that has a mischievous twist at the end.


Books on the Go!

An exciting new Cruise into Kindergarten resource, Books on the Go, together with Pennsylvania’s Power Library, extends access to Book Flix electronic books by providing a guide with extension activities for parents and children to enjoy together. To access BookFLIX for free, all you need is your library card or e-card number!


Screen Time Guidelines

Media and Screen Time Guidelines for Children

In 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released new guidelines on media and screen time for children. Their Media and Young Minds Policy statement for children from birth to 5 years of age can be found on their website, as part of their Media and Children Communication Toolkit covering recommendations for children of all ages.

According to the policy, media use should be discouraged for children under 18 months old, except for video chatting (e.g., Skype or FaceTime). Parents of children 18-24 months who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming and watch it together. For children 2-5 years, media use should be limited to one hour a day to ensure they have enough time to engage in other activities.

The AAP suggests that parents should interact with their children when using educational media to help guide their media experience. Our Cruise into Kindergarten Online Game is designed to provide this type of interaction as you explore the various links together. You may find the following resource helpful for providing tips on interacting with your child during screen time.

“Children and Digital Media: Rethinking Parent Roles,” Reading Rockets

This article discusses how parents can connect with their children during media use.