Our 12 Favorite Books for Preschoolers

12 Books Every Preschooler Should Read

When I was pregnant with Essley, I vowed that my children would have extremely limited screen time, never use an iPad, and only watch Sesame Street. As with most of the things on which I considered myself an expert before actually having kids, this didn’t work out. My kids’ screen time is limited, but yes, they do have iPad time, and yes, they watch many shows and movies (some of which are not on my top 10 list, let’s just put it that way).

That said, my kids love books. Love. And when I’m feeling like a crappy parent (which happens a lot, because that’s how parents feel), I remind myself that my little ones not only ask me to read to them, they spend a lot of time pretending to read books themselves. (Emmett, who is 2, makes up stories as he “reads,” and Essley, who is 4, does the same but also recognizes some sight words which is really fun to watch.) Every night when they go to bed, they each get to choose 2 books to read, and we all read them together. It is one of my favorite parts of each day.

I posted the picture you see above on Instagram recently, and I got a lot of DMs asking about the book Essley is reading, along with some questions about our other favorites. So I decided to put together this list of the dozen books that are currently on our most read list in this house. One of these days I’ll put together a complete list of books we often read here. (I kept all of my books from childhood for my kids, so those combined with all of the books they’ve accumulated since Essley was born = hundreds.) But for now, here you go. While these are probably more for Essley’s age level than Emmett’s, both kids adore all of them.

12 Books Every Preschooler Should Read

1. Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
2. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn (Great to read during the beginning of the school year!)
3. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
4. We Are in a Book by Mo Willems
5. Press Here by Herve Tullet (Essley thinks this book is brilliant; I do too.)
6. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
7. Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
8. Little Rabbit’s Loose Tooth by Lucy Bate
9. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems
10. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendack
11. Corduroy by Don Freeman
12. The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper

Many of these were favorites of mine when I was Essley’s age as well. (I remember reading Blueberries for Sal and Madeline on repeat.) There are also several new ones that she discovered at school last year that we purchased after hearing about how much she loved them. If you have preschool (or even early grade school) aged kids, I highly recommend any of these. And if you have gems that I missed, please let me know! We are always looking for new books.

(Canopy in top photo was purchased here.)


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