Monday, June 11, 2012

Stories for the Preschool Set

When I mentioned that I have been intentional about doing projects with my preschoolers, several readers mentioned that they are not arts-and-craftsy-type moms.  While I do enjoy pulling out the markers, paint, and chalk, sometimes I'm not in the mood for mess and I shelve the crafts in favor of my very favorite toddler activity-- reading!  

I still have to be intentional  when I sit down to read to my preschoolers since I'm forever being presented with elementary-level stories or asked to read "just one more chapter" of our current read-aloud.  My preschoolers lose interest if I don't turn the page often enough and get bogged down with complicated plot lines, but they thrive on short stories that are both happy and comforting.

Tom and Pippo series by Helen Oxenbury
Originally published in the 1980s, we discovered Tom and Pippo when Gavin was a baby.  The stories of a little boy named Tom and his stuffed monkey, Pippo, are simple and endearing.  Whether Tom and his mother are walking to the park or reading a book with Daddy, the author brings a level of comfort to the text.  Even though there are only a handful of words per page, I don't get tired of reading them over and over, and considering I've been reading them for over nine years, that's really saying something!

Little Pookie
by Sandra Boynton
Fans of Sandra Boynton books for years, we were not introduced to her Little Pookie series until Benjamin's first birthday.  These silly stories of a pig and his mother are written in prose, with enough rhyme and lilt to keep little ears interested.  Also in our home library are Boynton's Moo Baa La La La which our toddlers have all learned to "read" to themselves and Blue Hat, Green Hat which older siblings like to read to the younger ones.

It's the Bear!
by Jez Alborough
Though it's actually the second book in this three-book series, the story stands on its own and it was the one we read first.  Eddie and his mom go to the woods for a picnic and meet up with The Bear.  Though Eddie is afraid, it is not a scary, bad-dream-inducing story. Told in poem form (which always holds my preschoolers' attention),  the story is light and happy. 

The Sam books
by Amy Hest
I always get the warm fuzzies when I read these books to my children.  I love the stories of Sam and his mother.  I love how they take a sometimes un-pleasant thing-- bedtime or an illness-- and make it seem pleasant.  I love looking for the little mouse on every page.  I love how Mrs. Bear showers little Sam with kisses.  I'll miss these books when my kids outgrow them. 

Henry and Mudge
books by Cynthia Rylant
Though containing far more words per page than my preschoolers usually tolerate, they make an exception for these books.  They soak them up!  We also enjoy Rylant's Poppleton books and my personal favorites, the Mr. Putter and Tabby books, but my youngest listeners prefer the tales of Henry and his big, drooly dog, Mudge.    The simpler Puppy Mudge books are also great for beginning readers to read to their preschool siblings. 

by Barbro Lindgren
Originally published in Swedish, these translated books are ultra-simple, with only two or three words on each double-page spread.  We love them anyway.  We rarely leave the library without at least one in our bag since this series is Alaine's current favorite.  They capture toddler behavior so precisely.  Dropping a cookie in the tub or having trouble sharing a favorite toy or not wanting to use the big potty?  We can so relate! 

What are your favorite preschool books?


  1. would you believe i've not heard of any of those except, of course, henry and mudge (LOVE!).

    we seem to be going through a Golden Books stage, and our 100 Top Picture Book list hasn't disappointed yet.

  2. Thanks for posting these. I requested several from the library to try out. We've recently tried the click clack moo series which both kids (age 19 mo and almost 5) like.


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