Preschool can be a place where toddlers begin using all of the colors, shapes, and letters they’ve learned at home while being introduced to a new structured environment surrounded by their peers. In your caregivers’ and teachers’ capable hands, these little ones will be introduced to concepts such as sight words, similar vs. opposite, and conversational speech, as well as following directions and getting along with classmates. That’s why it’s so important to grow your child’s library as early as possible, as preschool marks a time of so many cognitive, social, and developmental milestones—all of which are stimulated by fictional picture books.

With so many stories available past and present, there’s no limit to the amount or types of books you and your child have access to. Children’s books have evolved a great deal in the past 20 years. Once dominated by fairy tales, you can now find books that inform toddlers about anything from travel to yoga. It’s also important to look for books that are age-appropriate but can also grow with them. To help narrow down your search, it can be helpful to gauge your child’s budding interests, while also taking into account your goals for them, whether it’s increasing reading comprehension, practicing behavioral cues, or encouraging imaginative play.

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To assist you in your next search, here is a list of preschool-aged books, sorted into some of today’s popular sub-categories:

Animals

Wild Animal ABC by P.J. Rankin Hults

Wild Animal ABC by P.J. Rankin Hults

Each letter is represented by an animal with a quirky rhyme and unique personality.

Never Show a T-Rex a Book by Rashmi Sirdeshpande

Never Show a T-Rex a Book by Rashmi Sirdeshpande

Books are so fun, even a dinosaur would love them.

If I Had a Sleepy Sloth by Gabby Dawnay

If I Had a Sleepy Sloth by Gabby Dawnay

For an adventurous little girl, having a sloth will show her all sorts of new things.

Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion by Alex T Smith

Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion by Alex T Smith

A funny, jungle animal-loving twist on a classic fairy tale.

Cats Are a Liquid by Rebecca Donnelly

Cats Are a Liquid by Rebecca Donnelly

Zany and wacky, a look at all the fun things cats can get into in a scientific way.

Diversity & Inclusion

What Color Is My Hijab? by Hudda Ibrahim

What Color Is My Hijab? by Hudda Ibrahim

Celebrating the different types of women who wear this traditional head garb.

When I Close My Eyes by Ty Allen Jackson

When I Close My Eyes by Ty Allen Jackson

All the places in the world you want to visit are right inside of your imagination.

Grandma's Purse by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Grandma’s Purse by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

A sweet story about a sweet girl connecting with her favorite relative, exploring all of the interesting trinkets in her handbag.

Guess Who Is Behind the Door by Susan Novich

Guess Who Is Behind the Door by Susan Novich

Learning about colors, shapes, and animals in four different languages!

The Queen of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes

The Queen of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes

A proud, excited Black girl embraces her best self on the 1st day of school; a companion to “The King of Kindergarten”.

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Mindfulness & Self-Awareness

Alpha Breaths by Dr. Christopher Willard

Alpha Breaths by Dr. Christopher Willard

Who knew there were so many types of breaths—and for each letter of the alphabet?

I Am a Kindness Hero by Jennifer Adams

I Am a Kindness Hero by Jennifer Adams

Not all heroes have capes, but they all have heart and the courage to be kind.

Let's Go to Playgroup by Caryl Hart

Let’s Go to Playgroup by Caryl Hart

Exploring a fun day with friends, while learning how sharing can be fun.

Hello Garden by Katherine Pryor

Hello Garden by Katherine Pryor

Showing appreciation for our quiet time in the garden, exploring all of our senses.

Sun by Alison Oliver

Sun by Alison Oliver

An unexpected journey with an unexpected friend on a path to rediscovery.

 

If your toddler can read on their own, that’s wonderful at this age! However, no matter what reading level, try not to underestimate the power of reading to them daily. Pretty soon, they’ll be able to pick out their own books and feel comfortable digesting stories in their own way. Until then and even further on, reading should always be a fun, engaging, and bonding experience for your family. You’ll find that over time, reading early and often has certifiably tangible results for your child’s overall growth and scholastic future.

 

After a 20-year career as a professional nanny, Monique DuPree has been committed to teaching toddlers to read early and often. She’s been sought out by parents and caregivers to assist them in curating their children’s libraries with inclusive stories that offer diverse characters, ideas, and experiences. Her social media followers know her as Nanny Miss Monique, and tune in weekly for her live interviews with popular children’s book authors, illustrators, and publishers. She collaborates with other influencers and educators to provide compelling live storytime events for children of all ages–all over the world!

Follow her on Instagram and Facebook @nannymissmonique

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