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Best Kindergarten Books

The magic of learning through storytelling is deeply embedded in the human DNA. Way before the first symbols were impressed upon clay tablets and rocks, we sat around fires and shared our individual knowledge of the world around us with one another in the form of stories.

It is still how we introduce our little ones to the intricacies of navigating the world they’re growing up in.

And stories, those magical, wonderful flights of fancy where everything is possible, and nothing is out of bounds, are the way we introduce our kindergarteners to writing while expanding their imaginations.

But how do we as parents choose the appropriate books? And, with so many titles available, how do we know which books are best for your little ones to learn from and hone their skills with?

We’ve put together a collection of titles recommended by kindergarten teachers and experts to make your life a little easier.

  1. Swashby and the Sea
  2. Out the Door
  3. Love Is Powerful
  4. A Busy Creature’s Day Eating!
  5. Thank You, Omu!
  6. Saturday
  7. All Are Welcome
  8. Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion
  9. Fern and Otto: A Picture Book Story About Two Best Friends
  10. We Don’t Eat Our Classmates!
  11. Pink Is for Boys
  12. The Little Red Fort
  13. Izzy Gizmo
  14. Izzy Gizmo and the Invention Convention
  15. Elmore

These fun reads will help your child assimilate words into their vocabulary and are suitable to read out loud to establish the link between the written word and spoken language at just the right age.

#1 Swashby and the Sea

Swashby and the Sea


Swashby is a little bit cranky. He’s a retired sea captain and has the required white, bushy beard. Of everything in the world, his solitude is most important to him. When he gets new neighbors, his life is turned upside down. Swashby is not happy!

The happy-go-lucky girl and her grandmother keep on inviting him over, but he replies to them with cantankerous letters in the sand. But the sea has a plan. Every time the waves roll in, it washes some of the letters in his messages away and turns the meanings of Swashby’s crotchety messages into something completely different!

So, the inevitable happens. Swashby and the little girl become friends. He starts spending time with her and teaching her about the ocean. He shows her where to find the absolute best seashells and sand for sandcastles and how to make a wish upon a starfish.

The words in this book will definitely add to a child’s vocabulary and are discussion worthy. It is also a fantastic collaboration between illustrator and author – the characters are endearing both in words and in pictures.


  • Suitable for children between 4 and 7
  • Grade levels pre-school to 3
  • It’s 32 pages long

#2 Out the Door

Out the Door


This book is set in Brooklyn. The story explores the adventures of a young girl as she leaves her brownstone and does a whole bunch of typical NYC things.

She uses the subway, spends time with her friends in the classroom, and eventually makes her way back home through the tree-lined streets.

The artwork in this book is textured and warm, and it really makes every new page pop.

This is a great book when kids return to school—especially for children becoming familiar with a whole lot of directional and positional prepositions.

It’s a fantastic read-aloud.


  • Suitable for children between 3 and 6
  • It’s 40-pages long

#3 Love Is Powerful

Love Is Powerful


We meet our main character upfront. It’s Mari, and she is using crayons to make a sign. Her mom explains that it is a message for the world. And that it is about love and how powerful it can be.

The story was actually empowered by a young girl who was a part of the Women’s March in 2017, and by the time you get to the end, chills are guaranteed!

It is a powerful reminder of the power of young people to instigate change and build bridges to cross religious, gender, racial and political divides.

This is a great story to discuss and do small exercises around persuasive writing.


  • It’s suitable for children aged 5 – 7
  • Grade levels kindergarten to 3
  • The book is 32-pages

#4 A Busy Creature’s Day Eating!

A Busy Creature's Day Eating!


Alphabet books? You can NEVER have enough, right?!

This is a great one. It tells the story of a hectic little creature whose mission is to eat his way through the alphabet. It has very few words, but this is an excellent example of how artwork and words work together to tell a story.

The little creature is completely hilarious. The facial expressions in the drawings will make kids and adults laugh – guaranteed!

This little book is fantastic for helping kids learn their letters while rolling around laughing.


  • Suitable for children 3 to 5 years
  • Pre-school to kindergarten
  • The book is 32-pages

#5 Thank You, Omu!

Thank You, Omu!


There is an irresistible scent in the air. The community follows the wafts, and eventually, the to-die-for smells take them to Omu’s house. It’s her stew that brought the community out and got them to follow their noses through the streets!

As they arrive, everyone gets a portion of this incredible stew. The inevitable happens – the pot is empty before Omu has had a portion for herself!

It’s a heartwarming story of community and sharing. The cut-paper designs are super-colorful, and the whole book comes with an extra helping of love!


  • Suitable for kids 4 – 8
  • Pre-school to grade 3
  • The book is 40-pages long

#6 Saturday



Saturdays are special for moms and daughters. And our mom and daughter in this book always look forward to their routine. But then, on one particular Saturday, everything that can possibly go wrong starts to go wrong!

The puppet show they’ve been looking forward to for the longest time is ruined!

So is the picnic they had planned and the time they’d planned to spend at the salon.

Mom is approaching boiling point, but just before she has a catastrophic meltdown, the little girl reminds her it’s all about being together. None of the other stuff really matters.

This is a universal story that explores a couple of themes, most importantly, how to find value in the middle of disappointment. It’s great for a read-aloud book and discussions.


  • Suitable for kids aged 4 – 8
  • It will suit pre=school to grade 3
  • The book is 40-pages

#7 All Are Welcome

All Are Welcome


Everybody, regardless of age or come-from, is welcome at this school! Differences are celebrated, explored, and loved. As you turn the pages, body types, religions, cultures, and ethnicities are introduced and underlined with the message – all are welcome here!

The story itself follows a bunch of kids throughout their day. Their activities and thoughts, and conversations are shared, page after page.

An important message in the book is how kids can learn from each other about all the differences in their lives.

There’s a fantastic read-aloud section in the book. It’s something to revisit over and over again as the school year progresses.


  • Excellent reading material for kids 4 – 8
  • Suitable for pre-school to grade 3
  • The book is 44-pages

#8 Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion

Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion


This one is a Little Red Riding Hood throwback with a delectable safari twist! Nothing says we’re not allowed to spruce up the classics, right?!

Cheery Little Red is en route to Auntie Rosie’s home. She’s carrying a whole basket of goodies and some medicine too.

You see, Aunty Rosie has the spots. And nothing will make her better except some medicine, and of course, doughnuts.

She comes across a huge lion, and he’s very hungry! His plan is to eat Little Red, but inevitably things just don’t work out the way he wanted.

The bold art will bring the story to life for youngsters in a flash.


  • An excellent experience for kids 3 – 5 years old
  • Suitable for pre-school and kindergarten
  • The book is 32-pages long

#9 Fern and Otto: A Picture Book Story About Two Best Friends

Fern and Otto: A Picture Book Story About Two Best Friends


Fern is a bear, and Otto is a cat. They’re best friends. One day, they decide to go on a search for a good story in the forest.

From the outset, the two have completely different ideas about what a good story is.

Ferns wants to stop to watch the race the hare and the tortoise are about to have. Otto, however, is convinced the tortoise is way too slow to be exciting.

Otto isn’t convinced that Fern’s suggestion they pop over and watch three brothers build a house will be exciting enough.

While they’re walking along kicking stones, they pass a little girl with a red hood who says she’s off to meet her grandmother. Shortly after that, they meet a wolf who’s headed the same way.

The scary witch they meet next has them convinced THAT’S not the adventure they had in mind, and the cranky girl that keeps on complaining that her porridge is just not hot enough bores them too.

The illustrations in this book are simply irresistible, and the book shows that sharing is the best adventure ever.


  • The book is suitable for kids aged 3 – 7
  • Grade level is pre-school to 2
  • The book is 40 pages long

#10 We Don’t Eat Our Classmates!

We Don't Eat Our Classmates! (Penelope Book 1)


Penelope Rex heads off to school on her first day. The thought of all the new friends has her head spinning with excitement. But she has a problem – how to make human friends. They’re just so … well … delicious!

Big surprise when she learns that she’s probably not all the way up the food chain like she thought and gets a good dose of her own medicine.

This is a fun and funny story that will have both kids and adults in stitches. And the artwork is something to write home about.


  • A fun read for kids aged 3 – 5
  • Grade level pre-school to kindergarten
  • The book is 48 pages

#11 Pink Is for Boys

Pink Is for Boys


This is a beautifully illustrated book that adjusts and reframes the blue and pink gender stereotype. Everybody has the right to express themselves with any color they want!

The characters are highly relatable, and they all engage in the things kids love to do.  They play dress-up, race cars, play baseball, and a whole host of other delightful activities.

The illustrations in this book are brilliant, and the colors are so vibrant, they touch on just about every hue the kids are surrounded by every day.


  • This book is for kids 4 – 8
  • Grade levels pre-school – 3
  • The book is 40-pages long

#12 The Little Red Fort

The Little Red Fort


A mind overflowing with ideas. This best describes Ruby. When she comes across a couple of old boards, she invites her brothers to help her build something.

Of course, boys being boys, they tell her she won’t be able to build anything. She’s a GIRL!

Ruby turns into the hero and has the last laugh when she ends up building a dazzling for everyone wants to play in.

This book is SUCH a fun read, and it really celebrates the ingenuity and pluck of young minds. Totally inspirational!


  • Suitable for ages 4 – 8
  • Grade levels pre-school to 3
  • The book is 40 pages long

#13 Izzy Gizmo

Izzy Gizmo


Izzy Gizmo loves to invent. And her inventions are all magnificent, incredulous, and just plain marvelous. But they malfunction—a lot.

She knows she has to help on the day she finds a crow with a broken wing. She uses her ingenuity to try to design and build a new pair of wings for the crow. But like with so many of her other inventions, it doesn’t work.

She starts wondering if she’ll EVER overcome her failures and if she should just stop trying altogether.

This is a lovely message of perseverance in the face of failure. And it’s chock-a-block with intergenerational relationships and friendships.


  • Suitable for kids 4 – 8 years
  • Grade levels pre-school to 3
  • The book is 32 pages

#14 Izzy Gizmo And The Invention Convention

Izzy Gizmo and the Invention Convention


Izzy Gizmo hasn’t lost her pluck yet! In this sequel, she’s been invited to a convention. The winner will get admittance to the Genius Guild, and Izzy wants this so bad she can taste it!

She knows that great inventors make useful things, so she decides to design a recycling machine that can also mend broken tools.

Her foe, Abi von Lavish, gets the better of her all the time. And the question becomes – can Izzy invent something that will work properly at last?!


  • A great read for kids 4 – 8 years
  • Grade level pre-school to 3
  • The book is 32 pages

#15 Elmore



Elmore the porcupine is really in a fix. He’s desperate to make new friends. But being covered in spikes doesn’t help. Plus, they shoot off his back every so often!

His little life is filled with heartbreak and rejection. But the forest is a good place, filled with good creatures.

They find a way to befriend this little guy.

The book is good-hearted, funny, and charming – and above all, it’s a fun read with excellent illustrations.


  • The book is suitable for kids 3 – 7 years old
  • It is good for grade levels pre-school to 2
  • Elmore is 40-pages long

So, How Do I Pick Just the Right Reading Material for My Child?

Before you take out your money, it pays to ask yourself a few guiding questions. Here are a few suggestions:

Is My Selection Age-Appropriate?

Most books will list the learning benefits and the age guidelines. The best books will always grow with your child. They become favorites and end up with folded ears and faded pages – do you still have some of those from your childhood? If you do, you’ll know what I mean.

Not every book is like that, but it pays to think in those terms when selecting reading material for your child.

What Would My Child Be Learning from These Books?

The younger preschoolers will get stuck into books that teach them the basics. The ABCs, friendship, feelings, and literacy tools that form the foundation for reading, such as phonics.

For older children, vocabulary and comprehension are important. These books also start to introduce them to the possibilities of the world around them.

What will my child learn from these book recommendations?

Will the Subject Matter Appeal To The Child?

Generally, young children respond to stories that mirror their own life experiences. As they get a bit older, the imagination loosens up, and fantasy becomes more stimulating.

Always try to be creative and versatile in your selections. And get them different things for different times of the day. Something fantastical for bedtime and something more factual for solo reading.

What About the Combination of Text and Illustrations?

This will rely on your gut instinct. You know your child better than anybody. Familiar characters will always catch a younger child’s eye. And look for words that the child can read out loud. This becomes a fun game and endears books to the child.

Kids’ poetry and just good old nonsense stories are great if they like repeating words and phrases.


The magic of stories leads to a love of books. And this time is critical to building the child’s foundation for a love for reading. Emphasizing how important that is would just be a waste of page space.

The child’s experiences, good or bad, with reading at this age will impact much of their relationship with books into the future.

Choose well and choose wisely!

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