Reading is an inherently social act. It takes you places you never knew existed and introduces you to different worlds and cultures providing you with an enriching experience without you having to physical displace.
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The magic of reading is even more powerful with kids. Besides helping them develop language skills and build their imaginations, reading can also enhance their social emotional learning skills and provides them with an outlet to engage and explore their curiosity.
Looking for good reading recommendations for your little ones? Check out the list below.
In it, I featured 15 of the best kindergarten books covering various themes and topics. These books will not only entertain your little ones but will also teach them valuable lessons about life and friendship.
From Mo Willems’ The Pigeon Has to Go to School!, which comically answers the age-old question of why students have to go to school, to Maurice Sendak’s classic Where the Wild Things Are, these 15 kindergarten books promise hours of reading pleasure for both parents and kids alike.
[Related: Best Non-fiction Books for Kids]
Check out our list of the best kindergarten books and share with us your feedback.
Table of Contents
1. Thank You, Omu!, by Oge Mora
Thank You, Omu! is a heartwarming story by debut author-illustrator Oge Mora about sharing and community. The story follows Omu, whose delicious stew has everyone in the neighborhood dreaming of a taste.
One by one, they follow their noses to her door and she offers them a portion of her meal. By the end of the story, Omu has shared it all and readers will be filled with admiration for her spirit of generosity.
2. Grumpy Monkey, by Suzanne Lang
Grumpy Monkey, by Suzanne Lang, is a humorous and lighthearted story about Jim the chimpanzee who, for no apparent reason, is feeling grumpy. His friends are confused and try to help him feel better with different suggestions, but ultimately they discover that it’s okay for Jim – and all of us – to have days when we feel grumpy.
The Langs’ illustrations are full of warmth and humor, helping children understand the importance of emotional literacy in a way that is both entertaining and meaningful.
3. Kindergarten, Here I Come!, by D.J. Steinberg
Kindergarten, Here I Come! is a charming picture book written by D.J. Steinberg that celebrates the milestones and experiences of kindergarten students. Through light-hearted poems, illustrations and stories, the author introduces children to all aspects of the kindergarten experience.
From school jitters on their first day to the hundredth day celebration, Kindergarten, Here I Come! captures the joy of every kindergartener’s journey. With its playful and entertaining writing style and illustrations, this book is a must-read for any family about to embark on their kindergarten adventure!
4. Our Class is a Family, by Shannon Olsen
Our Class is a Family, by Shannon Olsen, is an uplifting story to help children build strong relationships and create a sense of community within their classroom. Through whimsical illustrations and meaningful messages, it encourages students to be themselves and accept others for who they are. It teaches that mistakes are allowed and that the classroom can be a special place of acceptance and love.
In Our Class is a Family, the students learn that their classroom is like a family – it’s full of people who care about them, accept them for who they are, and would do anything to make them smile. The book emphasizes the importance of friendship and how powerful it can be when everyone works.
5. Ricky, the Rock That Couldn’t Roll, by Mr. Jay
Ricky, the Rock That Couldn’t Roll is a story by Mr. Jay about a group of rock friends who come across Ricky, a rock who is unable to roll like the others due to being flat on one side.
Determined not to leave him behind, the rocks work together to build a device that will help Ricky roll and, in the end, they all get to witness Ricky experiencing the joy of rolling for the first time.
This story is a reminder that with determination and teamwork, anything can be achieved. It also celebrates the beauty of friendship and how one small act of kindness can make an immense difference.
6. Waiting Is Not Easy!, by Mo Willems
Waiting Is Not Easy! is a children’s book written by Mo Willems that follows the story of two best friends, Gerald and Piggie. Gerald is the more serious one who worries to make sure Piggie is okay. On the other hand, Piggie can’t help but smile and be in good spirits.
In this story, Piggie has a surprise for Gerald, but he must wait and wait to find out what it is. This book is full of funny moments as well as life lessons about patience and the importance of friendship.
7. Never Let a Unicorn Wear a Tutu!, by Diane Alber
Never Let a Unicorn Wear a Tutu!, by Diane Alber, is the story of a young girl who overhears her friend say, “Never let a unicorn wear a tutu!”, but she doesn’t have time to find out why. She soon realizes that she has an amazing tutu that would fit her own unicorn perfectly, yet she is hesitant to put it on. She soon discovers what could happen if she does let her unicorn wear a tutu and the consequences that may follow!
With vibrant illustrations and an important message about making responsible decisions, this book is sure to capture your young reader’s attention! Throughout the story, readers are reminded of the importance of understanding why rules exist and the importance of following them.
The lessons that this story can teach young readers about decision-making, problem-solving, and respecting authority are valuable for any child to learn!
8. If You Take a Mouse to School, by Laura Numeroff
In If You Take a Mouse to School, by Laura Numeroff, readers follow the adventures of a curious mouse as he embarks on his first day of school. With the help of his human companion, the mouse quickly finds himself wanting more than just lunch in his lunch box. He’s eager to explore the school environment and starts asking for notebooks and pencils, a backpack, and other school essentials.
9. The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark, by Ken Geist
The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark, by Ken Geist, is a whimsical story about three small fish who build their own homes in the sea. Mama Fish tells her three kids – Jim, Tim, and Kim – to make their own houses.
Jim builds his house out of seaweed, but it gets quickly eaten up by the big bad shark. Tim builds his house out of sand, but again, the shark crunches it up without hesitation. Kim is the smartest of them all and sets up her house in an old sunken ship – safe at last!
10. The Pigeon HAS to Go to School!, by Mo Willems
The Pigeon HAS to Go to School!, by Mo Willems, is a humorous take on the age-old question of why students have to go to school. The narrator, who is in the form of a wise old pigeon, comically poses questions such as:
Why does the Pigeon have to go to school when he already knows everything? What if he doesn’t like it? What if the teacher doesn’t like him? And what if he learns too much?! All of these questions, however, are answered by a humorous proverb at the end: “Ask not for whom the school bell rings; it rings for the Pigeon!”
11. David Goes to School, by David Shannon
“David’s teacher has her hands full. From running in the halls to chewing gum in class, David’s high-energy antics fill each schoolday with trouble — and are sure to bring a smile to even the best-behaved reader.”
12. Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak
Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak, is a beloved classic that has inspired generations of readers. Max sets sail to an island inhabited by the Wild Things who name him king and share a wild rumpus with him.
But then from far away across the world, Max smells good things to eat and returns home. With new reproductions of Maurice Sendak’s artwork, readers can fully experience the world of Where the Wild Things Are as if they are seeing it for the first time.
13. The Maggie B, by Irene Haas
The Maggie B written by Irene Haas and published on September 1, 1975, is a touching story of a young girl’s wish to sail out at sea for one day with someone nice for company. The little girl’s dream comes true when she finds an old boat named after her, and embarks on an adventure of a lifetime.
Along the way, she meets some interesting characters, experiences amazing sights and learns valuable lessons about life at sea. The story also contains meaningful messages about friendship and family, as well as exploring themes of courage and responsibility.
14. Saturday, by Oge Mora
Saturday, by Oge Mora, follows the story of a mother and daughter who look forward to their special Saturday routine every week. Unfortunately, things go wrong this particular Saturday, spoiling their plans for storytime, salon time, picnic time and the puppet show they had been looking forward to.
The mother is close to a meltdown until her daughter reminds her that being together is the most important thing. Mora’s book is a celebration of family and love, reminding us to appreciate each other while celebrating the special moments spent together.
15. Swashby and the Sea, by Beth Ferry
Captain Swashby is a lonely old man who loves life by the sea and cherishes his long-standing friendship with it. His peace is disrupted one day when a young girl and her granny move in next door, bringing with them a whole lot of noise and disruption.
Swashby is determined to get them to go away and attempts to communicate with them through notes in the sand. But when the sea interferes with his messages, he soon discovers that maybe it knows what he needs even better than he does himself.