Little Kids

Hot picks: Books for preschoolers

Make summer reading fun again with these awesome books for preschoolers. Plus, check back in every week for a new reading challenge to try with your kid!

By Today's Parent
Book cover of Scaredy Squirrel with a flamingo Photo: Kids Can Press

1. Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach Written and illustrated by Mélanie Watt, Kids Can Press (AGES 4-8) Instead of going to the real beach, Scaredy Squirrel builds his own. Will it be as good as the real thing?

Make it fun: After each time Scaredy Squirrel expresses a fear, come up with a solution that would dissolve his panic and make for a happy day at the beach.

Book cover of This is a Ball depicting an arrow pointing to an orange box

2. This is a Ball Written and illustrated by Beck and Matt Stanton, Little, Brown and Company (AGES 4-8) Everything in the picture book is wrong. That block? It’s a ball. That elephant? Definitely a dog. Just as fun for parents as for kids, this book sure to engage even the most reluctant of readers. $20,

Make it fun: For each picture, have your little one explain how she knows what’ve you told them is wrong, helping her to further develop their critical thinking.

Book cover for Hurry Up Franklin. Franklin the turtle is pictured running.


3. Hurry Up Franklin Written by Paulette Bourgeois and illustrated by Brenda Clark, Kids Can Press (AGES 3-8) Franklin the turtle is a slowpoke (even for a turtle!)—but today is his best friend, Bear’s, birthday party, so he really can’t be late.

Make it fun: As you’re reading together, get your kid to keep a tally of how many times Franklin is told to “hurry up” by this friends and family. When you’re finished, go back and count to see how well he did.

Cover for Monster's New Undies depicting a little green monster in white and red briefs

4. Monster’s New Undies
Written by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Tad Carpenter, Scholastic (AGES 3-5) Monster needs new undies. His current pair is well-loved—or, more accurately, tattered. In fact, they’ve finally fallen apart, so the hunt is on for new ones that are “worthy of dressing his buns.”

Make it fun: When reading these funny rhymes to your youngster, have them try to guess what the last word in the rhyme will be!

Book cover of The Busy Beaver with beaver by the river in a forest

5. The Busy Beaver Written and illustrated by Nicholas Oldland, Kids Can Press (AGES 3-7) Busy but careless, Beaver doesn’t give much thought to his actions, which means his fellow woodland creatures often end up injured or even homeless. But when a falling tree knocks some sense into him, he realizes he must make amends.

Make it fun: Get your kid to come up with his own ways that Beaver can make it up to his friends after hurting them and destroying their homes. See if Beaver does what he suggests.

children's book with a dragon and little girl having a tea party

6. No Dragons for Tea Written by Jean E. Pendziwol and illustrated by Martine Gourbault, Kids Can Press (AGES 3-7) What do you do when you meet a new friend? Invite him for tea! But when your new friend is a fire-breathing dragon who sneezes and sets the table ablaze, it’s time to learn about fire safety.


Make it fun: After reading all about fire safety, come up with your own family fire-safety plan.

book cover about animated tools going to school

7. Tool School
Written by Joan Holub and illustrated by James Dean, Scholastic Press (AGES 3-5) It’s the first day of Tool School and the students are playing games and doing puzzles. But when it’s time to build, they forget how to cooperate. They soon learn the importance of teamwork, though.

Make it fun: Have your little reader point to each tool and explain what you use it for.

Kid dressed up as cannon ball circus performer on cover of if you ever wanted to bring a circus to the library don't


8. If You Ever Want to Bring a Circus to the Library, DON’T! Written and illustrated by Elise Parsley, Little, Brown Books (AGES 4-8) When Magnolia sees a sign saying, "You Can Do Anything at the Library!" she sets up her own circus in between the bookshelves. She promises to follow the rules, but it turns out a circus in the library is a bit too loud.

Reading Challenge: Name different settings (the classroom, grandma’s house, the car, etc.) and ask your young reader to name something that you shouldn’t bring there.

Check back next week for more great picks!

This article was originally published on Jun 16, 2017

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