Top 5 Book Ideas

With the season of gift giving quickly approaching, think about giving a gift that will have more meaning than a toy that lights up or a toy car that makes noise. As an early childhood educator, you can give a fun gift that can last a lifetime; books! At, we want to encourage our educators to incorporate reading with children every single day.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, children who are read to when they are young are better able to pretend to read or read, write their names, and count higher, up to 20, than children who are not read to. Unfortunately, too often, parents are busy and do not make time for bedtime stories. In some households, books do not exist due to financial hardships, or simply because it is not thought of as something important. This means that you, as an early childhood educator advocate, can step in and help provide the foundation young children need to succeed! Take a look at this top 5 list of popular books for encouraging and creating a love for reading, while making reading fun and meaningful. But shhh…. Don’t tell the kids they are actually learning!

Stick and Stone by Tom Lichtenheld and Beth Ferry is one of the best new books for preschoolers, delivering an anti-bullying message that is poignantly placed before heading off to school. Playing on the idea of sticks and stones may break my bones, the authors create a twist when Stick and Stone become friends. The twosome save each other from different situations, first as Stick doesn’t let Pinecone make fun of Stone, and then as Stone saves Stick when he is blown away. The simple illustrations add to the detail of the story, and children will learn what true friendship means.

I Don’t Want to Be a Frog by Dev Petty follows the story of young Frog who is having a bit of an identity crisis. Frog wants to be anything except a frog! He thinks about how great it might be to be a cat or even an owl. He stubbornly sticks to his story when talking to his father, but Frog changes his mind when he runs into a wolf who happens to hate eating frogs. Children learn to accept who they are, and adults can get a good chuckle in the dialogue between Frog and his father, making this an overall best book to read aloud, over and over again!

Max the Brave by Ed Vere is one of the best new books for preschoolers, opening up a chance to discuss the true meaning of bravery with little ones in a thoughtful, adorable story. Max is a cute little kitten who is steadfast in his brave quest to chase and catch a mouse. But, Max doesn’t know who or what a mouse is. He asks animals along the way on his journey to tell him if they have seen a mouse, even the mouse himself. Mouse tricks Max, scaring him, and little readers learn that it’s okay not always to be brave.

Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret by Bob Shea is recommended as part of the best new books for toddlers and preschoolers by teachers and reading specialists because of all of the additional developmental features designed to help learn how to read. From speech bubbles to expressive drawings to lots of repetition, the reading aids only enhance this heartwarming story about two friends, Ballet Cat and Sparkles the Pony, as they share secrets they have been keeping to try to not hurt one another’s feelings. Toddlers can learn to read and take away a valuable lesson about friendship, too.

Beep! Beep! Go to Sleep! by Todd Tarpley turns the pages on preschoolers who might have a bedtime ritual to keep from doing anything but going to bed. In this story, one of the best children’s books of 2015, humor surrounds a little boys’ desperate attempt to get his robots to go to sleep, in spite of their constant requests for oil, bolt tightening, and story reading. Close inspection of the pages reveals an added bonus: A mouse joins the chaos, and little readers will have fun finding it on each page. The onomatopoeia of the robot sounds is an added bonus for imaginative fun in this story that just might help little ones drift off to sleep.

Happy Holidays!