1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

We want to help you read 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten with your child! If you're interested in learning more, please contact an MCPL staff member. In the meantime, put these books on hold so you can get started right away!

Compiled by:
Kathleen Regan-Wyant
Adventures with Barefoot Critters

Teagan White
Juvenile Picture Books Nonfiction - Ej 411 Whi

An adorable cast of animals explore the alphabet through the seasons. Recommended for ages 1–3.

The Alphabet Tree

Leo Lionni
Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Lio

When a fierce wind blows a group of letters from their tree, they learn to band together to form words and sentences to create a message stronger than the wind. Recommended for ages 2–6.

The Bad Seed

Jory John
Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Joh

A funny, charming book about a bad-tempered seed that reminds us all that positive change is possible for all of us. Recommended for ages 3–7.

Bear's Busy Family: La Familia Ocupada de Oso

Stella Blackstone, Debbie Marter
Espanol Juvenile - Ej Bla

In this adorable bilingual board book, use all five senses to follow a friendly bear around his house and learn why his family is so busy. Recommended for ages 1–3.

The Circus Ship

Chris Van Dusen
Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Van

After swimming to shore when their circus ship sinks, a group of animals become beloved members of a community in this rhyming book with entertaining artwork. Recommended for ages 2–6.

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

Mo Willems
Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Wil

A wild and wacky pigeon pleads to take the place of a bus driver on break in this silly interactive story where the reader tells a pigeon “No!” Recommended for ages 2–6.

Fifteen Animals

Sandra Boynton
Board Book

A boy describes his 15 pets—all named Bob. Recommended for ages birth–3.

Good Night Gorilla

Peggy Rathmann
Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Rat

An oblivious zookeeper is followed home by all the animals he thinks are safely asleep at the zoo. Recommended for ages birth–3.

I Sang You Down from the Stars

Tasha Spillett-Sumner
Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Spi

A heartwarming story about an Indigenous mother preparing for her baby’s arrival by collecting items for a sacred medicine bundle. Recommended for ages 3–7.


Bruce Degen
Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Deg

A little boy in the forest meets a friendly bear that takes him on a delicious berry-picking adventure in the magical world of Berryland. Recommended for ages 1–3.

The Kissing Hand

Audrey Penn
Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Pen

When a raccoon named Chester is nervous about going to kindergarten for the first time (and being away from his mother), she teaches him a secret way of carrying her love with him. Recommended for ages 2–6.

Love Makes a Family

Sophie Beer
Juvenile Board Books - Board Book

Whether you have one parent, two moms, two dads, a mom and a dad, or another wonderful caregiver, there’s only thing that makes a family a family—and that’s LOVE! Recommended for ages birth–3.

Monsters at the End of This Book

Jon Stone
Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Sto

Join adorable, friendly monster Grover and his pal Elmo in these two stories as they get closer and closer to meeting the monster at the end of these books! Recommended for ages 1–3.

Mother Bruce

Ryan T. Higgins
Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Hig

Bruce is a very grumpy bear who doesn't like anyone or anything. Except cooked eggs. When the goose eggs he planned to boil hatch instead, the goslings believe he is their mother—and Bruce must try to make the best of the situation. Recommended for ages 2–6.

Please Baby Please

Spike Lee
Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Lee

A toddler’s antics keeps her mother busy as she tries to feed her, watch her at the playground, give her a bath, and put her to bed. Recommended for ages 1–3.

A Seed is a Start

Melissa Stewart
Juvenile Nonfiction - J581.467 Ste

Beautiful photos show the plant cycle that all starts with a little seed. Recommended for ages 3–6.

The Snowy Day

Ezra Jack Keats
Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Kea

The adventures of Peter, a little boy in the city on a very snowy day. Recommended for ages 1–4.


Leslie Patricelli
Juvenile Board Books - Board Book

Pack a beach bag and join Baby for a day at the seashore with a new, adorable character! Recommended for ages birth–3.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Eric Carle
Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Car

Follow along with a very hungry caterpillar as he eats his way through a whole week of increasingly large meals before forming a cocoon around himself and emerging as a beautiful butterfly. Recommended for ages 2–6.

Who? A Celebration of Babies

Robie Harris
Board Book

Celebrate babies and the people (and pets) they love! Recommended for ages birth–3.