Bright Beginnings Booklist: Preschoolers (4-5 years)

Recommended reading for preschoolers (4-5 years)

Compiled by:
Christina Jones
Alan’s Big Scary Teeth

(Juvenile Picture Book -- Ej Jarvis)

Alan the alligator pretends to be very scary. But all is not as it seems. Alan, you see, has a very BIG (not-so-scary) secret.


Alma and How She Got Her Name

Juana Martinez-Neal
(Juvenile Picture Book -- Ej Martinez-Neal)

When Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela asks herfather why she has so many names, she hears the story of her name and learns about her grandparents.

A Big Mooncake for Little Star

Grace Lin
(Juvenile Picture Book -- Ej Lin)

Reimagines the cycles of the moon as a mother bakes aBig Moon Cake and, despite Mama's request to wait, LittleStar begins nibbling at it every night.

The Big Umbrella

Amy June Bates
(Juvenile Picture Book -- Ej Bates)

By the door there is an umbrella so big that when it starts to rain there is room for everyone underneath – regardless of who they are.

The Book with No Pictures

B.J. Novak
(Juvenile Picture Book -- Ej Novak)

In this book with no pictures, the reader has to say every silly word, no matter what.

Caps for Sale

Esphyr Slobodkina
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 398.2 Caps For Slo)

A band of mischievous monkeys steals every one of a napping peddler's caps.


Don Freeman
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Fr)

A toy bear never finds his button, but finds a new friend instead.

The Day the Crayons Quit

Drew Daywalt
(Juvenile Picture Book -- Ej Daywalt)

When Duncan arrives at school one morning, he finds a stack of letters, one from each of his crayons, complaining about how he uses them.

Duck on a Bike

David Shannon
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Sh)

A duck decides to ride a bike and inspires other animals on the farm to do the same.

Eating the Alphabet

Lois Ehlert
(Juvenile Picture Books Nonfiction - Ej 411 Eh)

Vivid pictures and bold text provide an alphabetical tour of fruits and vegetables.

Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy

Jane O'Connor
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Oco)

Nancy wants to adopt a special puppy so that she is no longer the only fancy member of her family, but after a day of puppysitting a papillon, she realizes that being fancy is not always the most important thing.

Grandma’s Purse

Vanessa Brantley-Newton
(Juvenile Picture Book -- Ej Brantley)

You never know what Grandma Mimi will have in her purse when she comes to visit!

Harry the Dirty Dog

Gene Zion
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Zi)

When a white dog with black spots runs away from home, he gets so dirty his family doesn't recognize him.

How do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food?

Jane Yolen
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Yo)

Humorous rhyming text describes how a dinosaur does and does NOT eat its food.

Jabari Jumps

Gaia Cornwall
(Juvenile Picture Book -- Ej Cornwall)

Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board! Discover a moment between a patient father and a determined little boy you can't help but root for.

Little Red

Bethan Woollvin
(Juvenile Nonfiction -- J 398.2 Little Red Riding Hood Woo)

On her way to Grandma's house, Little Red meets a wolf. Which might scare some little girls. But not this little girl. She knows just what the wolf is up to, and she's not going to let him get away with it.

Lizard's Song

George Shannon
(Juvenile Picture Books -- Ej Sh)

A big silly bear keeps trying to learn Lizard's song, until he finds one even better.

Mouse House

John Burningham
(Juvenile Picture Book -- Ej Burningham)

A secret mouse family are discovered sharing a house and must escape before the mouse catcher arrives.


Steve Jenkins
(Juvenile Picture Books Nonfiction - Ej 573.79 Jen)

Learn about how different animals move.

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild

Peter Brown
(Juvenile Picture Book -- Ej Brown)

Bored with city life and the proper behavior it requires, Mr. Tiger has a wild idea that leads him to discover his true nature.

No Fits, Nilson!

Zachariah OHora
(Juvenile Picture Book -- Ej OHora)

Amelia must continually remind her gorilla friend, Nilson, not to have fits, especially when they are running errands with her mother, but sometimes Amelia stomps and growls, too.


Ian Falconer
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Fa)

Whether at home getting ready for school or enjoying the beach, Olivia demonstrates a zest for life.

Pete the Cat. I Love My White Shoes

Eric Litwin
(Juvenile Picture Book -- Ej Litwin)

As he walks down the street, Pete the cat sings about his brand new white shoes as they change from red to blue to brown to wet.

Rattletrap Car

Phyllis Root
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Ro)

Poppa and the children come up with ingenious ways to make the journey to the lake in their rattletrap car.

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole

Mac Barnett
(Juvenile Picture Book -- Ej Barnett)

Sam and Dave are sure they will discover something exciting if they just keep digging their hole.

Scaredy Squirrel

Melanie Watt
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Wa)

Scaredy Squirrel is afraid to leave his nut tree and makes elaborate plans to stay safe -- until he is forced to confront the unknown.

Shh! We have a plan

Chris Haughton
(Juvenile Picture Book -- Ej Haughton)

Four friends creep through the woods, with a plan to catch a bird. As one comically foiled plan follows another, it soon becomes clear that their quiet, observant companion has a far better idea.


A Sick Day for Amos McGee

Philip Christian Stead
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Ste)

Amos McGee's, an elderly zookeeper, enjoys the rewards of his kindness to his animal friends.

Some Friends to Feed: The Story of Stone Soup

Pete Seeger
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 782.42162 Se)

A poor but clever traveler finds a way to get the townspeople to share their food with him in this retelling of a classic tale.

Sylvia Long's Big Book for Small Children

Sylvia Long
(Juvenile Picture Book -- Ej Long)

A collection of concepts like numbers, colors and opposites, together with poems, stories, and hands-on activities like making pancakes and music.

Ten Little Caterpillars

Bill Martin
(Juvenile Picture Books Nonfiction - Ej 595.78 Mar)

Illustrations and rhyming text follow ten caterpillars as one wriggles up a flower stem, another sails across a garden pool, and one reaches an apple leaf, where something amazing happens.    


David Wiesner
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej We)

Frogs rise on their lily pads, float through the air, and explore the nearby houses while their inhabitants sleep.


Steve Antony
(Juvenile Picture Book -- Ej Antony)

Blip is always plugged into her computer--until one day a blackout forces her outdoors, and she discovers that the real world is a lot more interesting then she realized.

Where the Wild Things Are

Maurice Sendak
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Se)

Max is sent to bed without his supper, sails to the land of the wild things where he becomes their king.

Wolfie the Bunny

Ame Dyckman
(Juvenile Picture Book -- Ej Dyckman)

When her parents find a baby wolf on their doorstep and decide to raise him as their own, Dot is certain he will eat them all up until a surprising encounter with a bear brings them closer together.

The Wolf's Chicken Stew

Keiko Kasza
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Ka)

A hungry wolf's attempts to fatten a chicken has unexpected results.