Preschool book recs please
November 6, 2011 3:47 PM   Subscribe

Preschooler books - recommendations please!

Despite having a gazillion board books, Little k8t, nearly 3, has moved on to longer books. (Damn you preschool!) /sarcasm

I used to live near an awesome used bookstore and stocked up on some preschooler books, but now I feel like we read the same couple every day - Walter the Farting Dog, Curious George Rides a Bike, Night Kitchen, Stone Soup... and we don't have a used bookstore nearby anymore, so Amazon it is.

And yes, we go to the library to spice things up, but I want some at home that I don't have to worry about about any damage. And our local library is really hit or miss for this age group.

Recommendations please! Hopefully ones that parents can enjoy too.

Bonus points: We had been reading the same go-to-bed books for over a year: Goodnight Moon, Goodnight Gorilla, Go to Sleep, the Sandra Boyton goodnight book. Any preschool books that we can swap out that still have a nighttime/go to bed theme?
posted by k8t to Education (27 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oh duh... we have all the Dr. Suesses too and those are popular as well.
posted by k8t at 3:48 PM on November 6, 2011

My favorite book of all time, Harold and the Purple Crayon.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:58 PM on November 6, 2011

Don't let the pigeon stay up late (and other Mo Willems books) are pretty entertaining to the adult too.

That age can never have enough Curious George; I think the sheer repetitiveness of the plot structure is appealing to them.
posted by Measured Out my Life in Coffeespoons at 4:02 PM on November 6, 2011

Big Smelly Bear, The House In the Night, Flamingos on the Roof (and Calef Brown's other great book Polka Bats and Octopus Slacks), and the Richard Scarry books (especially this one) are all huge hits with our almost-3-year-old. They are also some of the least likely to drive us nuts with the repeated readings.
posted by goggie at 4:08 PM on November 6, 2011

Stickman by Julia Donaldson is the story of a stick who must return to his stick family. Mini Grey's books are all great, and those about Traction Man are the best. Crocodiles Are the Greatest Animals of All, by Sean Taylor, about a crocodile who thinks he can do everything better than anyone else, has funny pictures.

Mister Dog could be a good sleep book.

My son likes all of the books we've read by Arnold Lobel, and I do, too. Toad is just ridiculous. Owl at Home is a book conducive to sleep. In the last story, he thinks the moon is following him home, and then he falls asleep in the moonlight. Owl is sort of a sad character, though, completely at odds with the material world.

Somebody recommended Monkey with a Toolbelt in another thread, and that one is super, also.
posted by Francolin at 4:43 PM on November 6, 2011

Robert McCloskey's books -- Make Way for Ducklings, Blueberries for Sal, and One Morning in Maine are the three best known. My girlfriend was always fond of Burt Dow: Deep Water Man, but I used to read Blueberries for Sal over and over.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:49 PM on November 6, 2011

we like...

The Ladybug Girl books (good storylines about getting along with siblings and friends, and they emphasize using imagination in play - my kids really enjoy them)

Bats at the Library (fun before bed)

Kiss Goodnight (good bedtime book)

Arnie, the Doughnut (hilarious)
posted by hms71 at 4:59 PM on November 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

In addition to the great suggestions above, my three-year-old loves the Biscuit the Dog books.
posted by 4ster at 5:55 PM on November 6, 2011

Momma, Will You

Is Your Mama a Llama?

No, David! (and other David Shannon books)

Llama Llama Red Pajama (and the rest)

Just about anything by Margaret Wise Brown

A compilation of children's nursery tales or poems is great to flip through

I think we've found our best books from used book stores also and now from Scholastic. I love getting that little order form sent home in the backpacks!
posted by dawkins_7 at 6:07 PM on November 6, 2011

Richard Scarry. Personal favorite: What Do People Do All Day?
posted by russilwvong at 6:13 PM on November 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

10 Minutes til Bedtime (same author as Goodnight Gorilla, and still very few words)

Pancakes for Breakfast (Tomie DePoala--again with the no words theme. I like them because I don't get tired of reading the same words)

Scaredy Squirrel

If You Give A Pig A Pancake

Toot and Puddle

When I Get Bigger
posted by biscuits at 6:17 PM on November 6, 2011

Susan Meddaugh
Rosemary Wells
Katharine Hollabird
posted by brujita at 6:18 PM on November 6, 2011

Authors instead of books: William Steig, Arthur Geisert, and Arnold Lobel. Also, a good place to get ideas are the ALSC's yearly childrens book awards, especially the Caldecott, Geisel, and Newbery awards.
posted by cocoagirl at 6:23 PM on November 6, 2011

Seconding How do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? and the rest of the "How do Dinosaurs...?" series (clean their rooms, play with friends, etc. etc.)

Giraffes Can't Dance

The Story of Ferdinand

Oliver Jeffers has written some sweet and charming books, including The Incredible Book-Eating Boy and Lost and Found.
posted by ambrosia at 7:08 PM on November 6, 2011

Anything by Calef Brown
Anything by Mo Willems

Iggy Peck
posted by umbĂș at 7:19 PM on November 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Jamberry is really fun to read, lots of rhyming and pretty charmingly illustrated.
posted by Sweetchrysanthemum at 1:45 AM on November 7, 2011

Our Favorite Bedtime books
Guess How Much I Love You
Pajama Time
The Little Fur Family (bonus: if you shop for a vintage copy you might find it bound in real rabbit fur (ew!) - extra bonus: my MIL made up a tune for the song at the end that we use as a lullaby for our kids even when we're not reading)
The Big Red Barn
Goodnight, Sweet Butterflies

For other books, if Little k8t enjoys Curious George Rides a Bike, there are plenty more Curious George books out there. My youngest two (2 & 4) particularly love Curious George and the Firefighters. You can't go wrong with Eric Carle or Sandra Boynton. We have had two copies of Richard Scarry's Great Big Storybook which we read oh so many times until they both disintegrated. Lousy binding on that particular collection, but they especially loved Cars and Trucks, This is Me, The Firefighters' Busy Day, Rudolf von Flugel's Busy Day, and Miss Honey's Busy Day, all of which are available as parts of other collections or standalone editions.
posted by Dojie at 5:55 AM on November 7, 2011

Aww, The Little Fur Family! I used to read it to my little brother. Nowadays it's bound in fake fur--I didn't even know you could get a rabbit-skin version. Yikes. It's a very sweet book, and great for bedtime.

All of the Little Bear books are great, especially the ones illustrated by Maurice Sendak.

When I worked in a daycare, Oliver Finds His Way was a big hit with the kids, and the grownups loved it because it had a great message about problem solving; also, bears! Actually, pretty much anything by Phyllis Root is good.

Chickens Aren't The Only Ones
was one of my favorite books as a kid--it's about all kinds of eggs, and it's really fascinating. Very scientific, and yet also age-appropriate. As a direct result of this book, I was a toddler who knew what a monotreme was.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 11:25 AM on November 7, 2011

Seconding Flotsam. It's a beautiful picture book.
posted by dchrssyr at 2:09 PM on November 7, 2011

Mo Willem, which several people have mentioned already, is definitely fantastic.

Another fun one is Shark vs. Train.

Steve Jenkins makes some cool books with animal facts and real-life scale illustrations.

Jan Thomas writes some funny ones, kind of in the spirit of Sandra Boynton.

Dog and Bear by Laura Vaccaro Seeger is cute.

I can't think of more off the top of my head but check out The Horn Book for reviews of good new picture books.
posted by lirael2008 at 11:49 PM on November 10, 2011

The very cranky bear
The grouchy ladybug
Press here
Not a box
The snowy day
Duck soup
posted by dpx.mfx at 8:20 PM on November 12, 2011

We just spent most of the evening reading the "mister" books - Mr. Messy, Mr. Grumpy, etc. I find them kind of annoying, but my husband and my kid love them. They're longer than board books but not quite first readers, you know?
posted by dpx.mfx at 4:45 PM on November 13, 2011

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