Posted: Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
We know we’ve mentioned this before, but we at Education.com love, love, love children’s books! We’ve all got our own childhood favorites that have been classics for decades, but there are also a ton of great new titles in children’s literature. In this post, we’ve assembled our list of the best preschool books from the past ten years. Check out these titles at your local library or bookstore, and share with a child or read to yourself!
Press Here by Hervé Tullet
We like this interactive preschool book so much that we’re reviewing it twice! Press Here, based off of Tullet’s French book Un Livre (“A Book”), is a story without a protagonist or scenes. Instead, the book creates an environment in which the reader is a character, actively manipulating the images in the book with the press of a finger, snapping, and blowing on the pages. This preschool book is great for children growing up in the age of tablets, apps, and video games, as it lives up to children’s expectations that their actions on an entertainment medium will affect change. Though the digital world has its place, Press Here is a great way to get children excited about the magic of literature.
Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems
Based on a true story, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale tells the story of a toddler named Trixie who loses her toy Knuffle Bunny when running errands with her dad in New York. The pre-verbal Trixie throws several public temper tantrums to alert her parents that Knuffle Bunny is missing. When they realize what’s wrong, the family looks all over Brooklyn to find KB. While the story is cute (and totally relatable for almost any parent) on its own, Knuffle Bunny’s stand-out trait is its illustrations, which feature black and white photographs of Brooklyn with the colorful characters drawn in the foreground.
Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
This picture book is a new classic, and meditates on the theme of reaching for your dreams, even if you have some failures. The title Kitten is sitting outside when he sees his first full moon. Thinking it’s a big bowl of milk, Kitten chases the moon through the night, jumping through fields, climbing up trees, and even falling in a lake. Kitten is not easily discouraged, and in the end, he is awarded for his perseverance. Told with simple text and black-and-white illustrations, Kitten’s First Full Moon is a great preschool book because it encourages readers to dream big and pursue their passions.
Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin and James Dean
Pete has four groovy buttons and boy, does he like to sing about them! Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons has all the makings of a classic children’s book, with a memorable main character, a refrain about buttons, and surprising and hilarious twists that kids will love. PTC&H4GB is a great learning tool too; not only does it teach children the word “groovy,” but it also contains an ever-present lesson in counting and subtraction.
Olivia and the Missing Toy by Ian Falconer
The Olivia character is featured in several amazing books by Falconer, and Olivia and the Missing Toy is one of the best. Olivia loses her very favorite doll, and looks all over the house to find it. With the character’s active imagination and Falconer’s surreal illustrations, Olivia turns a seemingly normal toy hunt into an all-out mystery, in the style of a suspenseful horror movie. While this is a fun and slightly spooky book year-round, Olivia and the Missing Toy is a particularly good Halloween preschool book.