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Ages 3-6: Pre- to Beginning Readers

Here are resources to encourage a love of reading, from picture books to read aloud to your child to books for beginning readers.

Harold and the Purple Crayon
Children 3 and older love Harold and the Purple Crayon, the classic children's picture book by Crockett Johnson.

Favorite Board Books by Sandra Boynton
Three and 4 year olds love board books by Sandra Boynton, with their rhythm, rhyme and quirky cartoon animals. Here are 10 of my favorites.

Mirabelle - A Happy Dog Adventure Series
Find out why the Mirabelle board books about a Boston terrier and her owner are books I recommend for ages 2 to 5.

Otto the Book Bear
Otto the Book Bear by Katie Cleminson will appeal to children 3 and up.

The House in the Night
Find out why The House in the Night is a good bedtime picture book for ages 3 to 8.

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons is a delightful picture book, one of several featuring the happy cat and his relaxed response to what others might see as problems.

Mother Goose Rules!
Find out what is so great about Mother Goose rhymes for young children and learn about some of the best recent Mother Goose books.

Lola at the Library
Lola at the Library is a picture book about going to the library, participating in storytime, borrowing books and enjoying them at home. Lola is a very young African American child who already loves the library and children's books.

The Story of Ferdinand
The Story of Ferdinand, a gentle bull, is a classic children's picture book that children 3 and older will enjoy.

And Then It's Spring
And Then It's Spring is a good picture book to read aloud and this review tells you why kids will want to hear the story by Julie Fogliano and enjoy the illustrations of Caldecott Medal winner Erin E. Stead again and again.

The Easter Egg by Jan Brett
The Easter Egg, by author and illustrator Jan Brett, is a delightful Easter picture book for children. Children ages 3 to 6 will delight in the story of a rabbit named Hoppi and a very special Easter egg in The Easter Egg by Jan Brett.

Tucker's Spooky Halloween
Young children will enjoy Tucker's Spooky Halloween as a picture book, an audiobook and an animation.

The Carrot Seed
The Carrot Seed, a children's picture book By Ruth Krauss, illustrated by Crockett Johnson, is a classic, popular with young children.

Too Many Pumpkins
Too Many Pumpkins is a picture book with nothing scary in it, a heartwarming story and a lot of appeal for 4 to 8 year olds.

Kiss Good Night
I recommend Kiss Good Night, a gentle bedtime picture book for young children ages 3 to 6.

Elephant and Piggie Series
While the Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems is a popular series of beginning reader books, it is also a popular read aloud for younger children.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is an amusing book that will ignite your 4 to 8 year old's imagination.

I Am Too Absolutely Small For School
I am Too Absolutely Small for School, a humorous and clever children's picture book by Lauren Child, features Child's wonderful mixed media illustrations.

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
This book review of The Gruffalo provides an overview of the children's picture book by Julia Donaldson and explains why it's a good book to read aloud to young children.

Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman
Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman is a beginner book for beginning readers. It is also popular with younger children who enjoy hearing the story again and again.

We Are Extremely Very Good Recyclers
We Are Extremely Very Good Recyclers is a good children's picture book for three- to six-year-olds. Featuring Charlie and Lola, the characters created by Lauren Child and featured on Playhouse Disney, We Are Extremely Very Good Recyclers provides an introduction to the importance of recycling and concern for the environment, stressing the role children can play in protecting the environment through recycling.

Fancy Nancy
Fancy Nancy is the first picture book of Jane O'Connor's popular picture books about a little girl who loves everything fancy. I recommend Fancy Nancy for three- to six-year-olds.

First Grade Jitters
If your child is worried about starting first grade, read my book review of First Grade Jitters by Robert Quackenbush. This picture book may be just what you need to calm your child's fears.

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes
The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes, a classic Easter picture book, will appeal to children 4 and older.

City Signs
City Signs is a picture book for kids by talented photojournalist Zoran Milich that focuses on city signs.

Favorite Little Golden Books - Readers Respond with Little Golden Books Favorite
Favorite Little Golden Books - Readers respond with stories of their favorite Little Golden Books.

Beginning Reader Book Lists
These reading lists of recommended children's books, with cover art and brief annotations, are from the Hennepin County (MN) Library. Lists include: Starting to Read, First Early Reader, Advanced Early Reader, First Chapter Books, Girls Read Jr, and Guys Read Jr.

The Complete Adventures of Curious George
This special collector’s edition of The Complete Adventures of Curious George includes the Rey’s seven stories about the curious little monkey known as Curious George plus several essays that adults will enjoy.

A Christmas Goodnight
Use A Christmas Goodnight to introduce young children to the story of the first Christmas and the relationship of a Nativity set to the Bible story of the birth of Jesus

Book Fiesta! - A Children's Day / Book Day Celebration
Book Fiesta! is a bilingual children's picture book about Children's Day / Book Day, also known as El dia de los ninos / El dia de los libres or Dia. The book is full of action and color and will appeal to young children.

First Books for Emergent Readers
Interesting article by Carol Otis Hurst that includes summaries of recommended books.

Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes
Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes is not just for babies and toddlers. Preschoolers and kindergarteners also benefit from them.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is a terrific children's rhyming alphabet picture book by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault that is an excellent read aloud.

Norman Bridwell's Clifford Collection
Clifford the Big Red Dog is the star of Norman Bridwell's Clifford Collection, published in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first book about the giant dog.

Isabella's Garden
Isabella's Garden, is a delightful children's picture book by Glenda Millard, illustrated by Rebecca Cool, a cumulative tale for ages 3-6.

The Kissing Hand
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn is a comforting book for any child in need of reassurance due to change, such as starting school, or tragedy.

Z is for Moose
Z is for Moose is a terrific and funny ABC book for children 3 and older.

Harry the Dirty Dog
Harry the Dirty Dog is a popular read aloud and has been a childhood favorite for more than 50 years.

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat
Joseph Had a Little Overcoat is an award-winning picture book by Simms Taback that will amuse and delight children 3 to 6.

Children's Story Collections About Winter
Children 3 to 6 years old will enjoy these children's books, which are collections of short stories about winter and more.

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