My Favorite Preschool Book Authors

by Kelly Bostrom Robic

I love, love, love children's books! 

There is nothing more enjoyable to me than sitting down and reading a favorite story to my students. Parents often ask me for recommendations of books that could fit their children's ages and interests. These are many of the books that I use when teaching English to children in preschool, though they can also work for older children, depending on their level. I chose these based on my own personal favorites, but also for how well they have done over the years in keeping my students' attention with their engaging stories and delightful illustrations. 

10. Margaret Wise Brown. My all-time favorite book to read to my own children was Good Night Moon. It’s a soothing story about a room with a small “child,” a rabbit, who is going to sleep. The narrator says good night to everything in the room, such as a red balloon, a telephone, a pair of socks, two kittens, etc. The vocabulary is spot on for the little ones, but perhaps gives some kids a few new words like, “Good night nobody” and “good night mush,” which I explain as a type of cereal. Wise has another of my favorites: Big Red Barn. It’s great for bedtime: the animals wind down their day. Shhhh....

9. Norman Bridwell, author of the Clifford the Big Red Dog series. This was also a TV show when my children were growing up. Clifford is literally as big as a house and has many adventures that he couldn’t have as a normal-sized dog. His stories are narrated by his child owner, Emily Elizabeth. This collection includes many books for traditional Anglophone holidays like Halloween.

8. Eric Hill, author of the Spot the dog series. My top favorite is Spot Goes to School. Many of the Spot series books include lift the flaps too! These are all easily-relatable stories with super-simplistic artwork. Spot Can Count is great for little ones learning numbers up to ten.

7. Hans Wilhelm. He has an entire series of engaging books featuring Noodles, a little white dog with great facial expressions. My top book from him is I Love Colors! This book helps children understand how to combine colors makes new ones. They learn the following primary and secondary colors: red, yellow, blue, green, orange and purple. Absolutely adorable images.

6. Rod Campbell, Noisy Farm and Good Night Buster are both great pop-up books for the little ones. They have very basic, attractive drawings and relatively sturdy flaps and pull tabs. The images are great for toddlers.

5. Alyssa Satin Capucilli. Pictures by Pat Schories. The Biscuit series. I adore the cute images in these stories about a nameless little girl and her dog Biscuit. He gets into all kinds of mischief. There are stories for many of the traditional Anglophone holidays and I’ve got a nice collection of ten non-holiday stories in one book that I loved so much I carried it around from school to school for years!

4. Lucy Cousins, author of The Maisy collection about a little white mouse. In French, she’s known as Mimi. These are really geared to the very youngest children; the plotlines are often quite thin. But the children can relate to her activities and interactions with her animal friends, so these books are really perfect for them. The artwork is very basic. Within this collection, there are some pop-up books that are very intricate (and fragile for little hands!) I love the weather one where you pull a flap and she changes from a tee-shirt and shorts into a bathing suit. It’s so creative.

3. Nick Sharratt (rhymes with carrot). He’s got my all-time favorite book for preschool and elementary English language learners: Ketchup on Your Cornflakes? It works for all of them on some level: each page is split in two so if the pages are separated in the wrong sequence, they could create such questions as, “Would you like jam in your bed?” When the pages are set correctly, the teddy bear is in the bed. Shark in the Dark is another of my faves from him. (It’s a sequel to Shark in the Park.) Some of the vocabulary is advanced (lurking, for example). I tell the story using words at the level of the children in front of me. It’s got great images and strategically-placed holes that allow children to imagine there’s a shark and then see that there was actually something else. I won’t spoil the ending for you.

2. The team of Julia Donaldson and Axel Sheffler (illustrator). Honestly, anything from this duo is golden. They are the creators of The Gruffalo series, but my favorite story of theirs is Monkey Puzzle. It’s about a monkey who can’t find his mom in the jungle. There’s a butterfly who tries to help him, but she keeps getting it wrong. (Of course: butterflies’ babies don’t look like them!) It’s easy for the kids to understand just by looking at the detailed, yet understandable images.

1. Eric Carle. He’s the most well-known author for English language teachers for children in preschool and elementary, in my opinion. Carle wrote and illustrated The Very Hungry Caterpillar, a timeless classic. He's also known for his Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? book. The colorful artwork and repetitious lines made this a perfect choice for the fabulous storytelling program we’re using: Talk for Writing throughout the school for English. Some of you may hear your children repeating this to themselves from time to time! I have sooooo many of Carle’s books. Today is Monday, Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do you See? and From Head to Toe are among my favorites for this age.

I could go on and on as I have more than 300 children's books, but I'll stop here! 



Popular posts from this blog

Lucky's Advent Calendar! December 3rd

More Advent Calendar Videos!

"Ten Fingers" Body Parts Song