Too-Good-to-Miss Books: Kindergarten

Staff recommendations for children at a kindergarten reading level. Compiled by the Children’s Services Staff at Monroe Public Library

Monroe County Public Library | 303 E. Kirkwood Ave., Bloomington, IN 47408 | (812) 349–3050
  1. Little Mouse Gets Ready by Jeff Smith

There’s lots to do before Little Mouse is ready to go visit the barn. Will he master all the intricacies of getting dressed, from snaps and buttons to Velcro and tail holes? Eisner Award-winning cartoonist Jeff Smith and his determined Little Mouse reveal all the smallest pleasures of this daily task.

2. Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping by Mélanie Watt

Scaredy Squirrel takes a trip through the campground and finds out the wilderness is meant to be enjoyed up close.

3. School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex

The school has a rough start, but as the day goes on, he soon recovers when he sees that he’s not the only one going through first-day jitters.

4. Chicken Little by Rebecca Emberley

An award-winning father-daughter team make the sky fall an entirely new way. You may already know the tale of a not-quite-so-bright little chicken whose encounter with an acorn and gravity convinces him the sky is falling, but youOve never seen the story told this way.

5. First the Egg by Laura Seeger

First the Egg by bestselling author and illustrator Laura Vaccaro Seeger is a 2008 Caldecott Honor Book and a 2007 New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year. This title has Common Core connections.

6. A Splendid Friend Indeed by Suzanne Bloom

When a studious polar bear meets an inquisitive goose, they learn to be friends.

7. The Elephant Who Liked to Smash Small Cars by Jean Merrill

Jean Merrill’s story of gleeful destruction, revenge, and conciliation is accompanied by Ronni Solbert’s colorful crayon drawings. Originally published in the 1960s.

8. Go, Otto, Go! by David Milgrim

Since landing on Earth, Otto has made many friends, but what Otto wants most is to visit his family. Will Otto’s spaceship take him up, up, up, so he can go, go, go?

9. Green is a Chile Pepper by Roseanne Thong

A little girl discovers all the bright colors in her Hispanic American neighborhood.

10. Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea

Feeling overshadowed by newcomer Unicorn, who is able to fly to school and turn rain into cupcakes, Goat reluctantly shares a piece of pizza with his rival and learns that being a unicorn is more challenging than expected, a finding that leads to admiration and unexpected friendship.

11. We Are in a Book! by Mo Willems

Using vocabulary perfect for beginning readers (and vetted by an early-learning specialist), Mo Willems has crafted a mind-bending story that is even more interactive than previous Elephant & Piggie adventures. Fans of the Geisel Award-winning duo won’t be able to put this book down — literally!

12. Chopsticks by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

When a pair of chopsticks get separated, after some traumatic moments the two friends eventually learn to stand on their own.

13. The Handiest Things in the World by Andrew Clements

The mother of invention is right at your fingertips! Ten knuckles, two thumbs, two flat palms, and all those fingers — but our hands can be so much more. They were once the first pair of earmuffs, a primitive sun visor, and a convenient set of chopsticks. The work done by hands centuries and centuries ago has paved the way for many of our favorite and most useful tools.

14. You and Me Together: Moms, Dads, and Kids Around the World by Barbara Kerley

Award-winning author Barbara Kerley has written a charming, heart-warming book about parent and child togetherness worldwide. You and Me Together is ideal for reading aloud with children to explain and reinforce the bond between mums, dads, and kids everywhere.

15. A is for Awesome by Dallas Clayton

Alliterative and rhyming words of wisdom fill this energetic alphabet book bursting with color.

16. Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales by Lucy Cousins

17. A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker

Bear’s efforts to keep out a visitor to his house are undermined by a very persistent mouse.

18. When Dinosaurs Came With Everything by Elise Broach

19. Once Upon a Banana by Jennifer Armstrong

Everyday signs serve as captions for this pictorial tale of what happens after a man tosses a banana peel into the garbage can and misses.

20. Maybe a Bear Ate It by Robie Harris

Let your imagination go wild with this hilarious new picture book from bestselling duo, Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberely! “It’s gone! It’s nowhere! I can’t find it anywhere!Where is MY BOOK? I need MY BOOK!” What happens when your favorite book goes missing?

21. Go, Dog, Go! by P. D. Eastman

22. Richard Scarry’s Be Careful, Mr. Frumble! by Richard Scarry

Mr. Frumble’s plan to go for a walk is directed by the wind, which carries his hat off from one place to another causing many near-disasters.

23. Thunder Boy, Jr. by Sherman Alexie

Little Thunder wants a name that separates him from his father, Big Thunder, and considers such options as “Touch the Sky” and “Drums, Drums, and More Drums” before his father helps him find the perfect alternative.

24. I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont

In the rhythm of a familiar folk song, a child cannot resist adding one more dab of paint in surprising places and makes a delicious mess!

25. Fancy Nancy in Room 1-A by Jane O’Connor

To cheer up her classmates after a gloomy week, Nancy thinks of a new celebration, Fancy Day, but when the day arrives Ms. Glass shows up without her fancy dress, and the class must think of a way to make her as elegant as everyone else.

26. Kindergarten Diary by Antoinette Portis

27. The Squeaky Door by Margaret Read MacDonald

28. Biscuit Finds a Friend by Alyssa Capucilli

29. Brownie and Pearl Go for a Spin by Cynthia Rylant

When Brownie and her cat go for a spin in her car, neither one is ready for it to end.

30. You Are (Not) Small by Anna Kang

Two fuzzy creatures can’t agree on who is small and who is big, until a couple of surprise guests show up, settling it once and for all!

31. Draw! by Raúl Colón

In this wordless picture book, a boy who is confined to his room fills his sketch pad with lions and elephants, then imagines himself on a safari.

32. Up, Tall and High by Ethan Long

Through illustrations and simple text, birds demonstrate the meanings of the words up, tall, and high.

33. Ten Apples Up on Top! by Theo LeSieg

Three friends balance counting and fun in this silly Beginner Book by Dr. Seuss and illustrated by Roy McKie. When a lion, a dog, and a tiger meet up, they soon discover that they can each do different things while balancing apples on their heads.

34. Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes by Eric Litwin

Pete the cat wears his school shoes when visiting the library, the lunchroom, the playground, and more while singing his special song.


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Categories: Book Recommendations, Literature & Fiction

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