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This annotated list of both classic and new early childhood books includes picture story books that relate to a wide variety of literacy themes and cultures. Young children will enjoy hearing these stories over and over as they are introduced to new concepts and vocabulary words. Teachers and parents will find some of their favorites listed too!

 

 

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ABUELA
Dorros, Arthur
While riding on a bus with her grandmother, a little girl imagines that they are carried up into the sky and fly over the sights of New York City.


ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY
Viorst, Judith
Recounts the events of a day when everything goes wrong for Alexander


ANANSI AND THE MOSS-COVERED ROCK
Eric A., Kimmel
Anansi the Spider uses a strange moss-covered rock in the forest to trick all the other animals, until Little Bush Deer decides he needs to learn a lesson.


ANDY AND THE LION
Daugherty, James
The lion remembers Andy's kindness to him.


BARK, GEORGE
Feiffer, Jules
A mother dog worries about the strange noises her puppy is making.


THE BOSSY GALLITO: A TRADITIONAL CUBAN FOLK TALE
Gonzalez, Lucia M., retold by; illustrated by Lulu Delacre
In this cumulative Cuban folktale, a bossy rooster dirties his beak when he eats a kernel of corn and must find a way to clean it before his parrot uncle's wedding.


BREAD AND JAM FOR FRANCES
Hoban, Russell; illustrated by Lillian Hoban
Frances decides she likes to eat only bread and jam at every meal--until to her surprise--her parents grant her wish.


BROWN BEAR, BROWN BEAR, WHAT DO YOU SEE?
Martin, Bill, Jr.; illustrated by Eric Carle
Children see a variety of animals, each one a different color, and a teacher looking at them.


BRUNO MUNARI’S ABC
Munari, Bruno
Beginning with an "Ant on an Apple," illustrations, simple text, and a pesky fly who will not stay on his page introduce the letters of the alphabet.


BUZ
Egielski, Richard
When a little boy swallows a bug along with his cereal, pandemonium breaks out as the bug searches for an escape, the boy searches for an antidote, and Keystone Cops-like pills search for the bug.


CAPS FOR SALE; A TALE OF A PEDDLER, SOME MONKEYS AND THEIR MONKEY BUSINESS
Slobodkina, Esphyr
A band of mischievous monkeys steals every one of a peddler's caps while he takes a nap under a tree.


THE CARROT SEED
Krauss, Ruth; illustrated by Crockett Johnson
A young boy plants a carrot seed and, although the adults tell him that nothing will happen, he just knows it will come up.


A CHAIR FOR MY MOTHER
Williams, Vera B.
A child, her waitress mother, and her grandmother save dimes to buy a comfortable armchair after all their furniture is lost in a fire.


CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM
Martin, Bill, Jr. and John Archambault; illustrated by Lois Ehlert
An alphabet rhyme/chant that relates what happens when the whole alphabet tries to climb a coconut tree.


CLICK, CLACK, MOO : COWS THAT TYPE
Cronin, Doreen
When Farmer Brown's cows find a typewriter in the barn they start making demands, and go on strike when the farmer refuses to give them what they want.


COME ALONG, DAISY!
Simmons, Jane
Daisy the duckling becomes so engrossed in playing with dragonflies and lily pads that she temporarily loses her mother.


CORDUROY
Freeman, Don
A teddy bear in a department store wants a number of things, but, when a little girl finally buys him, he finds what he has always wanted most of all.


CURIOUS GEORGE
Rey, H. A.
The adventures of a curious monkey.


DINOSAUR ROAR!
Stickland, Paul and Henrietta
Illustrations and rhyming text present all kinds of dinosaurs, including ones that are sweet, grumpy, spiky, or lumpy.


DON’T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS!
Willems, Mo
When the bus driver leaves the bus for a while, the pigeon wants to drive the bus so badly that he starts to dream himself behind the steering wheel vroom-vroom-vroom.


DUCK ON A BIKE
Shannon, David
A duck decides to ride a bike and soon influences all the other animals on the farm to ride bikes too.


FIRE TRUCK
Sís, Peter
Matt, who loves fire trucks, wakes up one morning to find that he has become a fire truck, with one driver, two ladders, three hoses, and ten boots. Features a gate-fold illustration that opens into a three-page spread.


FREIGHT TRAIN
Crews, Donald
Brief text and illustrations trace the journey of a colorful train as it goes through tunnels, by cities, and over trestles.


FROGGY GETS DRESSED
London, Jonathan
Froggy hops out into the snow for a winter frolic but is called back by his mother to put on some necessary articles of clothing.


THE GARDENER
Stewart, Sarah
A series of letters relating what happens when, after her father loses his job, Lydia Grace goes to live with her Uncle Jim in the city but takes her love for gardening with her.


GEORGE AND MARTHA
Marshall, James
Relates several episodes in the friendship of two hippoppotamuses.


GO AWAY, BIG GREEN MONSTER!
Emberley, Ed
Die-cut pages through which bits of a monster are revealed are designed to help a child control nighttime fears of monsters.


GOIN’ SOMEPLACE SPECIAL
McKissack, Patricia
In segregated 1950s' Nashville, a young African American girl braves a series of indignities and obstacles to get to one of the few integrated places in town: the public library.


GOOD NIGHT, GORILLA
Rathmann, Peggy
An unobservant zookeeper is followed home by all the animals he thinks he has left behind in the zoo.


GOODNIGHT MOON
Brown, Margaret W.; illustrated by Clement Hurd
A little bunny says goodnight to all the familiar things in his little room.


GOSSIE
Olivier, Dunrea
Gossie is a gosling who likes to wear bright red boots every day, no matter what she is doing, and so she is heartbroken the day the boots are missing and she can't find them anywhere.


GRANDFATHER'S JOURNEY
Say, Allen
A Japanese American man recounts his grandfather's journey to America which he later also undertakes, and the feelings of being torn by a love for two different countries.


HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON
Johnson, Crockett
Harold goes for a walk in the moonlight with his purple crayon and created many fantastic adventures.


HARRY THE DIRTY DOG
Zion, Gene; illustrated by Margaret Graham
A little dog who hates baths hides his scrubbing brush then becomes so dirty that his family does not recognize him.


HENRY HIKES TO FITCHBURG
Johnson, D. B. (Donald B.)
While his friend works hard to earn the train fare to Fitchburg, young Henry Thoreau walks the thirty miles through woods and fields, enjoying nature and the time to think great thoughts. Includes biographical information about Thoreau.


HORTON HATCHES THE EGG
Seuss, Dr.
When a lazy bird hatching an egg wants a vacation, she asks Horton, the elephant, to sit on her egg--which he does through all sorts of hazards and waits until he is rewarded for doing what he said he would.


HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY GOOD NIGHT?
Yolen, Jane
Mother and child ponder the different ways a dinosaur can say goodnight, from slamming his tail and pouting to giving a big hug and kiss.


I KISSED THE BABY!
Murphy, Mary
Various animals tell how they saw, fed, sang to, tickled, and kissed the new duckling.


IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE
Numeroff, Laura J.
Relating the cycle of requests a mouse is likely to make after you give him a cookie takes the reader through a young child's day.


IT COULD ALWAYS BE WORSE: A YIDDISH FOLKTALE
Zemach, Margot, retold and illustrated by
Unable to stand his overcrowded and noisy home any longer, a poor man goes to the Rabbi for advice.


JOHN HENRY
Lester, Julius; illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
Retells the life of the legendary African American hero who raced against a steam drill to cut through a mountain.


JULIUS
Johnson, Angela; illustrated by Dav Pilkey
Maya's grandfather brings her a pig from Alaska and the two of them learn about fun and sharing together.


KITTEN’S FIRST FULL MOON
Henkes, Kevin
When Kitten mistakes the full moon for a bowl of milk, she ends up tired, wet, and hungry trying to reach it.


LILLY’S PURPLE PLASTIC PURSE
Kevin, Henkes
When Kitten mistakes the full moon for a bowl of milk, she ends up tired, wet, and hungry trying to reach it.


THE LINE-UP BOOK
Marisabina, Russo
Sam lines up blocks, books, boots, cars, and other objects, all the way from his room to his mother in the kitchen.


THE LITTLE RED HEN: AN OLD STORY
Zemach., Margot
A retelling of the traditional tale about the little red hen whose lazy friends are unwilling to help her plant, harvest, or grind the wheat into flour, but all are willing to help her eat the bread that she makes from it.


LON PO PO: A RED RIDING HOOD STORY FROM CHINA
Young, Ed.
Three sisters staying home alone are endangered by a hungry wolf who is disguised as their grandmother.


LYLE, LYLE, CROCODILE
Waber, Bernard
The helpful, happy crocodile living on East 88th St. causes a neighborhood feud.


MABELA THE CLEVER
MacDonald , Margaret Read
An African folktale about a mouse who pays close attention to her surroundings and avoids being tricked by the cat.


MACHINES AT WORK
Barton, Byron
During a busy day at the construction site, the workers use a variety of machines to knock down a building and begin constructing a new one.


MADELINE
Bemelmans, Ludwig
The story of a school girl in Paris.


MAISY GOES SWIMMING
Cousins, Lucy
The reader helps Maisy the mouse undress and put on her bathing suit for a dip in the pool.


MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS
McCloskey, Robert
Mr. and Mrs. Mallard found a quiet place to raise their babies then took them to the pond in the Boston Public Garden where there were peanuts to eat.


MAMA CAT HAS THREE KITTENS
Fleming, Denise
While two kittens copy everything their mother does, their brother naps.


THE MAN WHO WALKED BETWEEN THE TOWERS
Gerstein, Mordicai
A lyrical evocation of Philippe Petit's 1974 tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers.


MARTHA SPEAKS
Meddaugh, Susan
Problems arise when Martha, the family dog, learns to speak after eating alphabet soup.


MIKE MULLIGAN AND HIS STEAM SHOVEL
Burton, Virginia L.
The story of an Irish steam-shovel artist and his old-fashioned steam-shovel, Mary Anne


MILLIONS OF CATS
Gág, Wanda
The story of a peasant who goes off in search of one kitten and returns with trillions of cats.


MISS NELSON IS MISSING!
Allard, Harry and James Marshall
The kids in Room 207 take advantage of their teacher's good nature until she disappears and they are faced with a vile substitute.


MR. GUMPY'S OUTING
Birmingham, John
Mr. Gumpy accepts more and more animals on his boat until the inevitable occurs.


MUFARO'S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS: AN AFRICAN TALE
Steptoe, John, retold and illustrated by
Mufaro's two beautiful daughters, one bad-tempered, one kind and sweet, go before the king, who is choosing a wife.


MUNCHA! MUNCHA! MUNCHA!
Fleming, Candace
After planting the garden he has dreamed of for years, Mr. McGreely tries to find a way to keep some persistent bunnies from eating all his vegetables.


MY FRIEND RABBIT
Rohmann, Eric
Something always seems to go wrong when Rabbit is around, but Mouse lets him play with his toy plane anyway because he is his good friend.


THE NAPPING HOUSE
Wood, Audrey
In this cumulative tale, a wakeful flea atop a number of sleeping creatures causes a commotion, with just one bite. Illustrated by Don Wood.


NO, DAVID!
Shannon, DAVID
A young boy is depicted doing a variety of naughty things for which he is repeatedly admonished, but finally he gets a hug.


OFF TO SCHOOL, BABY DUCK!
Hest, Amy
Baby Duck experiences the fear of the first day of school, but with a little help from Grampa, everything turns out okay in the end.


OLD BLACK FLY
Aylesworth, Jim
Rhyming text and illustrations follow a mischievous old black fly through the alphabet as he has a very busy bad day landing where he should not be. Illustrations by Stephen Gammell.


OLIVIA
Falconer, Ian
Whether at home getting ready for the day, enjoying the beach, or at bedtime, Olivia is a feisty pig who has too much energy for her own good.


OWEN
Henkes, Kevin
Owen's parents try to get him to give up his favorite blanket before he starts school, but when their efforts fail, they come up with a solution that makes everyone happy.


PAPA, PLEASE GET THE MOON FOR ME
Carle, Eric
Monica's father fulfills her request for the moon by taking it down after it is small enough to carry, but it continues to change in size. Some pages fold out to display particularly large pictures.


PIERRE: A CAUTIONARY TALE
Sendak, Maurice
The story of a boy who learned to care.


THE POLAR EXPRESS
Van Allsburg, Chris
A magical train ride on Christmas Eve takes a boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa Claus.


PUSS IN BOOTS
Perrault, Charles
Translation of Chat botte´ illustrated by Fred Marcellino


THE RANDOM HOUSE BOOK OF MOTHER GOOSE: A TREASURY OF 386 TIMELESS NURSERY RHYMES
Lobel, Arnold
An illustrated collection of Mother Goose nursery rhymes, including well-known ones such as "Bah, Bah, Black Sheep" and "Little Boy Blue" and less familiar ones such as "Doctor Foster went to Gloucester" and "When clouds appear like rocks and towers." Selected and illustrated by Arnold Lobel.


ROUND TRIP
Jonas, Ann
Black and white illustrations and text record the sights on a day trip to the city and back home again to the country.


RUMPELSTILTSKIN
Zelinsky, Paul O.
A strange little man helps the miller's daughter spin straw into gold for the king on the condition that she will give him her first-born child. Retold and illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky.


THE SNOWY DAY
Keats, Ezra Jack
A story of a young boy explores the magic world of snow -- snowball fight, snowman making, sliding down the snow way, etc. He loves the snow fall.


SPOTS, FEATHERS AND CURLY TAILS
Tafuri, Nancy
Questions and answers highlight some outstanding characteristics of farm animals, such as a chicken's feathers and a horse's mane.


THE STORY OF FERDINAND
Leaf, Munro
The story of a bull that would rather sit quietly under a tree than fight. Illustrations by Robert Lawson.


THE STRAY DOG
Marc, Simont
A family befriends a stray dog, names him Willy, and decides to keep him. From a true story by Reiko Sassa.


STREGA NONA
De Paola, Tomie
A retelling of an old Italian tale about what happens when Strega Nona leaves her apprentice alone with her magic pasta pot, and he is determined to show the townspeople how it works.


SWIMMY
Lionni, Leo
Swimmy, the only black fish of the entire school, devises for himself and his adopted brothers and sisters a safer way to live in the sea.


SYLVESTER AND THE MAGIC PEBBLE
Steig, William
In a moment of fright Sylvester the donkey asks his magic pebble to turn him into a rock but then can not hold the pebble to wish himself back to normal again.


THE TALE OF PETER RABBIT
Potter, Beatrix
Peter disobeys his mother by going into Mr. McGregor's garden and almost gets caught.


TAR BEACH
Ringgold, Faith
A young girl dreams of flying above her Harlem home, claiming all she sees for herself and her family. Based on the author's quilt painting of the same name.


TEN, NINE, EIGHT
Bang, Molly

THERE WAS AN OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED A FLY

Taback, Simms
Presents the traditional version of a famous American folk poem first heard in the U.S. in the 1940s with illustrations on die-cut pages that reveal all that the old lady swallows.


THE THREE BEARS
Galdone, Paul
Three bears return from a walk and find a little girl asleep in baby bear's bed.


TRASHY TOWN
Zimmerman, Andrea Griffing
Little by little, can by can, Mr. Gillie, the trash man, cleans up his town.


THE TRUE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS BY A. WOLF
Scieszka, John
The wolf gives his own outlandish version of what really happened when he tangled with the three little pigs. Illustrated by Lane Smith.


TUESDAY
Wiesner, David
Frogs rise on their lily pads, float through the air, and explore the nearby houses while their inhabitants sleep.


UPTOWN
Bryan, Collier
A tour of the sights of Harlem, including the Metro-North Train, brownstones, shopping on 125th Street, a barber shop, summer basketball, the Boy's Choir, and sunset over the Harlem River.


THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR
Carle, Eric
Follows the progress of a little caterpillar as he eats his way through a varied quantity of food until, full at last, he forms a cocoon around himself and goes to sleep.


THE WHEELS ON THE BUS
Zelinsky, Paul O., adapted and illustrated by
Through the use of movable illustrations, the wheels on the bus go round, the wipers swish, the doors open and close and the people go in and out in this adaptation of the traditional song.


WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
Sendak, Maurice
After Max was sent to bed for misbehaving, he escapes by imagining that he sails away to a wild land full of monsters.

WHERE'S SPOT?
Hill, Eric
It's time for supper, so Spot's mother searches for him.


WHISTLE FOR WILLIE
Keats, Ezra Jack
A little Black boy tries very hard to learn how to whistle for his dog.


THE WOLF’S CHICKEN STEW
Kasza, Keiko
A hungry wolf's attempts to fatten a chicken for his stewpot have unexpected results.


YOKO
Wells, Rosemary
When Yoko brings sushi to school for lunch, her classmates make fun of what she eats--until one of them tries it for himself.


ZOMO THE RABBIT: A TRICKSTER TALE FROM WEST AFRICA
McDermott, Gerald, retold and illustrated by
Zomo the Rabbit, an African trickster, sets out to gain wisdom.

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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