Resources for Children -- Helping Your Child Become a Reader

Here's a sampling of books, computer programs, and Web sites that you and your child can enjoy together. Check with your local librarian for more suggestions.


Brown, Margaret Wise. Goodnight Moon. Harper Collins, 1997. A little rabbit says goodnight to all the things in his room and, finally, to the Moon.

Johnson, Angela. Mama Bird, Baby Birds. Orchard, 1994. Joshua and his sister, two young African-American children, watch a mother bird feeding its babies.

Wells, Rosemary. Max's Bedtime. Dial, 1998. Even though Max's sister offers him her stuffed animals, he cannot sleep without his red rubber elephant.

Play Books for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Carle, Eric. The Very Busy Spider. Philomel, 1984. Farm animals try to keep a spider from spinning her web, but she doesn't give up and she makes a beautiful and useful creation. Pictures may be felt as well as seen, making this a great book for visually impaired children.

Hill, Eric. Where's Spot? Putnam, 1980. In an interactive lift-the-flap book, children help Spot's mother, Sally, search the house to find him. This book has been translated into a number of languages, including a sign language version.

Kunhardt, Dorothy. Pat the Bunny. Golden Books, 1990. In this touch-and-feel book, Paul and Judy smell the flowers, feel Daddy's scratchy face, look in the mirror, play peek-a-boo, and, of course, pat the bunny.

Lacome, Julie. Seashore. Candlewick, 1995. Small fingers can poke through the holes in the pages of this board book about the beach, and seem to change into fins, wings, or crawling legs.

Alphabet Books for Preschoolers-First-Graders

Kitamura, Satoshi. From Acorn to Zoo and Everything in Between in Alphabetical Order. Sunburst, 1995. Each page shows an assortment of things that begin with the same letter—all clearly labeled. For each page there is a question (and a clue) that can be answered only by looking carefully at the picture.

MacDonald, Suse. Alphabatics. Bradbury Press, 1986. The letters of the alphabet are transformed and placed in 26 illustrations so that the hole in b becomes a balloon and y turns into the head of a yak (an ox with long hair).

Rankin, Laura. The Handmade Alphabet. Puffin, 1996. This book presents the handshape for each letter of the manual alphabet (American Sign Language) accompanied by an object whose name begins with that letter.

Shannon, George. Tomorrow's Alphabet. Mulberry Books, 1999. A is for seed—what's going on here? The seed is tomorrow's Apple! An imaginative alphabet puzzle that encourages children to think and make predictions.

Shelby, Anne. Potluck. Orchard, 1991. A multicultural collection of friends having names starting with A-Z bring a variety of dishes to a potluck.

Wordless Picture Books for Preschoolers-First-Graders

Carle, Eric. Do You Want to Be My Friend? HarperCollins, 1995. A little mouse asks all kinds of animals, "Do you want to be my friend?"

dePaola, Tomie. Pancakes for Breakfast. Voyager Books, 1990. A little old lady's attempts to have pancakes for breakfast are hindered by a lack of ingredients and the help of her pets.

Mayer, Mercer. A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog. Econo-Clad Books, 1999. A boy and a dog try unsuccessfully to catch a frog.

McCully, Emily. School. HarperTrophy, 1990. The eight oldest mice in a family prepare for the first day of school. After everyone leaves, and the house is too quiet, the youngest mouse decides to go discover what school is all about.

Wiesner, David. Tuesday. Clarion, 1991. One night a town is invaded by extraterrestrial frogs flying in on their lily pads.

Rhyming Books for Toddlers-Kindergartners

Christelow, Eileen. Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. Clarion, 1989. This counting rhyme shows five little monkeys getting ready for bed and getting sidetracked by some serious bed-jumping.

Cole, Joanna, and Calmenson, Stephanie. Eentsy, Weensty Spider: Fingerplays and Action Rhymes. Morrow, 1991. This book, illustrated using children of diverse cultural backgrounds, includes fingerplays and action rhymes that have been chanted, sung, and loved by generations.

Dyer, Jane. Animal Crackers: A Delectable Collection of Pictures, Poems and Lullabies for the Very Young. Little, Brown, 1996. This picture book contains a collection of Mother Goose classics, modern poems, lullabies, and simple stories, many of which celebrate special times in a child's first years.

Martin, Bill, Jr., and Archambault, John. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Simon & Schuster, 1989. The rhythmical story of letters of the alphabet climbing and falling from a coconut tree.

"Predictable" Books for Toddlers-First-Graders

Aardema, Verna. Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain. Dutton, 1993. Told in verse, this is the story of how Ki-pat, a herder, makes it rain on the dry Kapiti Plain.

Hutchins, Pat. Rosie's Walk. Macmillan, 1968. Rosie the hen goes for a walk and manages to avoid many attempts on her life by a predatory fox. Also available in Spanish.

Lowell, Susan. The Three Little Javelinas. Northland Pub., 1993. This southwestern tale, based on "The Three Little Pigs" and illustrated with Native American and Latino characters, is about three little javelinas as they try to outsmart the coyote who had hoped to eat them with red chili sauce.

Martin, Bill, Jr. Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? Holt, 1996. What children see is a surprising cast of animals!

McNaughton, Colin. Suddenly! Harcourt Brace, 1995. Time after time, Preston the Pig outwits a hungry wolf that is trying to catch and eat him.

Multiple-Language Books for Preschoolers-First-Graders

Brown, Ruth. Alphabet Times Four: An International ABC. Dutton, 1991. Beginning with the letter A and ending with Z, this book offers a word that happens to begin with the same letter in four languages, English, Spanish, French, and German, accompanied by creatively bordered pictures.

Garza, Carmen Lomas. Family Pictures. Children's Book Press, 1990. In this bilingual text (Spanish and English), a young girl remembers her day-to-day family life while growing up in Texas in a Mexican-American culture.

Hirschi, Ron. Seya's Song. Sasquatch Books, 1992. A young S'Klallam girl follows the seasons of the salmon, interweaving aspects of the life and culture of her Pacific Coast tribe and using words from her native language.

Lee, Huy Voun. In the Park. Henry Holt & Co, Inc., 1998. Xiao Ming and his mother go to the park, where they see a variety of people of different cultures, ages, and disabilities. At the park, his mother teaches him how to draw and pronounce some Chinese characters.

Rattigan, Jama Kim. Dumpling Soup. Little, Brown, 1993. Marisa, a 7-year-old girl who lives in Hawaii, explains the traditions her family celebrates at the New Year. Hawaiian, Japanese, and Korean words and phrases add to the English text.

Stock, Catherine. Where Are You Going Manyoni? Morrow, 1993. Manyoni lives in Zimbabwe and on her way to school she passes many beautiful areas, wild animals, and birds. The book includes a picture glossary of wildlife and a key to pronouncing African words.

Beginning Readers

Eastman, P. D. Go, Dog. Go! Random House, 1989. Big dogs, little dogs—black, white, yellow, and blue dogs—they are all very busy going places and doing things.

Krauss, Ruth. The Carrot Seed. Harper Collins, 1973. A little boy knows a carrot will grow from the seed that he planted no matter what anyone else may say or think.

Early Read-Aloud Chapter Books for Preschoolers-First-Graders

Cameron, Ann. The Stories Julian Tells. Knopf, 1981. Julian tells great stories, He can make people, especially his younger brother Huey, believe almost anything, which sometimes leads to lots of trouble.

Milne, A. A. The House at Pooh Corner. Dutton, 1991. The book is about the timeless adventures of Pooh, Piglet, Christopher Robin, Owl, Tigger, and Eeyore in the Hundred-Acre Woods.

Children's Magazines

P.O. Box 9304
LaSalle, IL 61301-9897
Board-book magazine with illustrated rhymes and stories for parents to read with children. (Ages 6 months-2 years)

P.O. Box 9304
LaSalle, IL 61301-9897
Contains science and social studies stories, both informational and fiction. (Ages 5-6)

Sesame Street Magazine
Children's Television Workshop
One Lincoln Plaza
New York, NY 10023
Sesame Street characters are featured in stories, poems, puzzles, posters and more.
(Ages 2-6 years)

Your Big Back Yard
National Wildlife Federation
8925 Leesburg Pike
Vienna, VA 22184
Includes stories, poems, riddles, and games, with color pictures of animals. Simple text designed to encourage early reading. (Ages 3-6 years)

Computer Programs

Living Books: Interactive Animated Stories
(Ages 3-7)
These programs provide a place for children to hear a story, read along with the narrator, or read by themselves. They also can interact with characters and objects and play games that teach the alphabet, simple words, rhyming, and other reading skills. Each program also comes with the matching book. Some examples of titles:
 — Just Grandma and Me
 — The Cat and the Hat
 — Arthur's Birthday
 — Dr. Seuss's ABC

Many include versions in Spanish, French, and German along with the English text.

For more information, contact:

Broderbund Software, Inc.
Toll Free: 1-800-567-2610

Bailey's Book House
(Ages 2-5)
This software features Bailey and his friends as they encourage young children to build literacy skills and develop a love for reading. It includes activities to help youngsters explore letters, words, sentences, rhyming, and stories. No reading skills are required; all directions are spoken.

Let's Go Read! An Island Adventure
(Ages 4-7)
Children join Robby Raccoon and his friends in their adventures on an island inhabited by the alphabet. Included are activities to help children learn reading basics such as letter sounds and how to sound out and build simple words. Children can command the computer with their voices and record and listen to themselves reading.

For more information, including Spanish titles and a catalog for children with special needs, contact:

Toll Free: 1-800-362-2890

Young Children and the Internet: Places to Learn and Play




Dr. Seuss's Seussville:

PBS Homepage:

Children's Television Workshop:

Smithsonian Institution—National Zoo:

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Last Modified: 11/14/2008