Navigating Your Child's Education: Ages 3-K

5 min read

Summer Reading for Preschoolers

Jun 25, 2019 9:52 AM

Most of us parents know that reading to and with our children is important. Reading is one of my three year old daughter's favorite things to do together. It's the only time she will sit (still and quiet) with me for any length of time. When she and I read together, I experience what the research experts say are the benefits of reading with our littles:

  • Regular reading times create a special bonding experience with our children.
  • Regular reading helps children develop key early literacy skills that prepare them for Kindergarten readiness like boosting vocabulary, phonemic awareness, familiarity with story elements and more.
  • Talking about the books you read with your preschooler can help them develop social and emotional awareness, spatial skills and build character.

All of these benefits to early reading have me beyond convinced that continuing to carve out time with my kids for reading together is essential to their development and healthy for our relationship.

But I do have one struggle: figuring out what to read.

We have thoroughly exhausted our small home library of children's books, so we try to make regular trips to the local library to find fresh titles. But the moment I walk in to the children's section of Worthington Park Library, I get a little overwhelmed with all the options. I usually just end up grabbing whatever books are featured on the shelves (are those even supposed to be taken?!). I can't say I recommend this method, though, both from a library ethics standpoint and the fact that I've gotten home and realized that some of my "choices" were not enjoyable to read.

This might sound selfish, but there are just some children's books I don't enjoy reading. Have you ever come across one of those? It might be the storyline, the whiny tone of the protagonist, the obnoxious sound effects required in reading it allowed, or some other quirky element of a book that just makes it unpleasant to read. I know that reading to my daughter is not all about me, but I also know that she will probably ask me to read the same title seven more times in one I want to read things that I enjoy too.

New call-to-actionSo, I asked my friend and long-time elementary librarian/children's book aficionado for some books I could read with my daughter this summer, books that are solid classics but possibly titles I might not be familiar with. This is the summer reading list for preschoolers that she passed on to me:

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Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina - This classic tale follows a peddler and his attempts to outwit a band of mischievous monkeys. It has repetition, patterns, and colors.



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Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson - A boy named Harold decides to draw up an adventure for himself one night before bedtime, taking only a large purple crayon with him. Clever story, quality illustrations, and great imagination.


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Little Mouse, Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don Wood - Another classic title, this story recounts a little mouse's efforts to protect his prized strawberry from a hungry bear.


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Drummer Hoff by Barbara Emberly - This classic is a cheerful adaptation of the folk song about soldiers who build a cannon and Drummer Hoff, who fires it off. It's a little bit of a long read, but kids love the big "BOOM!" at the end.

Screen Shot 2019-06-19 at 10.28.27 AMKitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes – Written by prolific and renowned children's author Kevin Henkes, this Caldecott Medal winner follows Kitten on her quest to reach the moon which thinks is a bowl of milk.


Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 12.44.58 PMHow do Dinosaurs say Goodnight by Jane Yolen – Perfect for those kids obsessed with dinosaurs, this book is a fun bedtime read.



Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 12.48.21 PMCorduroy by Don Freeman - Another classic, Corduroy is a bear on a store shelf that longs for someone to buy him. Fall in love with this bear and his adventures all over again by reading this with your little one.

Screen Shot 2019-06-25 at 9.33.35 AMThe Napping House by Audrey Wood – This is a bit of a longer read, but the rhyming and repetition of the storyline make this a great bedtime read that children love.


Screen Shot 2019-06-25 at 9.36.43 AMBlueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey - A heartwarming story about a mother and young daughter encountering a mother and baby bear as they all prepare for the winter.


Screen Shot 2019-06-25 at 9.38.13 AMThe Little House by Virginia Lee Burton - This award-winning classic has been loved by young readers for more than seventy-five years. The Little House is built in the woods, but over time the city gets closer and closer.

Screen Shot 2019-06-25 at 9.43.48 AMThe Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn - Chester Raccoon is a young raccoon nervous about starting school. His mother teaches him a secret way to settle himself. This is a great book for any little one starting pre-school or school or in a transition involving separation.


Make sure to connect with your local library to enroll in a Summer Reading Program (yes! even preschoolers!):





Topics: Toddlers Reading

Worthington Christian School
Written by Worthington Christian School

Founded in 1973, Worthington Christian School (WC) is central Ohio’s leader in Christian education offering a rigorous, college preparatory kindergarten to 12-grade academic program, dedicated to developing the mind of Christ in students through rigorous intellectual, creative, and physical pursuits.