Help Me Get Ready To Read

Choosing Good Books to Read Aloud to Young Children

Good Books for Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers

Please welcome my guest author Susan from

Parents often ask us, “What are good books to read to my child?” We respond by telling them that good children’s picture books entertain, encourage discussion, spark imagination, and provide information. Good books provide both fun read-aloud experiences and learning opportunities for little ones.

Some general rules to follow when choosing good books to read aloud are:

  • Look for children’s picture books by well-known authors and illustrators as well as by new authors and illustrators.
  • Select books that range in genre, such as fiction, nonfiction, folktales, rhymes, and songs.
  • Choose read-aloud books that reflect diversity in story characters, authors, and illustrators.

The criteria below helps you choose age-appropriate books for infants and toddlers, and preschoolers.

For Infants and Toddlers

Choose books that:

  • Introduce sounds of language with repetitive, rhyming, or predictable text
  • Use engaging illustrations along with text
  • Develop children’s vocabulary
  • Have flaps, a variety of textures, or other interactive features


Some Good Books for Infants and Toddlers

Baby Animal Families by Gyo Fujikawa

Using illustrations that appeal to young children along with simple text, this book describes the sounds baby animals make, how they feel, and what they do.

The Little School Bus by Carol Roth, illustrated by Pamela Papparone

Repetitive and predictable text tells about a variety of humorous animals that ride the bus to and from school.


For Preschoolers (3-to-5 year olds)

Choose books that:

  • Have content that relates to the child’s experiences and interests
  • Go beyond the child’s life experiences
  • Foster an understanding of print concepts such as words are made up of letters
  • Contain story elements such as characters, setting, and plot
  • Provide stories with problems and solutions


Some Good Books For Preschoolers (3-to-5 year olds)

The Bridge is Up! by Babs Bell, illustrated by Rob Heffernan

Different vehicles that children often see in their everyday lives have to wait in line on the road because the bridge is up.

Bee-bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Ho Baek Lee

A young girl helps her mom shop so they can cook a favorite Korean dish for their family.


Help Me Get Ready To Read: The Practical Guide For Reading Aloud To Children During Their First Five Years by Susan Marx and Barbara Kasok has 275 recommended books to read aloud to infants, toddlers and preschoolers. It also features parenting strategies and reading strategies to help young children get ready to read as well as follow-up fun book-related activities. Their site is here and Facebook page is here.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Giora

    Hello from Canada. My comment is about your “About” not about this post. Your background of China/Korea/Japan is close to my heart. I wrote a YA fiction set mainly in 21 st century China, and I follow the music and films from Japan and Korea. I wonder if you like to expand from reviewing YA books to also represent them, especially if they are set in Asia. Feel free to email me and. Thanks and Best wishes, Giora.
    Giora recently posted…Bonn, Jena + German songsMy Profile

  2. Artchoo!

    Great list! I’m so glad we’re past the stage of baby and toddler books. As wonderful as all the repetition is for them, it made me craaaaazy after a while. You know- you start to think about everything in a sing-songy way.
    Artchoo! recently posted…Impromptu Leaf CreationsMy Profile

  3. Hi. Just wanted to share that I use apps on my iPad to teach my kids (and help them read more too). Have you considered doing this with your children?

    My son’s just four years old, and he particularly loves Maddie & Matt’s A to Z’s of Good Manners & Values. Found the app online, I think the main site is What do you think?
    Ethel recently posted…A Quote A Day with AffirMEMy Profile

    • Hi Ethel,
      OMG, my kids love apps and screen time. We read ebooks and do math and science games on my iPhone. I have some posts on those if you want them. I don’t know Maddie and Matt’s A to Z’s of Good Manners and Values. I’ll have to get it. Thanks for the recommendation!

  4. Ann

    Going to have to check out this book!
    Ann recently posted…Fall Foliage PhotosMy Profile

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