Preschool is the perfect age to start reading slightly more complex books to children. They’ll really start to internalise the messages books send them, and getting preschoolers interested in books will increase their excitement to learn to read. That’s why it’s important to read them a mix of silly fun books and ones that encourage positive thinking and behaviour.
In this list, we’ve got plenty of both! Books like I Like Me and Giraffes Can’t Dance emphasise the importance of loving yourself and believing in yourself, which is a great message for preschoolers but also adults. Knuffle Bunny and Strega Nona send the message that bad things might happen, but that doesn’t mean they’re not fixable with a little help. We’ve got those and more on this list of recs.
We can guarantee that your little one will love every book as they’re tailored to your kid’s stage of development. They’re fun, relatively simple picture books, but they have messages behind the entertaining story that preschoolers are just beginning to comprehend. It’s also a mix of newer books and old favourites of ours, so there’s definitely something for every type of parent whether you’re old-school or love reading the newest books on the market.
I Like Myself
Karen Beaumont, Illustrated by David Catrow
Like every human, kids sometimes struggle with self-love. As a parent, it’s important to teach them to love themselves as much as possible. Even when their hair is messy or they make a silly mistake, they should still love themselves! That’s what this book, I Like Myself, is all about.
Giraffes Can’t Dance
Giles Andreae, Illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees
This silly story about Gerald the Giraffe features some important, heartwarming messages. Though all the other animals think giraffes can’t dance, Gerald proves them wrong. Giraffes Can’t Dance teaches preschoolers about believing in yourself and following your dreams even when others doubt you.
In this story that merges illustration and photos, Trixie and her beloved Knuffle Bunny take a trip to the laundromat, but it all goes wrong when Knuffle Bunny gets left behind in the wash.
Jane O’Connor, Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
Nancy loves anything fancy: frills, glitter, feathers, colours, sparkles, etc. In Fancy Nancy, she teaches her parents and sister all about how to be fancy like her and gives them a fabulous makeover.
Blueberries for Sal
Sal and her mother are picking blueberries when Sal discovers a mother bear doing the same thing! Meanwhile, the baby bear trails Sal’s mother. Will each mother go home with the right little one?
The kind old witch, Strega Nona, makes potions, magic, and cures for the town. When she tasks hungry Big Anthony with looking after her house while she’s away, he’s a little too intrigued with her magic pasta pot and chaos ensues.
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Laura Joffe Numeroff, Illustrated by Felicia Bond
When a little mouse shows up on your doorstep, you give him a cookie. Then, of course, he’ll ask for a glass of milk. But he’s got to ask for a mirror to see if he has a milk mustache, then he’ll need scissors to give himself a trim, and so on…
The Rainbow Fish
Rainbow Fish is the most beautiful fish in the ocean, and he knows it! Since he’s so vain though, none of the other fish want to be his friend. He goes on a journey to learn humility for the sake of friendship, and realises there are things much more important than being beautiful.
The Story Of Ferdinand
Munro Leaf, Illustrated by Robert Lawson
Unlike all the other bulls, who like to snort and fight and butt their heads, Ferdinand just likes to sit and smell the flowers. Unfortunately, this becomes a problem when he’s taken by humans to the bullfighting ring.
That’s Not My Name!
Mirha is so excited for her first day of school, until she gets there and nobody is pronouncing her name right. She must learn to find her voice and appreciate the uniqueness of her beautiful name.