These Books are My Favorites to Read With Preschoolers
If you haven't already, please see Part 1 of this post, with my first 5 favorite books for preschoolers here.
Now read on for the second half of the books I love to read with preschoolers in speech-language therapy! I've saved my absolute, hands-down, nothing-else-comes-remotely-close favorite of all time for last.
6) Silly Sally by Audrey Wood
This is a ridiculous book that always makes my preschoolers laugh. Silly Sally walks toward town backwards and upside down and gathering animal friends along the way.
I own a felt set of the characters for Silly Sally, so we act out the events of the story with these felt manipulatives. Acting the story out really helps my kiddos get a better understanding of the spatial concepts in the book (backwards, upside down, forwards, right side up) because they can move the felt characters in 3D.
The book is repetitive, which always increases kids' ability to retell the story.
It has rhyming word pairs. See this post to find out more about the importance of rhyming and other phonological awareness skills.
It has a small amount of novel vocabulary (jig, leapfrog, loon, tune).
And all preschoolers find it hilarious when the tickling begins!
7) Gossie by Olivier Dunrea
This is a story about a gosling who loses one of her boots and eventually learns about sharing. It has a simple plot and a surprise at the end.
As we learn about how much Gossie likes her red boots, what she does with them, and how she searches for them, the story weaves in lots of spatial concepts, including up, down, under, over, and in.
The pictures are so simple and descriptive that they make retelling the story super easy for kids.
I made a color copy of Gossie and Gertie (the two characters in the story), as well as the red boots. I then cut out the boots and the characters and laminated them. We begin the story with the boots taped onto Gossie's feet and remove them as events of the story unfold.
My students love the part at the end where Gossie has one boot and Gertie has one boot. Sharing is a big topic in preschool, and it can be easier for kids to practice sharing among story characters, before they are able to easily share IRL with their peers!
8) Pip and Posy: The Super Scooter by Axel Scheffler
Out of all the Pip and Posy books, this one is my favorite; although I have to give an honorable mention to both Pip and Posy: The Scary Monster (great around Halloween!) and Pip and Posy: The New Friend -- they are both excellent for working on theory of mind concepts and inferring feelings for slightly older students.
Pip and Posy: The Super Scooter has simple themes that will be very familiar to most preschoolers -- riding on scooters, wanting something that is not yours, feeling angry, getting hurt, and forgiving friends.
It also provides many opportunities to work on inferring character thoughts and feelings, as well as labeling emotions, because the drawings are so detailed and clear! Practically every page portrays different feelings, even among the animals who are not main characters. There are so many scenarios depicted that can be discussed, e.g., that pigeon is watching the bees, that fox is looking at the cat's balloon, Pip is showing us that he's angry with his eyebrows and crossed arms, the crow is seeing that Posy is falling and looks worried, etc.
This is compelling stuff for 3- and 4-year olds! My students are always rapt!
9) A Color or His Own by Leo Leonni
This is a story about a chameleon who learns to manage an existential crisis; he laments not having a color of his own, since he's always changing color wherever he goes.
He eventually meets another chameleon and realizes that, while he will never have his own color, he can enjoy being the same color as his new friend if they stick together.
I may or may not have teared up more than once while reading the ending of this story! It definitely elicits the warm fuzzy feelings of friendship, which preschoolers are actively learning about.
Along the way, my students get reinforcement around animal and color vocabulary, as well as the concept of seasonal changes in autumn, winter, and spring.
10) Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton
Blue Hat, Green Hat is, my absolute favorite book of all time. As someone who has read hundreds of storybooks thousands of times, I can assure you that there is a lot of competition for this top spot.
But the sheer joy this book elicits is undeniable. I have even given copies of this book to many of my graduate students, interns, and CFYs. It is my hope that as many people as possible get to experience the avalanche of giggles that results from reading this book with a very young person.
There is no real plot to speak of in Blue Hat, Green Hat. It just keeps coming back to a buffoonish turkey who just can't get it together with the clothes he wears; he puts a hat on his feet, pulls a shirt up like pants, hangs a coat from his beak, etc.
The words in the book are very repetitive and predictable, so kids can "read" the story by themselves while they point to each word. Recognizing that each discrete clump of letters on a page represents one word is an early print awareness skill.
I get giggles going by always covering up the turkey while we read the first part of the page. I then reveal the absurd thing the turkey is doing and feign incredulity at it. Kids usually howl with laughter! It's even more fun when I have a group of kids laughing together. Isn't laughing with someone one of the best feelings ever?
I can then elicit some really nice expressive language with questions like, "Is that what we do with pants?!", and "What did the turkey do with his socks?!". I have seen kids with very limited language try SO HARD to tell me what the silly turkey has done. I can almost feel the connections being made as they build novel word combinations!
Kiddos also get to practice using subjective and possessive pronouns ("He put his socks on his hands!") as well adjective + noun phrases (yellow hat, green shirt, purple socks, etc.)
Do you have a favorite book you read with your preschool students? Leave a comment!
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