Here are my top ten books for children ages birth to five. I absolutely love children’s books. They often have beautiful artwork and illustrations along with sometimes a very profound message. I have used children’s books many times in my trainings for leadership and with teachers. As a result I have been able to share my love of children’s literature along with early learning.
The ten books I have chosen for this are some of my favorites from my years in the classroom, my years as a parent and grandparent and my years as a trainer and mentor. However, it was extremely difficult to choose just ten so I may need a sequel!
*My Top Ten Books For Children Ages Birth to Five
- Wise Brown, Margaret. Good Night Moon. (HarperCollins, 1947) A short poem of goodnight wishes from a young rabbit preparing for, or attempting to postpone, his own slumber. Another all time favorite.
- Keats, Ezra Jack. The Snowy Day. (Puffin Books, 1976) Everyone’s favorite! Which is a simple tale about a boy waking up to discover that snow has fallen during the night. As a result, he must go outside and explore!
- Moon, Nicola. Lucy’s Picture. (Dial Books for Young Readers, 1995) This story takes place when Lucy’s class gets ready “to do some painting,” Lucy asks to work instead on a collage for her grandfather. Due to Lucy’s creativity the entire class gets a lesson in diversity.
- Parnell, Peter & Justin Richardson. And Tango Makes Three. (Simon & Schuster, 2005) This tale is based on a true story about a charming penguin family living in New York City’s Central Park Zoo.Therefore, it will capture the hearts of penguin lovers everywhere.
- Rosa-Casanova, Sylvia. Mama Provi and the Pot of Rice. (Simon & Schuster, 1997) When her granddaughter is sick, Mama Provi makes a big pot of arroz con pollo for her and sets off on the journey from her first-floor apartment to Lucy’s eighth floor home in the same building. However, on each floor Mama Provi trades a bit of rice for a new type of food.
- Seeger, Pete Abiyoyo. (Simon & Schuster, 2001) Based on a South African lullaby and folksong, a ukulele-playing boy and his magician father are always getting into mischief, so they are banished to the edge of town. There they have an opportunity to redeem themselves when Abiyoyo, a horrible people eating giant approaches the village. As a result, they are welcomed back into the town.
- Smith, Jada Pinkett. Girls Hold Up This World. (Scholastic, 2005) Smith celebrates the inner strength of women and girls in this short photo-essay with a rhyming text. Even more stunning because of the beautiful illustrations.
- Smith, Cynthia Leitich. Jingle Dancer. (Morrow Junior Books, 2000) While watching a video of her Grandma Wolfe perform a jingle dance, Jenna is determined to dance at an upcoming powwow. As a result she learns about her family and culture.
- Tarplay, Natasha Anastasia. I Love My Hair! (Little, Brown & Company New York, 1998) A young African-American girl describes the familiar mother-daughter nightly ritual of combing the tangles out of her hair.
- Williams, Vera B. A Chair for my Mother. (Mullberry Books, 1982) A young girl tells how she, her mother, and her grandmother save up all their spare coins in a big glass jar toward the day when they will buy a much-needed easy chair. Therefore, showing how families work together for a goal.
Don’t forget to read my post on assessing children’s literature here!