Homepreschool and Beyond

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List of Classic Preschool Picture Books

Posted by homeschoolmentormom on March 6, 2010

          Books! Books contain the throb of human life; the magic entrances, fascinates, sets alight imagination, opens doors of interest and curiosity, informs, and triggers questioning.  Restless bodies become still and concentrated-thinking is encouraged.  Reading out loud together fosters warm ties in human relationships.  The experience is shared, and then interesting and meaningful conversation ensues.  Developing the ability and desire to pursue reading is education.  

 -Susan Schaeffer Macaulay, in the introduction to Books Children Love: A Guide to the Best Children’s Literature, by Elizabeth Wilson


          Following are some excerpts from the chapter “Book Lists: Preschool Through Grade School”, in my book, Homepreschool and Beyond.  Bear in mind that this is only a small excerpt; pages 81-101 in my book are devoted my book list, which is categorized by topic. 

          These are all books I used with my own children.  I try to avoid titles that include witches, ghosts, references to Halloween, evolution, etc.  If a title I include in my list has any questionable content, I try to warn you so that you can decide if the title is redeemable with some editing, or if you should skip it altogether (only a very small percentage of the books I list would fall into that category.)

  Favorite Authors and Illustrators  

 A Hole is to Dig and others by Ruth Kruass

Angus Lost, Angus and the Cat, Angus and the Ducks, Ask Mr. Bear, The Story About Ping, and others by Marjorie Flack

Animals of Farmer Jones, The, Pig Will and Pig Won’t, and others written and/or illustrated by Richard Scarry

Bedtime for Frances, Bread and Jam for Frances, (part of a series of Francis books), by Russell Hoban  4+ (note:  Frances struggles to stay in bed at night, but finally learns self-control after threatened with a spanking–so real to life–hilarious.)

Biggest House in the World, Fish is Fish, Swimmy, and many others by Leo Lionni

Beady Bear, Corduroy, A Pocket for Corduroy, Dandelion and others by Dan Freeman  2+

Curious George (part of a series of “Curious George” books), by Hans A Rey

Donkey-Donkey, and others by Roger Duvoisin  (I just found out this wonderful book is back in print!  Snap it up while you can!  Donkey Donkey doesn’t like his long ears, so the other animals in the barnyard encourage him to “wear” his ears the same way they do:  Dog says to wear them down; Sheep suggests wearing them the side; Pig says wear them over his eyes, etc.  As you can imagine, his ears get him into a lot of trouble until he realizes that he is a donkey, and should wear his ears as donkeys do.  A great lesson in accepting ourselves for what we are/self-esteem (but not preachy.)

Goodnight Moon, Home for A Bunny, Little Fur Family, The Big Red Barn, The Runaway Bunny and others by Margaret Wise Brown  2+

Harry and the Lady Next Door, Harry by the Sea, Harry the Dirty Dog, No Roses For Harry, and others by Gene Zion   I think these are probably my all time favorites.  Don’t miss them!

Katy and the Big Snow, Little House, The; Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, and others by Virgina Lee Burton   ~Others that are too good to be missed!

Make Way for Ducklings, Blueberries for Sal, and others by Robert McCloskey

Tale of Peter Rabbit, The and others by Beatrix Potter

Very Hungary Caterpillar, The; Ten Little Rubber Ducks, Grouchy Ladybug, The; Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me, and MANY others by Eric Carle

 Harder to Find/Out of Print  (OOP) Books That Are Worth Looking For:

Christian Mother Goose, volumes I and II, by Marjorie Ainsborough Decker

Dog Who Had Kittens, The, by Polly M. Robertus

Part Time Dog, by Jane Thayer

Ten In the Bed, by Penny Dale  (OOP-a Discovery Toy’s book)

Who Wants Arthur? by Amanda Graham  (OOP-a Discovery Toy’s book)

Wonderful Shrinking Shirt, The, Leone Castell Anderson*  (OOP)

This post contains excerpts from the book,Homepreschool and Beyond”; used with permission.

© 2010 Susan Lemons all rights reserved.


3 Responses to “List of Classic Preschool Picture Books”

  1. silvia said

    We’ve read and also love many of the first list, and some from the harder to find list too! I’ll be on the look for those titles you’ve suggested that we haven’t read yet.
    I love children’s literature, it brings me comfort and nostalgia.


  2. hopeistheword said

    Thanks for commenting on my blog and pointing back to your list! Some of yours I’ve never heard of either. I’ll definitely keep on the lookout for them!

    Thanks again!

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