3 more great books for preschoolers

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Little By Little, by Amber Stewart

Otto the otter was making a list of all the things that he could do: roly-polies, be kind to frogs and build sand castles. The one thing he couldn’t do, but that he really wanted to do, was swim. So with the help of his mom and sister, he learned how to swim. He also learned that he had to practice a little each day. Sometimes young children need to be reminded that there are some things that we have to practice doing, before we are successful.

When I feel Jealous cover image

When I Feel Jealous, by Cornelia Maude Spelman

Jealousy is a feeling that everyone experiences. A new sibling can make a child feel jealous. When someone can do something better than you, it can make you feel jealous. This book will help parents talk to their child about the jealous feeling, and will let children know that they can talk to their parents about it, too.

Amos McGee Misses the Bus cover image

Amos McGee Misses the Bus, Philip C. Stead

This is another book about Amos and his friends at the zoo. Amos misses the bus to work. He gets to work late and has planned a trip to the beach for his animal friends. He is worried he won’t finish his job and won’t be able to take his friends to the beach. His animal friends decide to help Amos and finish his jobs. Children need to know that they can help out, too, and that they will feel good about showing their kindness.

How to pick a great children’s book

The selection of books is as important as the selection of toys. Young children have incomplete information for understanding the world around them, which results in what we often refer to as “magical thinking”: explanations for things that don’t make sense to adults. Magical thinking can make it difficult to know what’s going on in a child’s mind, and may lead to unexpected reactions of fear or stress.

Here are some thoughts about selecting appropriate books:

  • Look for pictures that may be scary to a young child. Is there a fire? Do the animals have long sharp teeth? Are there depictions of things that you know are troubling to your child specifically?
    Noreen Acierno


  • Is the vocabulary suitable? Are the words scary, like yelping, snarling and hissing sounds. Are there references to violence or antisocial behavior – fighting or throwing things?
  • Is it developmentally appropriate? Books for young children should be uncluttered and simple with a clear presentation of the important concepts. The first words that children learn are nouns – the objects of everyday life.

For more insights about selecting books and reading with young children, look at our original list of 100 great children’s books.

Book links go to Amazon and generate a small donation to Hanna Perkins Center when used to make a purchase.

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