Top Preschool Books to Encourage Language Development

Here are some of my favorites, old and new for your preschooler to encourage language through a great story:

The Great Fuzz Frenzy by Janet Stevens. Check out my review. Kids love this book for the zany antics of the prairie dogs with their fuzz and the wild vocabulary and comical alliteration.

Clancy the Courageous Cow by Lachie Hume. This is a new book with a clever story about being different, discrimination, and grace. There is lots to talk about as you encourage your child to predict what will happen, talk about feelings, solutions, and how to react to someone who is different.

Amos and Boris by William Steig. This is a clever book about adventure, rescue, friendship, and sacrifice. It is packed with good vocabulary. Try other books by this author.

Picnic at Mudsock Meadow by Patricia Polacco. This isn’t just another Halloween book, but a clever story of competition, courage and finally friendship. The illustrations are magnificent with their detail and action. Lots of predictions can be made based on these beautiful drawings.

Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs by Giles Andrede and Russel Ayto. This is every little boy’s dream, to uncover a pirate captain in a closet and set sail with him. Of course they encounter the ferocious pirate dinosaurs and a battle ensues. The illustrator has created beasts with “tonsils wobbling ferociously at the back of his throat” who have a whimsy about them who draw us in to a tale created in a little boy’s mind. Talk about what you would do if you met a pirate in the closet?

I Wish I Were a Butterfly by James Howe is a lovely tale about self-esteem, listening to criticism, acceptance While the little cricket was wishing he was a butterfly, after the frog at the edge of the pond told him he was ugly, the ladybug wisely replies, “…you must learn to be content with what you are and not mind what a silly old frog tells you.” Friendship finally brings acceptance. There are many themes to talk about with your child after reading this story that relate to her life—teasing, feelings, self-worth, friendship and acceptance.

The Featherless Chicken by Chih-Yuan Chen. In this playful tale, a featherless chicken is trying to part of the gang of artfully adorned chickens. Finally when he acquires a costume of leaves, silverware and a fish can, he looks good enough to join the others. This is another story about fitting in, being transparent and having a roaring good time!After reading this book, it would be fun to make a collage costume for your own featherless chicken.

Edwina, The Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She was Extinct by Mo Willems. Loveable Edwina meets her match with the incorrigible Reginald who is trying to convince her she is extinct. This story is about winning over a bully with kindness. Talk about ways to show kindness to those who are nice and not nice to us.

Chuck Lends a Paw and Funny Bunnies on the Run by Robert Quakenbush are full of laugh-aloud consequences for the antics of bunnies and mice. You can use these books to ask questions like “Why did that happen?” since there is a reason for all the catastrophes in the stories! These are early readers but can also be used as read-alouds.

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