Please keep in mind these books are not necessarily listed in order of importance. The books your child is excited to read again and again will be the number one books in your home.
10. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See
This story has singsong text, and boldly colored illustrations of lovable animals. The best books for preschool and pre-K children always include a way to easily remember the characters and plot.
9. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
It is rare for a children’s book not to push a happy ending, but this story does it well. Alexander is a boy who is just having a bad day, and that’s okay.
8. Goodnight Moon
Every parent needs books for bedtime, and there is no simpler, sweeter classic than Goodnight Moon. The story follows a bunny as he says goodnight to all the objects in his room, plus the moon outside his window. The tone is soothing, and has helped lull preschoolers to sleep around the world for decades.
7. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
This may very well be your child’s first book that they can read with you, and then watch as a film. This is the story of a town called Chewandswallow, where food rains down from the sky three times a day. As the problem escalates, the town must decide what to do. This has a unique storyline that engages young children and adults, making it one of the more exciting reads on this list.
There are many Corduroy stories out now, including the 2018 story by Viola Davis. These delightful stories about a teddy bear’s adventures all began in the classic Corduroy, by Don Freeman.
5. The House at Pooh Corner
Are there more classic stories than Winnie the Pooh and his jar of honey? Pooh and Christopher Robin learn all kinds of lessons about friendship and adventure in these classic books for preschool and Pre-K children.
4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
This is many children’s first book, and for good reason. Bright and beautiful illustrations fill the pages as this caterpillar goes on his journey to becoming a butterfly. Not only entertaining, this tale is a first introduction to science.
3. The Cat in the Hat
Dr. Seuss has given us many stories over the years, but the most iconic is The Cat in the Hat. His day of mischief and adventure, and the lessons learned by the children he visits, keeps this story as a beloved book in every library.
2. Where the Wild Things Are
Imaginative is the first word that comes to mind for this book. Strange monsters and a new world, exciting outfits and adventures, and at the end of the day, the love and comfort that can only be found with family.
1. The Giving Tree
A timeless classic, this sweet story about selflessness has sparked a lot of conversation over the years about selflessness and love. Children’s University (shown below), a private preschool in Arlington, TX, recommends these books for preschool and Pre-K students.