Jenny's Library

Literary Gifts for Pre-Readers – Part 2

Posted on: November 26, 2013

Continuing from the previous installment, here are literary gifts for preschoolers, kids just starting school, and other children not quite reading yet.  All of the books on this list should be in stock in most bookstores, so they should work for last minutes gifts.

Books That Should Be In Stock

cover image for Not A Boxinside page for Not a Box

inside page for Not a Boxcover image for Not A Stick

Not a Box, Not a Stick by Antionette Portis

In this pair of awesomely entertaining books, a bunny pretends that a box is not a box but a race car! a volcano! a robot! and that a stick is not a stick but a spear! a fishing rod! a sword!  The covers help make the books extra special; Not a Box has the look and texture of cardboard, Not a Stick the feel of wood.

cover image for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Buscover image for DOn't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late

The Pigeon Finds A Hot Dog!cover image for The Duckling Gets A Cookie!?image for Don't Let the Pigeon Run This App!

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay up Late, The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog, The Duckling Wants a Cookie?!, Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App! by Mo Willems

When the bus driver steps out for a while, he asks readers (and listeners) to watch the bus for him – and to not let the Pigeon drive the bus! Giving little ones a chance to tell someone else “NO!” for a change, as the Pigeon tries all the typical arguments (“I’ll bet your mom would let me”) to try to convince them otherwise.  Willems illustrations are full of energy and personality, but remain still simple enough for children to imitate.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay up Late follows the same formula, while The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog and The Duckling Wants a Cookie?! do not but remain quite charming.

The spin-off app is brilliant as well.  More than just an electronic version of the story, the app also allows children to fill in the blanks (Mad Libs style) and record their own version of the story, and gives them a chance to learn how to draw the pigeon, step by step, right on their tablet.

cover image for Press Hereinside page for Press Here

Press Here by Herve Tullet

This interactive story asks children to press, shake, and turn pages to make the dots multiple, move, and transform.

cover image for Blackoutinside page for Blackout

Blackout by John Rocco

When a blackout means that no one in the city can watch tv, play video games, or use the internet, a family rediscover the joys of spending time outside with each other and friends.  Told in a comic book-like format, the beautiful and very readable sequential art helps prepare children for the process of reading – much like Snowy Day does, only in a more sophisticated way.

cover image for Planting a Rainbowcover image for Eating The Alphabet

Planting a Rainbow, Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert

This pair of brilliant concept books uses bright colors, rhyming text, and shaped pages to capture and keep little ones’ attention.

cover image for The Snowy DayThe Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

A young child explores all the wonders of freshly fallen snow.  A lovely book with engaging pictures that are clear and sequential enough that children can use them to “read” the story on their own when adults and older siblings are busy.

Green by Laura Vaccaro Seegercover image for Green

Lime green, forest green, faded green, sea green…all kinds of greens!  A bit more sophisticated than most color books meant for very young children, Vaccaro Seeger rich illustrations and clever cut-outs will delight older preschoolers and younger elementary age children.

cover image for Frieght TrainFreight Train by Donald Crews

Bold black and white backgrounds are joined by brightly colored train cars in a simple and classic story.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendakcover image for Where the Wild Things Are

Do I really need to explain this choice? I didn’t think so.

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1 Response to "Literary Gifts for Pre-Readers – Part 2"

[…] Jenny’s Library offers a selection of choices for the pre-school set.  Be sure to check out her first installment of gift suggestions, too. […]

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