21 Books Every Kid Should Read Before Kindergarten

by Irina Gonzalez

Reading is an essential part of childhood, and is associated with many treasured memories. (I for one will always associate Dr. Seuss with bedtime rituals.) But as your little ones grow and begin to get ready to enter kindergarten, you might want to change their readings habits and introduce them to some of the books every kid should read before kindergarten.

Before entering school, your kids might have many questions about how their lives will change. They will need to learn certain things before entering the sacred elementary school halls, and will be much better prepared for this new chapter (no pun intended) with some of the lessons and wisdom that can be found in books. Sure, they can learn the alphabet but they can also learn how to share, the importance of forgiveness, all about manners, and what different moods mean. Some books will ignite their curiosity while others will warm their hearts. And, of course, there are plenty of books about friendships and families.

As your child grows, they will likely collect many books that will become treasured memories in your family. But as you help them prepare for kindergarten, make sure that these 21 books are on that list as well.


'Skippyjon Jones, Class Action' by Judy Schachner

Puffin Books

In Skippyjon Jones, Class Action, everyone's favorite kitten wants to go to school, even though his mom tells him that school is for dogs. Though this book, kids learn about the different things they might enjoy in school and get excited for the new adventure.

Click here to buy.


The Works Of Dr. Seuss

Random House Books for Young Readers

Dr. Seuss is a beloved classic for a reason. Start your little ones with the Dr. Seuss's Beginner Book Collection so that they can learn from all of Dr. Seuss' classic lessons. Different characters and stories will teach kids the value of sharing, caring, and more.

Click here to buy.


'Do Unto Otters' by Laurie Keller

Do Unto Otters following a family of otters who move next door to a less-than-thrilled Mr. Rabbit. The book teaches the importance of manners and how to be a good friend and neighbor — an important lesson for kids entering school.

Click here to buy.


'Where The Wild Things Are'

This beloved children's book introduces readers to the little boy Max and his imaginative journey. This story will teach your child to use their imagination, a skill that may just come in handy when they meet new friends in kindergarten.

Click here to buy.


'The Velveteen Rabbit' by Margery Williams Bianco

PC Treasures, Inc.

In The Velveteen Rabbit, a classic tale first published in 1922, a stuffed rabbit goes on a quest to become real through the love of his owner. The rabbit shows kids about the value of going after what you want and is the epitome of dreams coming true, warming everyone's hearts.

Click here to buy.


The Berenstain Bears Series

The Berenstain Bears and the Forgiving Tree holds an important lesson for all kids that are entering school. When Cousin Fred accidentally damages Brother's bike, Brother Bear gets angry. This story helps kids understand the important of forgiveness.

Click here to buy.


'Ada Twist, Scientist' by Andrea Beaty

Harry N. Abrams

Ada Twist, Scientist is an inspiring tale from the creators of Rosie Revere, Engineer and Iggy Peck, Architect. This time kids can learn all about a little girl who is hopelessly curious and not afraid of failure. Your little ones will learn all about scientific experiments that are sure to ignite their own curiosities.

Click here to buy.


'Whoever You Are' by Mem Fox

Reading Rainbow Books

Whoever You Are is a beautiful picture book that celebrates the world's diverse cultures through a combination of appreciating similarities and differences. Kids will learn to embarce their fellow classmates, no matter who they are or what they look like.

Click here to buy.


'One Family' by George Shannon

One Family shows readers how a family can be big or small, comprised of people of different genders and races. As you read this beautiful tale, your kids will learn that families can be different and that is a valuable lesson before they enter kindergarten and meet new friends with their own different families.

Click here to buy.


'Monsters Love School' by Mike Austin

Monsters Love School celebrates the first day of school in this hilarious tale. Now that summer is over, it's time for the biggest adventure of all. This tale is sure to inspire your little ones and get them excited for their own Big Day.

Click here to buy.


'A Color Of His Own' by Leo Lionni

Dragonfly Books

As the lonely chamelion searches for a color of his own, A Color Of His Own takes the reader on a journey of finding oneself and where you belong. Teaching kids the value of learning to be themselves, this book has a valuable lesson for everyone.

Click here to buy.


'Llama Llama Time To Share' by Anna Dewdney


Llama Llama Time To Share teaches kids how to share with their neighbors and friends as Nelly Gnu learns to share with her new friends. Before entering school, all kids should read this book and gain its lessons about sharing and making new friends.

Click here to buy.


'Charlie And The Chocolate Factory' by Roald Dahl

Puffin Books

Go on an adventure with your little ones in Roald Dahl's classic tale Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. Kids will learn valuable lessons from the hero, Charlie, about how to be honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the time of their lives.

Click here to buy.


'Chicka Chicka Boom Boom' by Bill Martin Jr.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom starts off by teaching kids all of the letters of the alphabet by engaging them in the alphabet race with one another up a coconut tree.

Click here to buy.


'Happy Hippo, Angry Duck: A Book Of Moods' by Sandra Boynton

Many valuable lessons can be seen in bestselling author Sandra Boynton's Happy Hippo, Angry Duck: A Book of Moods. This book features clever animals that showcase a wide range of emotions in this laugh-out-loud story about different feelings. Young readers will learn about different moods, something that will help them communicate about their own moods and recognize the moods of others once they step foot in kindergarten.

Click here to buy.


'Jonathan James And The Whatif Monster' by Michelle Nelson-Schmidt

In Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster, a little boy named Jonathan James constantly finds himself hearing his Whatif Monster asking all kinds of questions whenever he finds himself in a new situation. Unfortunately, the Whatif Monster stops him from trying anything new. Read this one to your kids before kindergarten to teach them that it's OK to try new things.

Click here to buy.


'Amos & Boris' by William Steig


Amos & Boris are a pair of friends, that have nothing at all in common except good hearts and a willingness to help their fellow mammal. This book teaches the value of friendship and helping others through the beautiful tale of a mouse and a whale who became unexpected buddies.

Click here to buy.


'Caps For Sale'

Caps for Sale might seem like just a fun tale about a peddler's efforts to outwit the monkeys, but it's an easy-to-read book that teaches your little one is about problem solving — a valuable lesson before stepping foot in kindergarten.

Click here to buy.


'George And Martha' by James Marshall

The classic tales of George and Martha are beloved by many for a good reason. These two loveable hippos are here to teach your little ones the meaning of friendship in five separate tales that they're not soon to forget.

Click here to buy.


'Waiting Is Not Easy!' by Mo Willems

Waiting Is Not Easy! is all about Gerald and Piggie, two best friends with very different personalities. Teaching kids the power of patience, this book is all about Piggie's surprise for Gerald, who has to wait and wait and wait some more, which worries him endlessly.

Click here to buy.


'The Rainbow Fish' by Marcus Pfister

North-South Books

The Rainbow Fish is not only a gorgeous book filled with foil stamped, glittering pages, but it has a universal message that parents and kids are sure to love. This story is about a beautiful fish to learns to make friends by sharing his most prized possessions, which is a great lesson for all kids.

Click here to buy.