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Education

Best Kindergarten Books for the Classroom


Stocking your kindergarten classroom library is an amazing chance to share the world with your young students. You’ve definitely got your reliable favorites, but updating your shelves with fresh picks is fun and important. Here are 60 recent and diverse kindergarten books to pull your students in, make them laugh, and help them learn and grow.

(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend books our team loves!)

1. Swashby and the Sea by Beth Ferry

Book cover for Swashby and the Sea as an example of kindergarten books

Captain Swashby is a reclusive, retired sailor happy with his quiet life by the sea—until an energetic girl and her grandmother move in next door. This delightful book checks all the right boxes for kindergarten books: lovable and diverse characters, heartwarming themes, charming artwork, and discussion-worthy vocabulary. There are even a handful of authentic chances to review phonics skills and sight words as students decipher messages written in the sand.

Buy it: Swashby and the Sea on Amazon

2. Out the Door by Christy Hale

Book cover for Out the Door as an example of kindergarten books

There are so many potential curriculum connections for this story about a girl’s trip to school, which starts with her heading out the door and continues through her urban neighborhood and onto the subway. Use this as a conversation starter about neighborhoods and journeys to school, to introduce activities about prepositions, directions, or mapping, or as a writing mentor text.

Buy it: Out the Door on Amazon

3. Love Is Powerful  by Heather Dean Brewer

Book cover for Love is Powerful as an example of kindergarten books

As Mari and her mother create signs for an upcoming march, Mari isn’t sure their letters are big enough for anyone to read their messages. But read them, people do. By the time you reach the author’s note, with reflections from the real-life six-year-old Mari on her experience attending a Women’s March in 2017, we guarantee you’ll have chills. Share this to kick off an opinion writing unit, or anytime you want to let the children in your life know that love—and their own words—are most definitely powerful.

Buy it: Love Is Powerful on Amazon

4. T. Rexes Can’t Tie Their Shoes by Anna Lazowski

Book cover for T Rexes Can't Tie Their Shoes as an example of kindergarten books

You can never have too many kindergarten alphabet books, and this silly one will have kids giggling. Sure, horses can’t play hopscotch, and raccoons definitely can’t ride roller coasters, but trying out new things is still tons of fun!

Buy it: T. Rexes Can’t Tie Their Shoes on Amazon

5. Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora

Book cover for Thank You, Omu! as an example of kindergarten books

When Omu makes her thick, red stew, the delicious smell attracts many visitors hoping for a taste. Selflessly, she gives every last bit away—but her grateful neighbors have a plan to say thanks. This would be the perfect story to act out with your class.

Buy it: Thank You, Omu! on Amazon

6. Saturday by Oge Mora

Book cover for Saturday as an example of kindergarten books

In this quiet gem, a mother-daughter pair make the best of a series of mishaps by keeping in mind what’s truly important: being together.

Buy it: Saturday on Amazon

7. All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold, illus. by Suzanne Kaufman

Book cover for All Are Welcome as an example of kindergarten books

Families of every makeup and background walk to school on this first day of school. Teachers greet them with joy and reverence. This is one of our new favorite kindergarten books to set the tone at the start of school and revisit all year long.

Buy it: All Are Welcome on Amazon

8. The Three Billy Goats Buenos by Susan Middleton Elya

Book cover for The Three Billy Goats Buenos as an example of kindergarten books

We adore this rhyming Spanish and English adaptation of a classic tale! It has lots of familiar details, but in an updated ending, the troll becomes the goats’ newest amiga. Perfect for comparing and contrasting with a traditional version.

Buy it: The Three Billy Goats Buenos on Amazon

9. Fern and Otto: A Story About Two Best Friends by Stephanie Graegin

Book cover for Fern and Otto: A Story About Two Best Friends as an example of kindergarten books

On the hunt for an exciting story idea, Fern and Otto take a grand tour of fairy tale and nursery rhyme events in the forest. In the end, they find that the best stories can be found closer to home. Add this title to your list for launching a writers workshop!

Buy it: Fern and Otto: A Story About Two Best Friends on Amazon

10. Lupe Lopez: Rock Star Rules! by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo and Pat Zietlow Miller

Book cover for Lupe Lopez: Rock Star Rules as an example of kindergarten books

Lupe Lopez starts kindergarten with big dreams to become a classroom rock star, but the classroom rules cramp her style. Add this to your kindergarten books for creating classroom rules as a group.

Buy it: Lupe Lopez: Rock Star Rules! on Amazon

11. Pink Is for Everybody! by Ella Russell

Book cover for Pink is for Everybody! as an example of kindergarten books

Discussions about colors—and who should wear them, use them, or like them—often come up in kindergarten. This wonderfully inclusive book models for kids how everyone has the right to choose just what they like.

Buy it: Pink Is for Everybody! on Amazon

12. The Little Red Fort by Brenda Maier

Book cover for The Little Red Fort as an example of kindergarten books

This Little Red Hen retelling stars Ruby, who spies some scrap wood and gets a vision for an amazing fort. Will any of her brothers help her build it?

Buy it: The Little Red Fort on Amazon

13. Tiny Spoon vs. Little Fork by Constance Lombardo

Book cover for Tiny Spoon vs. Little Fork as an example of kindergarten books

Need to grab a book to shift the mood? This competitive rant between baby feeding utensils will have your kiddos laughing hysterically. We also love it for introducing speech bubbles.

Buy it: Tiny Spoon vs. Little Fork on Amazon

14. Bathe the Cat by Alice B. McGinty

Book cover for Bathe the Cat as an example of kindergarten books

It’s a race to get through the cleaning to-do list before Grandma comes to visit. But uh-oh! The cat keeps swiping at the magnetic letters on the fridge, jumbling the tasks in hilarious ways. Share this to reinforce print concepts. Plus, add to your kindergarten books that represent two-dad families.

Buy it: Bathe the Cat on Amazon

15. Elmore by Holly Hobbie

Book cover for Elmore as an example of kindergarten books

It can be hard to make friends when you’re a spiky porcupine! This book encourages students to think about the many ways they can connect with others.

Buy it: Elmore on Amazon

16. The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds

Book cover for The Word Collector as an example of kindergarten books

Many kids collect rocks, baseball cards, and comic books, but Jerome collects words. Inspire students to notice vocabulary and show them the power that just the right word can hold.

Buy it: The Word Collector on Amazon

17.  The Rabbit Listened  by Cori Doerrfeld

Book cover for The Rabbit Listened as an example of kindergarten books

This tender story reminds kindergartners (and those who teach them) that sometimes just listening is the best way to help.

Buy it: The Rabbit Listened on Amazon

18. The Bear and the Moon by Matthew Burgess

Book cover for The Bear and the Moon as an example of kindergarten books

This gentle tale of a bear and a balloon is what we all need right now. Use it to introduce conversations about loss and disappointment in a reassuring way. We also love this story as a narrative-writing mentor text; the lush, detailed language is perfect for showing students possibilities for “adding more.”

Buy it: The Bear and the Moon on Amazon

19. A Sled for Gabo by Emma Otheguy

Book cover for A Sled for Gabo as an example of kindergarten books

Do you love The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats? (Who doesn’t?!) You’ll find Gabo just as adorable as Peter as he learns how to problem-solve, with the help of his community, to stay dry and have fun in the snow. The English version includes lots of Spanish words, and this title is also available fully in Spanish.

Buy it: A Sled for Gabo on Amazon

20.–23. Winter Is Here, In the Middle of Fall, When Spring Comes, and Summer Song by Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek

Book cover for Winter is Here as an example of kindergarten books

 Book cover for In the Middle of Fall as an example of kindergarten books Book cover for When Spring Comes as an example of kindergarten books Book cover for Summer Song as an example of kindergarten books

The patterned text, precise language, and cheerful illustrations in these titles are perfect for sharing with kindergartners, no matter the weather! Inspire seasonal artwork and writing all year long.

Buy it: Winter Is Here, In the Middle of Fall, When Spring Comes, and Summer Song on Amazon

24. Inside Cat by Brendan Wenzel

Book cover for Inside Cat as an example of kindergarten books

Inside Cat looks at the world through so many different windows—it’s surely seen it all, right? The surprise ending will delight kids. This is a unique addition to your kindergarten books that will definitely get your class noticing and talking (and maybe heading out on a shape hunt!).

Buy it: Inside Cat on Amazon

25. Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets: A Muslim Book of Shapes by Hena Khan

Book cover for Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets: A Muslim Book of Shapes as an example of kindergarten books

This is so much more than a shape book. Explore both 2D and 3D shapes alongside Muslim culture with this unique offering. Students who enjoy artwork will especially appreciate the intricate designs in the illustrations. Also check out others in this series: One Sun and Countless Stars: A Muslim Book of Numbers and Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors.

Buy it: Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets: A Muslim Book of Shapes on Amazon

26. Ten Blocks to the Big Wok by Ying-Hwa Hu

Book cover for Ten Blocks to the Big Wok as an example of kindergarten books

Counting stories are awesome kindergarten books! In this bilingual English and Mandarin title, Mia and her Uncle Eddie walk through Chinatown on their way to eat dim sum. On each block, they see more interesting things. Introduce ordinal and cardinal numbers and inspire kids’ own neighborhood counting books.

Buy it: Ten Blocks to the Big Wok on Amazon

27. Ten on a Twig by Lo Cole

Book cover for Ten on a Twig as an example of kindergarten books

You know how you teach ways to make ten for, oh … the entire year? This book makes it so much happier! Ten colorful birds sit on a twig until—snap!—the twig keeps breaking, causing birds to fall off. The illustrations are pleasing yet uncluttered enough to use for math lessons and could inspire the most adorable art projects ever.

Buy it: Ten on a Twig on Amazon

28. 100 Things I Know How To Do by Amy Schwartz

Book cover for 100 Things I Know How to Do as an example of kindergarten books

Kids can do so many things! This rhyming list is one of our new favorite kindergarten books to share at the start of the year or anytime we want to celebrate all the things our class can do! It’s a great addition to your 100th Day of School book collection too.

Buy it: 100 Things I Know How To Do on Amazon

29. We All Play by Julie Flett

Book cover for We All Play as an example of kindergarten books

Who loves to play? All kinds of animals, and kids, of course! We adore this title as an addition to our kindergarten books that celebrate the magic of play. Written in both English and Cree, we love using this title to celebrate native languages and connections to nature too.

Buy it: We All Play on Amazon

30. Lubna and Pebble by Wendy Meddour

Book cover for Lubna and Pebble as an example of kindergarten books

We don’t want to shy away from tough topics with our young students, but they have to be tackled in developmentally appropriate ways. This child’s-eye view of a refugee experience is also a touching testament to the power of friendship.

Buy it: Lubna and Pebble on Amazon

31. Pool Party by Amy Duchȇne and Elisa Parhad

Book cover for Pool Party as an example of kindergarten books

Add this to your kindergarten books for helping kids get ideas for their own personal narrative writing. Who doesn’t love a pool party? There are just a few words per page, but there are so many fun details to notice in the pictures. Encourage kids to add small details to their own drawings, right down to wrinkles on pruned fingers!

Buy it: Pool Party on Amazon

32. Jabari Tries by Gaia Cornwall

Book cover for Jabari Tries as an example of kindergarten books

If you love Jabari Jumps, you’ll be excited about his new chance to shine. This one is for every kid who has big dreams of creating something amazing, only to find it’s harder than they thought. Jabari’s dad wins once again with his spot-on advice about slowing down, breathing, and digging deep for the patience to try, try again.

Buy it: Jabari Tries on Amazon

33. Time for Bed, Old House by Janet Costa Bates

Book cover for Time for Bed, Old House as an example of kindergarten books

Isaac is happy to be visiting his grandfather’s house but hesitant about actually going to sleep. His grandfather leads him through a sweet routine that makes all the creaks and groans of the old house endearing instead of scary. We love that savvy Grandpop introduces Isaac to “Reading the Pictures” so he can help tell the bedtime stories—a great skill to build for pre-readers in kindergarten!

Buy it: Time for Bed, Old House on Amazon

34. The Fort by Laura Perdew

Book cover for The Fort as an example of kindergarten books

The lyrical language and expressive artwork in this celebration of friendship and play make for an engaging read-aloud. (Plus, now we want to run right outside and make our own forest fort.) Whether you’re playing pirates, castle, astronauts, or something else, pretending is more fun with a buddy!

Buy it: The Fort on Amazon

35. It’s a Sign! by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey

Book cover for It's a Sign as an example of kindergarten books

The Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! collection never lets us down! Colorful creatures make signs for their new club. Add this one to your kindergarten books for talking about using letter-sound knowledge to write decodable words.

Buy it: It’s a Sign! on Amazon

36. Becoming Vanessa by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Book cover for Becoming Vanessa as an example of kindergarten books

If you share Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes every year, you’ll love adding this to your mix of kindergarten books about names! When Vanessa starts school, she wants her classmates to know she’s special, but it feels like her efforts miss the mark. Plus, her name takes so long to write (and those two s’s are hard!). When her family teaches her what her name means, everything feels right.

Buy it: Becoming Vanessa on Amazon

37. A Piglet Named Mercy by Kate DiCamillo

Book cover for A Piglet Named Mercy

Initiate a new crop of Mercy Watson fans with a tender picture book explanation of how Mercy arrived at the Watson family’s doorstep.

Buy it: A Piglet Named Mercy on Amazon

38. KINDergarten: Where Kindness Matters Every Day by Vera Ahiyya

kindergaten by vera ahiyya

Written by kindergarten teacher and Instagram influencer the TuTu Teacher, this picture book follows Leo on his first day of kindergarten as his classmates share ideas about kindness and what it means.

Buy it: KINDergarten: Where Kindness Matters Every Day on Amazon

39. Together We Ride by Valerie Bolling

Book cover for Together We Ride

Kids can make so many connections to this story of a girl learning to ride a bike. Share this when you’re talking about noticing details in book illustrations—and adding more to kids’ own drawings.

Buy it: Together We Ride on Amazon

40. Our Favorite Day of the Year by A. E. Ali

Book cover for Our Favorite Day of the Year

When Musa starts kindergarten, his new teacher invites him to share his favorite day with the class. He’s shocked that Eid al-Fitr isn’t everyone’s favorite day! Over the course of the year, the class learns about Rosh Hashanah, Las Posadas, Pi Day, and many more special days. If you’re looking to add more inclusive holiday and calendar-themed kindergarten books to your shelves, try this one.

Buy it: Our Favorite Day of the Year on Amazon

41. See How They Grow series by DK

Book cover for See How They Grow: Forest

Kindergarten books that help tackle science standards are the best! Uncluttered photos show how baby animals from different habitats grow and change over time.

Buy it: See How They Grow on Amazon

42. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Science by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld

Book cover for National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Science

What is science, anyway? Use the opening section to teach kids about the habits of scientists at the start of the year, and return to its captivating coverage of different science topics when you start each new unit.

Buy it: National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Science on Amazon

43. Nibi’s Water Song by Sunshine Tenasco

Book cover for Nibi's Water Song

Educate kids about the importance of working to ensure everyone has clean water to drink with this energetic story of activism written by two indigenous Canadian women.

Buy it: Nibi’s Water Song on Amazon

44. Water Land: Land and Water Forms Around the World by Christy Hale

Book cover for Water Land

This innovative book uses paper cut-outs to show how land and water forms are related—plus, plenty of fun details in the illustrations invite wondering and conversation.

Buy it: Water Land: Land and Water Forms Around the World on Amazon

45. Germs vs. Soap by Didi Dragon

Book cover for Germs vs. Soap

Kindergarten classrooms have to talk about handwashing … a lot. At least this book makes it entertaining! Captivate kids’ imaginations while teaching them to wage battle using germs’ sudsy nemesis.

Buy it: Germs vs. Soap on Amazon

46. Peek-Through Picture Books series by Britta Teckentrup

Perfect blends of artistry, information, and engagement, each title in this series uses cut-outs to share new details on each page about a topic in nature. Who says nonfiction can’t be beautiful?

Buy it: Peek-Through Picture Books on Amazon

47. Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos by Monica Brown

Book cover for Frida Kahlo and her Animalitos

This is a colorful and engaging portrait of artist Frida Kahlo presented in a context that children can appreciate: her special relationships with the animals in her life.

Buy it: Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos on Amazon

48. Anywhere Farm by Phyllis Root

Book cover for Anywhere Farm

Introduce key concepts about plants and inspire young farmers, whether or not you have conventional garden space available.

Buy it: Anywhere Farm on Amazon

49. Living and Nonliving Things: A Compare and Contrast Book by Kevin Kurtz

Book cover for Living and Nonliving Things: A Compare and Contrast Book

Explore this foundational concept with a book that encourages critical thinking. The engaging photographs and embedded questions help students decide if something is “probably a living thing,” leaving room for a realistic dose of scientific uncertainty.

Buy it: Living and Nonliving Things: A Compare and Contrast Book on Amazon

50. The Doctor With an Eye for Eyes by Julia Finley Mosca

Book cover for The Doctor With an Eye for Eyes

This rhyming biography manages to present complex information in an accessible way. Use it to discuss gender equality or as an interesting extension to a unit on the five senses.

Buy it: The Doctor With an Eye for Eyes on Amazon

51. The Jack Books by Mac Barnett and Greg Pizzoli

The Jack Books

The many decodable words and short sentences are supportive for sure, but it’s the deadpan humor and mischief that will hook new readers. Kids will also love the drawing tutorials at the back of each title.

Buy it: The Jack Books on Amazon

52. The Giggle Gang Books by Jan Thomas

 Book cover for My Toothbrush is Missing (Giggle Gang)

The Giggle Gang books deserve their own bin in your classroom library. With just the right amount of repetition, these books feel like “real” reading despite their easy content. They also work well as quick read-alouds or mini-lesson mentor texts.

Buy it: The Giggle Gang Books on Amazon

53. Bright Owl short vowel books by Molly Coxe

Book cover for Hop, Frog!

Learning short vowel sounds doesn’t have to be a drag when you’ve got adorable felted animals to teach you. Supplement your phonics curriculum with these gems.

Buy it: Bright Owl short vowel books on Amazon

54. If I Were a Tree by Andrea Zimmerman

Book cover for If I Were a Tree

If you were a tree, how would you feel? What would you taste, smell, hear, and see? What amazing questions to discuss with kindergartners! This is one of our favorite new kindergarten books to introduce the five senses.

Buy it: If I Were a Tree on Amazon

55. Runny Babbit Returns: Another Billy Sook by Shel Silverstein

Cover of Runny Babbit Returns

These poems are not only fun tongue twisters but also offer a great chance for kindergartners to explore manipulating initial sounds. And, of course, you get the laughs you’ve come to expect from this legendary poet.

Buy it: Runny Babbit Returns: Another Billy Sook on Amazon

56. Things To Do by Elaine Magliaro

Book cover for Things to Do

Simple but powerful free verses personify animals, natural phenomena, and common objects. These are perfect for teaching visualization.

Buy it: Things To Do on Amazon

57. I Hear You, Ocean by Kallie George

Book cover for I Hear You Ocean as an example of kindergarten books

Sounds and sights on a trip to the ocean create a lyrical poem. Use the repeating text structure to write your own class poem.

Buy it: I Hear You, Ocean on Amazon

58. Thank You, Earth: A Love Letter to Our Planet by April Pulley Sayre

Book cover for Thank You, Earth: A Love Letter to Our Planet

This book makes for a gorgeous read-aloud, and we see adorable kindergarten “thank-you letters to the earth” in your classroom future.

Buy it: Thank You, Earth: A Love Letter to Our Planet on Amazon

59. Wonder Walkers by Micha Archer

Book cover for Wonder Walkers

Two kids take a “wonder walk” and share their questions about everything they see. Read it and take your class out on a wonder walk of their own!

Buy it: Wonder Walkers on Amazon

60. Barkus series by Patricia MacLachlan

Book cover for Barkus Book 1

This dog and owner duo reminds us of Henry and Mudge. The wholesome content works for a read-aloud or your occasional advanced independent kindergarten reader.

Buy it: Barkus series on Amazon

Enjoy these suggestions for kindergarten books and want more ideas? Be sure to subscribe to our newsletters so you can get our latest picks.

Plus, check out all our other favorite booklists!





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