Find Great Children’s Books On Pinterest

book lists for kidsAs many of you know I love children’s books. We read a lot and share the books with you and even match great activities to the books. Check out our Read & Make posts for activities that match favorite picture books.

One place I have been going to share our book lists as well as find book lists for myself , especially when I am lesson planning is Pinterest. I LOVE Pinterest for lesson planning. I wanted to share a board I have been building JUST for book lists. There are lists from No Time For Flash Cards, Scholastic Raise A Reader blog, and so many other great book bloggers.

Check out my Book Lists For Kids on Pinterest hereto find great children’s books !!

58 Books Every Preschool Class MUST have

must have books for preschool class libraries Now that I am back in the classroom teaching I see first hand how useful blogs like mine and so many others are for early childhood educators who are planning lessons. With that in mind I decided to bring together my top books every preschool class must have. I would have loved for this list to be a perfect catchy number like 50 or 75 but my list ended at 58. It was hard to break it down to such a small list of my personal must have books. I know that you will have many titles to add so feel free to leave a comment with the titles you use in your class.


Alphabet Books

animalia by Greame Base

Animalia by Graham Base

eating the alphabet

Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlertalphabet under construction

Alphabet Under Construction by Denise Fleming

chica chica boom boom

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: Anniversary Edition by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault


Awesome Read Aloud Books


Whoever You Are by Mem Fox

something from nothingSomething From Nothing by Phoebe Gilman


If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff

I love you stinky face

I Love You Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt


Mortimer  by Robert Munsch


The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch


Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak


Press Here by Herve Tullet


Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!by Mo Willems


Books About Colors


Planting a Rainbow by Lois Elhert


Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo LionniBrown Bear Brown Bear

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.

mouse paint

Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh


Counting Books

Big Fat Hen

Big Fat Hen by Keith Baker

Granny Went To Market

Granny Went to Market by Stella Blackstone

goodnight moon 123

Goodnight Moon 123 by Margaret Wise Brownfish eyes

Fish Eyes: A Book You Can Count On by Lois Elhert

mouse count

Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh


Books About Emotions, Separation Anxiety and Social Learning

the way I feel

The Way I Feel by Janan Cain


It’s Mine! by Leo Lionni


Elmer by David McKee


It’s Okay To Be Different by Todd Parr

kissing hand

The Kissing Hand by Audry Penn

No David

No, David! by David Shannon

potty training books for toddles

Dinosaur vs. the Potty by Bob Shea

Owl Babies

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell


Rhyming Books

( many other books included in other sections also rhyme)
I Ain't Gonna Paint No More

I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More!by Karen Beaumont

how big is a pig

How Big Is a Pig? by Claire Beaton

My trucks is stuck

My Truck is Stuck! by Kevin Lewis


One Duck Stuck by Phyllis Root

seuss hop on pop

Hop on Pop  by Dr.Seuss

seuss mr brown can mooMr. Brown Can Moo, Can You  by Dr.Seuss 


Shape Books


My Heart Is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall


Perfect Square by Michael Hallmouse shapes

Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh


Thematic Books

(There are so many more books but these are my favorites) 

math books for preschoolers

On the Launch Pad: A Counting Book About Rockets by Michael Dahl (space/counting)


Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs by Byron Barton (dinosaurs)

snow the mitten

The Mitten   by Jan Brett (winter)


Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown (farm)

House For A Hermit Crab

A House for Hermit Crab  by Eric Carle (sea life/ months of the year)

very hungry caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (days of the week,nutrition, bugs)


Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino (animals/families)

the snowy day

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (weather/winter) 


lola at the library

Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn


Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers and Marla Frazee (families)The Family Book

The Family Book by Todd Parr (families)

from tadpole to frog

From Tadpole to Frog by Wendy Pfeffer (spring/pond life/life cycles)

Our Stars

Our Stars by Anne Rockwell (space)

Dinosaur Roar

Dinosaur Roar! Board Book by Paul and Henrietta Stickland (dinosaurs/opposites) 


Leaves by David Ezra Stein (fall)

i love bugs

I Love Bugs!by Phileomon Sturges (bugs)

Firefighter Frank

Firefighter Frank by Monica Wellington (fire safety/community helpers)


Big Earth, Little Me by Thom Wiley (Earth day/nature)

trashy town circle time activity

Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha (community helpers)


I KNOW you have titles to add. So leave a comment with your must haves or swing by No Time For Flash Cards on Facebook and tell me there!

Books For Potty Training

potty training books Potty training is not always easy. In fact it’s often a source of serious stress for parents and kids. One of the best resources you have other than a lot of role playing and praise are books. These books are all wonderful ways to help your child make the transition from diapers to underwear and become independent in the bathroom. While I often reassure families that no child has gone to college in Buzz Lightyear pull ups, I know all too well the feeling of worrying that they just might be the first. Use books as a way to break the ice, ease up on the pressure, and even make it fun!

All our book lists include affiliate links.

potty training books It Hurts When I Poop! a Story for Children Who Are Scared to Use the Potty by Howard J. Bennet was a life saver for us. Many kids start holing their poop after one painful one, and that happened here and we went from no issues to fussing, fighting the potty and finally he admitted he was scared it will hurt. Of course holding it made that worse but try to explain that to a frightened toddler. This book was amazing. The story is long, I skipped some text with my son , but read it all for myself since it’s packed with awesome information for parents too! The book explains digestion, why it hurts and how to make it better on a kids level as well as in more detail for parents. I can’t recommend this more for parents who’s children have hit this very common but very distressing problem.


The Potty Book for Girls by Alyssa Satin Capucilli is a favorite of my son. He loved this book, and when I got it back out of the library to write this post he immediately wanted me to read it. The text rhymes, the pictures are sweet and honest . I think what my son loves so much is that it shows the challenges, she wets herself, she pees on the floor and her parents are encouraging and positive. There is also a companion book The Potty Book – For Boys which interestingly my son had no interest in reading.

books about potty training Oh No, Gotta Go #2! by Susan Middleton Elya was an instant hit with my 3 year old. He relates perfectly to the little girl who is off to the park with her parents to have a picnic and ride her trike when all of a sudden she feels it… she needs to poop!  Whether you are in the middle of potty training or at the stage where times like these still occur your child will probably love this book. My son needs little help in the potty these days but absolutely gets that panicked look when he knows he needs to go but isn’t sure where or if there is a potty. Parents will giggle at the her parent’s reaction of grabbing her off her trike,  running, throwing keys to each other and their panic. Also this book is bilingual, with Spanish words threaded into a mostly English text. Don’t worry if you don’t read Spanish there is a quick pronunciation guide at the start of the book.

books for potty training

Everybody Poops by Taro Gomi is a classic potty training book and while some parents may see it as gross it is actually a really useful book. This book lets children see what is expected with poop. Animals poop outside, sometimes on the go, but kids poop on the potty. It’s simplicity is genius and kids love it.

A Potty For Me

A Potty for Me!: A Lift-the-Flap Instruction Manual by Karen Katz is a great introduction to potty training. If your toddler is showing interest but neither you nor they are ready to go head first into underwear yet this lift-the-flap book is a great way to play with the idea and concepts of using a potty.

Have you Seen My Potty?

Have You Seen My Potty? Mij Kelly is such a cute book. A little girl on a farm has lost her potty and goes looking for it , asking all the animals if they have seen it. They don’t know what a potty is but have discovered this awesome poo pot that is keeping their farm so much cleaner since figuring out how to use it. My son laughed hysterically through the funny rhyming text and so did I . Making the potty a fun thing is really beneficial and this book does just that!

books for potty training girls

Big Girl Panties by Fran Manushkin is a great board book for little girls making the transition to undies. The rhyming text helps our readers see that they are big girls now and one of the best things about being big is getting to wear panties. The fun illustrations help make this a fun low pressure book about potty training for girls.

potty training books for toddlers

Zoo Poo: A First Toilet Training Book (Barron’s Educational Series)
by Richard Morgan is another book that encourages kids to use the potty because that’s just what humans do. Readers get to see all kinds of animals poop and then the little child who of course uses they potty. My daughter LOVED this book. I think she likes anything with babies in it and the child in this book looks very much like a baby. This is a good book for the starting stages of potty training.

potty training 9

I Have To Go! (Classic Munsch) by Robert Munsch isn’t just a fun potty training book it’s a fun anytime book. The story is about a little boy who says he doesn’t need to go until whatever activity is underway and then he does and it’s a huge emergency! The book pokes fun at meddling grandparents and at the frustration parents feel too. It’s a funny book with Munsch’s special brand of absurdity that kids adore.

potty training books for toddles

Dinosaur vs. the Potty by Bob Shea is the reason my voice has been hoarse for days. My kids love, no ADORE this book.  My son who is 5 is in stitches every time we read it and my daughter who is 2  reaches for it time and time again. The thing about this book is you must read it with gusto for it to reach it’s full potential because it’s story isn’t deep it’s really just about a destructive dinosaur who doesn’t go pee when he should. Sound familiar? Kind of  like little kids who dump toys, bang and stomp and deny that they have to use the potty until the very last minute. It struck a chord at our house and I have a hunch it may at yours too.

Even Firefighters Use The Potty

Even Firefighters Go to the Potty: A Potty Training Lift-the-Flap Story by Wendy and Naomi Wax is another favorite of my son but I wasn’t as impressed. It’s hard my son loved it and since he loves Firefighters, Policemen etc.. knowing they use the potty too was great motivation for him. My concern was that there were very few women in this book. I think it’s important to show women being astronauts , police officers, and construction workers. The text was funny, the flaps were fun to reveal but I am on the fence, even though my son loved it. * Edited for 2015 My daughter also liked this book but I again noticed the lack of diversity. So it gets to votes from the kids and none from me.

potty training books for toddlers

Time to Pee!
by Mo Willems is a rad potty training book that any Mo Willems fan will love. You don’t have to be a fan of this author illustrator to like this book that focuses mostly on what kids need to do when they get that full bladder feeling. This is important because kids can stay dry with help but making the choice to stop playing and going to pee is a whole other issue with potty training. Through unique humor the book encourages kids to be independent and listen to their bodies when it’s time to pee.


Our Favorite Book Lists of 2014

best book lists for kids 2014So far we have covered alphabet activities, math activities, and now today our favorite posts of 2014 takes us to book lists! It was hard choosing my favorite book lists because I adore picture books. I decided to include the book lists that moved me the most, that I feel are the most useful for families, and ones with hidden gems that you might not find on the best sellers list even if I think they should be.

baseball books for kids

This list of books about baseball is filled with history and wonderful lessons as well as fun books about a great game!

diverse christmas books for kids

This list of Diverse Christmas Books was a labor of love finding books with all sorts of families, and children to share with my own kids and yours.’s

books about divorce for kids

We did a list of books about divorce but I think Fantastic Fun and Learning’s Books About Divorce list was better, so I am listing it here!

books about children with disabilities

The Measured Mom has a wonderful book list about Children with Disabilities. I immediately pinned this awesome resource!

LGBT picture books

Every year during pride month I post a book list that is inclusive of families with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered members. This year I was thrilled with the overwhelmingly positive response, even if I lost some followers. I am passionate about filling bookshelves with diverse books even if it costs me some followers in the process.

books around the world

KC Adventures posted this amazing book list of Around The World in 30 Books and I fell in LOVE!

books about worrying

Books About Worrying is a list that I made in response to reader need. There are a lot of anxious kids out there and I hope this list has helped a few. I know the books have done wonders in my own home.civil rights books

Another list that I think is vital for families to explore is this list from What Do We Do All Day of Civil Rights Picture Books.

books about cancer for kids

I have never been thanked via email more of any post than this books list of Books About Cancer. It struck a chord and I am happy I could help.

books with role models for girls

Role models for young women in books aren’t always the best. This book list is all about great role models for girls in books you may not have heard of .

best kids activities




Don’t miss tomorrow’s post where we will be sharing our favorite fine motor activities from 2014!

Diverse Christmas Books For Kids

diverse christmas books for kids Have you heard of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement? It’s a movement that is devoted to getting books with diverse characters promoted, on library shelves, and into the hands of kids. This isn’t just a good idea, it’s desperately needed. Children need to see themselves in books just as much as they need to see children not like themselves. Books are powerful points of access to new ideas, experiences, and ways of life and don’t require more than a library card to read. This book list is for children who might see themselves in these books but  it is also for all children who might see someone new and see that no matter how different our lives on the outside might be there is always something we have in common.

daddy christmas hanukkah mama

Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama by Selina Alko is a good book about how many families with two different faiths celebrate both  during the holidays. My son and I both really liked this book and it’s loving family that creates it’s own traditions from both parents. I wish it had more information about Hanukkah but that wasn’t it’s goal even if I was hoping to find it. What it did have was a lot of little bits of traditions that you can use to dig deeper to learn more.

The Christmas Truck

The Christmas Truck by J.B. Blankenship is a story of a little boy who is excited about Christmas with his family and chooses a star from a wishing tree in his town. Together with his parents he learns about the wishing tree and buys the items on the wish. Unfortunately the gift is broken but at the last minute together with his parents and grandparents Christmas is saved. So you might be wondering what is so diverse about this book. The parents are both men. I was thrilled to find a holiday book with same sex parents and like so many of the other books I have featured in the past there isn’t a huge discussion about why this boy has two dads, it’s just normal. I love that. My kids loved the rhyming text and fun illustrations too.

who built the stable

Who Built the Stable?: A Nativity Poem by Ashley Bryan is a beautiful illustrated poem all about who it was that built the stable where Jesus was born. The bright colorful illustrations will wow you as will the heart of this book. The vibrant colors are in contrast with the simplistic poem that tells the familiar nativity story from a fresh perspective. What wowed me was the way that Joseph and Mary were depicted as a loving and vulnerable couple waiting for their first child in less than perfect conditions.The book depicts all the people with dark skin which for me is a great opportunity to talk about this with my children since so much of their experience is with the blonde blue eyed Baby Jesus.

The most precious gift

The Most Precious Gift by Marty Crisp made me tear up. This touching story of giving is really what Christmas should be about. The book follows Ameer a young boy who works for one of the wise men and is part of the caravan to meet Baby Jesus. We learn of his devoted dog Ra and their deep connection and when it is time to offer something to Jesus Ameer gives him Ra. It is not easy to give away his best friend but he knows it is what he should do, and is blessed because of it. The tender relationship between Ameer and his dog Ra will pull at your heart in all the right ways. Children will also be able to really understand sacrifice and giving because they can relate to how important a dog is to a young boy. This book is a great choice for kids 4 and up.

small world christmas

Disney It’s A Small World Christmas Around the World by Disney Book Group & Calliope Glass is a hidden gem. The story isn’t complex but readers get a glimpse into children all over the world and the fun animation style illustrations are bright and fun! My daughter loves getting a sneak peak into different countries and I like trying to find the flag in each page.  It really is brief and perfect for an introduction into different celebrations not an in depth study of other cultures.

din dan

Din Dan Don, It’s Christmas by Janina Domanska is one of a kind. The books follows the pilgrimage to the manger to see the infant Jesus . It starts with a single duck playing bagpipes, but it builds on it self until they spot the manger and the infant Jesus wakes. The story is simple because there is no need for lots of text , the illustrations are amazing. Every page looks like a cross between a stained glass window and a ornate mosaic in a Orthodox church somewhere in Eastern Europe. My son exclaimed “WOW” many times as we turned the pages of this book, and I know I let out a gasp or two as well, simply beautiful! * When I did a search for a photo I could not find this book in print , so you may not be able to find it in store, try your library though!

n is for navidad

N Is for Navidad by Susan Middleton Elya and Merry Banks is a great alphabet book that takes readers through the traditional elements Christmas in Latino ( primarily Mexican) culture. I loved this book. I loved the fun cartoon like illustrations that matched well with each bit of text. I loved learning more about how a culture different from my own celebrates Christmas and know that for many of you this will be a fun reflection of your own traditions. At the end of the book there is an author’s note with longer explanations of each item in the alphabet book. Not only can your kids learn a few new Spanish words but getting a peak into traditions other than their own is a wonderful eye opening experience. Lovely lovely book!

When Christmas Feels Like Home

When Christmas Feels Like Home by Gretchen Griffith made me cry. This book is a touching story about a little boy who immigrates to the US in the fall and as Christmas approaches he slowly feels more and more like he is home. Finally as he opens Christmas ornaments he finally feels at home. Immigrating is hard, especially when you don’t speak the language and this book really captures that and so much more.  You can feel  Eduardo’s homesickness as you read. It’s an incredibly touching story. While I would say this is a Christmas book, it could be used 365 days a year.


Happy Christmas, Gemma by Sarah Hayes is a hidden gem. The book is narrated by a preschooler, the older brother to little baby Gemma. Throughout this family’s preparations for and celebration of Christmas he notes how he does what he is supposed to and his baby sister does not.  She makes messes,  pulls the ornaments off the tree, has terrible table manners during Christmas dinner and so much more! What makes this a gem in my mind is that no one ever corrects her, these are all age appropriate behaviors and the family is loving and accepting.  Perfect for families like mine who are expecting a baby, or those with older siblings who like to boss their younger ones around and may need a reminder that babies are still learning, just like they are!

grace at christmas

Grace at Christmas by Mary Hoffman is a lovely story about a little girl who lives with the mom and Nana who open up their home to friends of friends over Christmas. Grace isn’t so sure about this but her Nana reminds her what could be more in the spirit of Christmas than opening your home to those who need it? I like this book for a bunch of reasons. Not just because they talk about being shy, feeling like a stranger and how to turn that into being friends, but also because Grace’s family looks very different than my children’s family. I try hard to get books with all sorts of families and in this one Grace lives with her mom and Nana while her dad lives in Africa. I read this with my 8 year old and we talked about all different kinds of families, divorce, and how he would feel about spending Christmas without his dad. It’s also just a fun story with a great Christmas wish ending too!

calvin's christmas wish

Calvin’s Christmas Wish by Calvin Miles is a story about a little boy who is very anxious about the bike he’s asked Santa for. He wants it so badly and as he helps his family prepare for Christmas his anxiety grows. I am not sure there are any kids that can’t relate to that! His family isn’t rich, in fact their farm doesn’t even have electricity but what they do have is a lot of Christmas spirit. My eight year old was shocked to hear people didn’t have electricity in this century so we had a great conversation about all different ways people live in this country and around the world. The best part for me though was discovering that this book was written by Calvin many years after leaving school yearly to work, and not learning to read and write until well into his adult life. It was at these classes that he first wrote this story and was encouraged to share it.

welcome comfort

Welcome Comfort by Patricia Polacco is a touching book that I think every family should read. The story is about a little boy Welcome Comfort who is picked on at school, has been in the foster system forever and has no family of his own. His school custodian becomes a refuge and helps him believe in Santa for the first time. Over the years he and his wife become Welcome’s family and when the old custodian retires he reveals a wonderful secret to the now grown Welcome. I love this book because it really lets parents dive into the truth of how not all children wake up to a beautiful tree with way too many toys under it. Christmas isn’t everyone’s favorite time and this book lets children learn about that while still being about magic.


Jackie’s Gift by Sharon Robinson is one of the best picture books I have read in ages. It was a perfect read with my 8 year old who has a good grasp on various holidays. The story is a true one about a little boy in Brooklyn and his very famous neighbor Mr. Robinson, as in Jackie Robinson. My son and I were howling laughing at the story of how Jackie Robinson bought a Christmas tree for his neighbor when their son said they didn’t have one, not knowing they were Jewish. The story is so heartfelt and the book gives a wonderful look at diversity even many years ago. Now I just need to slip a copy into my son’s stocking.

king island christmas

King Island Christmas by Jean Rogers is the story of the remote Eskimo village on King Island and their efforts to get Father Carrol their new priest onto the island before the sea freezes and boats can no longer reach the village. What I love about this book is that the whole community works together to get the priest to their village so that they can have Christmas mass. It’s not about things it’s about not going a whole year without the candles in the church being lit on Christmas.

trim the tree

10 Trim-the-Tree’ers (Holiday Counting Books) by Janet Schulman is a favorite at our house after only a few readings. We are huge fans of this series that include  Halloween, Easter, and Valentine’s Day versions as well. In this one the group of little friends are decorating a Christmas tree and readers count along as they add their items to the tree all with a rhyming text. I found the text a little awkward but it didn’t bug my daughter one bit. We love counting the ornaments over and over and playing little math games while reading. This whole series has the same group of racially diverse kids and I also like that the kids all live in an apartment. I know it’s a small detail but for my 4 year old it’s very odd not to love  in a house. I like that this series she loves so much helps me widen her horizons even just a little.

kwanzaa books for kids

Santa’s Kwanzaa by Gail Eileen Thomas starts out like a typical Christmas book but as Santa returns to his home at the North Pole he begins a whole new celebration. Kwanzaa! I really like this book for many reasons but the main one because it uses something very familiar to help teach about Kwanzaa which is not terribly familiar to many of us. I get many requests for Kwanzaa books and I am thrilled to be able to add this book to my list of recommendations especially since so many people celebrate both Christmas and Kwanzaa.