Promote reading while you read! These books about reading, libraries, and books were not only informative many were really funny, and two made me cry. I had a great time exploring these books with my kids and hope that you can find a new title or two to add to your next library list! Do you have a favorite book about reading? I’d love it if you could add the title and why you love it in the comments so this list can keep growing for all my readers.
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Calvin Can’t Fly: The Story of a Bookworm Birdie by Jennifer Berne is a story about a starling Calvin who can’t fly and really isn’t even interested in learning. Calvin loves books and the library, and while all the other birds are flying in a pack, he is off on his own. There is some teasing, but ultimately the pack helps Calvin and he in turn saves everyone. I love that he doesn’t really try to fit in but that in the end, he discovers something new about himself once he’s accepted for being different.
Our Library by Eve Bunting is a cute book about a group of young animals who work together to save their local library. All of their efforts start with reading books about how to do it. They paint, fundraise, even convince a grumpy old beaver to let them move the library to his land. It’s a book about libraries, the importance of reading and most of all teamwork.
Inside the Books: Readers and Libraries Around the World by Toni Buzzeo was interesting but didn’t really flow. The book takes readers all around the world looking at different unique libraries like a library on a boat in Indonesia and a train library in Chile. The pages that were devoted to telling readers about these fun libraries around the world were great but in between them were pages that were supposed to be what readers in these libraries are reading, and they completely confused my six-year-old. The choppy nature was too much for a new reader.
No T. Rex in the Library by Toni Buzzeo is a cute book that my daughter loved and my son enjoyed. The story is about a little girl who acts up in the library and gets put in timeout. While she is in timeout, she imagines that a dinosaur comes charging out of a book, and they go on an adventure. It’s a cute look at a young child getting angry then calming down with some lessons about how to treat and not treat books along the way.
Librarian on the Roof! by M.G. King made me cry. The true story is about a librarian who did what she needed to do to raise enough money to make a functional children’s section in the oldest library in Texas. What she did was stay on the roof of that library for a week, and it worked. I loved the message that libraries are vital, that books open doors, and that providing access to information to those who can’t afford to get it on their own is a worthwhile cause. This book made me want to cheer, it had me spouting off lessons left and right to my kids, and it absolutely captivated all three of us. Go read this book and learn more about RoseAleta Laurell the real librarian on the roof.
Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn was our first introduction to Lola, and I have since memorized this text I have read it so often. My daughter fell in love with this book before she was even two and we’ve read it at the very least weekly (usually daily ) for well over a year. It never gets boring to read because it’s such a calm, gentle story about a little girl eager for her special trip with her mom to the library.
Lola Loves Stories by Anna McQuinn is one of my daughter’s absolute favorite books ever. She named her first baby doll after the title character, that how much she loves her. In this book, Lola goes to the library with her dad and all week long reads and acts out the stories she found on Saturday. I love that the author has Lola going with her dad alone. So often in books you don’t see this, it’s either Mom alone or the whole family. I also love how books are portrayed as a launch pad for pretend play.
Lola Reads to Leo by Anna McQuinn isn’t just a book about reading it’s also a book about making the transition from a family of three to a family of four. This book would be a wonderful choice for families with toddlers who have a baby on the way. Lola helps her parents prepare for Leo’s arrival and helps them care for him after he arrives. One way they care for him is to read together. My daughter loves the illustration of the Leo being breastfed and as a parent who read both her kids well past 2, I loved seeing it too. We love this whole series and think you will too.
I Will Not Read This Book by Cece Meng will make your kids laugh. My son loved the story about a little boy who is trying to convince the reader that no matter what he will not read this book. He tells readers page by page all the things that he will endure before cracking and reading the book. My son loved how each page included one more thing for the little boy to endure. I liked the repetition of the text because it gave my son a great opportunity to build confidence in his reading. In the end, though all the little boy wanted was someone to read with, which of course he managed to find.
Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora was another really touching book about the difference a library and caring librarian can make in the life of a child. Tomas’s parents are migrant workers and in the summer they travel from Texas to Iowa to work the fields for the summer. While in Iowa Tomas discovers the local library and befriends the librarian who signs books out on her own card for him. He reads all summer, shares the books with his family and develops a love of reading because someone took the time to reach out. I loved this book and so did my son who was interested in the story but much more interested in learning more about migrant workers and what being poor is like. We have had very interesting conversations about these topics since. I love it when a book does that.
The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians by Carla Morris was my son’s favorite book of this roundup. Melvin doesn’t really live in the library, but he spends as much time there as he can. The three reference librarians are dear friends and over the years they do what librarians do helping Melvin find answers, organize, categorize and of course spark new curiosity along the way. As time passes readers get to see the librarians cheer him on and beam with pride over his accomplishments including becoming a librarian himself. I liked this book and related to the librarian’s innate need to find answers and research a topic and Melvin’s love of being somewhere where learning and curiosity are celebrated.
The Inside-outside Book of Libraries by Roxie Munro takes readers all around the world to peek inside libraries. This book was great and even though it’s long ( I wouldn’t read the whole thing with a child under 5) it’s easy to break into segments. I loved learning about the Library of Congress, the library aboard an aircraft carrier, and my son thought it was super cool that the elementary school featured was from the Texas town my husband grew up in. Great illustrations by Julie Cummins take this nonfiction book from good to great.
Reading Makes You Feel Good by Todd Parr is bright and fun. The book showcases all different way that reading can make you feel good. In its simple text, the author manages to explain all the different kinds of reading that people do. Reading for information like while cooking or reading signs at the zoo, reading things like fairy tales for pleasure, reading to learn new things at school… the list goes on with great illustrations that kids love. Todd Parr books are always uplifting, and this book is great to read to any kid but especially reluctant or frustrated readers.
Book Fair Day by Lynn Plourde is a funny book about a little boy who loves books so much that when his class has to wait until the end of the day to go to the school book fair, he freaks out. Dewey is every bit a bookworm and when his teacher explains that their class has to be the last one to buy books at the book fair he tries time and time again to get into the library sooner. It’s a funny book that really promotes the excitement of a new book ( or 10 ). My son who is 6 loved it too!
Comin’ Down to Storytime by Rob Reid was a bit of a flop at our house, but I don’t think it will be a flop in every house. My daughter did not like me singing the text at all, but I couldn’t help it. The text is a reworking of the song ” She’ll be coming ’round the mountain when she comes” and you can’t help but sing. That wasn’t cool with my three-year-old. The book is cute and takes readers through all the parts of your typical library story time. I think most toddlers will like it, especially if their parents have nice singing voices.
Read It, Don’t Eat It! by Ian Schoenherr is a cute book that teaches kids all about how to treat books with funny illustrations of animals. Both my kids liked this book and laughed at how naughty the animals were. There isn’t too much text which makes this a great choice for toddlers as well as preschoolers.
Wild About Books by Judy Sierra is a book all about a librarian named Molly who decides to introduce the animals at the zoo to books. Once they all start reading, there is nothing that can stop them and they eventually build their own library branch. The text of this book is written in fantastic rhyme, and my son loved it. I liked the funny book titles that the animals are reading, most of which I think were added in just for the adults. Cute book!
It’s a Book by Lane Smith is not going to be universally adored. I loved the book, but I would be doing you all a disservice if I didn’t tell you that the book has the word Jackass in it twice. While technically that is not a curse word it’s hard not to notice that the way the author uses it is tongue and cheek and any child with any knowledge of “bad words” will be clued into the author’s tone for sure. I read it with my son who loved it and laughed along with me at the donkey who was clueless, but I think he especially loved it because it had what he deems a “bad word”. The book is a great commentary on tech vs. traditional books, and as a read aloud it’s got a great rhythm, but I wouldn’t read it to a group of kids (even though I would read it to my own) because of the language. Read it first and see if it works for your family.
It’s Library Day by Janet Morgan Stoeke is a simple book that is reminiscent of an Anne Rockwell book in its simplicity. It explains what happens on library day in an elementary school class. I liked this book, and it got a happy bit not overly excited response from my kids. I don’t think I would rush out to buy this book, but I would pop it on a list to check out from the library.
“L” Is for Library by Sonya Terry is a sweet alphabet book that takes readers from A to Z with things all about the library. I really liked this book and especially appreciated all the references to online tools as part of the library. It held both my 3 and six-year-olds attention and the sweet illustrations by Nicole Wong went just perfectly with the text.
The Librarian from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler . The Black Lagoon series is always a hit here, and my kids laugh and laugh at how terribly over the top the child in the books imagines his teachers and other adults at school. In this book, he imagines his librarian to be a terrible monster who laminates kids who talk in the library. I think these books are funny and give kids an opportunity to talk about fear in a lighthearted setting.
Read To Your Bunny by Rosemary Wells is a simple little book that reminds parents to read to their children with adorable bunny illustrations. This is not a story, it’s a collection of reminders with great illustrations. My daughter LOVES bunnies and consequently she also loves Max & Ruby the cartoon based on this author/illustrator’s works, so this book was an instant classic at our house. I liked it because it showed bunnies reading in all different settings and I could ask my daughter if she’d read here or there and suggest we read in new places. This book does a great job at promoting reading.This post contains affiliate links.
We love the book: The Library Dragon. It’s funny and has beautiful illustrations.
Tina Ross says
You left out my (and my class’) favorite! We Are In A Book by Mo Williams. It teaches that the reader reads the words–doesn’t make them up–. That books tell the reader what to say–I love the “banana” sequence and that when books come to an end, you can read them and enjoy them all over again. Great book to begin school year with children who have not been read to very much.
Allison McDonald says
I always forget one totally obvious one. I agree it’s a great book to work on print awareness!
We love “It’s A Little Book” by Lane Smith. Same idea for the story line but without any worries on the language. It’s an easy read for my beginning reader and my oldest two also like to act it out. I think it’s cute and hilarious.
Allison McDonald says
I have heard it’s a much less controversial option !
Love this list! Could I suggest Rocket Learns to Read by Tad Hills as well?
That’s a great one!
Emily Milbauer says
I love Miss. Malarkey Leaves No Reader Behind and Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies
Oh, I particularly like this list. Thanks for putting it together!
I also cherish The Library by Sarah Stewart and David Small.
You should also check out Bats at the Library by Brian Lies
This is a great list! Another good one to add would be The Library Lion.
Allison McDonald says
Miss. Brooks Loves Books (And I Don’t)
and We are in a Book, mo williems
Allison McDonald says
Great suggestions – I have never read the first but I am kicking myself for not adding the 2nd it’s one of my favorites.
You have to add THE INCREDIBLE BOOK EATING BOY by Oliver Jeffers! It’s fantastic. 🙂
That Book Woman By: Heather Henson
Margaret Wagstaff says
I’m a mum & a teacher & I love your website.
What a great list of books about reading. As a teacher (& mum)I had trouble locating a book to help children understand the value of reading, so I wrote the book “I hate reading”. In this book 7 year old Josh tells the story of how he hates reading & mum agrees that for the two weeks of the school holidays the whole family can stop reading. Josh thinks it’ll be awesome, but as EVERYTHING goes wrong he soon discover just how important reading really is.
For more information or to order a copy of the book please go to my website http://www.ihatereading.com.au
Don’t forget “Library Lion” by Michelle Knudsen! 🙂
Jennifer Sniadecki says
How about the old “Wolf!” by Becky Bloom? It’s a wonderful story about animals taking the time to enjoy themselves…and read!
This is a great list. I would add How to Teach a Slug to Read.
I loved ‘No Pirates Allowed! Said Library Lou’ by Rhonda Gowler Greene! Thanks so much for your awesome list!
I appreciate you sharing this list. Some I do recognize, but I am excited to see some more great books to share that encourages reading!
Miss Little’s Gift is also very good. Miss Malarkey Leaves No Reader Behind includes a very positive message about teachers who work hard to find a “just right” book for reluctant readers.
Thank you for putting this together.