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I recently published a list of FREE curriculum for kindergarten (you can see that here) and in it I recommended the addition of quality literature. I had some questions about how to pick reading material for kids this age, and that is what this post is about!
I am so happy to bring you my list of 10 Must-Have Books for Kindergarten!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.
Keep the following in mind when it comes to kindergarteners and reading:
-Not all kids are developmentally ready to read independently at this age. Books that encourage the child to read along with a parent are excellent choices!
-Kids have a comprehension level way above their reading level, audiobooks and read alouds are encouraged! If you’re looking for a fantastic speaker that hooks up to your smartphone and computer I highly recommend the JBL Micro II Portable Speaker. It’s small yet powerful enough to reach the third row seating in my Adventure Van, and it’s very reasonably priced!
-Rhyming books are great for kids learning how to read but not all kids understand nonsense rhyming. Don’t be afraid to put away anything that is causing extreme frustration. We want our kids to LOVE reading and our job is to build their confidence!
-Phonics is good. Whole language is good. Phonics + whole language = the best! I highly recommend Teach Your Monster to Read, and it’s F-R-E-E!
If You Give A Mouse a Cookie and the other books in the series are entertaining and a great lesson in cause & effect!
Madeline is one of the books we come back to year after year and has been a favorite of all of my children. They all have it memorized and love to play the part of Miss Clavel.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day holds a very important lesson for all of us. Once in a while we have a bad day, it happens to all of us. This sweet book takes us through Alexander’s bad day and teaches us how to cope with grace and humor.
American Tall Tales, read by Jim Weiss, is a great example of giving your children something that matches their comprehension level more than their reading level. This is a great collection of stories read by one of the most popular voice actors.
Anansi the Spider tales are African folklore stories that are entertaining and feature relatable moral lessons.
The Frog and Toad books were my absolute favorite when I was a young child. While your child may not be quite ready to read these independently, they make excellent bedtime stories. The stories are calming, gentle, and memorable.
Mo Willems wrote some amazing books and our hands-down favorite is Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! This is the perfect book for co-reading, the pigeon’s lines are perfect for beginning readers.
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel is another one of those books that has stood the test of time. Virgina Burton’s tales are timeless and have been enjoyed by many generations, they also make the perfect read alouds.
Oh the feelings! The Velveteen Rabbit is the first book that made me cry. This charming tale of true love and sacrifice should be required reading for all children.
Life can be sad sometimes, especially when you’re a child full of big emotions. Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs is an excellent book that deals with aging and dying. This is the book I turned to when my daughter had questions about my aging grandmother, and pulled out again to read to my son when she passed away. This book takes those big feelings and helps the child understand that feeling sad is ok.
Follow the link up below for more great must-read book ideas!
Meg Grooms (she/her) is a decades-long secular homeschooler, mother of many, writer, Florida ex-pat, and all-around swell gal. Meg & her partner have raised their kids all over the USA, finally settling on Southern California. For now, anyhow.
Meg blogs about secular homeschooling and gameschooling at Homeschool Gameschool. Meg is available for speaking engagements, workshops, and gameschooling classes. Please see the About Us/Contact Meg page for more information.