Preschool Reading List

Guruparents has compiled a reading list of ‘must have’ childrens books for parents. If you only buy a couple of books, we recommend these for your home library.

Newborn and Toddler Reading List (0-3 years)

1. Very Hungry Caterpillar (Big Books) by Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a fantastic childrens book. It is a story that begins with a little caterpillar that eats his way through lots of food, eventually building a cocoon and transforming into a ‘beautiful butterfly’.

The Very Hungry caterpillar is great fun for kids. It has wonderful illustrations, interactive holes for children to feel and pages of different sizes provide for lots of mental stimulation.

The book contains some great concepts you can cover with your child including numbers one to five, the days of the week and different types of food.

Wonderfully written it is a joy to read for children and adults alike.

2. Dear Zoo: A Lift-the-Flap Book by Rod Campbell

My daughter absolutely loves "Dear Zoo". It is fun, quick to read and has lift-flaps!

The book is about a child that writes to the zoo to send them a pet. The zoo sends the child a range of inappropriate animals that are sent back. Finally the zoo sends a puppy that the child keeps.

It is a wonderful book for newborns. The book teaches the child about different animals and their traits – the frog is too jumpy, the lion is too fierce to be a pet. The animals are hidden behind lift-flaps of different shapes and sizes that the child gets to reveal by lifting the flap. The illustrations are bright and cheerful.

This is one book guaranteed to have your child saying ‘again!’ at the end of each reading.

3. Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill

‘Where’s Spot?’ is another great lift-flap book for newborns and toddlers. The book is about the search for Spot. Sally, Spot’s mother, looks for Spot all over the house. Is he in the chest? Behind the door?

It is a quick and fun book to read. The lift flaps make it wonderfully interactive and there is a whole series of follow on books to explore.

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

Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle team up to produce "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?". The simple and repetitive rhyming structure of the book make it easy for young children to enjoy as they are introduced to brightly coloured animals – brown bear, blue horse, yellow duck.

What makes this book so powerful is its simplicity. "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? I see a Red Bird looking at me." Children quickly learn the simple rhyme and are able to read along with the story. The bright and vibrant animal illustrations are captivating too.

This is a real classic.

5. The Very Busy Spider: A Lift-the-Flap Book (The World of Eric Carle) by Eric Carle

This simple story is about a spider that builds a web on a fence post. Various farm animals ask the spider to play but as you lift the flaps, you see that the spider is busily working away on his web.

The simple, repetitive rhyme of the story makes this a great choice for newborns and toddlers. Beautifully illustrated and with lift flaps to stimulate greater interaction, this is a must-have.

Other Recommended Newborn to Toddler Books

Mr. Gumpy’s Outing

Rosie’s Walk

Each Peach Pear Plum (Picture Puffins)

Peepo! by Janet & Allan Ahlberg

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