Early Literacy


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6 Early Literacy SkillsEarly Literacy Home

Recommended Books for Toddlers

Toddlers like....

A simple story with few characters, a definite beginning, gentle action, and a satisfying end.

The characters can be human, animal, or toy but it's best if they're identifiable to the reader and the child is able to relate.

Read the story through yourself : is it too long? Too boring? Seem pointless?  If you find it boring don't feel that you have to read it.

Repetitive catchy phrases to encourage anticipation and participation

Repetition helps build memory and gives toddlers the power to predict what will happen next.

Participating in a story keeps toddlers engaged in the book.

Concept books  (E.g. colours, numbers)

Pictures should be clear; photographs are ideal.

Pointing and naming is just for fun – it is not meant to be a reading lesson!

Look for books with good grouping or linking of the items pictured; this helps make more to talk about.

Longer rhymes, poems or songs

Rhyme and rhythm are important for helping toddlers develop their early literacy skills.

Books for Toddlers
Red Clover Books Red Clover Books
Looking for an excellent picture book? The Red Clover Award promotes the reading and discussion of the best of contemporary picture books in nearly all of Vermont's elementary schools. The Red Clover Award is co-sponsored by the Vermont Center for the Book / Mother Goose Programs and the Vermont Departments of Education and Libraries.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar The Very Hungry Caterpillar
by Carle, Eric
Follows the progress of a hungry little caterpillar as he eats his way through a varied and very large quantity of food until, full at last, he forms a cocoon around himself and goes to sleep. Die-cut pages illustrate what the caterpillar ate on successive days.
Let's Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy Let's Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy
by Jan Thomas
Brave Cowboy tries to sing his young calf pals to sleep on a dark, dark night, with humorous results.

Frieght Train Freight Train
by Crews, Donald
Brief text and illustrations trace the journey of a colorful train as its goes through tunnels, by cities, and over trestles.
The Napping House The Napping House
by Wood, Audrey; Wood, Don
In this cumulative tale, a wakeful flea atop a number of sleeping creatures causes a commotion, with just one bite.
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
by Willems, Mo
When the bus driver decides to take a break from driving, a wild and wacky pigeon pleads and begs to take his place, capturing the antics of a preschooler's temper tantrum.
Where's My Teddy? Where’s My Teddy?
by Alborough, Jez
When a small boy named Eddie goes searching for his lost teddy in the dark woods, he comes across a gigantic bear with a similar problem.
Tops and Bottoms Tops and Bottoms
by Stevens, Janet
Hare turns his bad luck around by striking a clever deal with the rich and lazy bear down the road.
Green Eggs and ham Green Eggs and Ham | The Cat in the Hat | Dr. Seuss’ ABC | Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? | …and others
by Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss’ rhyming picture books are perfect for toddlers.
Corduory Corduroy
by Freeman, Don
A toy bear in a department store wants a number of things, but when a little girl finally buys him he finds what he has always wanted most of all.
How I Became a Pirate How I became a Pirate
by Long, Melinda; Shannon, David
Jeremy Jacob joins Braid Beard and his pirate crew and finds out about pirate language, pirate manners, and other aspects of their life.
Baby Beluga Baby Beluga | Wheels on the Bus | Shake My Sillies Out | …and others
by Raffi
Raffi’s stories to read and sing are fun and engaging for toddlers.
Brown Bear Brown Bear What do you See? Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?
by Martin, Bill; Carle, Eric
Children see a variety of animals, each one a different color, and a teacher looking at them.
Pete The Cat Pete the Cat
by Litwin, Eric; Dean, James
Pete the Cat gets into colorful adventures while out walking in his new white shoes.
Perfect Square Perfect Square
by Hall, Michael
A perfect square that is perfectly happy is torn into pieces, punched with holes, crumpled, and otherwise changed but finds in each transformation that it can be something new, and just as happy.
Llama Llama Red Pajama Llama Llama Red Pajama
by Dewdney, Anna
Little llama goes through experiences that every toddler will relate to and enjoy.