Classic childhood favorites for kindergartners
A Hole Is to Dig
by: Ruth Krauss, illustrated by: Maurice Sendak - (HarperTrophy, 1952) 48 pages.
Imagine Kids say the darndest things bound into a picture book. And imagine that the illustrations were done in the most charming fashion by Maurice Sendak. And voilà! You have the wonderful, whimsical and purse-sized A Hole Is to Dig. Your child will giggle with delight when you read these wacky definitions together.
Perfect for: Kids who like classics.
Find A Hole Is to Dig at your local library.
The Maggie B.
by: Irene Haas - (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 1975) 32 pages.
One of the sweetest, homiest and quietly comforting picture books ever published. Those who know it count it as one of their all-time favorites. If you are just about to discover it, get ready to buy multiple copies to give to every child of picture-book age.
Perfect for: Kids who like adventure.
Find The Maggie B. at your local library.
by: Clare Newberry - (HarperCollins Children's Books, 1942) 32 pages.
A cuddly but longer read-aloud that is perfect for bedtime. Parents need to know that this award-winner from 1943 deserves its classic status. There’s a reason that this book has lasted so long in print. From the stellar illustrations to the somewhat long-winded but sweet story, it’s a picture book that resonates with kids. Miss Tilly brings fluffy bunny Marshmallow home to live with her tabby cat Oliver. The book charts the small family’s adjustment to one another with lots of homey details and enough subtle insight to weather repeated readings.
Perfect for: Showing kids how change can feel.
Find Marshmallow at your local library.
The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark
by: Ken Geist, illustrated by: Julia Gorton - (Cartwheel Books, 2007) 32 pages.
In this take on “The Three Little Pigs,” Jim builds a house of seaweed, Tim makes a sand house, and Kim constructs a wooden ship house that saves them all. Easy, patterned language makes this book very accessible to early readers.
Perfect for: Discussing how the big bad wolf and the shark are different (and similar).
Find The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark at your local library.
Where the Wild Things Are
by: Maurice Sendak - (Harper Collins, 1963) 48 pages.
Originally published in 1963, this is the story of Max, who puts on a wolf suit, causes mischief, gets sassy with his mother and is sent to bed without any dinner. The story is one of escaping into a child’s imagination when he’s on the outs with Mom. Max’s room becomes a forest, he finds he has his own boat and then sails off “in and out of weeks…to the place where the wild things are.” There, he is not impressed with the posturing of the wild things, and without much ado, he becomes their king. The color illustrations are some of Sendak’s best (he won the 1964 Caldecott Medal for them), and the wild things are very huggable-looking. This is a bedtime classic that transcends time.
Perfect for: Kids who like to roar their terrible roars and gnash their terrible teeth.
Find Where the Wild Things Are at your local library.
No Roses for Harry!
by: Gene Zion, illustrated by: Margaret Bloy Graham - (HarperTrophy, 1958) 32 pages.
Harry, the lovable little dog featured in this sequel to Harry the Dirty Dog, once again mimics a child’s behavior when he receives a sweater from grandma that he doesn’t like. From “losing” it in a store, to hiding it in the house, Harry does everything he can to keep from wearing the rose-covered sweater. I recommend this to anyone who has a soft spot for a dirty dog or who has ever received a present that ended up in the back of the closet.
Perfect for: Animal lovers — and kids who like picking their own clothes.
Find No Roses for Harry at your local library.
Green Eggs and Ham
by: Dr. Seuss - (Beginner Books/Random House, 1960) 65 pages.
Do you like green eggs and ham? This story has two main characters: the top hat-wearing narrator, who refuses to taste this weird dish, and Sam, who won’t stop urging him to try them. Beginning readers love this classic book for its simple words, silly rhymes, and funny illustrations. In the end, after a wonderful adventure, the narrator discovers he does, indeed, like green eggs and ham!
Perfect for: Picky eaters and rhyme lovers.
Find Green Eggs and Ham at your local library.
Are You My Mother?
by: P.D. Eastman - (Random House Books for Young Readers, 1998) 72 pages.
A baby bird hatches while mother bird is away from the nest getting food. So the fearless little bird goes to look for her, in some very funny places. This newly translated classic story was originally published in 1960 and is a sweet bedtime read for mom and child.
Perfect for: Kids who love animals.
Find Are You My Mother? at your local library.