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Classful

With these 75 books, your classroom will be alive with creativity and learning, from teaching challenging topics to escaping into magical worlds.

We all know how vital reading is for children of all ages. By kindergarten, they are ready to discover the world. The perfect way to help them do this is through the power of books. Introducing new topics or helping them to develop their imaginations can be easier with a story. These 75 kindergarten books will support their learning and get them to ask questions or explore their creativity. While you might notice some notable classics missing from this list, these newer or less well-known books are just as essential.

Do you have these diverse and brilliant kindergarten reads in your classroom?

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1. All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold

When attending kindergarten, children are likely to meet new friends from all walks of life! This charming book introduces many families walking to school on a child’s first day. The welcoming teachers accept every family with happiness and respect. A book with a beautiful message for that all-important first day.

2. The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld

Even the littlest students can experience challenging times. This gentle and heartfelt tale explains to those in kindergarten that listening is helpful. It can also be an excellent reminder to teachers.

3. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

A book filled with love and acceptance, this true story of two male penguins and their quest for a family is sure to win hearts. Lucky little Tango is adopted by two daddies when he is just an egg – this gives children a glimpse of a different type of family.

4. Waiting Is Not Easy by Mo Willems

Gerlad and Piggie are friends who are very different from one another. One is happy to wait with patience, while the other makes demands. How each character asks for what they want will guide children in emotional regulation. However, it’s the humor of the tale that will captivate them!

5. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

Another book to fight off first-day scaries with! This story reminds kindergarteners that their parents still love them even when they aren’t together. It is sure to calm some nerves.

6. What Does It Mean to be Kind? by Rana DiOrio

Kindness is almost magical in this book! How kindness impacts everyone in a community is shown throughout the story. You can use this book to show the power of kindness and to encourage it in the classroom and beyond.

7. The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds

Do your kindergarteners collect things? In this powerful vocabulary-based book, Jerome doesn’t collect toys, shells, or books – he collects words themselves. This book introduces children to the importance of choosing the right words.

8. Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

A modern classic, this tale of a baby fruit bat who gets lost and lives among birds is essential reading. While separated from her mom, Stellaluna is adopted by a bird family who teaches her how to be a bird. But Stellaluna can’t be a bird – and her journey shows the importance of being yourself.

9. My Heart by Corinna Luyken

This story is genuinely from the heart. Guiding readers through a wide range of feelings, this book aims to inform children about emotional autonomy. A big subject made easier with gentle pictures and language.

10. The Three Billy Goats Buenos by Susan Middleton Elya

Perfect for mixed-language classrooms, Spanish and English take center stage in this retelling. Unlike in the original version, the troll and goats become friends in a twist your little listeners will love.

11. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

A real crowd-pleaser, this book gives school stationery its own story! The crayons are tired of how a little boy uses them, and he must learn to work with them so he can create art again. This funny and imaginative tale is a laugh-out-loud delight.

12. I Am Enough by Grace Byers

With themes of inclusivity and respect, as well as loving yourself, this book-in-verse is beautiful and enchanting for children. An excellent choice when you are creating an inclusive atmosphere in your classroom. The topics with kindergarteners don’t have to be complicated. This fun rhyming story updates the traditional fairy tale. A prince doesn’t want to wed a princess… it’s the knight who could be his happily ever after! Adventure and romance await.

19. Meet Me At The Moon by Gianna Marino

Separation anxiety is normal in kindergarten, and this elegant and beautiful story can help little ones feel better. The mama elephant leaves her baby to find rain, showing how he can still feel her when she isn’t around. The loving reunion is enough to tear any adult’s eye!

20. 100 Things I Know How To Do by Amy Schwartz

Young children sometimes feel there are so many things that they can’t yet do. This book is here to show them all the things they can do! It celebrates the successes that they have already achieved in rhyming form for maximum fun.

21. Pink Is For Boys by Robb Pearlman

Bringing up gender stereotypes early can help everyone feel included. Encourage children to be themselves in kindergarten with this courageous book. Boys can wear pink and girls can play sports – it’s all down to each child to decide what they love by themselves.

22. My Friend Maggie by Hannah E. Harrison

Paula has a difficult time when her best friend Maggie is bullied. How can Paula help? It can be challenging for children to know how to handle bullying, but Paula shows that she can stand up for Maggie – an important lesson for those new to the school.

23. The Bear and the Moon by Matthew Burgess

Sweet and moving, this story is an ideal entry into a conversation about loss and feeling disappointed. Featuring a bear and his balloon, it is a quiet narrative that can be helpful for students going through a hard time.

24. The Little Red Fish by Tae-un Yoo

Enter a fantastical world in this surprising book. A little boy falls asleep at the library and then searches for his lost redfish. This magical realist tale is sure to spark the imaginations of your kindergarteners.

25. A Sled for Gabo by Emma Otheguy

This English book about a boy on a snowy day is littered with Spanish words. It’s an excellent book for introducing children to Spanish and is also available as an utterly Spanish text. As well as teaching children a different language, they will follow Gabo as he develops his problem-solving abilities for snowy fun!

26. Kalinka and Grakkle by Julie Paschkis

This subtly funny book is all about learning how to accept differences. The beast and the bird struggle to understand one another’s rhythms and learn to listen to and respect each other. While it is light and fun, the book is vital for introducing concepts surrounding social and emotional intelligence.

27. The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman

Not all families are alike! Mary Hoffman takes readers on a journey through a variety of different families. Bright and eye-catching illustrations convey that familial love is the same while we are all different.

28. Aberdeen by Stacey Previn

A little mouse heads off on an unexpected adventure and has to work out how to get home. This story is a real page-turner for kindergarteners, who will want Aberdeen to find his way back safely.

29. Ravyn’s Doll: How to Explain Fibromyalgia to Your Child by Melissa Swanson

Having a chronically ill parent can be difficult for students and their peers to understand. This touching story follows Ravyn as she makes a paper doll of someone sick – her mother. Her doll looks perfectly healthy outside, and Ravyn uses this to tell her friends about invisible illnesses. If you have a child in a similar situation, it is an excellent tool.

30. Lubna and Pebble by Wendy Meddour

Immigration can be challenging for even adults to speak about. This book is a good starting point for approaching the topic of education. This book explains how those on the autism spectrum may find changes in routine incredibly upsetting. Perfect for making an autistic child feel understood and for spreading understanding to neurotypical children, this book is a relatable gem.

37. We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins

Penelope Rex is heading off to school for the first time. She is so excited! But her human classmates look more like food than friends… This funny book shows how Penelope struggles between wanting to make friends and wanting to eat her classmates. A silly story is an excellent way to talk about competing urges and emotions and learning to regulate behavior.

38. Peek-Through Picture Books Series by Britta Teckentrup

This book series is an excellent addition to any kindergarten shelf. Each book has cutouts and information on different aspects of nature. A factual series that is still enchanting and artistic, it can be a great teaching tool.

39. Our Favorite Day of the Year by A. E. Ali

Joining kindergarten means discovering the wider world. Musa’s class is encouraged to share their favorite day – and Musa discovers that not everyone knows about Eid al-Fitr. As he progresses through the school year, Musa discovers other favorite days, such as Pi Day and Rosh Hashanah. This book will support an inclusive holiday calendar and give children (and adults!) a glimpse into different cultures.

40. Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry

Hair can mean a lot – especially for Black children with natural hair. This book shows the love and care between a father and daughter. Dad cares for his little one daily and takes care of her hair. Showing his daughter how to love her natural hair is integral to their life. Touching and inclusive, this book belongs in every kindergarten.

41. Time for Bed, Old House by Janet Costa Bates

Falling asleep can be tough, especially in unfamiliar places. When Isaac visits his grandfather, he is scared to go to bed. But Grandpop guides him through the evening, showing him how the noises in the house are friendly, not frightening. This book will help with falling asleep and support children struggling with house moves or visits.

42. Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed

This accurate tale follows astronaut Mae Jemison. Mae shows all children that they can achieve their dreams with hard work and self-belief. The bonus of this book is that it will encourage all children, especially girls, to develop an interest in icons. The story is written appropriately for little listeners, focusing on bravery and strength. It is a positive way to introduce a new generation to Harriet Tubman before they are old enough to discover the whole story.

49. The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark by Ken Geist

Finding a way in the world and learning to help one another are monumental lessons for young children. This upbeat adventure story illustrates this as young adult fish are chased by a shark, facing many hurdles. With friendship and support, the fish learn how to live happily together.

50. We All Play by Julie Flett

Everyone loves playing – and this title shows how much! Children and animals have fun playing in this joyful book, written in Cree and English. It is a celebratory way to teach native languages to kindergarteners and show them the natural world.

51. KINDergarten: Where Kindness Matters Every Day by Vera Ahiyya

Vera Ahiyya is a teacher herself, and it shows. This book highlights how little Leo learns more about kindness. The concept of kindness is explored in depth here, and it is a lovely way to discuss the idea with your class.

52. Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

Learning new skills doesn’t always equal being able to practice them. Jabari knows how to dive but is scared to take the leap! Luckily, his dad can guide him through this scary moment. This book facilitates a discussion about facing fears and what this means for your students.

53. Locomotive by Brian Floca

Do you have a student who loves trains? This book explores the inner workings of the locomotive in a fictional way. With history and facts blended in with the story, you can teach kindergarteners about technology and development.

54. Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes

This book is based on the true story of gender identity can happen at any age, and this book provides answers, conversation starters, and a role model in Jazz. Use it to foster discussions around identity, understanding, and compassion.

61. Love Is Powerful by Heather Dean Brewer

This story is based on the experiences of a real child who attended the Women’s March in 2017. Six-year-old Mari attends a march with her mom but worries their letters are too small. However, their message is read loud and clear. This book shows children the power of the written word and love and support.

62. Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins

Unexpectedly teach some manners with this fun read! The cake in this story is not very polite at all, and through their adventures, children can see the benefits of manners. Of course, it also shows that poor etiquette doesn’t make them wrong – and that they can always try again with a better attitude.

63. Thank you, Omu! by Oge Mora

Learning about generosity is all too important for developing children. This story shows that generosity is often reciprocated and is the key to a thriving community. Giving rather than receiving is an important message; you can talk to your class about how giving feels to them.

64. Benji, the Bad Day, and Me by Sally J. Pla

Bad days happen, and the brothers in this story experience them quite differently. Benji has autism, while Sammy is neurotypical. Sammy struggles to find a way to cope with his bad days, while Benji has his way of managing them. But Sammy can always reach out to those who love him to help him. This book shows how a child isn’t alone, even when they feel that way.

65. That Neighbor Kid by Daniel Miyares

Some children are shy, and some are loud and outgoing! This book shows that even nervous and quiet children can branch out and connect with others to form powerful friendships. This a fabulous book for beginning the school year on a positive note!

66. Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos by Monica Brown

Renowned painter Frida Kahlo has highlighted this voice and shared diverse stories.

67. Swashby and the Sea by Beth Ferry

This classic story is about compassion and connection while helping with phonics. Captain Swashby learns to open himself up and form friendships with his neighbors. Cross-generational friendships are celebrated in this heartwarming tale.

68. Germs vs. Soap by Didi Dragon

Hygiene is more important than ever – handwashing is the key. How can you make soap a true hero? With reading, of course! Introduce regular handwashing with this fun book which will have kids wanting to wash away those germs.

69. The Fort by Laura Perdew

Celebrate the power of friendship in this tale about creative play. It will make children want to build their fort immediately and encourage them to play together to create the best possible fun.

70. The Maggie B by Irene Haas

Magic and wonder await in this adventurous tale. A young girl heads off on an enchanting journey and faces new challenges with a courageous heart and outstanding leadership. This story can be a valuable part of helping children to develop leadership skills.

71. Out the Door by Christy Hale

Journeys to school can be a great learning opportunity! This book is all about that very trip and shows a young student as she heads through her neighborhood, rides the subway, and gets to school. You can discuss each student’s daily journey and look at their neighborhoods to see what exciting things they can spot every day.

72. The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

This book is designed to engender conversations about inclusivity and connecting with others. Children will learn how their voice matters even though they may be different from others. Use this to discuss the importance of every voice and share diverse stories.

73. The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton

Fun and silly, this book introduces Princess Pinecone – a strong girl who wants a warhorse! The horse she gets is a cute pony with a flatulence problem. While Princess Pinecone doesn’t love her silly pony at first, she wins over the other warriors when she lets it be its cute self. This adorable story is subtly inclusive, with warriors of all kinds gracing the pages.

74. In Our Mothers’ House by Patricia Polacco

Family love is given a strong voice in this story. Highlighting diverse families (both multiracial and same-gender), this book shows that a loving and supportive home can look different from the “traditional” model. It is a lovely way to include children from diverse homes in family discussions and help them to feel “normal”.

75. Firebird by Misty Copeland

An ode to passion and to follow your dreams, this book is all about the achievements of American Ballet Theater performer Misty Copeland. Hard work and dedication are the backbones of this tale, and it will inspire young children to share their own goals.

Summary

Kindergarten should be a time of great discovery and learning for students. These books will help teachers and parents to explain the world and new concepts in exciting and relatable ways. Whether your students love discovering new facts or are passionate about fantastical stories, there is a book for every child.