I am very excited to write this article about the best stories for kids (in my eyes anyway!)
In my teaching career, I have build up quite a bank of funny children’s books. Well, they are not all funny, but a lot are! I hope to introduce you to some real corkers! As my teaching career has mainly focused around 4-5 years old children, you will find that my favourite books are likely to be suited to this age group.
Why are Preschool children’s books important?
I seem to be on quite a Literacy kick at Best Case Parenting this week! I am writing this article pretty fresh off writing about how to teach a child to write! This was not by design, but hey, it’s a very important part of teaching and parenting young children.
Quality stories for kids are incredibly important, and should not be underestimated.
When a child grows up surrounded by these high quality preschool children’s books, they will be much more likely to form a love of books. When a child has a love of books, they already have the motivation to read. They have already spent many hours having fun with books and the natural response is to learn how to do this themselves.
In previous articles, when we talk about teaching a child to read or write, I have highlighted the importance of learning activities having a meaning and a value to your child. This love of books will automatically give a value to reading and writing, without any need for encouragement!
Of course, not all children that are exposed to a rich environment of quality books will develop this love, but it is far more likely.
Please note, to view these books on Amazon, simply click on the images in this article.
Without further beating around the bush, lets get on with the show!!
My list of best stories for kids!
The Book with no pictures by B.J. Novak
Without a doubt, this is one of my favourite funny children’s books. The way the book is written, and the idea behind it, is ingenious.
I have found that, at first, the children I read this to won’t be that sure about reading the book. However, quite soon they find it hilarious and it often becomes a favourite book request for the children in my classes.
The whole premise of the book is to put the focus on the words, which goes against the normal procedure in most preschool children’s books. Usually, there are detailed and glorious illustrations on every page of most children’s books. Of course, a lot of those books are also great, but it is nice seeing an author really thinking outside the box.
The way that the book focuses on the words is to, as the name suggests, not have any pictures throughout the story book. Instead, the adult is forced to read (and sing) a selection of silly sentences.
As I said, the children will often grow to love this book. It also has a great teaching value for young children. It illustrates the importance of words and the tone in which they are spoken.
So I take my hat off to Mr Novak, he made a truly exceptional and innovative children’s book. Which is something of a feat in this day and age!
Ten Apples up on Top by Dr. Seuss
When it comes to the best in children’s books, surely EVERYONE has heard of Dr. Seuss.
The problem I have found with Dr.Seuss, is there are so many books in the series and they can vary in quality quite a bit. However, I have spent many hours reading Dr. Seuss children’s books, and this is up there as one of my top reads.
This is also in my bank of funny children’s books, it certainly has most four and five year old children laughing anyway!
The great thing about this book is it helps children practice counting in a fun way.
It’s a wacky story about some animals that find out they can balance apples on their heads whilst doing various tricks and actions. This then leads to the animals seeing who can balance the most apples on their heads! Finally, some mean bears try to knock those apples off of the animals heads.
As well as having a great counting element in it, this book (like many Dr.Seuss books) has some great repetitive sentences that often rhyme. This is like verbal gymnastics for a young child, and is a brilliant way to develop spoken English skills.
An oldie but 100% a goodie!
Should I Share my Ice Cream? by Mo Willems
This book is part of the “Elephant and Piggie” book series. This series has many excellent books, but after much thought I chose this one.
Most of these Elephant and Piggie books have a great knack of covering important topics for children in a fun and engaging way! They make stories for kids fun but also valuable.
Another funny children’s book (don’t worry there will be serious ones!), this book deals with the delicate issue of sharing.
Elephant is not sure whether he should share his ice cream. He agonises over this for so long, that the ice cream melts. The thought process Elephant goes through is presented in a fun and comical way. These processes are actually common sticking points for young children when it comes to sharing. This book allows us adults a fun way to discuss these important issues with children.
As with a lot of these funny children’s books, this one often becomes a class favourite!
SuperHero ABC by Bob Mcloed
This particular book is a master stroke for getting children interested in phonic work.
Officially, this is not really a story book for kids as such. However, a lot of children really enjoy learning about the different characters in the book. What you could do, is ask your child to select a couple of characters from the book and make a short story together.
This book is made up of a set of fictional superhero characters based around the phonic sounds. There is a short description for each character, focusing on the particular phonic sound that character uses.
I have found this a great tool in my classrooms. Often, I will read this book for a couple of minutes at the end of each day. This is a great way to give a short burst of phonic practice to a child each day. You could do similar at home, using it whenever you have a couple of minutes downtime.
Beware of the Bears by Alan Mcdonald
This book directly follows on from the classic Goldilocks and the 3 Bears story.
It shows what might have happened after the three bears found out someone had been in their house.
The bears decide to find out who has been in their house and try to track them down.
Baby bear tracks the culprit down to what they think is Goldilock’s house. The bears go there to seek revenge and ruin her house. However, they find out that actually the house isn’t anything to do with Goldilock’s. To their horror, it turns out to be the Big Bad Wolf’s house!! Gulp!!
Preschool children’s books don’t get much better, in my opinion. The book is funny, with an important underlying message. I have seen people online saying that this book actually promotes revenge and is not good for children. I would have to strongly disagree.
As the bears got the wrong house, there was a consequence to their actions. This teaches young children that revenge ISN’T a good idea. When I have read this to classes in the past, I usually end discussing this with the children. We will then come up with what the bears should have done instead of seeking revenge.
Something Else by Kathryn Cave
This book is an excellent resource to help young children understand that everyone is different, and that the path of friendship shouldn’t be swayed by these differences.
Something else is a story for kids that starts with a character trying to play with people that are from a different race and culture than he is. These people end up refusing to play and turning him away. The character then finds himself in a similar situation later in the story and, at first, does the same. He remembers how he felt after being rejected and decides that he doesn’t want to do the same to this potential new friend. They turn out to be great friends.
This book teaches children that we are all different and we can still be friends with someone totally different to us. We also need to be tolerant of other peoples habits, cultures etc.
This book has been a great teaching tool in my teaching career, and it could also be the same at home!
PLEASE NOTE: As I am trying to keep up with the best in children’s books, you may find over time that this list grows or changes! Keep on the look out for updates!