Story Books for Ages 3 to 7
The main topic for this broad age range is attention span. While very young children have almost no attention span whatsoever, others are amazingly mature and will listen to fairly lengthy stories. Trial and error will teach you what best suits your child. You read to communicate pleasure, as a main goal, of course, but you are also training your child to listen attentively, a vital learning skill.
For three-year-olds, try for books with very few lines per page, increasing text amount with the age of the child.
Illustrations are critical. Talk about “the pictures.”Find out whether or not your child is picking up cues and clues from the illustrations.
Progressing to “story books” will give your child a longer, more detailed story than a picture book typically does. If possible, progress to more text per page as your child moves toward kindergarten age. You will smoothe the way in kindergarten if you present the teacher with an accomplished listener!
THE BEST THING ABOUT KINDERGARTEN (2013), by Jennifer Lloyd, Qin Leng, IllAs the school year is ending, with graduation ceremonies soon to begin, Mrs. Appleby asks her students what they think has been the best thing about kindergarten. The students make their guesses, graduation goes off perfectly, and then their teacher tells them that the best thing about kindergarten is not the cooking corner or the writing center or any of the other guesses, but is instead the students themselves. A lovely book with bustling, slightly goofy art perfectly suited to this topic. It's the winner of a Starred Review from School Library Journal, and rightly so!
THE WATERMELON SEED, (2013), by Greg PizzoliThe author-artist is a screen printer who has used shades of green, pink, and black for this deliciously funny book. The hero of the book is a crocodile who has always loved watermelon. "Ever since I was a teeny tiny baby crocodile, it's been my favorite." But what if he swallows a seed? Will he turn pink like the watermelon? Maybe vines will grow out of his ears? Everything about this book is purely delightful. ALL ages love this book.
IF YOU WANT TO SEE A WHALE, (2013), by Julie Fogliano with Erin Stead, IllThis quiet, imaginative book is an excellent read when a child is wound up and YOU want to unwind him or her. The art is outstanding, and the advice about looking for a whale is right on target. You can't be distracted by other, interesting things around you, and you must learn how to wait...and wait. Until eventually you WILL see a wonderfully enormous whale.
DANCING DRUM, A Cherokee Legend (1998), by Terri Cohlene, Charles Reasoner, IllOne of Cohlene's several books about Native Americans, this title tells how a brave young boy tried to convince the Sun not to shine so fiercely on his people. Cherokee myths, along with many other myths from other tribes in our country, are wonderfully interesting. Reading legends to children frequently kindles a lifelong interest. Also the illustrations are excellently done.
Z IS FOR MOOSE (2012), by Kelly Bingham with Paul O. Zelinsky, Ill.Well, of course Z is for Zebra, and the zebra is confident that he can keep the animals organized so that they show up in the proper places. But then there is Moose, who has other ideas. Moose is messing up the whole thing! Enjoy this award-winning title that gets guffaws on every page. Somehow, just looking at Zelinsky's moose makes people laugh.
- EDWARD THE EMU, (1988) and EDWINA THE EMU (1997), both by Sheena Knowles and Rod Clement, III
- IF I BUILT A CAR, by Chris Van Deusen
- AESOP'S FABLES, by Aesop, many editons available
- LIVING SUNLIGHT: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life, by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm.
- MIKE MULLIGAN AND MORE, by Virginia Lee Burton.
- HELP ME, MR. MUTT! Expert Answers for People with Dog Problems, by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens
- A BOOK by Mordicai Gerstein.
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