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Favorite Books for Kindergarten Students to Read

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Inspire your young students with some of my favorite books for kindergarten. This list of great books to read aloud is perfect for helping young readers develop critical early literacy skills. 

At this age, kids are learning to write their very first sentences. Reading aloud together will help them increase their vocabulary, build reading comprehension skills, and learn about proper sentence structure. I’m excited to share my list of the best kindergarten books to read aloud in the classroom or at home.

All my favorite children’s books will encourage your kindergartners to build strong listening skills as they fall in love with an entirely new world of books! Read as many of these top picks as you can together. Reading aloud to children is the very best way to help them achieve academic success and create great listeners.

favorite books for kindergarten

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Best Kindergarten Books to Read Aloud

Are you searching for read-aloud books your kindergarten students will love? Then, you’re in the right place! I’ve got a big list of fun books you can read aloud to young children in the classroom and at home this year. Check out more than 20 of my favorite books for kindergarten kiddos below.

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems

Mo Willem’s books are some of the most delightful elementary school books to read together. Knuffle Bunny is a funny cautionary tale filled with beautiful illustrations in black and white that show what can happen when a child loses their stuffed animal or favorite toy. You’ll want to read this book again and again!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. 

One of my favorite timeless classics for kindergarten readers is Bill Martin Jr.’s Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. It’s perfect for reinforcing letter identification with younger children. Plus, the rhyming stanzas on each page make this one of the most fun books to read aloud together.

Strega Nona by Tomie DePaola

If you haven’t met Tomie DePaola’s grandmotherly character, Strega Nona, now is the time! Find out what happens when her magic pasta pot just won’t stop making spaghetti. The best part is that once you fall in love with Strega Nona, you can enjoy all 13 books with this wonderful character!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

How many treats can a caterpillar eat? The Very Hungry Caterpillar can eat quite a lot! Enjoy this classic tale with colorful illustrations from Eric Carle at home and in the classroom. 

Related Post: Eric Carle Crafts and Activity Ideas

Curious George by H.A. Rey

Introduce your students to the curious little monkey, George, who has delighted generations of readers. It’s the perfect story to read aloud together and it’s one of my absolute favorite books!

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes has been one of my favorite books for kindergarten readers for years. It’s easy to see why this great picture book is a favorite with kindergarten teachers everywhere. This book is also a good way to bring up serious topics like bullying with your early readers.

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

In this sweet book by Audren Penn, the main character is afraid to go to school. His mom shares a family secret that helps him to feel loved and secure even on the first day of school. You can use this book to help your little ones with their first-day-of-school jitters.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

This classic for kindergarten children is a great addition to any list of favorite books for kindergarten. A little boy named Max is the hero in this story filled with mischief, bravery, and imagination. Join him as he tames the wild things and still makes it home in time for supper.

The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes

This adorable read-aloud book is all about a little boy who’s thrilled to begin kindergarten. Derrick Barnes’ The King of Kindergarten is a Newberry honor-winning book that inspires children with confidence just in time for the first day of school. 

The Queen of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes

The Queen of Kindergarten is a book about a brave little girl getting ready to start school. It’s a great follow-up book to The King of Kindergarten for young girls.

Both of these cute books for kindergarten students would make a great addition to your classroom literacy center.

More Favorite Books for Kindergarten Kids

Keep reading to discover more of the best books and favorite read alouds that your kindergarten students will love!

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin Jr. & Eric Carle

The beloved characters in Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle’s book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? are a great way to practice colors and learn about many different animals with your students this year. Reading books like this classic are easy for emergent readers too. You will definitely want to add this book to your kindergarten classroom reading list.

Pete the Cat Books by James Dean

There are all kinds of fun James Dean books featuring the beloved Pete the Cat character! These are good books filled with important lessons and simple text for young minds. Plus, the rhyming stories are perfect for beginning readers!

Don’t miss my Groovy Pete the Cat Activities for even more learning fun with your four and five year olds. 

The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper

The Little Engine is filled with kindness and determination. This beautiful book will help your kindergarten learners develop a strong growth mindset. It’s easy to see why this classic is one of the best kindergarten books to read aloud. 

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

I think The Giving Tree is one of the most important books to read to young children. The tree in this classic picture book makes a great choice by loving and giving to his friend. This beautiful story will help kindergarten students practice critical thinking and learn the value of true friendship.

The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Audrey Wood

The little mouse in this storybook loves strawberries, but so does the big hungry bear. What will happen when the mouse tries to stop the bear from eating his red ripe strawberry? This funny picture book has a surprise ending you won’t want to miss! It’s the perfect bedtime story to spark your child’s imagination this year.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

What happens when the school day is canceled and a little boy named Peter gets to spend the day playing out in the snow? This classic favorite book for kindergarten students will answer the question with timeless illustrations and diverse characters.  Then, use my Snow Name Craft to practice writing and spelling your child’s own name with a fun snowy day activity!

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

Crockett Johsnon’s beloved children’s book is a timeless classic that will spark your child’s imagination. Harold and the Purple Crayon will quickly earn its spot on your list of the best books for kindergarten students to read. 

In this story, Harold goes for a walk with a large purple crayon. Before the adventure ends, he has created his own wonderful landscape filled with whimsy and creativity! 

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

Anna Dewdney’s sweet Llama Llama books are filled with charming new friends your kindergarten readers will adore. If your child has ever had a hard time sleeping at the end of the day, Llama Llama Red Pajama is the book for him!

This silly story is a fun way to help kids learn not to be scared at night with rhyming text that’s perfect for building early literacy skills.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judy Barrett

What if instead of raining “cats and dogs,” it rained meatballs and spaghetti? That’s exactly what happens in this funny story! Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is a Caldecott Medal winner that’s perfect for the first day of kindergarten or the last day. Your students will have a good time imagining all the fun foods that might fall from the sky!

I Am the Lorax by Dr. Seuss

Another one of my favorite books for kindergarten students is Dr. Seuss’s I Am the Lorax. It’s the perfect book to read aloud to your students for Earth Day this year. You can probably find this important book at your local library or elementary school library.

Then, try my favorite Earth Day Crafts and Flip Book activity for even more learning fun.

Corduroy by Don Freeman

One of my favorite books for kindergarten students to read at the beginning of the year is Don Freeman’s Corduroy.

This classic book to read aloud is an innovative look into a child’s world, filled with toys that come to life and adventures just waiting to be found. Whether you’re a new teacher or a veteran kindergarten teacher, Corduroy is a classic you’ll want to read aloud with your students this year.

Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel

This book based on a Chinese folktale has sold one million copies and it’s easy to see why! You can use this classic story to introduce your kindergartners to Asian literature and talk about cultural diversity in the classroom this year. 

What are some of your favorite books for kindergarten students to read? Share all the best kindergarten books on your list this year in the comment section. I can’t wait to read them and discover a few of your favorites with my students too!

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