Books every parent should read to their kids before kindergarten

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School-age kids have headed back to the classroom — but those too young for kindergarten aren’t off the hook. They’ve got some homework to do as well.

The nationwide 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten initiative urges parents to read 1,000 books to their children before they start their academic careers.

Various libraries across Long Island are participating in the movement, offering incentives such as stickers or free books to children as they tick off 100, 200, 300 books and more. (If a child has a favorite book, each time it is read counts.) And if the local library isn’t officially working on the program, parents can find charts and more at 1000booksbeforekindergarten.org.

We asked 10 Long Island librarians for their favorite books for parents to read to their kids before Kindergarten. Many of the books can be found in your local library or you can purchase them on amazon.com.

"Tony Baroni Loves Macaroni" by Marilyn Sadler

Tony will only eat macaroni--but this picky eater
(Credit: Blue Apple Books)


Tony will only eat macaroni--but this picky eater is about to find that there's more to eating noodles than simply sticking with a single style.

“The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt

Imagine if your box of crayons end up
(Credit: Penguin Young Readers Group)


Imagine if your box of crayons end up arguing and fighting so much that you can't color! That's what Duncan has to deal with--can he get all the crayons to make up and do what they do best?

"Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" by Eileen Christelow

Jumping on the bed can be a tricky
(Credit: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)


Jumping on the bed can be a tricky thing, and this quintet of primates prove that to be true as one by one they bounce off the mattress and land painfully.

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"Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" by Bill Martin Jr.

Can all the letters of the alphabet fit
(Credit: Simon & Schuster)


Can all the letters of the alphabet fit at the top of a coconut tree? Read on to find out what happens when the vowels and consonants challenge each other to make the climb.

"Monsters Love Colors" by Mike Austin

This picture book uses dancing, drawing and waggling
(Credit: HarperCollins)


This picture book uses dancing, drawing and waggling monsters to demonstrate colors and how they mix to make more colors.

"Everywhere Babies" by Susan Meyers

Take a trip through the baby-sphere: meet some
(Credit: Harcourt)


Take a trip through the baby-sphere: meet some very young tots and watch how they entertain themselves, as well as how their parents do their crucial part.

The classic 1961 children's book, offering a fun
(Credit: Random House Books for Young Readers )


The classic 1961 children's book, offering a fun look at how some dogs get around and have a good time.

"Guess How Much I Love You'" by Sam McBratney

A tale between mother hare and child, a
(Credit: Candlewick)


A tale between mother hare and child, a pair who love each other so much that they're not sure how to describe their feelings--but their deep bond in never in doubt.

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"Big Little" by Leslie Patricelli

Follow a very expressive toddler as he acts
(Credit: Candlewick)

Follow a very expressive toddler as he acts out each pair of opposites, i.e. "Ladies are big, but ladybugs are little."

"If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" by Laura Joffe Numeroff

It's a story about a mouse named Mouse:
(Credit: HarperCollins)


It's a story about a mouse named Mouse: he's cute but hungry, and if you give him a cookie, he'll want a drink. Of course, if you give him a drink, he'll start asking for more things, and more, and even more.

"Goodnight Moon" By Margaret Wise Brown

Since its release in 1947, this simple story
(Credit: HarperCollins)


Since its release in 1947, this simple story based on nothing but a series of evening greetings offered to things and creatures found around the house has become one of the most-recognized children's books ever to come from the United States.

"Harold and the Purple Crayon" by Crockett Johnson

Recently celebrating its 60th-anniversary, the 1955 story of
(Credit: HarperCollins)


Recently celebrating its 60th-anniversary, the 1955 story of Harold and his imagination is told by way of the main character's king-size crayon and the even bigger world it helps the young hero create.

"Madeline" by Ludwig Bemelmans

A classic 1939 tale of a pint-size Parisian
(Credit: Puffin Books)


A classic 1939 tale of a pint-size Parisian with lots of spunk -- as well as an ailing appendix!

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"Kitten’s First Full Moon" by Kevin Henkes

When Kitten sees her first full moon, she
(Credit: Greenwillow Books)

When Kitten sees her first full moon, she wants it--as she thinks it's a big bowl of milk! Could she possibly get that bowl of milk in the sky? Perhaps...

"Hooray for Fish" by Lucy Cousins

Journey along with a crew of small fry
(Credit: Candlewick)


Journey along with a crew of small fry who like doing what they do best: be fish!

"Wiggle" by Doreen Cronin

Parents know getting a toddler to hit the
(Credit: Atheneum Books for Young Readers)


Parents know getting a toddler to hit the hay can be tough--so instead of discouraging their wiggly nature, let them read this book that encourages them to shake it up and bust a move (and hopefully, expend enough energy that they'll actually want to go to bed).

"Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!" by Mo Willems

Can a driving-obsessed pigeon possibly handle a bus
(Credit: Disney Publishing Worldwide)


Can a driving-obsessed pigeon possibly handle a bus route of his own? Readers can answer back and help him decide if he should take the wheel.

"Rhyming Dust Bunnies" by Jan Thomas

Hang with Hug, Mug, Rug and Bug as
(Credit: Beach Lane Books)


Hang with Hug, Mug, Rug and Bug as the fuzzy four--a group of dust bunnies--who like to spend some time rhyming (as well as keeping clear of their enemy, a broom).

"Pat the Bunny" by Dorothy Kunhardt

The iconic touch-and-feel book born in 1940 still
(Credit: Western Publishing)


The iconic touch-and-feel book born in 1940 still holds potential to entertain modern readers by connecting the printed word with sensory perception.

"Chu's Day" by Neil Gaiman

When Chu says
(Credit: HarperCollins)


When Chu says "a-choo," bad things happen. His sneezes are big trouble, but will anyone in his family even notice his mighty sniffles when exploring the world around them?

"Puddles!!" by Kevan Atteberry

Declan loves to splash around in the rain!
(Credit: HarperCollins)


Declan loves to splash around in the rain! His bunny friends, on the other hand, don't see the fun.

"Color Zoo" by Lois Ehlert

Watch animals transform from one species into another
(Credit: HarperFestival )


Watch animals transform from one species into another in this colorful journey through the Color Zoo.

"You Are (Not) Small" by Anna Kang

When it's just a pair of creatures on
(Credit: Two Lions)


When it's just a pair of creatures on the scene, it's hard to agree on who's big and who's small. However, some new guests arrive, and they make it clear what's large and what's not-so-large.

"Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak

Author Maurice Sendak's 1963 children's book remains a
(Credit: Harper Collins)


Author Maurice Sendak's 1963 children's book remains a cultural phenomenon, so much so that it's been animated and turned into a major motion picture--but the beloved story of Max and the island where he rules the "Wild Things" all started here.

"Mama, Do You Love Me?" by Barbara M. Joosse

A story of a child exploring independence, supported
(Credit: Chronicle Books)


A story of a child exploring independence, supported by a parent who shows unconditional love and understanding.

"Come Along, Daisy!" by Jane Simmons

Daisy the duck is a curious bird, and
(Credit: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)


Daisy the duck is a curious bird, and her mother has to spend a lot of time keeping her safe--but Daisy is so easily distracted...until a scary sound makes it clear that mom knows best.

"Monkey and Me" by Emily Gravett

When a little girl and her best
(Credit: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)


When a little girl and her best buddy/ toy monkey pretend to be animals, readers can either try and figure out what animal they're portraying, or just join in on the fun and play too.

"Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" by Bill Martin Jr.

Children and parents can expect rhythmic reading and
(Credit: Henry Holt and Co)


Children and parents can expect rhythmic reading and strangely hued but familiar animals in this story illustrated by Eric Carle.

"Maisy Big, Maisy Small: A book of Opposites" by Lucy Cousins

It doesn't matter if your young ones are
(Credit: Candlewick)


It doesn't matter if your young ones are dedicated Maisy fans or not, as she spends this story exploring different looks and investigating various human traits in colorful, direct fashion.

"Little Blue Truck" by Alice Schertle

He's a tough little pick-up--but even he's no
(Credit: HMH Books)


He's a tough little pick-up--but even he's no match for country mud. Good thing his farm animal friends are around to help get his wheels back on the road.

"You are My Sunshine" by Jimmie Davis

An illustrated version of the classic American song.
(Credit: Cartwheel Books)


An illustrated version of the classic American song.

"Dear Zoo" by Rod Campbell

A lift-flap book, this tale tells of a
(Credit: Little Simon)


A lift-flap book, this tale tells of a child looking for a new pet.

"I Say, You Say Animal Sounds!" by Tad Carpenter

Little readers can learn about the barnyard as
(Credit: LB Kids)


Little readers can learn about the barnyard as new words, animals and sounds await to be found under lift-flaps throughout the book.

"Bear Counts" by Karma Wilson

It's one thing to count--but have you tried
(Credit: Margaret K. McElderry Books)


It's one thing to count--but have you tried counting with a bear? Explore the world with the bruin and see the quantities that lie at every turn.

"The Deep Blue Sea: A book of Colors" by Audrey Wood

A lesson in colors awaits, as exploring a
(Credit: The Blue Sky Press)


A lesson in colors awaits, as exploring a tropical setting provides bright reds, blues and more.

"The Family Book" by Todd Parr

What is a family?
(Credit: Little, Brown and Company)


What is a family? "The Family Book" shows that while there are many varieties, all are special and important.

"I Can Do It Too!" by Karen Baicker

When reading this story of a girl who
(Credit: Chronicle Books)


When reading this story of a girl who enjoys living life to the fullest, you'll see that it's much easier to sample the world when you know you're loved.

"Wind" by Carol Thompson

Ever play outside on a windy day? This
(Credit: Child's Play International)


Ever play outside on a windy day? This book recalls all the fun and experiences that can take place alongside a breezy stretch of weather.

"Orange Pear Apple Bear" by Emily Gravett

It's not so much the story told in
(Credit: Little Simon)


It's not so much the story told in this book but how it's told, as the author only uses five words--which get rearranged and combined with colorful illustrations to create a creative account.

"Barnyard Dance" by Sandra Boynton

Crafted for the youngest readers out there, this
(Credit: Workman Publishing Company)


Crafted for the youngest readers out there, this book entertains by introducing the party-loving critters found dancing and playing in the barnyard.

"Hamsters Holding Hands" by Kass Reich

Rhymes and thorough illustrations are the hallmarks of
(Credit: Orca )


Rhymes and thorough illustrations are the hallmarks of this counting book aimed at young children.

"Where's My Sweetie Pie?" by Ed Emberly

A lift-flap book, readers will find all sorts
(Credit: LB Kids)


A lift-flap book, readers will find all sorts of animals hiding within the pages--right up until the special ending that reveals the "Sweetie Pie" to be more familiar than first expected.

"My Nose, Your Nose" by Melanie Walsh

Through art based on the facial and physical
(Credit: HMH Books for Young Readers )


Through art based on the facial and physical features human beings share, the author demonstrates human similarities while simultaneously celebrating diversity.

"Peekaboo Morning" by Rachel Isadora

Join a toddler as he plays peekaboo with
(Credit: Putnam Juvenile )


Join a toddler as he plays peekaboo with his family members, while introducing words to readers that share the subject's age.

"I Like It When…" by Mary Murphy

A simple account of a penguin and what
(Credit: Red Wagon Books)


A simple account of a penguin and what sort of daily activities make the bird's day a happy one.

"Toes, Ears and Nose" by Marion Dane Bauer

With a lift of flaps, the reader can
(Credit: Little Simon)


With a lift of flaps, the reader can learn about what feature of their face or body is hidden under clothing.

"Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes" by Mem Fox

By reminding readers that babies from around the
(Credit: HMH Books)


By reminding readers that babies from around the globe share several physical features, this portrait of baby-hood is a tribute to people around the world--and a reminder that no matter where you're from, humans are all from the same world, and in many ways we're not all that different.

"Peek-a-Boo" by Roberta Grobel Intrater

Toddlers, their feelings and the expressions they make
(Credit: Cartwheel )


Toddlers, their feelings and the expressions they make are the body of this book intended to grab the focus of beginning readers.

"Daddy Hugs" by Nancy Tafuri

Papa creatures get a chance to show off
(Credit: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)


Papa creatures get a chance to show off their hugging skills as a variety of animals appear along with their babies, locked in embrace.

"Where's Spot?" by Eric Hill

A popular book ever since its 1980 release,
(Credit: Warne)


A popular book ever since its 1980 release, the main attraction is the lifting of flaps in order to find the subject of the story.

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