HAISLN Recommended Reading List 2013 (Preschool-Kindergarten)

View all Recommendations by Age > Recommendations for Age 4-8 book lists; This list was last updated on 8/9/2013
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HAISLN lists have been compiled by librarians at member schools of the Houston Area Independent Schools Library Network (HAISLN).  It includes both fiction and nonfiction books by some of the best authors for children and young adults. This is the list for PreSchool, PreKindergarten and Kindergarten.

For more book recommendations, please check out New York Times® Best Sellers, Children's Book Recommendations or the complete list of Featured Book Lists and Award Winners

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Mousterpiece

Circles and squares! Squiggles and wiggles and stripes! When Jansen the mouse discovers the art of such greats as Picasso, Matisse, and Warhol, the bright, bold colors and shapes capture her imagination and spark her creativity. Join Jansen on a colorful tour of contemporary art in this new work from an acclaimed author and illustrator.

Mousterpiece is a Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of 2012

release date: Jan 01, 2007
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Seven blind mice
"It's a pillar," says one. "It's a fan," says another. One by one, the seven blind mice investigate the strange Something by the pond. And one by one, they come back with a different theory. It's only when the seventh mouse goes out-and explores the whole Something-that the mice see the whole truth. Based on a classic Indian tale, Ed Young's beautifully rendered version is a treasure to enjoy again and again.

"Immensely appealing."(The Horn Book, starred review)
release date: Aug 01, 2008
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How Do Dinosaurs Go To School?
The bestselling, award-winning team of Yolen and Teague are back with another dinosaur tale--a fourth full-length picture book about how dinosaurs behave at school.

Everyone's favorite dinosaurs are back--and this time they are going to school. More fun dinosaur antics await. These prehistoric pupils are in a class of their own!

As in their previous books, Yolen and Teague capture children's rambunctious natures with playful read-aloud verse and wonderfully amusing pictures.
release date: Jan 01, 2012
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Dog Loves Drawing
Dog loves books, but one day he receives a strange one in the mail—it's blank! Soon, Dog realizes that this book is not for reading, but for drawing. Before long, Dog is doodling and drawing himself into a new world, full of friends and surprises.
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A Number of Animals
Striking visuals and a simple but compelling story line make A Number of Animals a counting book that is as delightful as it is effective. Illustrator Christopher Wormell is at his best with bold block prints that manage to convey the movement and emotions of an assortment of farm animals. Kate Green's light and inviting text, meanwhile, shepherds readers along on one little bird's barnyard journey in this reissued classic.
release date: Feb 08, 2011
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I Broke My Trunk! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)

Gerald is careful. Piggie is not.

Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.

Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to.



Gerald and Piggie are best friends.

In I Broke My Trunk! Gerald tells Piggie the long, crazy story about breaking his trunk. Will Piggie end up with a long, crazy story of her own?

Once again, Mo Willems creates another hilarious escapade starring the Geisel Award-winning duo. Vetted by an early-learning specialist, I Broke My Trunk! will have readers breaking into laughter left and right!
release date: Jan 01, 2009
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Scaredy Squirrel
Scaredy Squirrel never leaves his nut tree. It's way too dangerous out there. He could encounter tarantulas, green Martians or killer bees. But in his tree, every day is the same and if danger comes along, he's well-prepared. Scaredy Squirrel's emergency kit includes antibacterial soap, Band-Aids and a parachute.

Day after day he watches and waits, and waits and watches, until one day ... his worst nightmare comes true! Scaredy suddenly finds himself out of his tree, where germs, poison ivy and sharks lurk.

But as Scaredy Squirrel leaps into the unknown, he discovers something really uplifting ...
release date: Sep 22, 2009
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The Circus Ship
With stunning artwork and a rhyming text, the illustrator of the Mercy Watson books tells a tale of human-animal connection full of humor and heart.

When a circus ship runs aground off the coast of Maine, the poor animals are left on their own to swim the chilly waters. Staggering onto a nearby island, they soon win over the wary townspeople with their kind, courageous ways. So well do the critters blend in that when the greedy circus owner returns to claim them, villagers of all species conspire to outsmart the bloated blowhard. With buoyant rhymes and brilliantly caricatured illustrations evoking the early nineteenth century, Chris Van Dusen presents a hugely entertaining tale about the bonds of community — and a rare hidden-pictures spread for eagle-eyed readers of all ages.
release date: Mar 01, 2007
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C Is for Caboose
Pack your bags for an unforgettable trip! An unexpected mix of vintage illustrations and contemporary photos makes this word book about trains as entertaining to look at as it is to read. With simple information about everything from the transcontinental railroad to the model trains, C Is for Caboose is sure to excite young readers' natural curiosity and fill their heads with details they'll be eager to share.
release date: Sep 14, 2010
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Wherever You Are
. . . I wanted you more than you'll ever know,

. so I sent love to follow wherever you go. . . .

Love is the greatest gift we have to give our children. It's the one thing they can carry with them each and every day. If love could take shape it might look something like these heartfelt words and images from the inimitable Nancy Tillman. Here is a book to share with your loved ones, no matter how near or far, young or old, they are.

release date: Mar 26, 2008
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Red Is a Dragon
Younger children will be engaged by Red Is a Dragon, as a young girl finds a rainbow of colors in her everyday life.
release date: Mar 01, 2010
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Chalk
Three children discover a magical bag of chalk on a rainy day
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Brave Cowboy
This playful picture book from Jan Thomas features a courageous cowboy who croons to his cows before bed—with just a few fearful interruptions.

Join the Brave Cowboy as he tries to sing his young calf pals to sleep on a dark, dark night—EEEEEEEK! IS THAT A HUGE HAIRY SPIDER OVER THERE? Oh, it's just a flower? Well then, back to the lullaby.
     No one does preschool humor with Jan Thomas's wit, verve, and bold, snappy color. And her Brave Cowboy and his silly, interrupted lullaby are sure to get everybody singing—before they head off into cozy dreamland….
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Firehouse!
A firehouse with loads of laughs from bestselling author/illustrator Mark Teague.

Join Edward and his cousin Judy as they spend a hilarious day learning how to be firefighters. From a fire drill that leads to a slippery slide down a fire pole, to a hysterical battle with an out-of-control fire hose, Edward is in for an action-packed adventure. And when faced with a real emergency, it's Edward who saves the day!
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The Big Storm
 As clouds amass overhead and rain starts to pour, ten little woodland animals hurry to find shelter. The text counts up as Bird, Mouse, Squirrel, Rabbit, Chipmunk, Woodchuck, Raccoon, Possum, and Red Fox all run for cover--then Skunk squeezes in and makes it 10! All night, they huddle together in the safety and warmth of the hollow, as the thunder claps and lightning flashes outside. In the morning, the storm has calmed, but the animals still hear the grumble of thunder in the distance. Imagine their surprise when they find the noise is coming from a bear! From 10 to 1, all of the animals scurry out of the bear's lair to find a big, beautiful day outside.

The Big Storm was selected for Southeastern Connecticut's One Book, Every Child Project!
release date: Mar 18, 2003
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I Love Trains

Trains, trains, trains!

A train is passing by! A young boy watches in delight from his window as it rumbles and roars past. Each of the cars is carrying something interesting, but his favourite car is the last one - it carries something extra special!

A cheery, informative book for youngsters who love trains by the creators of I Love Trucks!

Ages 3-6

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Rain
When rain comes to the parched African savanna, the animals use all their senses to track the storm. The porcupine smells rain in the air. The zebras see lightning. The baboons hear thunder. The rhino feels the first drops. And the lion tastes the cool water. For a time, the grasslands abound with new green leaves, juicy fruits, and fresh pools of water. But soon the hot sun dries out the land, and the animals must again wait for the next big rain.

Manya Stojic's picture book debut is as satisfying and refreshing as the rain she describes. With paintings that are exuberant and saturated with color and a simple text that rolls off the tongue with pleasure and ease, here is a book parents and teachers will enjoy sharing again and again.
release date: Jan 01, 1984
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The Moon

So begins Robert Louis Stevenson's famous poem The Moon. Now Tracey Campbell Pearson takes readers on an illustrative late-night adventure set to this text in which we follow not only the moon as it shines on the creatures of the night, but also a father and his young son out on a late-night romp through quiet streets and fields, in a boat around a moonlit bay, and home again to sleep in their cozy house.

Detailed, luminous watercolor-and-ink paintings capture the magic of nighttime, and its many nocturnal creatures, as well as the special love between a father and son.

release date: Sep 04, 2012
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Bear Has a Story to Tell

It was almost winter and Bear was getting sleepy.
But first, Bear had a story to tell...

Bear found his friend Mouse, but Mouse was busy gathering seeds and didn't have time to listen to a story. Then Bear saw his friend Duck, but Duck was getting ready to fly south. What about his friend Toad? He was busy looking for a warm place to sleep. By the time Bear was through helping his friends get ready for winter, would anyone still be awake to hear his story?

This endearing story of friendship and patience is a worthy companion to Philip and Erin Stead's last collaboration, A Sick Day for Amos McGee, winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal.

Bear Has a Story to Tell is a Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of 2012

release date: Sep 01, 2011
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Little Owl's Night
It's evening in the forest and Little Owl wakes up from his day-long sleep to watch his friends enjoying the night. Hedgehog sniffs for mushrooms, Skunk nibbles at berries, Frog croaks, and Cricket sings. A full moon rises and Little Owl can't understand why anyone would want to miss it. Could the daytime be nearly as wonderful? Mama Owl begins to describe it to him, but as the sun comes up, Little Owl falls fast asleep.

Putting a twist on the bedtime book, Little Owl's Night is sure to comfort any child with a curiosity about the night.
release date: Mar 21, 2011
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Tallulah's Tutu
Tallulah just knew she could be a great ballerina, if only she had a tutu. So she starts ballet class. When she does not receive a tutu, she quits. But everywhere she goes, things keep reminding her of ballet. Her neighbor's basset hound always stands in second position. The kitchen clock performs perfect ronds de jambe. And Tallulah can't seem to stop doing ballet, either. A park bench makes a perfect barre, and what better way to pet the dog than with a graceful plié? This well-told, funny story with a smart new character will satisfy girls' cravings for pretty and pink, but also shows that ballet is about more than just the tutu.
release date: Jan 10, 2012
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Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur
A little girl is shopping in a grocery store when—surprise!—she meets a dinosaur. Don't worry. The dinosaur is very friendly. She's polite, too. In this funny story, told in lilting read-aloud rhyme, the girl has numerous opportunities to be helpful to the clumsy shopping dino and demonstrate when to say "thank you," "excuse me," "I'm sorry," "You're welcome," and other niceties of life. Tim Bowers's whimsical illustrations bring an extra dimension of fun to Judy Sierra's hilarious picture book fantasy. Altogether, Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur is an entertaining and painless way to show preschoolers why basic manners are a good thing to have.
release date: Jun 19, 2012
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My Snake Blake

What's green, and slithery, and smooth, and ...smart? My snake Blake, that's who! When my dad brought him home, he curved and twisted his body and spelled out "hello."

And when my mom was worried he might bite, his response was "relax."

This hilarious story about the friendship between a boy and his rather exceptional pet is brought to life by the simple yet delightful drawings of award-winning artist Serge Bloch.

release date: Jan 01, 2008
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I'm The Biggest Thing in the Ocean
When a giant squid takes inventory of all of the creatures in the ocean, he realizes that he?s way bigger than most of them! Of course, there are bigger things lurking around . . . but maybe this giant squid with a giant touch of hubris doesn?t really care?

First-time author-illustrator Kevin Sherry is sure to garner fans of all sizes for his perfect-for-preschool read-aloud with simple text, bold and delightful collage art, and a lovable squid whose spirit just cannot be crushed.

Choking Hazard - Small parts. Not for children under 3 years.

release date: Jan 01, 2011
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Duck on a Bike
Caldecott Honor winner David Shannon applies his wonderful off-beat humor to the story of a duck who decides to try riding a bike--and loves it!

FORMAT: Paperback book & CD
NARRATOR: Walter Mayes

One day down on the farm, Duck got a wild idea. "I bet I could ride a bike," he thought. He waddled over to where the boy parked his bike, climbed on and began to ride. At first he rode slowly and he wobbled a lot, but it was fun! Duck rode past Cow and waved to her. "Hello, Cow!" said Duck. "Moo," said Cow. But what she thought was, "A duck on a bike? That's the silliest thing I've ever seen!"
And so Duck rides past sheep, horse, and all the other barnyard animals.
release date: Mar 03, 2011
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Pirates Don't Take Baths
For any young child (or pig), there are few things more excruciating, more traumatic, more torturous than bathtime. And this little pig is putting his hoof down. No. More. BATHS. But how can he possibly accomplish this? Well, by being someone else, of course. After all, everyone knows that pirates, astronauts, and knights in shining armor-just to name a few-never, EVER take baths. Now if only he can convince his mother . . .

In his hilarious new picture book that is sure to become an integral part of bathtime routines, John Segal documents one particular skirmish in this never-ending battle of wills.
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Waddle!
It's Waddle! And it's in color. And boy, is it irresistible. In the same way that kids can't read Gallop! without wanting to gallop around the room, Waddle!, an animals-in-motion Scanimation book, will inspire prancing, hopping, stomping, and scampering. And did we mention color? Created by the optical genius behind the phenomenal #1 and #2 New York Times bestselling children's books, Gallop! and Swing!, Waddle! adds touches of color to the images and integrates it into the text. That prancing pig is pink, the leaping dolphin is blue, the slithering snake yellow. The Scanimation itself is also more lifelike, as the author continues to refine his patented Scanimation process, resulting in a more fluid, realistic motion. Nothing else compares.

Waddle! teaches color and movement. Its language is a joy, the rhymes inspiring, the animals full of life. And one more thing: Waddle! has a surprise ending. Something else to grab the reader—literally.
release date: Sep 22, 2015
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Russell the Sheep

All the sheep are falling asleep—except Russell. What's a sheep to do? Count stars… Count feet…

There must be a way to get a sheep to sleep!

Perfect for naptime or bedtime, this New York Times bestselling picture book from Splat the Cat author-artist Rob Scotton is now a go-anywhere 8x8 paperback!

release date: Oct 28, 2008
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Melvin Might?
Cement Mixer Melvin worries a lot. He worries he might get dirty. He worries he might get stuck. He even worries he might get worried. But one fateful day Rescue Rita is in need of a little rescuing, and Trucktown's biggest worrywart is the only one who can save the day. There's just one problem: He worries he can't. Jon Scieszka's latest racing and rollicking installment to the Trucktown franchise is a hilarious (and maybe even a little heartwarming) look at all the things a cement mixer can do...no matter how much he worries!
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Little Raccoon's Big Question

Little Raccoon has a question.

It is a question for his mother.

"When do you love me most of all?" he asks.

Of course, one question leads to another.

"Is it when I wake up?"

And another.

"Is it when I play in the trees?"

And another and another and another.

Little Raccoon has lots of questions.

How many answers does his mother have?

Just one.

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