Stocking your kindergarten classroom library is an amazing chance to share the world with your young students. You’ve definitely got your reliable favorites, but updating your shelves with fresh picks is fun and important. Here are 70 recent and diverse kindergarten books to pull your students in, make them laugh, and help them learn and grow.
(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend books our team loves!)
Friendship and Connection Books for Kindergartners
1. Swashby and the Sea by Beth Ferry
Captain Swashby is a reclusive retired sailor happy with his quiet life by the sea—until an energetic girl and her grandmother move in next door. This delightful book checks all the right boxes for kindergarten books: lovable and diverse characters, heartwarming themes, charming artwork, and discussion-worthy vocabulary. There are even a handful of authentic chances to review phonics skills and sight words as students decipher messages written in the sand.
Buy it: Swashby and the Sea at Amazon
2. Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora
When Omu makes her thick red stew, the delicious smell attracts many visitors hoping for a taste. Selflessly, she gives every last bit away—but her grateful neighbors have a plan to say thanks. This is the perfect story to act out with your class.
Buy it: Thank You, Omu! at Amazon
3. Saturday by Oge Mora
In this quiet gem, a mother and daughter make the best of a series of mishaps by keeping in mind what’s truly important: being together.
Buy it: Saturday at Amazon
4. Fern and Otto: A Story About Two Best Friends by Stephanie Graegin
On the hunt for an exciting story idea, Fern and Otto take a grand tour of fairy-tale and nursery rhyme events in the forest. In the end, they find that the best stories can be found closer to home. Add this title to your list for launching a writers workshop!
Buy it: Fern and Otto: A Story About Two Best Friends at Amazon
5. Elmore by Holly Hobbie
It can be hard to make friends when you’re a spiky porcupine! This book encourages students to think about the many ways they can connect with others.
Buy it: Elmore at Amazon
6. A Sled for Gabo by Emma Otheguy
Do you love The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats? (Who doesn’t?!) You’ll find Gabo just as adorable as Peter as he learns how to problem-solve with the help of his community to stay dry and have fun in the snow. The English version includes lots of Spanish words, and this title is also available fully in Spanish.
Buy it: A Sled for Gabo at Amazon
Beginning of the Year and Community-Building Books for Kindergartners
7. Out the Door by Christy Hale
There are so many potential curriculum connections for this story about a girl’s trip to school, which starts with her heading out the door and continues through her urban neighborhood and onto the subway. Use this as a conversation starter about neighborhoods and journeys to school, to introduce activities about prepositions, directions, or mapping, or as a writing mentor text.
Buy it: Out the Door at Amazon
8. All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
Families of every makeup and background walk to school on the first day. Teachers greet them with joy and reverence. This is one of our new favorite kindergarten books to set the tone at the start of school and revisit all year long.
Buy it: All Are Welcome at Amazon
9. Lupe Lopez: Rock Star Rules! by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo and Pat Zietlow Miller
Lupe Lopez starts kindergarten with big dreams to become a classroom rock star, but the classroom rules cramp her style. Add this to your kindergarten books for creating classroom rules as a group.
Buy it: Lupe Lopez: Rock Star Rules! at Amazon
10. The Fort by Laura Perdew
The lyrical language and expressive artwork in this celebration of friendship and play make for an engaging read-aloud. (Plus, now we want to run right outside and make our own forest fort.) Whether you’re playing pirates, castle, astronauts, or something else, pretending is more fun with a buddy!
Buy it: The Fort at Amazon
11. Becoming Vanessa by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
If you share Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes every year, you’ll love adding this to your mix of kindergarten books about names! When Vanessa starts school, she wants her classmates to know she’s special, but it feels like her efforts miss the mark. Plus, her name takes so long to write (and those two s’s are hard!). When her family teaches her what her name means, everything feels right.
Buy it: Becoming Vanessa at Amazon
12. KINDergarten: Where Kindness Matters Every Day by Vera Ahiyya
Written by kindergarten teacher and Instagram influencer the Tutu Teacher, this picture book follows Leo on his first day of kindergarten as his classmates share ideas about kindness and what it means.
Buy it: KINDergarten: Where Kindness Matters Every Day at Amazon
13. The Queen of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes
Detailing the routines and rituals of a day in kindergarten, this gentle and sweet story of a girl named MJ is a great one to read at the beginning of the year. Through MJ’s excited eyes, we learn about what might happen on a typical school day, helping to ease any anxiety about a new school year.
Buy it: The Queen of Kindergarten at Amazon
Identity and Inclusion Books for Kindergartners
14. Love Is Powerful by Heather Dean Brewer
As Mari and her mother create signs for an upcoming march, Mari isn’t sure their letters are big enough for anyone to read their messages. But read them, people do. By the time you reach the author’s note, with reflections from the real-life 6-year-old Mari on her experience attending a women’s march in 2017, we guarantee you’ll have chills. Share this to kick off an opinion writing unit, or anytime you want to let the children in your life know that love—and their own words—are most definitely powerful.
Buy it: Love Is Powerful at Amazon
15. Pink Is for Everybody! by Ella Russell
Discussions about colors—and who should wear them, use them, or like them—often come up in kindergarten. This wonderfully inclusive book models for kids how everyone has the right to choose just what they like.
Buy it: Pink Is for Everybody! at Amazon
16. Lubna and Pebble by Wendy Meddour
We don’t want to shy away from tough topics with our young students, but they have to be tackled in developmentally appropriate ways. This child’s-eye view of a refugee experience is also a touching testament to the power of friendship.
Buy it: Lubna and Pebble at Amazon
17. Our Favorite Day of the Year by A.E. Ali
When Musa starts kindergarten, his new teacher invites him to share his favorite day with the class. He’s shocked that Eid al-Fitr isn’t everyone’s favorite day! Over the course of the year, the class learns about Rosh Hashanah, Las Posadas, Pi Day, and many more special days. If you’re looking to add more inclusive holiday and calendar-themed kindergarten books to your shelves, try this one.
Buy it: Our Favorite Day of the Year at Amazon
Great Storytelling and Read-aloud Books for Kindergartners
18. The Three Billy Goats Buenos by Susan Middleton Elya
We adore this rhyming Spanish and English adaptation of a classic tale! It has lots of familiar details, but in an updated ending, the troll becomes the goats’ newest amiga. Perfect for comparing and contrasting with a traditional version.
Buy it: The Three Billy Goats Buenos at Amazon
19. The Little Red Fort by Brenda Maier
This Little Red Hen retelling stars Ruby, who spies some scrap wood and gets a vision for an amazing fort. Will any of her brothers help her build it?
Buy it: The Little Red Fort at Amazon
20. Pool Party by Amy Duchȇne and Elisa Parhad
Add this to your kindergarten books for helping kids with ideas for their own personal narrative writing. Who doesn’t love a pool party? There are just a few words per page, but there are so many fun details to notice in the pictures. Encourage kids to add small details to their own drawings, right down to wrinkles on pruned fingers!
Buy it: Pool Party at Amazon
21. A Piglet Named Mercy by Kate DiCamillo
Initiate a new crop of Mercy Watson fans with a tender picture book explanation of how Mercy arrived at the Watson family’s doorstep.
Buy it: A Piglet Named Mercy at Amazon
22. Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos by Monica Brown
This is a colorful and engaging portrait of artist Frida Kahlo presented in a context that children can appreciate: her special relationships with the animals in her life.
Buy it: Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos at Amazon
23. Things To Do by Elaine Magliaro
Simple but powerful free verses personify animals, natural phenomena, and common objects. These are perfect for teaching visualization.
Buy it: Things To Do at Amazon
24. Barkus series by Patricia MacLachlan
This dog and owner duo reminds us of Henry and Mudge. The wholesome content works for a read-aloud or your occasional advanced independent kindergarten reader.
Buy it: Barkus series at Amazon
25. Because by Mo Willems
This beautiful and inspiring book showcases a more serious side of Mo Willems. The moving story about a girl who falls in love with music by chance and how her life is forever changed explores connection and opportunity in accessible ways. We adore this one!
Buy it: Because at Amazon
26. Very Good Hats by Emma Straub
Through imagination and creativity, this book demonstrates how many different things can function as hats and that the possibilities are endless. An enjoyable read-aloud about seeing things from a new perspective.
Buy it: Very Good Hats at Amazon
Feelings and Emotions Books for Kindergartners
27. The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld
This tender story reminds kindergartners (and those who teach them) that sometimes just listening is the best way to help.
Buy it: The Rabbit Listened at Amazon
28. The Bear and the Moon by Matthew Burgess
This gentle tale of a bear and a balloon is what we all need right now. Use it to introduce conversations about loss and disappointment in a reassuring way. We also love this story as a narrative-writing mentor text—the lush, detailed language is perfect for showing students possibilities for “adding more.”
Buy it: The Bear and the Moon at Amazon
29. Jabari Tries by Gaia Cornwall
If you love Jabari Jumps, you’ll be excited about his new chance to shine. This one is for every kid who has big dreams of creating something amazing, only to find it’s harder than they thought. Jabari’s dad wins once again with his spot-on advice about slowing down, breathing, and digging deep for the patience to try, try again.
Buy it: Jabari Tries at Amazon
30. Together We Ride by Valerie Bolling
Kids can make so many connections to this story of a girl learning to ride a bike. Share this when you’re talking about noticing details in book illustrations—and adding more to kids’ own drawings.
Buy it: Together We Ride at Amazon
31. Mary Can! by Mary J. Blige
A wonderful story about believing in yourself when the world is telling you no. Relevant and valuable for young learners, this story about finding your voice hits the mark.
Buy it: Mary Can! at Amazon
32. The Magical Yet by Angela DiTerlizzi
Sometimes it’s all about how we look at things. This lovely story reminds us how to approach challenges differently. When something feels impossible, we can change our mindset by considering that we aren’t able to do something “yet.”
Buy it: The Magical Yet at Amazon
33. How To Apologize by David LaRochelle
A primer on the art of apologizing told in an age-appropriate way, this one is a great choice for your kindergarten bookshelf.
Buy it: How To Apologize at Amazon
34. Jenny Mei Is Sad by Tracy Subisak
This thoughtful story explores the complexity of emotions and how to show up for a friend who is having a hard time. It reminds us that sadness doesn’t always look the same and that we can be upset without crying or visibly displaying our emotions. Simple but nuanced, this is one worth sharing.
Buy it: Jenny Mei Is Sad at Amazon
Math Connection Books for Kindergartners
35. Inside Cat by Brendan Wenzel
Inside Cat looks at the world through so many different windows—it’s surely seen it all, right? The surprise ending will delight kids. This is a unique addition to your kindergarten books that will definitely get your class noticing and talking (and maybe heading out on a shape hunt!).
Buy it: Inside Cat at Amazon
36. Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets: A Muslim Book of Shapes by Hena Khan
This is so much more than a shape book. Explore both 2D and 3D shapes alongside Muslim culture with this unique offering. Students who enjoy artwork will especially appreciate the intricate designs in the illustrations. Also check out others in this series: One Sun and Countless Stars: A Muslim Book of Numbers and Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors.
Buy it: Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets: A Muslim Book of Shapes at Amazon
37. Ten Blocks to the Big Wok by Ying-Hwa Hu
Counting stories are awesome kindergarten books! In this bilingual English and Mandarin title, Mia and her uncle Eddie walk through Chinatown on their way to eat dim sum. On each block, they see more interesting things. Introduce ordinal and cardinal numbers and inspire kids’ own neighborhood counting books.
Buy it: Ten Blocks to the Big Wok at Amazon
38. Ten on a Twig by Lo Cole
You know how you teach ways to make 10 for, oh … the entire year? This book makes it so much happier! Ten colorful birds sit on a twig until—snap!—the twig keeps breaking, causing birds to fall off. The illustrations are pleasing yet uncluttered enough to use for math lessons and could inspire the most adorable art projects ever.
Buy it: Ten on a Twig at Amazon
39. 100 Things I Know How To Do by Amy Schwartz
Kids can do so many things! This rhyming list is one of our new favorite kindergarten books to share at the start of the year or anytime we want to celebrate all the things our class can do! It’s a great addition to your “100th day of school” book collection too.
Buy it: 100 Things I Know How To Do at Amazon
Science Books for Kindergartners
40. See How They Grow series by DK
Kindergarten books that help tackle science standards are the best! Uncluttered photos show how baby animals from different habitats grow and change over time.
Buy it: See How They Grow at Amazon
41. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Science by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
What is science, anyway? Use the opening section to teach kids about the habits of scientists at the start of the year, and return to its captivating coverage of different science topics when you start each new unit.
Buy it: National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Science at Amazon
42. Nibi’s Water Song by Sunshine Tenasco
Educate kids about the importance of working to ensure everyone has clean water to drink with this energetic story of activism written by two indigenous Canadian women.
Buy it: Nibi’s Water Song at Amazon
43. Water Land: Land and Water Forms Around the World by Christy Hale
This innovative book uses paper cut-outs to show how land and water forms are related—plus, plenty of fun details in the illustrations invite wondering and conversation.
Buy it: Water Land: Land and Water Forms Around the World at Amazon
44. Germs vs. Soap by Didi Dragon
Kindergarten classrooms have to talk about handwashing … a lot. At least this book makes it entertaining! Captivate kids’ imaginations while teaching them to wage battle using germs’ sudsy nemesis.
Buy it: Germs vs. Soap at Amazon
45. Anywhere Farm by Phyllis Root
Introduce key concepts about plants, and inspire young farmers, whether or not you have conventional garden space available.
Buy it: Anywhere Farm at Amazon
46. Living Things and Nonliving Things: A Compare and Contrast Book by Kevin Kurtz
Explore this foundational concept with a book that encourages critical thinking. The engaging photographs and embedded questions help students decide if something is “probably a living thing,” leaving room for a realistic dose of scientific uncertainty.
Buy it: Living Things and Nonliving Things: A Compare and Contrast Book at Amazon
47. The Doctor With an Eye for Eyes by Julia Finley Mosca
This rhyming biography manages to present complex information in an accessible way. Use it to discuss gender equality or as an interesting extension to a unit on the five senses.
Buy it: The Doctor With an Eye for Eyes at Amazon
Nature Books for Kindergartners
48.–51. Winter Is Here, In the Middle of Fall, When Spring Comes, and Summer Song by Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek
The patterned text, precise language, and cheerful illustrations in these titles are perfect for sharing with kindergartners, no matter the weather! Inspire seasonal artwork and writing all year long.
Buy it: Winter Is Here, In the Middle of Fall, When Spring Comes, and Summer Song at Amazon
52. Peek-Through Picture Book series by Britta Teckentrup
Perfect blends of artistry, information, and engagement, each title in this series uses cut-outs to share new details on each page about a topic in nature. Who says nonfiction can’t be beautiful?
Buy it: Peek-Through Picture Books at Amazon
53. If I Were a Tree by Andrea Zimmerman
If you were a tree, how would you feel? What would you taste, smell, hear, and see? What amazing questions to discuss with kindergartners! This is one of our favorite new kindergarten books to introduce the five senses.
Buy it: If I Were a Tree at Amazon
54. I Hear You, Ocean by Kallie George
Sounds and sights on a trip to the ocean create a lyrical poem. Use the repeating text structure to write your own class poem.
Buy it: I Hear You, Ocean at Amazon
55. Thank You, Earth: A Love Letter to Our Planet by April Pulley Sayre
This book makes for a gorgeous read-aloud, and we see adorable kindergarten “thank-you letters to the earth” in your classroom future.
Buy it: Thank You, Earth: A Love Letter to Our Planet at Amazon
56. Wonder Walkers by Micha Archer
Two kids take a “wonder walk” and share their questions about everything they see. Read it and take your class out on a wonder walk of their own!
Buy it: Wonder Walkers at Amazon
57. We All Play by Julie Flett
Who loves to play? All kinds of animals, and kids of course! We adore this title as an addition to our kindergarten books that celebrate the magic of play. Written in both English and Cree, we love using this title to celebrate native languages and connections to nature too.
Buy it: We All Play at Amazon
Alphabet and Teaching Reading Books for Kindergartners
58. T. Rexes Can’t Tie Their Shoes by Anna Lazowski
You can never have too many kindergarten alphabet books, and this silly one will have kids giggling. Sure, horses can’t play hopscotch, and raccoons definitely can’t ride roller coasters, but trying out new things is still tons of fun!
Buy it: T. Rexes Can’t Tie Their Shoes at Amazon
59. Bathe the Cat by Alice B. McGinty
It’s a race to get through the cleaning to-do list before Grandma comes to visit. But uh-oh! The cat keeps swiping at the magnetic letters on the fridge, jumbling the tasks in hilarious ways. Share this to reinforce print concepts. Plus, you can add to your kindergarten books that represent two-dad families.
Buy it: Bathe the Cat at Amazon
60. The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds
Many kids collect rocks, baseball cards, and comic books, but Jerome collects words. Inspire students to notice vocabulary and show them the power that just the right word can hold.
Buy it: The Word Collector at Amazon
61. Time for Bed, Old House by Janet Costa Bates
Isaac is happy to be visiting his grandfather’s house but hesitant about actually going to sleep. His grandfather leads him through a sweet routine that makes all the creaks and groans of the old house endearing instead of scary. We love that savvy Grandpop introduces Isaac to “Reading the Pictures” so he can help tell the bedtime stories—a great skill to build for pre-readers in kindergarten!
Buy it: Time for Bed, Old House at Amazon
62. It’s a Sign! by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey
The Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! collection never lets us down! Colorful creatures make signs for their new club. Add this one to your kindergarten books for talking about using letter-sound knowledge to write decodable words.
Buy it: It’s a Sign! at Amazon
63. Bright Owl short vowel books by Molly Coxe
Learning short vowel sounds doesn’t have to be a drag when you’ve got adorable felted animals to teach you. Supplement your phonics curriculum with these gems.
Buy it: Bright Owl short vowel books at Amazon
Funny Books for Kindergartners
64. Tiny Spoon vs. Little Fork by Constance Lombardo
Need to grab a book to shift the mood? This competitive rant between baby feeding utensils will have your kiddos laughing hysterically. We also love it for introducing speech bubbles.
Buy it: Tiny Spoon vs. Little Fork at Amazon
65. The Jack Books by Mac Barnett and Greg Pizzoli
The many decodable words and short sentences are supportive for sure, but it’s the deadpan humor and mischief that will hook new readers. Kids will also love the drawing tutorials at the back of each title.
Buy it: The Jack Books at Amazon
66. The Giggle Gang Books by Jan Thomas
The Giggle Gang books deserve their own bin in your classroom library. With just the right amount of repetition, these books feel like “real” reading despite their easy content. They also work well as quick read-alouds or mini-lesson mentor texts.
Buy it: The Giggle Gang Books at Amazon
67. Runny Babbit Returns: Another Billy Sook by Shel Silverstein
These poems are not only fun tongue twisters but also offer a great chance for kindergartners to explore manipulating initial sounds. And, of course, you get the laughs you’ve come to expect from this legendary poet.
Buy it: Runny Babbit Returns: Another Billy Sook at Amazon
68. The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach
This thoroughly engaging tale about the mystery of a bear and his sandwich is filled with appealing illustrations and rich detail. The silly story ends with a fun twist you won’t see coming.
Buy it: The Bear Ate Your Sandwich at Amazon
69. Wordy Birdy by Tammi Sauer
The subtle lesson in this endearing story about a bird who likes to talk more than listen is great for a kindergarten audience. Wordy Birdy is a funny character we can all root for, and we appreciate the kindness of her friends when she gets into trouble by not listening.
Buy it: Wordy Birdy at Amazon
70. Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang
It can be hard to express your feelings and even recognize when you’re having a hard time. This silly story about a monkey who learns to identify and honor his emotions is a lighthearted pick with a helpful message. As Jim Panzee uncovers his true feelings, we learn about how to take the time to recognize our own. Love this one? Be sure to check out all six stories in the series.
Buy it: Grumpy Monkey at Amazon
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Plus, check out all our other favorite book lists!