It’s a rare sight to see me leisurely reading an adult book, but put me in a room filled with good children’s books and I’m in book heaven.  Lil’ Pizza loves books and I treasure the times that we have when we read a good book together.  The books listed are ones that Lil’ Pizza and I have both enjoyed reading.  Many of the books can be enjoyed by preschool to early school age kids (3-8), so I included the age recommendations provided for each of the books.  


Secret Pizza Party (age 3-7) – I think I’ve read all of the books that Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri have worked on together including popular titles like Dragons Love Tacos and Those Darn Squirrels! They are all awesome and worth the read but this book is my absolute favorite. It is about a pizza-loving raccoon who devises a plan to have a secret pizza party. I find this book so funny to read aloud and the illustrations are on point. I’ve read it so many times and still love when Lil’ Pizza wants to read it.

Those Shoes (age 5-8) – Like all the other kids at school, Jeremy just wants to fit in and have a pair of “those shoes.” Determined to have his own pair, he ends up with a thrift store pair that is too small for him. Despite his own struggles with disappointment, Jeremy has a chance to show someone else kindness and generosity and finds contentment with what he does have. Lil’ Pizza and I have had some great discussions while reading this book. Now that we are getting to lengthier books for a wider audience, I do run into books that use a word or two that I don’t want to read aloud to Lil’ Pizza just yet. Usually I just omit it and use a different word.

Return (age 4-8) – This is the last book in the wordless trilogy (you may be familiar with Journey and Quest) and came out just this past summer. It is another beautifully illustrated book by Aaron Becker and is a wonderful continuation of the story from the first two. The girl returns for more adventure with her magical crayon adding suspense to every turning page. I love how this book wraps up the trilogy; the first book starts off with her family being too busy to play with her but in this final book, her dad ends up joining in on the great adventure.

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole (age 4-8) – Sam and Dave are on a mission to find something spectacular. They spend all day digging and find nothing. Despite not finding anything spectacular in their dig, they still manage to have a pretty awesome day. If you pay close attention to the illustrations at the end of the book, you’ll notice it truly was not just an ordinary day.

The Watermelon Seed (age 3-5) – Crocodile loves watermelon but one day his biggest fear comes true. He swallows a watermelon seed and his wild imagination comes up with the silliest worries.
The Sandwich Swap (age 3-7) – This is another book that has allowed for great discussions with Lil ‘ Pizza. Lily and Salma are best friends and do everything together. They both start to notice that they like different sandwiches and think the other’s is gross. When they confront each other, it results in a big messy food fight at school. They both learn to try new things and realize that their friendship is stronger than their differences. This book uses some name calling and the word “stupid.” This book has helped us to talk about why certain attitudes and words can be hurtful to someone.  
The Three Ninja Pigs (age 5-8) – This book is a playful twist on The Three Little Pigs. It’s about three pigs who are tired of the wolf huffing and puffing their houses down so they all sign up for various forms of martial arts. Of course, only the third pig is extremely diligent in mastering his new skills. The book uses clever rhymes and is full of action and animated pictures.
Ada Twist, Scientist (age 5-7) – This book, written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts, is the latest one from this dynamic duo. You may be familiar with their other awesome books they worked on together, Iggy Peck, Architect and Rosie Revere, Engineer. All of these books touch on pursuing your passions and persevering despite challenges along the way.  Ada Twist, Scientist is about a little girl who is curious about the world around her. She gets herself into a bit of a mess as she seeks to find her answers but is supported to continue to question, problem solve and be the young little scientist she was meant to be.
Tortuga in Trouble (age 4+) – In this variation of Little Red Riding Hood, Tortuga is on his way to bring supper to his grandmother when he is stopped by Coyote who is hungry for a tasty feast and later disguises himself as his grandmother.  Tortuga’s friends Iguana, Conejo, and Culebra come right in time to Tortuga and his grandmother’s rescue  I love how the author, Ann Whitford Paul, weaves Spanish words so naturally into the story that Lil’ Pizza ends up learning some Spanish words along the way.

Knuffle Bunny Too (age 3-6) – I guess if you decide to read this one, you should read the first and last book as well, but this one is my favorite. Trixie is so excited to show her one-of-a-kind Knuffle Bunny at school only to discover that it is not a one-of-a-kind bunny after all. There is a bit of a mix up with the bunnies which brings about a late night adventure and a long lasting friendship.

.  .  .  .  .

What are some of your favorite books for preschoolers – early elementary that both you and your child enjoy reading? I always love hearing everyone’s favorites!