Kindergarten is a special age for many reasons. Kids are learning to recognize sight words and write their letters, figuring out how to use scissors, and going on some of their first field trips. Regardless of where you live, every kindergarten class experience will include reading time. It takes a special book to capture the attention of those excited wiggle worms! In this post I wanted to share three of our family’s favorite books that my children discovered in kindergarten and still treasure to this day.
The Piggy in the Puddle, written by Charlotte Pomerantz and illustrated by James Marshall.
A little piggy splashes in a mud puddle, much to the distress of her family members. No matter how they plead, she refuses to get out and get clean. Every time they offer soap, she simply answers, “Nope!” Whatever can they do, but jump – in – too?
This is a silly and lighthearted story of a family embracing messy fun, full of simple rhymes that are fun to read aloud and certain to make little readers giggle. The Piggy in the Puddle is published by Aladdin Paperbacks, recommended for ages 3-8.
But No Elephants, written and illustrated by Jerry Smath.
Grandma Tildy lives all alone. She picks apples, chops wood, and has no time for friends and fun. Then one day a man selling pets came to her house. He offers to sell her a canary. “’Very well,’ said Grandma Tildy. ‘But no elephants!’”
The pet man returns several more times; each time Grandma Tildy buys a new pet, but reminds the pet man, “No elephants!” Grandma Tildy and her new pets all live happily together, until the pet man returns one more time. All he has left to sell is an elephant, and he can’t keep him.
Will Grandma Tildy change her mind and let the elephant stay, or will he be left all alone out in the snow? This is a sweet little story about acceptance and cooperation; little children will love repeating “But no elephants!” every time the pet man visits. But No Elephants is published by CQ Products and recommended for ages 5-6.
Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch, written by Trinka Hakes Noble and illustrated by Tony Ross.
Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch is a book my children first heard read aloud in kindergarten; they loved it so much that it soon became part of our permanent library. Rancher Hicks and his wife Elna live out west where nothing much ever happens. One day Rancher Hicks decides to drive to town for some excitement, but Elna stays home to dig potatoes.
In town Rancher Hicks is entertained by a slow game of checkers, gossip about the rainstorm that happened in ’49, and the incredible event of a turtle crossing Main Street. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Elna is having the most exciting day of her life!
Children are endlessly entertained by the outrageous events happening back at the ranch that are consistently at odds with the wildly boring events happening in town. The illustrations capture the mood of each scene, with lots of fun details for little eyes to find. Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch is published by Penguin Group and recommended for ages 2-5.
Jennifer S. (she/her) is a graduate of Fresno State University. She spent a number of years working for non-profits before becoming a full-time stay-at-home mother. She currently lives in Central California with her husband, two children, and two codependent cats.