The best children’s picture books for preschool storytimes

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a preschool teacher for several years, and now I’m a preschool librarian. When I was teaching, storytime was my favorite part of the day, so when I was offered the spot of librarian, I happily took it! I have storytimes in all the classes, which range in age from 1-year-olds up to PreK and kindergarten classes. My favorite moments are when the children are connecting to each other in some way, like sharing a laugh together. Such joy! Ultimately, the best books for preschool storytimes are the ones that a reader is excited to share, with the hope that the kids will love them, too. 

I wrote...

Book cover of Cowhide-And-Seek

What is my book about?

When Bessie hears the farmer counting his cows, she thinks he’s starting a game of hide-and-seek. She hurries off to hide, determined to be the winner — but she’s the only one playing!

When her “hiding spot” walks away, she follows it . . . right off the farm! Ready or not, here comes the farmer! Will Bessie find the perfect place to hide?

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Bark, George

Sheri Dillard Why did I love this book?

This book stars an adorable puppy named George. His mother has a simple request—she wants George to bark. But instead of arf, he says meow. The mother patiently explains, “No, George. Cats go meow. Dogs go arf.” George tries again (“Quack!”) and again (“Oink!”) and again. (“Moo!”) 

Kids find this hilarious. Sometimes I’ll ask, “Do dogs go meow?” And they’ll cheer, “No!” And then I’ll say, “Who says meow?” Even the very youngest kids join in. Maybe they can’t quite talk yet, but they can clap and cheer when George finally gets it right. 

This book has everything I love in a storytime book—short text, lots of humor, and fun surprises with each page turn.

By Jules Feiffer,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Bark, George as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Named one of 100 Great Children’s Books by The New York Public Library and #9 on School Library Journal’s list of the Top 100 Picture Books!

From acclaimed author-illustrator Jules Feiffer, Bark, George is a hilarious, subversive story about a dog who can't . . . bark! This picture book geared for the youngest readers is perfect for those who love Mo Willems's Pigeon series.

When George's mother tells her son to bark, George goes "Meow," which definitely isn't right because George is a dog. When she asks him again, he goes "Oink." What's going on with George? Readers will…

Book cover of Everybody Says Meow

Sheri Dillard Why did I love this book?

At storytimes, I see firsthand the value of a good page turn. There’s anticipation. And excitement. And…then…the…page…turns… Oh! Is there a surprise? Something funny?  

Everybody Says Meow has the best page turns. The story starts with a cat talking to the reader. He’s standing with his cat-friends and explains that it’s time for everybody to say meow. “Ready?” he asks. 

On the next page, all the cats are happily saying, “Meow!” BUT—there’s also a dog, peeking around the edge of the page. With a smile and a friendly wave, he says, “Woof!” 

The story continues with these page-turn surprises, and the kids eagerly await the next animal to peek around the page. I love how I have to pause my reading and wait for the laughter to quiet down.

By Constance Lombardo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Everybody Says Meow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

"The messages of inclusion and acceptance are welcome. An enjoyable addition to noisy storytimes." -Kirkus

Everybody Says Meow! Or do they? Fans of Sandra Boynton and of Jules Feiffer's classic Bark, George will meow, bark, and ribbit when they hear this hilarious picture book about a waggish group of adorable animals that just cannot follow one simple instruction.

"Welcome to that magical time when everybody says, 'Meow!' Ready?"

Well, not quite. There's also a "Woof." And a "Ribbit."

A few words and a minimal background can make for plenty of mischief-especially when your characters are adorable, delightfully silly, and probably…

Book cover of Oh No, George!

Sheri Dillard Why did I love this book?

Another book about a dog named George! This George is a sweet, well-intentioned dog who is trying very hard to be good. But oh dear, there are so many temptations. Cake! A cat. Some lovely dirt. 

“What will George do?” the book asks. And then comes the page turn. (As you can probably tell from the title, George doesn’t always make the best choices.) The kids will shout, “Oh no, George!” with me and giggle at the silly illustrations that follow, like George happily eating an entire cake. But they can also relate. Sometimes making the right choices can be hard.  

The ending is unexpected and usually starts a lively discussion. I love anything that gets kids talking to each other about books.

By Chris Haughton,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Oh No, George! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 2, 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

It's hard work being good all the time - and it's especially hard for a dog like George! A laugh-out-loud, visual romp from the acclaimed author-illustrator of A Bit Lost, Shh! We Have a Plan, Goodnight Everyone, Don't Worry Little Crab and Maybe.

A board book edition of the hilarious read-aloud romp by the multiple award-winning author-illustrator Chris Haughton, this is the story of George the dog. His owner, Harris, is off to do some shopping. "Will you be good, George?" he asks his dog. George hopes he can. He really wants to ... but chocolate cake is just so…

Book cover of Is Everyone Ready for Fun?

Sheri Dillard Why did I love this book?

I love Jan Thomas’s books! This one starts with three charming cows who are excited to see a red sofa. “Look!” they say. “It’s chicken’s sofa!”

Why are they excited? One page-turn later and PLOP! The cows are all squished together, sitting on the sofa. “Is everyone ready for fun?” they ask. 

Turns out, the cows have lots of plans for this sofa. Jumping! Dancing! Wiggling! Poor chicken tries to get them to stop, but these fun-loving cows don’t notice the effect of their “fun” on chicken’s sofa. 

I love having the kids act out each scene of jumping, dancing, wiggling, and the final satisfying page. Books that get kids engaged, whether with a catchy refrain or physical actions are fun. (And like those cows, we are ready for fun!)

By Jan Thomas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Is Everyone Ready for Fun? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Chicken has some unexpected and exuberant cow visitors who have exciting plans for jumping, dancing, and wiggling on his teeny-tiny couch, and Chicken is none too happy about it. That is until the fun concludes with a quiet, cozy and delicious nap for all!

Book cover of Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type

Sheri Dillard Why did I love this book?

Yay for cow books! Cows can be so charming, and these cows are extra-special—they’ve learned how to type! And they use their new skill to make one polite request. They would like electric blankets. Sincerely, they would. 

I’ve mentioned how much I enjoy humor and a satisfying page-turn. This book showcases another feature that works well for storytimes—a fun refrain. 

Click, clack, moo.

Click, clack, moo.

Clickety, clack, moo.

I have kids say it with me. “Click, clack, mooo!” we say as we watch poor Farmer Brown react to each note. The ending is funny and satisfying and leaves us with a slight twist on this repeated refrain. Sometimes, I’ll hear the kids saying it throughout the day as I walk from class to class. “Click, clack, mooooo!”

By Doreen Cronin, Betsy Lewin (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Click, Clack, Moo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin’s Caldecott Honor–winning book is celebrating its twenty-year anniversary with a brand-new edition featuring bonus content!

Click, clack, MOO.
Click, clack, MOO.
Clickety, clack, MOO.

It was the typewriter heard ‘round the world. When Farmer Brown’s cows began leaving him notes, that’s when his troubles started—and the animals’ fun commenced! Celebrate twenty years of barnyard shenanigans with this special anniversary edition of the story that started it all, Click, Clack, Moo—now with a bonus poster in the inside cover!

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Book cover of The Hummingbird & The Narwhal

Annie Higbee

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What is my book about?

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The Hummingbird & The Narwhal

By Annie Higbee,

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