Research shows that reading aloud to children helps them grow their vocabularies, master grammar, and develop other important literacy skills. This is in addition to the social and moral benefits that children reap from hearing about brave, kind, and otherwise virtuous characters. While picture books are fun for everyone, children entering preschool have longer attention spans and you may decide to begin reading simple chapter books as well. These longer stories allow children to experience more complicated plots and characters, and they build anticipation as you read the same story over days or weeks. Here is a short list of beloved early chapter books to read to your preschooler as you enter this new and exciting phase.
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
This classic tale has been a favorite for families for almost 70 years. In fact, in the year 2000, it was declared the best-selling children’s paperback book of all time. Charlotte’s Web is a charming story of a friendship between a runt pig and a barn spider. Determined to save her friend from the slaughterhouse, Charlotte uses her web-spinning abilities to endear Wilbur to the farmer and, eventually, the whole town. With themes of friendship, sacrifice, and kindness, this is a book the whole family will enjoy.
My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
The first in a trilogy, My Father’s Dragon is a story that is sure to thrill and inspire your children. Written in the 1940s, these books follow a young boy on an adventure to rescue a baby dragon on a faraway island. The mixture of whimsy and practicality in the book makes the story feel familiar, and the themes of bravery and clever problem solving will encourage your children to plan adventures of their own.
The Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo
Mercy Watson is another early chapter book about a friendly pig. Except, in this case, Mercy loves to eat toast and manages to find herself in all sorts of crazy situations. A favorite for young preschoolers, this series often contains colorful pictures to ease the transition from picture books to chapter books.
Lady Lollipop by Dick King-Smith
From the author of Babe: The Gallant Pig for older children comes a simpler and sweeter tale you can read to your preschooler. It is the story of a spoiled princess and yet another loveable pig. When Princess Penelope receives Lollipop the pig as a birthday gift, the new pet has a lot of work to do to win over the king, queen, and his new owner. If you enjoy this story, be sure to also check out the sequel, Clever Lollipop.
Milly-Molly-Mandy by Joyce Lankester Brisley
In this collection of stories from the daily life of a small girl in the 1920s, Milly-Molly-Mandy finds wonder and joy in everyday events. This is a great choice to read to your preschooler since each chapter stands alone as its own story and the stories’ simplicity caters to shorter attention spans. Milly-Molly-Mandy experiences many wonderful things, such as spending her very own money and spends her first night away from home. This book is a wholesome and peaceful choice for every family.
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Florence and Richard Atwater
The Newberry Honor Book from 1939, Mr. Popper’s Penguins is a joyous and downright silly adventure. When Mr. Popper, who is obsessed with penguins and arctic exploration, receives some penguins as a surprise gift, what happens next is hilarious. Even young preschoolers will get the giggles as you read about the antics of Popper’s crew. Another book the whole family will enjoy, this classic will be requested time and time again.
Reading aloud to your children gives them great advantages in school and other areas of life as well. Few things encourage imagination, good choices, and bravery like hearing the stories of other children doing the same. If you are looking for childcare that encourages children to love and learn from stories, consider Legacy Academy Greenville. Call or visit today for more information.