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Choosing Books for Preschoolers Part 2/2

March 13 2021

One of the tricky parts of storytelling to younger children is making it through a whole book without losing their interest. The younger a child is, the shorter their attention span will be. The most effective way to help them stay focused is to find a way to make the story interactive. Keep them busy throughout the story and you’ll have a captive audience. 

The examples below are some suggestions of how to keep a toddler entertained and the best kinds of books to accomplish that goal.

For part 1 of this post, see here.


Make them talk

Books structured around repetition allow your mini audience to “read” along while you progress through the story. Encourage your little one to help you with the parts of the story that get repeated so that they have a part to play and anticipate. (e.g. “And what did the little pig say to the Big Bad Wolf?”).

Go Sleep In Your Own Bed! by Candace Fleming and Lori Nichols

When pig goes to his pen at bedtime, he finds cow sleeping in his spot. And thus begins a chain of animals shooing interlopers away from their beds. You can double the interactivity of the book by having your helper make animal sounds on top of telling the animals to sleep in their own beds. 

No, David! by David Shannon

David keeps being naughty, leading the reader to have to constantly scold him for his bad choices. This book is part of the David series, all of which we'd recommend.

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin

Pete the Cat loves the buttons on his shirt. What happens when the buttons start to pop off one by one? The book is also great for adding a bit of math to storytime, as your child can help you count how many buttons are left every time a button pops off.


Make them sing

Books that invite the reader to sing along are great for this age group. What toddler doesn’t enjoy a good sing-along? You can even incorporate a stuffie or two into the singing to make your very own impromptu puppet show!


Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

A sweet story about a mother’s love, it features a tender lullaby that is repeated several times in the tale.

Old MacDonald’s Things That Go by Jane Clarke & Migy Blanco

Whether you have a kiddo obsessed with things that go or are looking for a book to teach your kid about the subject, this book is a great place to start.

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin

Pete loves his new white shoes. As they change throughout the day, he just keeps singing his song. 

By Alice Flecha (Volunteer Blogger)

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