Thursday, May 15, 2014

We all want to raise children who love to read, and this love starts in the house. In honor of Children's Book Week, I want to share our favorite 12 book characters for preschoolers.
Book characters every preschooler should know
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Celebrating Children’s Book Week



This week we celebrate Children’s Book Week and I want to share our love for characters we got to know so well during preschool years. In our house we read and reread books featuring these characters when our daughter was from 2 to 4 years old. She was an early reader, and by the end of preschool she was able to read most of the stories on her own. I intentionally chose not to include fantastic early readers, such as Elephant and Piggie in this list and pick longer and more complex stories to savor together as a family. Disclosure: I am an Amazon associate and this post contains affiliate links. For full disclosure, please click here and thank you for supporting my blog!

12 Favorite Book Characters for Preschool

1. The Cat in the Hat

The Cat in the Hat
I want to start with classics. Dr Seuss’s stories were forever popular in our house. To be fair, my daughter didn’t care for The Cat in the Hat itself, since she is not a big fan of mayhem and rule breaking. She enjoyed many entertaining and educational rhymed stories from The Cat in the Hat Learning Library and has many other favorites in our Dr Seuss collection.

2. Corduroy

Corduroy Book
Another classic story made it to our list of favorites. Sadly, Don Freeman wrote only two Corduroy books, but they were both read many-many times in our house. You can consider Corduroy as the first “adventure” book that is a lot more appropriate for preschoolers than many fairy tales. It’s a warm gentle story with a beautiful happy end.

3. Pete the Cat

Pete the Cat Book
Pete the Cat by James Dean was not originally on my top 12 list, but it was enthusiastically recommended by my kidlit friends when I asked a question about favorite characters for preschoolers on my Facebook page. I remember Smarty being quite enchanted by Pete’s adventures when she encountered this series in kindergarten, but I didn’t read these books with her.

4. Curious George

Curious George Book
Back to classic stories. I think every English speaking child knows Curious George, but it’s certainly worth it not to limit yourself to a TV version or to later books. Original Curious George stories by H.A. Rey are delightful and will probably lead to some interesting discussions about strange looking telephones and other relics of the 20th century. My daughter had mixed feelings about Curious George, because he ended up in trouble a little too often for her taste.

5. Lowly and Huckle

Lowly Adventures
I cannot even tell you how much my daughter loved Richard Scarry books with their detailed illustrations and a simple text that, nevertheless, introduced a lot of new vocabulary words to her. Richard Scarry’s world is organized, peaceful, and purposeful – everything that Smarty was finding extremely appealing when she was a preschooler. Lowly Worm is a “disabled” character that can keep up quite well with his able-bodied friends and has extremely nice manners – someone every preschooler can learn from.

6. Clifford

Clifford Book
I admit that I didn’t care for Clifford’s stories by Norman Bridwell quite as much as my daughter did, but I read and reread my fair share of them. I can see that a big red dog is a fascinating companion to a small girl, and he is a great character to explore the ideas of loyalty, faith, and friendship.

7. D.W and Arthur

D. W. Guide to Perfect Manners
Marc Brown is a prolific author with many books set in “Arthur universe”. We read a lot of them when Smarty was in preschool, and she enjoyed them. She was fascinated with Arthur’s younger sister D.W. who is somewhat more “free-spirited” than studious Arthur. D.W. is a lot of fun and not as often in trouble as Curious George, so she was one of Smarty’s favorite girl book characters when she was in preschool.

8. Berenstain Bears

Berenstain Bears
I always thought of Berenstain Bears as a perfect series to raise proper conservative Christians, as every possible virtue is taken on in a separate book. Since we are not religious, I found the books to be too “formula-driven” for my taste, but Smarty enjoyed this peek into a life of a tightly knit family that always plays by the rules, and she could certainly place herself in many situations described in the books.

9. Toot and Puddle

Toot and Puddle Book
Toot and Puddle created by Holly Hobbie are friends who are very different. Toot is yearning to see the world while Puddle is quite content to enjoy charms of a quiet country life. These series open up so many wonderful conversations about choices, countries that our children would love to see and adventures that they might want to undertake. We love geography and world exploration in our house, so we certainly LOVE Toot and Puddle.

10. Wilbur

The Charlotte Web
Here is another famous pig that should be known to preschoolers – Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. This is probably the most difficult book that I chose to include in the list of favorites, since it includes themes of sacrifice and death. Some children are not mature enough to handle such topics in preschool, but Smarty was interested and enjoyed this book. Another good classical choice for preschool by the same author is Stuart Little.

11. Rainbow Fish

The Rainbow Fish
I wanted to include one character who lives in the ocean. My daughter enjoyed all the books from The Rainbow Fish series by Marcus Pfister. I remember my husband and I having a lively discussion on the original book, because we felt that the author took a character from total self-absorption to equally dangerous disregard for his own well-being. To Marcus Pfister’s credit, the stories took different turns in subsequent books. My favorite book with a strong message of not being afraid of unknown is Rainbow Fish Discovers the Deep Sea.

12. Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh Book
I saved the best for the last. See, I didn’t meet all the other characters until I was an adult, since none of those books were translated into my native Russian when I was a child. Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne is the only character from this list that I met as a child, immersed myself into his adventures and quoted (in Russian, of course). I was very happy to share Winnie the Pooh and his friends with our daughter and hope that she will eventually carry on Winnie the Pooh and share him with her own children.

Your Turn:

12 favorite book characters for preschool

What are your favorite characters from books written for young children?

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58 comments:

Kristina Schnack Kotlus said...

I read above grade level for so long I barely remember my preschool picks, but I know that I always enjoyed Clifford when I picked him up at the pediatrician!

Snapshots of Sarie's Life said...

I'm Shocked Little Critter didn't make the list! he is one of my favorites!

Snapshots of Sarie's Life said...

I am shocked little critter didn't make the list! he is one of my favorites. I saw some good ones on this list!! I love Pete the cat!

Cool Mom said...

Oh, we adored the Richard Scarry books, too. We had some that were printed in the UK - the wording was different and it was fun to note at an early age, for my daughter. Great list. Thanks for the giveaway. We'll share!
Cool Mom for
The Stanley & Katrina Gang

Renee C. said...

We owned all of the Dr. Seuss books - I think my parents subcribed to something where we would receive onen per month. Also, believe it or not, I read the Dick and Jane books! lol thanks for this great giveaway. :)

Gayle@GIFTFamilyServices said...

Berenstain Bears were favs with my kiddos, as well as Rainbow Fish. I've read most of these title dozens--if not hundreds of times!

Bec said...

Hmm, I wouldn't have put Wilbur/Charlotte's Web on a preschool list. I'd have to include the Kevin Henkes mice on my list!

Ticia said...

I don't know I'd have put Charlotte's Web on preschool, but that's the beauty of parenting we can all pick when our kids read books.

I'd add in either the Mouse from Give a Mouse a Cookie books OR Little Critter, my kids loved Little Critter books as little kids. They never seemed to get into Richard Scarry books.

Up until recently I'd not particularly thought of Berenstein Bears as particularly Christian, but one of their publisher's is a Christian publisher, so many of their more recent books have been very overtly Christian. I've always thought of them as formulaic books to teach some kind of lesson, I know I used them when I was teaching for a couple of different lessons: nutrition, fire safety (I think, can't remember for sure, I know there was something with safety), and a couple of others.

katef said...

Oh I had a big Richard Scary book as a kid and LOVED it!

Pixystik4U said...

Rainbow fish is a favorite of mine

pixystik4u at gmail dot com

booksmykidsread said...

I enjoy Olivia, Ladybug Girl, Library Mouse, and Charlie and Lola for the younger set. For the slightly older, Charlotte (of the web), Hermione Granger, Alex & Conner (Land of Stories) and Celie (Tuesdays at the Castle)

Deanna Michaels said...

Duncan and Deloris!

Kim Vij said...

Thanks for sharing so many classics for children to discover with their parents. Franklin is a series that we loved over the years too.

AMD said...

Thomas the Tank Engine.

Abby said...

Our favorite character is Uncle Wiggly. My preschoolers can't get enough of his adventures!

Maria D. said...

We love the Hungry Caterpillar, Thomas the Tank Engine, Winnie the Pooh, and Green Eggs and Ham! There are actually a few on your list I'm not familiar with, so we'll have to check them out. Thanks for the giveaway!

kellyr78 said...

I like the Cat in the Hat and the Sneetches from Dr. Seuss books.
kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

vickie morgan said...

Berenstein Bears because they always give a great lesson. The kids enjoying reading them.

Shan said...

My favorite character was Ralph, from the Mouse and the Motorcycle. I loved that book!

lkgmita said...

My son loves Clifford and Curious George! He has also recently become a fan of the pigeon from Mo Willems' series. And I agree that the original Curious George is so different, really interesting to read!

Chavonne Harvey said...

I like Manny the Moose, that was such a fun awesome book to read as a kid. I loved it!

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

Great choices! My kids all love Biscuit from the early readers - but Pete the Cat is another favorite.

noreen said...

I loved reading dr Seuss sleep book and the funny characters. I also love reading curious grorge to my kids

Erica Mcclellan said...

I loved the Boxcar Children series!

Jess said...

We love the Little Critter books!

The Attic Girl Site said...

We love Dr. Seuss, Curious George, and Fancy Nancy

Natalie said...

I loved Curious George, POOH!, and anything by Dr. Seuss. I loved Harold and the Purple Crayon too.

ley said...

I love Clifford, Corduroy, and Pooh, but also remember reading Little Critter and every Bill Peet book I could find (Droofus was my favourite). I love the Duck and Goose books that are out now, too!

Wes Hovorka said...

My favorites are the Dr Seuse characters.

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Burning Moon said...

My kids love CLifford the big read dog.

Candace Byars said...

My children love George from the Curious George books. However, my oldest son's school had a book for the school to read together and they fell in love with Wilbur and Charlotte from Charlotte's Web.

Donna O'Neil said...

I like Wilbur and Curious George.

MamaHen said...

My children always loved Clifford, Athur, and Bearenstein Bears.
Wendy Clark
clarksrfun at gmail dot com

Dawn Ganey said...

My kids loved Dr. Seuss & goodnight moon.

Seyma Bennett Shabbir said...

I always loved Curious george. Something about a mischievous monkey!

Carrie said...

I always loved Peter Rabbit and Charlotte and Wilbur form Charlotte's Web. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

otilia stocks said...

I AM A CINDERELLA GIRL :)

olivia hamilton said...

Disney anything. Mr Rodgers.

mandala said...

We enjoyed a lot of Dr. Seuss books and also Disney fairy tales. Thanks!

pamalot said...

I like the pigeon books by Mo Willems and Pete the Cat.

Wendy Hutton said...

Bernsteins bears

Andrea said...

We love Curious George, Pete the Cat, Bernstein Bears, Dr. Seuss, and pretty much all of Sandra Boynton's characters. I don't think I can narrow it down anymore. We love books! (And Amazon!)

Misty Woods said...

Clifford and Bernsteins bears

Jill R. said...

These are great titles for kids! We love Arthur, the cat in the hat and Clifford!

Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

Tara L said...

My favorite characters were the Bearenstein Bears and The Little Critters books.

Shelly Peterson said...

I liked the Curious George books

Bianca Roman said...

I've always loved the corduroy bear series! He was so cute. I think the velveteen rabbit was a good children's book when I was growing up. I also like the books where the point of the story is teaching the young characters the 'story of life' if that makes any sense.

adoruhs(at)gmail(dot)com

connorpass said...

The Cat in the Hat has to be my favorite, with the Lorax a very close second.

Danielle Day said...

Berenstein Bears They teach good lessons!

anne marie Carter said...

I loved the Winnie the Pooh Series of books...

Melissa Tippie said...

My favorite character from books written for young children is Winnie The Pooh! I so enjoy reading those books over the years to my son. Thank-you for a great giveaway!

Couponing in PA said...

Clifford is one of my favorite characters and Winnie the Pooh too.

Tiffany DeOs said...

Wilbur from Charlotte's Web.

Ashley Trail said...

Dr. Suess are my personal favorites but I love Charlotte's Web too and have all of the Berenstein Bears books !!

Brandy Hebden said...

I have always loved Dr. Suess!!!!

Stephanie Shipley said...

Max from Where the Wild Things Are and Wilbur from Charlotte's Web are my favorites.

Irinette said...

We love Franklin the turtle :))))))) amazing illustrations and great stories