Books by Theme

A Shower of Books

What better way to welcome a new baby than with a shelf full of classic books? Reading books together from the very beginning lays the foundation for literacy and takes parent and child on shared journeys that bring shared discoveries and joy. So if there's a new child joining your family or circle of friends, welcome them with a basket of books — and a lap upon which to share them.

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss


All of Baby, Nose to Toes

By: Victoria Adler
Illustrated by: Hiroe Nakata
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

From head to toe, this baby is showered with affection — so who loves this baby? Each member of the family, of course! Cheery illustrations and a bouncy rhyme make this book ideal to share and play with young children.

Goodnight Moon

By: Margaret Wise Brown
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

The youngster prepares for sleep, bidding goodnight to the room and all objects in it, including the moon and the old lady who whispers "hush." Sleep comes softly in this cozy classic.

Max's First Word

By: Rosemary Wells
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Ruby, Max's older sister, tries to get Max to repeat simple words such as CUP. Max decides that his first word will describe the APPLE as DELICIOUS. Uncluttered, expressive illustrations and repeated words make this a humorous slice of everyday life.

My Very First Mother Goose

By: Iona Opie, Rosemary Wells
Illustrated by: Rosemary Wells
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

This spritely collection of both familiar and less well known rhymes is presented in an oversized format just right for sharing. Young children will likely examine lighthearted, detailed illustrations as they extend the rhymes' action with verve and humor.

Pat the Bunny

By: Dorothy Kundhart
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Readers are invited to touch, smell, and play games with Paul and Judy with each turn of sturdy, tactile pages. The original "touch and feel" book has an ageless quality due to simplicity in tone, text, and illustration.

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

By: Mem Fox
Illustrated by: Helen Oxenbury
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

From the opening lines to its satisfying conclusion, readers are introduced to babies from many cultures. Though each child is different, each has some things in common — "ten little fingers & ten little toes." The rhyming text and repeated phrase make this a wonderful book to share with children of many ages.

Ten, Nine, Eight

By: Molly Bang
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

This countdown to bedtime begins with "10 small toes all washed and warm" until one little girl is tucked snugly into bed by her loving dad. Richly hued illustrations, warmly detailed, combine with a straightforward text that holds up to multiple readings as well as careful examination.

Tickle Tickle

By: Helen Oxenbury
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Chubby cheeked babies of many hues are shown in crisp illustrations doing things that babies do. The simple words are playful and energetic, just like the children in this and others by Oxenbury such as Clap Hands and All Fall Down.

What Shall We Do with a Boo Hoo Baby?

By: Cressida Cowell
Illustrated by: Ingrid Godon
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Try as they might, Cow, Duck, Dog, and Cat just cannot come up with how to stop the baby from crying. With humor and verve, the animals' efforts ultimately exhaust them — and a smiling baby watches them sleep. Repetition, humor, and lots of opportunity for participation are sure to delight even the youngest child.

Where's Spot?

By: Eric Hill
Illustrated by: Eric Hill
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

That silly puppy Spot! He's hiding from his mom right before supper and so she — with the reader's help — must find him by looking in, under, and behind commonplace objects. Start the search by lifting sturdy flaps until Spot is found.

Proceeds from the sale of books purchased at help support the Reading Rockets project. Thank you!

Take the Reading Rockets Survey 2015

Sign up for our free newsletters about reading


Our Literacy Blogs

Dr. Joanne Meier
Dr. Joanne Meier
Start with a Book: Read. Talk. Explore.
"I'm wondering what to read next." — Matilda, Roald Dahl