Great Reads: Ages 5-6

1000 books before kindergarten booklist ages five to six


It’s never too early to begin reading and it's also never too late to start. Reading is a wonderful relationship builder as it strengthens your bond with your child, promotes good communication between the two of you, and helps develop early literacy skills. It’s important for children to have positive attitudes towards reading throughout their lives and this starts at home. So to help you, we have put together some a list of our favorite books for 5-6 year olds.


our favorite day of the year book cover imageOur Favorite Day of the Year by A.E. Ali

Four kindergartners who think they have nothing in common become friends after sharing traditions of their holidays, including Eid-ul-Fitr, Rosh Hashanah, Christmas, and Pi Day. This is a heartwarming picture book following children from different backgrounds through the school year as they become friends.



a polar bear in the snow book cover imageA Polar Bear in the Snow by Mac Barnett

A polar bear emerges from a solid white page of snow as a vague charcoal mark of a nose. As he awakens, more of his face is revealed, then all of him. Where is he going on his long journey? This book is spare, simple and pure in its text and cut-paper and ink illustrations. The layers of paper give the illustrations a 3D sense of depth. This is a great story to read out loud to your little one as you both ponder the question, where is the polar bear going?



my bed book cover imageMy Bed: enchanting ways to fall asleep around the world by Rebecca Bond

Children around the world go to sleep in different beds in this wonderfully illustrated picture book. In the Netherlands, some beds rock on water. In Brazil they might sway in the breeze. From Canada to Japan, Afghanistan to Norway, sleep has taken many forms and shapes throughout history. Beautiful, hand-stitched illustrations and a delightful narrative tell the story of sleeping traditions across the world.


me and mama book cover imageMe & Mama by Cozbi Cabrera

On a rainy day when the house smells like cinnamon and Papa and Luca are still asleep, when the clouds are wearing shadows and the wind paints the window with beads of water, I want to be everywhere Mama is. Mama’s love is brighter than the sun, even on the rainiest of days. Simple words express the little girl’s emotions as she eagerly wakes up in the morning to enjoy their day together. This celebration of a mother-daughter relationship is perfect for sharing with little ones!



Vamos! Let’svamos let's go eat book cover image Go Eat by Raul Gonzalez

In this new Vamos! title, Let’s Go Eat, Little Lobo is excited to take in a show with wrestling star El Toro in his bustling border town. After getting lunch orders from The Bull and his friends to help prepare for the event, Little Lobo takes readers on a tour of food trucks that sell his favorite foods, like quesadillas with red peppers and Mexican-Korean tacos. Packed with fun details and things to see, the Vamos! books are perfect for fans of Richard Scarry and Where’s Waldo?


sun and moon have a tea party book cover imageSun and Moon Have a Tea Party by Yumi Heo

Sun and Moon have a tea party and discuss what they see happening in the world. It turns out they do not agree on things as they have very different points of view. Sun says that children go to school, but Moon says that children go to sleep. Sun says that birds fly in the sky, but Moon says that birds snuggle in their nests. How could these opposite things both be true? Sun and Moon decide to each stay up past their bedtimes to find out what is really going on. This charming picture book shows the enlightening impact of seeing things from a different point of view. 


in a jar book cover imageIn a Jar by Deborah Marcero

Llewellyn, a little rabbit, is a collector. He gathers things in jars--ordinary things like buttercups, feathers, and heart-shaped stones. Then he meets another rabbit, Evelyn, and together they begin to collect extraordinary things--like rainbows, the sound of the ocean, and the wind just before snow falls. And, best of all, when they hold the jars and peer inside, they remember all the wonderful things they've seen and done. But one day, Evelyn has sad news: Her family is moving away. How can the two friends continue their magical collection--and their special friendship--from afar?


outside in book cover imageOutside In by Deborah Underwood

Outside is waiting, the most patient playmate of all. The most generous friend. The most miraculous inventor. Our connection with nature is not so easily obscured by lives spent indoors. In this exquisite tale, the wonders of nature are revealed to be all around us if we just take the time to notice and appreciate them. This story is a gorgeous celebration of nature and a stirring invitation to play.


magnificent homespun brown book cover imageMagnificent Homespun Brown: A Celebration by Samara Cole Doyon

This book is a joyful ode to the color brown. Several brown girls are presented across the pages as they share how the hue is featured in their lives. In a repeating pattern, Doyon first describes each kind of brown (feathery, amber, radiant, cozy, thundering, etc.) with descriptions of time spent with family and friends, from cocoa-sipping winter days to peaceful hikes in the woods. The illustrations are a celebration of these girls, using all shades of brown and many warm colors on a light yellow background. They are an active bunch, leaping into piles of leaves and pirouetting on roller blades. Whether this delightful book is a mirror or a window for a child, it is a must-read for its celebration of love for oneself and one's family.


a place inside of me book cover imageA Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart by Zetta Elliott

In this powerful, affirming poem by award-winning author Zetta Elliott, a Black child explores his shifting emotions throughout the year.

There is a place inside of me
a space deep down inside of me
where all my feelings hide.

In her stunning debut, illustrator Noa Denmon articulates the depth and nuances of a child’s experiences following a police shooting—through grief and protests, healing and community—with washes of color as vibrant as his words. Here is a groundbreaking narrative that can help all readers—children and adults alike—talk about the feelings hiding deep inside each of us.


Don't forget to check out our other booklists here!