7 Book Ideas to Encourage Pre-Reading Skills

Enrichment Therapies

March 24, 2022

By Rachel Frommelt, M.A., CCC-SLP

Are you looking for fun, enriching activities to do with your preschoolers? What better activity to engage in than reading books? It is never too early to encourage a love of books, stories, and reading. Below are 7 books to foster pre-literacy and language skills: 


The Importance of Pre-Reading Skills

When we think of reading skills, many of us think about sounding out words, decoding sentences, and reading to learn information. But did you know that pre-reading concepts can help your child with necessary skills that are building blocks to school success? Pre-reading skills include things like rhyming, paying attention to parts of words and the sounds they make (i.e., cat starts with the /k/ sound), syllables (i.e., bubble has two syllables), and learning the names of numbers and letters. Grouped together, most of these skills fall under the umbrella of phonological awareness. Learning and practicing phonological awareness skills is a crucial early step to becoming a strong reader! 


1. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault

The book’s colorful illustrations, exposure to the alphabet (letter names and symbols), silly storyline, and fill-in-the-blank rhyming opportunities make this a great read for any little one.


2. Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld

Big-machine enthusiasts will enjoy slowing their engines enough to say goodnight to all the equipment on the construction site. Parents will enjoy the beautiful illustrations and the fun rhyming text. Win-win!


3. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, by Dr. Seuss

Not only is this zany classic good for rhyming awareness, but it can also encourage descriptive language and imagination! 


4. Jamberry, by Bruce Degan

A perhaps lesser-known children’s book (published in 1983), Jamberry will win children over with its silly and delightful tale of a boy and his friendly bear friend who embark on a journey to make jam. This book plays with language and rhyming in a silly, lighthearted way (“Hatberry, shoeberry, in my canoeberry”)!  


5. Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, by Eileen Christelow

A classic children’s rhyme that encourages active participation, Five Little Monkeys combines wordplay, silly subject matter, and language skills such as cause/effect, counting, and more.


6. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

This book is a favorite of many for good reason! Even very small readers will enjoy answering the question “What do you see?” (Or “what color is it?”) To encourage expressive language, once you’ve read the book several times, try pausing after “What do you…” and allow the child to fill in with “see!” 


7. Madeline, by Ludwig Bemelmans

“In an old house in Paris, that was covered in vines…” this classic tale about a young girl who is not afraid of anything plays with descriptive language, rhyming, and story grammar concepts (characters, setting, problem, solution). 


Pre-Reading Tips and Resources for Parents

Are you interested in learning more ways to help build your child’s interest in reading? Check out our blog on adapted books that help engage your child and make reading more interactive. You can also find resources on how to use your child’s favorite book  in a different way! If you feel like your child needs a little boost with their reading or language skills, we can help. Our experts will work to find the root issue that is holding your child back. Schedule a call today to get started.


Let Us Help

Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs.  At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success. Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.


1210 Jordan Street, Suite 2A North Liberty, IA 52317 319-626-2553

5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300 Johnston, IA 50131 515-419-4270

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