5 Storybooks Every Teacher & Parent Should Read to Kids

2 min


As a teacher, the value you place on reading and books simply can’t be measured. While you probably have your own personal mini-library, we want to offer book lists to help you fill your classroom with the best stories and literature possible.

Here are five storybooks every preschool, kindergarten, and elementary classroom should have access to.

1. Arrow to the Sun –  Gerald McDermott

Arrow to the Sun - Storybooks - Bored Teachers

This amazingly colorful book is a timeless favorite. The story is a retelling of a Pueblo folk tale, making it both engaging and culturally relevant for such an accessible book. The illustrations are some of the best ever; indeed, Arrow won the Caldecott Medal in 1975.

2. Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti – Gerald McDermott

Anansi the Spider - Storybooks - Bored Teachers

Also by Gerald McDermott, this tale is another powerful entry into the storybook category. Its illustrations are simple, vibrant, and captivating, and its story is a retelling of folklore from an otherwise undervalued cultural tradition. This book also won the Caldecott Medal, meaning learning readers won’t want to put it down.

3. Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak

Where the Wild Things Are - Storybooks - Bored Teachers

This childhood classic is a must-have for any home or classroom library. A tale exulting in imagination and childhood wonder, generations of readers have fallen in love with this story again and again. Also a Caldecott Medal winner, the pictures are as engrossing as the narrative, and together they weave a tale perfect for reading to children or for having them read to you.

4. Madeline – Ludwig Bemelmans

Madeline - Storybooks - Bored Teachers

A fun story about a precocious and brave little girl, Madeline is a wonderful example of classic children’s literature. Madeline spawned an entire media franchise due to its success, meaning that once students have absorbed this classic, there is plenty more for them to explore. And while kids might not see the underlying thematic elements of self-reliance, leadership, and curiosity, having Madeline as something of a role model will help inspire them to explore and try things on their own.

5. Anything by Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss - Storybooks - Bored Teachers

You simply can’t talk about storybooks without talking about Dr. Seuss. Having written (and illustrated) at least 50 books, he was one of the most prolific children’s authors ever, and many of his works are certifiable classics. Few books are better for practicing pronunciation, intonation, and reading cadence, and the playful lyricism of his work, along with dynamic illustration, make all of his stories engaging to readers of all ages. It’s simply too difficult to pick just one, so we’ll leave it up to you to explore!

These are five of our favorites. What are yours? Let us know which storybooks you love (and why!) in the comments below.

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Adam Hatch Bored Teachers

This article was written by Adam Hatch – UC Berkeley graduate, son of a teacher, brother of a teacher, and a teacher himself. Adam started a unique English school in Taipei, Taiwan, where kids learn to research and write articles in English. The articles are published on the first ever English newspaper written by kids in Taiwan called the Taipei Teen Tribune.


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