I can honestly say that I believe Usborne preschool books are the best product on the market for preschoolers. These books come in a variety of topics that can teach children everything they need to know for kindergarten and beyond.
I fell in love with Usborne when my son was 4 years old, and I've been purchasing the books ever since. Usborne books present information in an entertaining manner that children can understand, without speaking down to them.
Select a category to view my top picks for preschoolers.
Usborne books are multi-sensory and appeal to children of all learning styles. They enhance understanding and retention by drawing the eye to engaging illustrations and encouraging children to interact with the story. Many of the books contain sturdy flaps that are especially appealing to hands on learners.
Usborne books are both affordable and durable. These are books you'll want to add to your home library so they will be readily available. I recommend purchasing the books in hardback or library binding so you can hand them down to younger siblings and (eventually) grandchildren. You can save money by purchasing combined volumes or value packs, or by participating in my frequent buyer program.
Books that were illustrated by the late Stephen Cartwright contain delightful pictures and have a duck hidden on each page. As children search for the duck, they engage the story more fully and improve their visual discrimination skills.
Dual Readers contain two segments of text on each page. At the top of the page is a short sentence that is written on a beginning reader's level. At the bottom of the page is a longer sentence that expands the story.
Parents can read the top sentences on each page of the book to form a complete story for younger readers who won't sit still for longer stories. Parents can also use these books as reading practice for older children. Beginning readers can read the top sentence and let their parents read the longer sentence at the bottom of the page.
Usborne books has a wonderful selection of entertaining stories that nurture a love for reading. Here are my top picks:
|The Complete Book of Farmyard Tales is a favorite for quiet times and car rides. This Usborne dual reader was illustrated by Stephen Cartwright. It contains 20 entertaining stories and a delightful read-along CD. Another popular book in this series is the Little Book of Train Stories.|
|If your child is bored with Bob books, take a look at Usborne's award winning Phonics Readers. These Stephen Cartwright illustrated books contain humorous illustrations and entertaining, phonics based stories your child will enjoy. Ted and Friends combines 4 phonics readers into a single book. You can also save money on these books buy purchasing the Easy Words to Read or Easy Words to Read Set 2 value packs.|
|Usborne publishes beautifully illustrated, picture book versions of classic stories like The Emporer's New Clothes, Beauty and the Beast, Black Beauty, Heidi, The The Railway Children, and The Secret Garden. You can save money buy purchasing Stories for Little Girls or Stories for Little Boys which both combine five wonderful stories into a single book.|
Usborne has several books that cover traditional preschool themes like community helpers. Here are my top picks:
|Learning nursery rhymes is not only a fun language activity, it builds cultural literacy. The Nursery Rhyme Treasury contains over 60 traditional nursery rhymes, along with darling illustrations. An inexpensive alternative to this book is the Little Book of Nursery Rhymes, an Usborne mini book that contains over 50 favorites.|
|The Complete Book of First Experiences contains 9 stories that will prepare your child for events like a new baby and a trip to the hospital. This Usborne dual reader is a resource you'll want to have on hand to ease the anxiety associated with all those new experiences your preschooler will encounter.|
|Jobs People Do is an essential for any preschool library. This book contains realistic claymation illustrations and 6 stories that will teach your child about the roles of community helpers like firefighters, teachers and veterinarians.|
|The Usborne Book of Fairy Tales contains 7 traditional fairy tales like The Three Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and Little Red Riding Hood. The book's charming, Stephen Cartwright illustrations serve as visual cues that allow even the youngest preschoolers to "read" the stories.|
Usborne science books present factual information in an entertaining manner. Here are my top picks:
|Lift the Flap Learners are a great hands-on learning tool. These books contain factual information and extra sturdy flaps that you won't be afraid to let your child use. The most popular books in this series are Creepy Crawlies, Sharks, Dinosaurs, Pets, On the Farm, On the Beach, Under the Sea and Nighttime.|
|The Flip Flap Body Book uses entertaining illustrations and sturdy fold out flaps to show children what happens to food, how senses work and how a baby grows inside its mother. This book is a great introduction to the workings of the human body.|
|Usborne picture books provide a gentle introduction to the world of science using delightful stories and captivating illustrations your children will adore. My favorites in this series are In the Pond, In the Nest, The Butterfly, The Dinosaur, Sunny Day, The Snowy Day, The Rainy Day, The Windy Day, On the Moon, On the Farm, On the Seashore, Under the Ground and Under the Sea.|
|Books in the Beginners Nature series are perfect read-alouds for preschoolers and independent readers for children who are on a first-grade reading level. These books contain vivid photographs and factual information that answers questions about science and social studies. At the end of each book, there is a list of child-friendly websites that contain related games and activities. These hardback books are a great deal at only $4.99. To save even more, purchase Beginners Set One, Two, Three or Four.|
You can use Usborne preschool books to teach mathematical concepts and help your preschooler practice counting and number recognition. Here are my top picks:
|First Numbers is my favorite math book for preschoolers. It teaches concepts like counting, completing patterns, sequencing, addition, subtraction and basic multiplication using adorable claymation illustrations your children will love!|
|Telling the Time is one of Usborne's best sellers. This book contains a clock with moveable hands that will help your child grasp the concept of telling time.|
|The Big Book of Things to Spot is a combination of four books in the popular 1001 Things to Spot series. This book helps children practice counting and improve their visual discrimination skills by looking for a specific number of items in a drawing. This is another great book for long car rides and waiting times. Other popular books in this series are 1001 Pirate Things to Spot and 1001 Things to Spot in Fairyland.|
|In How Big is a Million?, children learn about large numbers as they join Pipin the Penguin on his search for 10, 100, 1000 and so on. This is a warm, inviting book that is perfect for bedtime. At the back of the book, there is a poster that contains one million stars.|
Usborne's art books contain step-by-step, age appropriate activities that your preschooler will love. Here are my top picks:
|Things to Make and Do contains step by step instructions for simple art activities your preschooler will love. This book features Usborne's adorable farmyard tales characters.|
|I Can Draw Animals helps your child develop fine motor skills while using simple shapes and lines to draw animals. Each page contains step by step instructions, along with more complex ideas for older preschoolers and kindergartners. This book is also available in the version I Can Draw People.|
|Big Book of Playtime Activities contains all of the activities that are in the book I Can Draw Animals, as well as finger painting, craft and counting activities. The activities in this book use inexpensive materials that are readily available in any home. This is a great resource for finding preschool art activities.|
Usborne has books, games and puzzles that encourage number and letter recognition, physical activity, and hands-on fun! Here are my top picks:
|Usborne's ABC Flashcards are durable, beautifully illustrated, and great for a quick review of letters and their sounds. Usborne also publishes a set of 123 Flashcards. Both sets of flashcards come with a set of ideas for using the cards with your preschooler.|
|Fairy Snap cards are used to play traditional games like Concentration, Old Maid, Slap Jack and Go Fish. These cards come in other versions, like Pirate Snap and Princess Snap.|
|Sticker Dolly Dressing Dolls helps preschoolers develop fine motor skills as they use stickers to outfit the book's characters with cute costumes and accessories. Usborne also publishes fairytale sticker stories, like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Cinderella, Rumplestiltskin and Sleeping Beauty.|
|The 123 Jigsaw Book is a great preschool math activity. Each page contains a puzzle piece that joins with the other pieces in the book to form train containing the numbers 1 through 12. Usborne also publishes another version of this jigsaw book. In the ABC Floor Puzzle the puzzle pieces join together to form a rainbow.|
|These Dominoes use cute farmyard characters to help your preschooler practice matching and counting. Usborne also publishes other educational games like Snakes and Ladders.|
|The 123 Jigsaw Book contains step-by-step recipes that will help your child build math and fine motor skills while preparing yummy treats. You can save money by purchasing a smaller, hardback miniature edition of this book.|
|There's a Mouse About the House is my children's favorite Usborne book! This book contains a cardboard mouse that children move through slots and flaps in the book. As you read the book, your child learns prepositional terms like in, out, under and through. This book also helps your preschooler improve hand eye coordination and builds pre-reading skills by encouraging left to right movement. Another version of this book is A Squirrel's Tale.|
You can find any of the books described above (and hundreds more) at www.usborne-childrens-books.com.
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