Kindergarten Homeschool Reading List

Teaching a child to read is no easy task, but most educators agree that reading aloud to your child every day has the biggest impact on literacy. Whether you’re a full-time homeschooler or just trying to supplement a remote learning curriculum, these 20 picture books are sure to keep your kindergartener engaged and learning all year long.

If your child is ready to start reading on their own, be sure to check out my list of easy books for emerging readers, which has over 30 easy-to-read books to help your kindergartener practice reading independently.

Now onto the picture books! Keep reading to the very end of this post to find links to even more of my favorite kindergarten homeschool picture books.

When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree

A little girl has a long list of pricey gadgets she’d like for her birthday, but her grandmother presents her with a very unexpected (and slightly disappointing) gift – a lemon tree! She eventually comes around to the odd gift and spends the course of a year tending her tree, harvesting the lemons, and even running a successful lemonade stand. This clever and funny story celebrates the pleasures of perseverance, hard work, and cooperation.

What’s Cooking at 10 Garden Street?

(Published internationally under the title Lunch at 10 Pomegranate Street) The residents of 10 Garden Street are all cooking up something delicious! Mr. Ping stirs up broccoli stir fry and Señora Flores makes black bean soup. Maria mashes avocados for guacamole while Penelope and Miles help their mother make Greek rice. When all the cooking is finished, everyone brings their dishes downstairs and the neighbors enjoy a meal together in the garden. Each illustration is paired with a recipe so readers can try their hand at some of these tasty multicultural dishes!

The Hideout

No one can find Hannah! She’s still in the park, and there’s so much to do! Deep in the shrubs, Hannah builds a secret hideout for herself and her furry companion, complete with beds made of leaves. The world seems very far away in her quiet forest nook, until a voice cuts through the silence. Suddenly Hannah brushes off her paper and the reader learns that Hannah was lost – not in the woods – but in her own drawing. This beautifully illustrated picture book celebrates creativity, imagination, and the great outdoors.

Julia’s House for Lost Creatures

When Julia moves to a quiet seaside town, she soon finds it to be a bit *too* quiet, so she puts up a sign inviting lost and homeless creatures to come and stay. The house fills up with a menagerie of creatures, including mermaids, goblins, and trolls, but Julia’s housemates soon become too unruly for her handle!

Mermaid School

This whimsical rhyming story follows a group of young mermaids (and merboys) on their first day of school. The students practice counting, build sandcastles at recess and enjoy clamburgers and seaweed pie for lunch. After art class, music class, and story time, they sing a goodbye song and head home, eager for another day of school. The gouache and watercolor illustrations are beautifully rendered and full of thoughtful details. The pastel tones evoke a dreamy quality that perfectly embodies the underwater setting.

Just Ask!

As a group of children come together to plant a community garden, they discuss the differences that make them unique. Sonia has diabetes and gives herself insulin injections. Rafael has asthma and uses an inhaler. Anthony uses a wheelchair to get around. The book provides a wonderfully diverse overview of many common disabilities and differences, including deafness, dyslexia, autism, and ADHD. This charming, beautifully illustrated picture book aims to break down the stigma surrounding childhood disabilities and reminds readers that when you don’t understand something it’s okay to “just ask!”

Sulwe

Sulwe’s skin is the color of midnight. She’s darker than everyone in her family, and everyone at school. Sulwe gets teased by the other children at school because of her dark skin and wishes she could look more like her mother and sister. Sulwe tries everything she can think of to lighten her skin, from only eating light-colored foods to praying to God. Then one night, Sulwe goes on a magical journey that leads her to discover her own beauty and self-worth.

I Want a Monster!

After begging, pleading, and negotiating, Winnie convinces her father to let her get a pet monster, a baby Oogly-Wump that they name Gus. Winnie has her hands full looking after Gus. Monsters are messy and have lots of energy. They need plenty of love and attention, and a bit of discipline too. Under Winnie’s tutelage, Gus quickly grows into a well-behaved adult monster. But one day Winnie notices that Gus isn’t quite himself and comes up with an interesting solution to make him feel better.

Clem and Crab

While treasure hunting on the beach, Clem discovers a crab that has become entangled in a plastic bag. After the crab stows away in Clem’s things, she unwittingly brings him home with her. When Clem brings Crab to school for show and tell, her teacher suggests that Crab would be better off back on the beach. Clem replies, “The beach is messy and dangerous. I try my best to keep it clean, but it’s a big job.” When Clem returns to the beach, she discovers that her classmates have arrived to help clean up and make a better home for their new crustacean friend. This will appeal to young environmentalists and beach-lovers alike.

Flight of the Honeybee

This engaging story follows a single scout bee as she searches for the last flowers of fall that will sustain her hive during the cold winter months. Along the way, she battles bad weather and hungry predators but returns to her hive with good news just in time. The bright illustrations are beautifully rendered in colored pencil and watercolors.

Applesauce Day

Every autumn Maria and her family make applesauce together. They visit a local orchard to pick apples and then spend the day at grandma’s house washing, cutting, and finally cooking the apples in the special applesauce pot that has been in the family for generations. This sweet, well-written story is sure to inspire kids and families to get in the kitchen and start a new tradition!

The Most Magnificent Thing

Our unnamed protagonist, equipped with a wagon full of scraps, sets to work drawing up plans for her latest invention. The project: to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing. “She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!” But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy, and the girl tries and fails, repeatedly. Her frustration grows, and eventually the girl becomes so angry that she decides to quit. After her dog convinces her to take a walk, she returns to her project with renewed enthusiasm and manages to get it just right.

Too Many Pumpkins

Rebecca Estelle hates pumpkins so much that when one falls off a truck and lands in her yard, she buries it so she won’t have to look at it again. The following year she ends up with a bumper crop of pumpkins, much to her chagrin. Not wanting them to go to waste, Rebecca Estelle puts aside her pumpkin prejudice and whips up a lovely surprise for her neighbors.

Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast

When leftover friends Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast learn that they are almost out of maple syrup, the pair race across the fridge, each vying for the last drop. Along the way, they have to contend with American Ninja Warrior-esque obstacles, like an ocean of soup and a bean avalanche. Full of clever rhymes, sight gags, and food puns, this delicious story will leave kids hungry for more. The adventures of Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast continue in The Case of the Stinky Stench, Mission Defrostable, and Short & Sweet.

If I Built a House

A boy brings his mother along on an imaginary tour of the elaborate dream house he has designed for them, which includes a fully-automated kitchen and bathroom, a fish tank room, a racetrack room, and a clear plexiglass playroom that can detach from the house and fly in the air! The beautifully detailed, hand painted illustrations are done in Van Dusen’s trademark retro-futuristic style, which serves to further enhance the story.

Hannah’s Tall Order: An A to Z Sandwich

Hannah stops at McDougal’s Café for lunch and announces that she wants an A to Z sandwich, which, as one might guess, contains an ingredient for every letter of the alphabet. The sandwich starts off with avocados, bean sprouts, carrots, and dill pickles, but from there things quickly get out of hand, much to Mr. McDougal’s chagrin. Even though, as a mom, the ending of the book drove me crazy (Hannah refuses to eat her monstrous sandwich because the café is out of wheat bread!) my kindergartener absolutely loved this book.

Be Kind

When a young girl witnesses a classmate suffer an embarrassing moment, she wants to help cheer her up. The problem is, she has no idea how to go about it. This leads the girl to think about what is means to be kind to others, and some of the many small ways we can use kindness to make someone else’s day better. This uplifting, empowering book deserves spot in every home or classroom library.

Rhyming Dust Bunnies

Ed, Ned, and Ted are dust bunnies who love to rhyme! But the fourth dust bunny, Bob, can’t seem to get the hang of it. When they try to teach him that far, jar, and tar rhyme with car, Bob says, “Look!” The dust bunnies grow increasingly frustrated with Bob until they realize that he has been attempting to warm them about a broom-wielding monster headed straight for them!

Nanette’s Baguette

When Nanette’s mother sends her to the bakery to pick up a baguette, she enthusiastically accepts the task. But on the way home, Nanette can’t help herself from tasting the warm, fresh bread. She keeps tasting the baguette until it is all gone, and she must return home empty handed. Nanette begins to fret. Will mom be upset? Beset with regret, Nanette finally musters the courage to admit her mistake. Instead of being angry, Nanette’s mother pulls her into a soothing hug that is as warm and wonderful as million baguettes. The bouncy rhyming text (who knew so many words rhymed with baguette?) make this book a joy to read aloud, and the colorful illustrations jump off the page.

Nibbles the Book Monster

Nibbles is a naughty little monster who loves to bite, chomp, and chew on anything he can get his paws on – especially books! When Nibbles starts nibbling his way through classic fairy tales, he causes quite a ruckus! Children will love the flaps and peek-through windows.

I hope you’ll consider picking up some of these picture books for kindergarteners from your local bookstore or library. If you’re looking for even more books to add to your kindergarten homeschool reading list, here are a few of my favorite themed book lists:

Picture Books about Music
Picture Books about Cooking
Picture Books about Gardening
Picture Books about Pets

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