1. Jumbo Jumpstart Workbook: Pre-K (Jumpstart); Paperback: 320 pages, Publisher: Cartwheel Books
Learning means fun with the curriculum-linked, classroom-proven workbook series from Scholastic and JumpStart, creators of the popular educational software for children. Playful animal characters guide pre-kindergarten-age kids through the exciting new world of letters, numbers, shapes, colors, and sizes. The 320-page workbook contains an entire year’s worth of exercises, with three different skill levels for “jumping” ahead. Every page has a new, sequenced challenge for the young learner, from tracing and writing uppercase letters to completing nursery rhymes to matching shapes and colors. Full-color art and lively games and activities make education an adventure, while reward stickers and Certificates of Completion reinforce children’s sense of accomplishment as they complete each section. Helpful Eleanor the elephant is on hand to provide learning tips and offer support (and stickers!) to students. What could be more important than giving kids a jump-start in learning? The book includes answer keys and 120 full-color reward stickers. (Ages 3 to 5) – Emilie Coulter
2. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr., Eric Carle, Board book: 32 pages, Publisher: Henry Holt and Co
The gentle rhyming and gorgeous, tissue-paper collage illustrations in this classic picture book make it a dog-eared favorite on many children’s bookshelves. On each page, we meet a new animal who nudges us onward to discover which creature will show up next: “Blue Horse, Blue Horse, What do you see? I see a green frog looking at me.” This pattern is repeated over and over, until the pre-reader can chime in with the reader, easily predicting the next rhyme. One thing readers might not predict, however, is just what kinds of funny characters will make an appearance at the denouement! Children on the verge of reading learn best with plenty of identifiable images and rhythmic repetition. Eric Carle’s good-humored style and colorful, bold illustrations (like those in The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Grouchy Ladybug, and Have You Seen My Cat?) have earned him a prominent place in the children’s book hall of fame. (Baby to Preschool) – Emilie Coulter
3. Elmo’s Big Lift-And-look Book by Joe Mathieu, Board book: 12 pages, Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Count to 10, explore the alphabet, discover shapes, learn about opposites, and find the missing teddy bear in this big, colorful board book. Sesame Street’s beloved Elmo guides young readers to lift more than 60 flaps to reveal humorous and edifying surprises. Over the word “dry,” Grover gazes unsuspectingly into a garden hose. Turn the flap and guess what happens! Grover learns all about “wet.” A towering pyramid of alphabet blocks contains objects starting with the same letter behind each flap: alligator, book, cookies. Large, sturdy flaps allow rough-tough toddler hands to clutch and pull as much as they want with minimal risk of tearing. Children will adore the bright, bold illustrations of Jim Henson’s familiar Muppet characters. (Baby to preschool) – Emilie Coulter
4. Big Preschool Workbook by School Zone Publishing Company;
Big Preschool Workbook is a huge, 320 page compendium of single page activities organized by major skill areas ideal for use with preschool ages children. Each page in this comprehensive workbook is illustrated in color. Big Preschool Workbook is Ideal for day care center and home school use, as well as classroom curriculum supplementation. Also very highly recommended are the other volumes in the School Zone Publishing “Big Workbook” series: Big Kindergarten Workbook; Big First Grade Workbook; Big First Grade Workbook; Big Second Grade Workbook; Big Phonics Workbook.