Active Reading: What and How to Read with Infants, Toddlers & Preschoolers

Empowering families, child care professionals, and the community to improve early literacy skills with our youngest children is the right thing to do and a smart investment. Everyone has a role to play!

Here’s how you can get involved:

  • Learn about Active Reading  (link) and use it whenever you read (or interact) with young children. For an overview, you can watch this 3-minute video in English (link) or in Spanish (link) about the A, B, Cs of Active Reading. (A huge thanks to our partners at READ Charlotte, who developed the Active Reading videos/materials and encouraged us to share them widely so our community members could benefit.)
  • Check out other resources available to parents and caregivers (click on “For Families” at the top of the page). Share them!
  • Spread the word! Babies recognize their mother’s voice at birth! Talking and singing starting a birth increases parent/child bonding and helps babies’ brains develop in a healthy way.
  • Give the gift of reading to young children. The Greensboro Public Library curated a “best books” list for each stage of development. Use this list to build the home libraries of children in our community and share Active Reading tips and tools to make the most of reading time together. (We’re also creating a way for community members to donate books so that every newborn in Guilford County receives one. Stay tuned!)

For Infants (Birth to 6 Months Old)

  • Where is My Baby? (Authors: Harriet Ziefert and Simms Taback)
  • Spot’s First Walk (Author: Eric Hill)
  • Maisy’s First Numbers 123 (Author: Lucy Cousins)
  • Move It! (ISBN 9781454923114)
  • Red Apple, Green Pear: A Book of Colors (Scholastic Inc.)
  • Goodnight Moon (Author: Margaret Wise Brown)

For Infants/Toddlers (Up to 12 Months Old)

  • My Car  (Author: Byron Barton)
  • This Little Chick (Author: John Lawrence)
  • Sylvia Long’s Mother Goose: Four Classic Board Books (4 books)
  • Dear Zoo (Author: Rod Campbell)
  • Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed (Author: Eileen Christelow)
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Author: Eric Carle)
  • The Big Red Barn (Author: Margaret Wise Brown)
  • Please, Puppy, Please (Author: Spike Lee)

For Toddlers (18 Months Old)

  • Feast for 10 (Author: Cathryn Falwell)
  • The Busy Little Squirrel (Author: Nancy Tafuri)
  • Freight Train (Author: Donald Crews)
  • Growing Vegetable Soup (Author: Lois Ehlert)
  • Blue Hat, Green Hat (Author: Sandra Boynton)
  • Leo Can Swim (Author: Anna McQuinn)
  • Book! (Author: Kristin George)
  • The Everything Book (Author: Denise Fleming)

For Older Toddlers (24 Months Old)

  • Lola Loves Stories (Author: Anna McQuinn)
  • The Three Bears (Author: Byron Barton)
  • The Snowy Day (Author: Ezra Jack Keats)
  • Dinosaur Zoom (Author: Penny Dale)
  • Kite Flying (Author: Grace Lin)
  • Jazz Baby (Author: Lisa Wheeler)
  • Shhhhhhh! Everybody’s Sleeping (Author: Julie Markes)
  • Maisy Goes to Preschool (Author: Lucy Cousins)

For Preschoolers (3 Years Old)

  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (Author: Laura Numeroff)
  • Caps for Sale (Author: Esphyr Slobodkina, full text, not board book)
  • The Gingerbread Man (Author: Eric Kimmel)
  • If You Were a Penguin (Author: Wendell Minor)
  • I Spy Under the Sea (and other “I Spy” books by author Edward Gibbs)
  • The Little Red Hen (Author: Byron Barton)
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Author: Bill Martin)
  • Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (Author: Mo Willems)
  • Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site (Author: Sherri Rinker)
  • I Got the Rhythm (Author: Connie Scofield-Morrison)

For Older Preschoolers (4 Years Old)

  • Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten (Author: Joseph Slate)
  • Frog and Toad Are Friends (Author: Arnold Lobel)
  • Three Billy Goats Gruff (Author: Janet Stevens)
  • Up, Down, and Around (Author: Katherine Ayres)
  • Duck on a Bike (Author: David Shannon)
  • Dinosaur Pirates (Author: Penny Dale)
  • Bear Snores On (Author: Karma Wilson)
  • The Feel Good Book (Author: Todd Parr)
  • Excellent Ed (Author: Stacy McAnulty)

Stay tuned for more ways that you can help ensure that all Guilford County children enter kindergarten on track and ready for what’s ahead.