Recommended Storybooks for Preschoolers

Reading opens up a world of possibilities for children, particularly preschoolers who are just beginning their education journey. At One World International School Nanyang Campus, we are proud to offer an Early Childhood programme that boasts an inquiry-led, play-based structure and is anchored by literacy.

As parents, you have the opportunity to showcase reading as an enjoyable activity — one that allows everyone to sit back, relax, use their imagination and learn a little bit more along the way. Whether you are reading out loud to your child, or having your child describe the illustrations to bring the story to life in their own way, you are creating the building blocks for academic success in the years to come.

The Importance of Reading in Early Childhood Education

At OWIS Nanyang, reading is an integral part of the early childhood curriculum, largely because it offers endless benefits to young learners between the ages of 3 and 5. According to the Child Mind Institute, these are some of the most significant advantages of reading regularly to children in preschool:

  • Reading out loud to young children exponentially increases their vocabulary, and helps them develop vital language skills. By reading stories from a wide range of backgrounds, cultures and genres, you are exposing your children to thousands of words that they might not otherwise hear. Simply hearing these words out loud gives them the ability to develop advanced language skills both in their childhood and throughout their adult lives.
  • Reading is a bonding moment, and it strengthens the relationship between children and their parents and their caregivers. The act of reading requires you both to sit down, focus and be present in the moment. The pages of the book present opportunities for you to make discoveries together, to laugh together and even be sad together. Not only is this beneficial for your relationship with your child, but these bonding moments also support cognitive development in young children. Your bond is, quite literally, fuel for their brain.
  • Reading helps young children better identify and understand their emotions and plays an integral part in social-emotional learning. By listening to the challenges that the characters in the book overcome, children become more empathetic and emotionally aware, and they will use these experiences to help them navigate difficult situations in their lives.


Discover 7 of Our Favourite Books for Preschoolers

Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg
“Beautiful Oops!” is an interactive book by Barney Saltzberg that celebrates the beauty in mistakes. With pop-ups, tears, bends, and more, it shows how accidents can lead to creativity and encourages readers to embrace their artistic side. This beloved book inspires both kids and adults to see the beauty in imperfection. This book supports the growth mindset, links to Expressive Arts and Design, teaches resilience when mistakes are made and helps develop imagination.
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
‘Room on the Broom’ is a whimsical picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. It follows the adventure of a friendly witch who invites various animals to join her on her broomstick. This heartwarming tale highlights the power of friendship, teamwork, and inclusivity.This beloved book offers rhyming text with repetitive language patterns, enticing illustrations and animation. We also recommend ‘The Gruffalo’, ‘Squash and a Squeeze’ and ‘Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book’ by the same author.
Press Here by Herve Tullet
‘Press Here’ is a delightful children’s book written by Hervé Tullet. With simple instructions like clapping, shaking, and pressing, it engages young readers in an interactive adventure. Every touch and turn of the page triggers colourful reactions, stimulating curiosity and imagination. It’s an enchanting book that encourages playful exploration.We recommend this book because it isn’t a story, but a series of fun commands/instructions. It is great for colour recognition, positional language and following instructions. It is one of four interactive books by the same author and offers an opportunity to practise 1:1 correspondence.
Open Very Carefully: A Book With Bite by Nicola O’Byrne
‘Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite’ is a clever and humorous children’s book by Nick Bromley and Nicola O’Byrne. The story starts off with the traditional tale of ‘The Ugly Duckling,’ but soon gets interrupted by a mischievous crocodile who has invaded the pages. As the characters try to evict the crocodile, chaos and hilarity ensue. This engaging and interactive book breaks the fourth wall, inviting children to participate in the story. It’s a delightful and witty twist on familiar fairy tales that will leave readers laughing and engaged from beginning to end.The book begins as a very ordinary looking fairytale but soon becomes something different! Actual bite holes in pages help bring the story to life. The story is rich in humour and there are instructions for children to follow Identification of letters.
Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis
‘Not a Stick’ is a charming children’s book by Antoinette Portis that celebrates the power of imagination. The story follows a piglet who uses a simple stick as a tool to explore various imaginative scenarios. With minimal text and playful illustrations, it encourages young readers to see beyond the ordinary and invent their own adventures. This delightful book sparks creativity and reminds us that anything can be a catalyst for imaginative play.While the book isn’t a typical storybook and the text is presented more like a list, it has great insights for adults on how children play. It is very relatable for children and promotes open-ended play. We also recommend ‘Not a Box’ by the same author.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ is a classic children’s book written by Eric Carle. It tells the story of a caterpillar who eats his way through various foods before transforming into a beautiful butterfly. With its colourful illustrations and simple text, this beloved tale teaches counting, days of the week, and the life cycle of a butterfly, while captivating young readers with its charming narrative and interactive pages.The text beautifully illustrates the change from caterpillar to butterfly. It can be linked with ‘Tadpole’s Promise’ by Jeanne Willis. Days of the week and counting can be explored through this text. We recommend other texts by this author.
Shapes at Play by Silvia Borando
‘Shapes at Play’ is an engaging and educational picture book written by Silvia Borando. Through vibrant illustrations and simple text, it introduces children to various shapes and encourages them to find and identify shapes in their everyday surroundings. This interactive book sparks curiosity, promotes shape recognition, and fosters a love for learning in young readers.This book puts the spotlight on Maths in the environment and explores how triangles, squares and circles can be found all around us. We also recommend ‘Shapes Reshape’ by the same author.

Allow Your Child to Foster a Love of Reading at OWIS Nanyang

Reading has been proven time and time again to spark imagination, evoke curiosity and leave children with an insatiable desire to continue learning more about the world around them, which is why it’s a part of daily life in our Early Childhood programme at OWIS Nanyang.

By incorporating reading into your child’s early childhood education, we are allowing them to discover a lifelong love of learning. Our teachers read the pages aloud, but we also pause and give the children time to absorb the illustrations. We encourage open-ended questions. Reading is a sensory experience, and we want children to feel like an active part of the process.

Schedule your campus tour today to learn more about our holistic approach to education at One World International School.