Basic Concepts

Alphabet

Picture Books:

Fuge, Charles.  Astonishing Animal ABC.  Sterling Pub., 2011.  J 411 FUG
An alphabet book featuring rhyming text and all sorts of vividly illustrated animals.

Horowitz, Dave.  Twenty-Six Pirates.  Nancy Paulsen Books, 2013.  E HOR
Twenty-six pirates, one for each letter of the alphabet, demonstrate their particular--and sometimes silly--talents and skills.

Maass, Robert.  A is for Autumn.  Henry Holt, 2011.  E MAA
Perfect for preschoolers, this alphabet book’s rich photographs capture the wonders of autumn from A-Z.

Schaefer, Carole Lexa.  ABCers.  Viking, 2012.  E SCH
On a warm summer's day, children in a park find fun things to do from A to Z.

Van Lieshout, Maria.  Backseat A-B-See.  Chronicle Books, 2012.  E VAN
In this striking alphabet book, a child sees road signs from A to Z from the backseat of a car.

Zuckerman, Andrew.  Creature ABC.  Chronicle Books, 2009.  E ZUC
This deluxe alphabet book features Zuckerman’s breathtaking wildlife photography.  From alligator to zebra, each featured animal boasts two striking portraits against a clean white background, offering a unique up-close view of the animal kingdom.

Non-fiction:

Asper Smith, Sarah.  Have You Ever Seen a Smack of Jellyfish?:  an Alphabet Book.  Sasquatch Books, 2010.  J 411 ASP
Explore the alphabet and animals in a playful and delightfully unusual way - through their collective nouns.

Galvin, Laura Gates.  Alphabet of Animals.  Soundprints, 2006.  J 590 GAL
Come along on an alphabet adventure and discover different animals, starting with Ant and ending with Zebra.   The book also includes fun rhymes, interesting facts and great illustrations.

Isadora, Rachel.  ABC Pop!  Viking, 1999.  J 428.1 ISA
From airplane to zing, zap, zoom, this witty alphabet book explodes with energy, color, and fun and will make readers see everyday-- and not-so-everyday-- objects in an exciting new way.

McNamara, Margaret.  Apples A to Z.  Scholastic Press, 2012.  J 634.11 MCN
Join fox, bear, pig, and rabbit as they learn about apples one letter at a time.

 Nunn, Daniel.  ABCs at Home.  Raintree,  2013.  J 411 NUN
This book presents the alphabet from A to Z using words connected with familiar objects that are part of a young child’s everyday life at home.  Other titles in the Everyday Alphabet Series, include:  ABCs at the Park, ABCs at the Store, and ABCs in Nature.

Salas, Laura Purdie.  C is for Cake!:  A Birthday Alphabet.  Capstone  Press, 2010.  J 411 SAL
Birthdays are full of streamers, balloons, and presents. Get ready to celebrate each letter in C is for Cake!

Colors

Picture Books:

Austin, Mike.   Monsters Love Colors.  Harper, 2013.  E AUS
Different-colored monsters happily howl, growl, and roar for more as they mix and match primary colors to make new shades and hues.

Cabrera, Jane.  Cat’s Colors.  Puffin  Books,  2000.  E CAB
A cat describes ten different colors and tells which one is its favorite. 

Delessert, Etienne.  Full Color.  Creative Editions, 2008.  E DEL
The strange but friendly creatures of artist Etienne Delessert come together in a simple and playful celebration of colors, from the primary colors to the rainbow spectrum.

Klausmeier, Jesse.  Open This Little Book.  Chronicle Books, 2013.  E KLA
Cleverly designed as books nestled within smaller and then larger books, this bright offering is rich with vivid colors. Children will be drawn in at many levels: the pithy text, the fun illustrations, and the interactive format.

Norman, Kim.  I Know a Wee Piggy.  Dial Books for Young Readers, 2012.   E NOR 
A fun day at the fair becomes color chaos when one boy's energetic pig gets loose. Upside down, piggy wallows in brown, and soon, he's adding a rinse of red (tomatoes), a wash of white (milk), and a pinch of pink (cotton candy).  Can piggy be caught before he turns the whole fair upside down?

Wellington, Monica.  Colors for Zena.  Dial Books for Young Readers, 2013.  E WEL
A young girl learns how a rainbow of colors can be made from just three primary colors.

Non-fiction:

Gordon, Sharon.  Blue.  Benchmark Books, 2005.  J 535.6 GOR
Brief text and illustrations depict the color blue.  Additional titles in this Bookworms Colors Series include:  Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, and Purple.

Kalman, Bobbie.  I Eat a Rainbow.  Crabtree Pub. Co., 2010.  J 613.2 KAL
By introducing young readers to the colors of food, they also learn about healthy eating.

Pallotta, Jerry.  Icky Bug Colors.  Scholastic, 2002.  J 535.6 PAL
Kids will love this adorable book that teaches all about colors – with help from the ickiest bugs around!  All the bright colors kids love are featured in this young picture book.

Ranchetti.  Sebastiano.  Animals in Color.  Weekly Reader Pub., 2008.  J 535.6 RAN
In this beautifully illustrated book, animals introduce color to young learners.  Minimal text combines with bold, eye-catching art to present colors in a simple yet captivating way. 

Red, Blue, and Yellow Too.  Scholastic/Children’s Press, 2010.  J 535.6 RED
This book is a perfect “grown up” format for preschoolers who have just graduated from board books.  Bright balloon animals introduce the colors of the rainbow. 

Seeger, Laura Vaccaro.  Lemons are not Red.  Roaring Brook Press, 2006.  J 535.6 SEE
Clever cutouts in the pages make this a simple, original, and utterly beguiling introduction to color.

Numbers

Picture Books:

Barnett, Mac.  Count the Monkeys.  Disney Hyperion, 2013.  E BAR
The reader is invited to count the animals that have frightened the monkeys off the pages.

Blechman, Nicholas.  Night Light.  Orchard Books, 2013.  E BLE 
Count the lights and through die-cut pages, find out which vehicle they belong to.

Gibbs, Edward.  I Spy Under the Sea.  Templar Books/Candlewick Press, 2012.   E GIB 
There are many colorful creatures to find under the sea. Look through the spy hole and use the clues to guess the creature, then turn the page to count the animals.

Kromhout, Rindert1 2 3, Little Donkey.  Gecko Press, 2013.  E KRO
Little Donkey and his friend will do anything for candy. An early concept counting book with a satisfying story structure, and a full, domestic setting and characters.

Murray, Alison.  One Two That’s My Shoe!  Disney-Hyperion Books, 2012.  E MUR
When a mischievous puppy runs off with his owner’s shoe, it’s a race from one to ten to get it back again.  Over the teddy bears and out the door, readers can rollick along with the canine trickster and count the scenery along the way.

Smith, DannaTwo at the Zoo.  Clarion Books, 2009.  E SMI
A grandfather and grandchild go to the zoo, where they count animals from one to ten.

Non-fiction:

Barrett, Judi.  I Knew Two Who Said Moo:  A Counting and Rhyming Book.  Aladdin Paperbacks, 2003.  J 513.211 BAR
Rhyming lines feature the numbers from one to ten.

Browne, Anthony.  One Gorilla:  A Counting Book.  Candlewick Press, 2013.  J 513.211 BRO 
Count from one to ten with apes and primates in this full color picture book designed for the youngest of children.

Dahl, Michael.  Downhill Fun:  A Counting Book about Winter.  Picture Window Books, 2004.  J 513.211 DAH
Introduces the numbers from one to twelve as skiers, sledders, and snowboarders whiz down a snowy slope.  Readers are invited to find hidden numbers on an illustrated activity page.

Marzollo.  Jean.   Help Me Learn Numbers 0 – 20.  Holiday House, 2011.  J 513.211 MAR 
Colorful photographs of rabbits chicks, cars, fish, dogs, cookies, and other fun objects, rhyming text, and a fun game, help children learn numbers.  This book not only teaches children how to count, but how to connect numbers with a value.

Milich, Zoran.  City 123.  Kids Can Press, 2005.  J 513.211 MIL
Vibrant photographs showcase the numbers one to ten and invite kids to look at cityscapes with new eyes.  Familiar objects such as skyscrapers, bags of leaves, cars – and even french fries! – will help children discover that numbers are all around them.

Rissman, Rebecca.  Counting at Home.  Raintree, 2013.  J 513.211 RIS
Learn to count to 20 with this fun, interactive book!  Each page features one or more clear numerals, and then asks the reader to search an image of a home to find that number of objects.

Shapes

Picture Books:

Blackstone, Stella.  Bear in a Square.  Barefoot Books, 2006.  E BLA
Bear looks for shapes everywhere, such as for rectangles in a school and for stars in the nighttime sky.

Falwell, Cathryn.  Shape Capers, Greenwillow Books, 2007. E FAL
A group of children shake shapes out of a box and discovers the fun of using circles, squares, triangles, semicircles, rectangles, and their imaginations.

Moncure, Jane Belk.  Word Bird’s Shapes.  The Child’s World, 2003.  E MON
Word Bird makes various objects while playing with basic shapes.

Thong, Roseanne.  Round is a Tortilla:  a Book of Shapes.  Chronicle Books, 2013.  E THO
In this lively picture book, children discover a world of shapes all around them. 

Walsh, Ellen Stoll.  Mouse Shapes.  Harcourt, 2007.  E WAL
Three mice make a variety of things out of different shapes as they hide from a scary cat.

Wilson, Zachary.  A Circle in the Sky.  Children’s Press,  2011.  E WIL (Beginning Reader);
A child puts together various simple shapes to build a rocket that will fly to the moon.

Non-fiction:

Bruna, Dick.  Round, Square, Triangle.  Tate Pub., 2012.  J 516.15 BRU
Introduces very young children to the shapes of everyday objects, combining simple and boldly colored illustrations in the signature style of the creator's beloved Miffy Series.

Dilkes, D. H.  I See Squares.  Bailey Books, 2011.  J 516.154 DIL
Full-color photos and simple text uncover squares hidden within a child’s world.  Other titles in this
All About Shapes Series include:  I See Circles, I See Ovals, I See Rectangles, I See Stars, and I See Triangles.

Dingles, Molly.  Rectangle Ranch.  Dingles, 2005.  J 516.154 DIN
Introduces young children to the concept of shapes – and community.  Other titles in this series, Community of Shapes, include:  Seaside Circles, Triangle Trail, Town Squares, Oval Opera, and Star Ship.

MacDonald, Suse,  Shape by Shape.  Little Simon, 2009.  J 516.15 MAC
Turn the die-cut pages to discover colorful shapes, which come together to reveal a creature from long ago.

Pallotta, Jerry.  Icky Bug Shapes.  Scholastic, 2003.  J 516.15 PAL
Kids love learning their shapes with help from the ickiest bugs around.  All the familiar shapes are covered in this young picture book.

Rissman, Rebecca.  Shapes in Art.  Heinemann Library, 2009.  J 516.15 RIS
Can you spot the shape?  This book introduces children to different shapes in a range of situations.