Looking for community helper books? This is a very comprehensive list!
Recently I released a community helpers theme pack for preschool and kindergarten. It’s over 280 pages of community helper activities and printable books! My preschooler and I read book after book together as I put together this giant list of recommended reads.
If you’re looking for a specific helper, just scroll down until you find it.
General books about community helpers
Pig Pig Gets a Job, by David McPhail
If you’ve never read a Pig Pig book, you’ve got to reserve one at your library. We just love this plucky pig and his never ending enthusiasm. In this one he wants money to buy something, but his mother informs him that he will need a job first. He has all kinds of ideas (cooking mud pies, building houses, fixing cars, etc.), and his mother gently turns each of these into a household chore. At the end of the book he has a list of chores for which he’ll earn an allowance. The story is great and the pictures are hilarious. This one was requested often!
Richard Scarry’s What Do People Do All Day, by Richard Scarry
This is a treasure of a book that you could look at all day and still not catch everything. We never read the whole thing in one sitting, but both my preschooler and kindergartner loved it. Be sure you’re getting the original 1960’s version complete with Scarry’s original stories and illustrations. I’ve linked to the real deal.
Career Day, by Anne Rockwell
This is a sweet book about a preschool class whose children bring their parents to share their occupations on Career Day. We liked the pictures, even if the variety of occupations in a single classroom was a bit unrealistic (judge, paleontologist, children’s book author, veterinarian, etc.).
Worksong, by Gary Paulsen
Publishers Weekly calls this book “a gentle rhyming hymn to the dignity of work,” and that description fits it perfectly. The book doesn’t name the occupations, but it describes them alongside striking oil paintings. “It is keening noise and jolting sights” (carpenter), “and hammers flashing in the light.” (roofer) It’s “ice cream cones to lick and wear” (ice cream shop worker) “and all the pins that hold your hair.” (hairdresser) Admittedly, my Three didn’t like it. But it’s a lovely book that’s worth a try!
Whose Hat Is This? by Sharon Katz Cooper
This was a favorite of my three-year-old, who liked to name the occupations based on the hat after we’d read it a few times and he had them down. It’s a nice introduction to a variety of community workers.
Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do, by Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook
We read this book after having read all the other books you see in this post. By this time my Three’s vocabulary had grown quite a bit, and he could name almost all the community workers with a little clue based on their uniform and tools. This is a truly excellent book and one all preschooler teachers will want to own!
Work, by Ann Morris
This book focuses more on work and less on community helpers, but it’s still a great fit. I love how it shows work in all parts of the world. The back of the book tells more about what you what you see in each photograph, from a girl twisting wool into yarn in Mexico to a girl caring for sheep in New Zealand.
Jobs People Do, by Thea Feldman
This book features a single page about each community helper with a sentence or two about what they do. “Police officers work to keep your town safe. Firefighters put out fires. A grocer sells food for your family to eat at home.” Nothing special, but it’s a good introduction to the unit as it covers a variety of workers.
Even Firefighters Hug Their Moms, by Christine Kole Maclean
This is a sweet book about a boy who changes his name every few pages as he changes his job. He’s Big Frank the firefighter, Officer Dave the policeman, Joe the EMT and more. This creative little boy makes do with laundry baskets, the couch, stuffed animals, etc. Each time his mom asks for a hug, but he’s just too busy. She protests, “Even firefighters/ambulance drivers/helicopter pilots, etc. hug their moms.” She gets her hug at the end.
Fireman Small, by Wong Herbert Yee
This is popular book about a small town fireman who handles all emergencies himself. It’s a sweet book, but not my personal favorite. It felt too long and repetitive for me, and I was happy to return it to the library!
Firefighters A to Z, by Chris L. Demarest
This firefighter-themed alphabet book is an action-filled story with bright letters to begin each page.
I Want to Be a Firefighter, by Firefly Books
This series from Firefly Books has big photographs with text overlays in a white box. I like the layout, and my preschooler liked learning about fire equipment, car fires, fireboats, fire helicopters, and volunteer firefighters.
Big Frank’s Fire Truck, by Leslie McGuire
Even though it’s long, my Three never lost interest in this book. We learned all about Big Frank’s daily routine as a firefighter. Big Frank fuels up the trunks, checks his gear, puts out a car fire, makes a fire inspection, gives a talk at a school, battles a brush fire, and ends his shift with a visit home to see his kids. A favorite!
Firefighters to the Rescue! by Kersten Hamilton
This is a rhyming book with the fun refrain “firefighters to the rescue!” This is a lighter look at firefighters, as it doesn’t go into as much detail as some of the other books in this list.
Protecting Your Home, by Ann Owen
This is part of a very simple community helpers series in which each page has just one sentence (or a partial one). It gives very basic information, which makes it a good introduction to a firefighters. At the end the book provides extra facts, a diagram, and a glossary.
Firefighter Frank, by Monica Wellington
We’ve liked all of Wellington’s community helper books, which are told with sweet illustrations about a fictional character. Just as Frank the firefighter makes a big meal for his crew, they’re called to an emergency. They fight a big fire and clean up afterward.
Clifford the Firehouse Dog, by Norman Bridwell
Clifford is a favorite here, so my son enjoyed listening to the story of Clifford visiting his brother, a fire station dog, and helping out during an emergency.
The Fire Engine Book, by Tibor Gergely
I adore the vintage Golden Books. With its bright illustrations and quick, active story of brave firemen, this one’s a winner.
Firefighters! Speeding! Spraying! Saving! by Patricia Hubbell
As the title suggests, this is a fast-moving book about firefighters. Firefighters rush, the truck zooms, flames flare, and water wooshes. It’s a rhyming book that doesn’t slow down until the tired crew goes home.
Tito the Firefighter, by Tim Hoppey
Tito lives in East Harlem, where nearly everyone speaks Spanish. Each day he walks past the firehouse, where he greets the English-speaking fireman Richie. Tito really wants a ride on the fire truck, but he can’t have one because he is not a bombero (firefighter). But one day a Spanish-speaking man has an urgent message for the firefighters. When Tito translates, they firefighters invite him on the fire truck to the scene of the fire so he can translate more if needed. What an exciting day for a kid!
Fire Engine Man, by Andrea Zimmerman David Clemesha
My boys enjoy this book about an older brother imagining his life as a firefighter, with his younger brother along for the ride.
Curious George and the Firefighters, by H.A. Rey
Honestly, I could do without Curious George books, as they get long with a plot that doesn’t always flow well. But my Three and Five can’t get enough of the “good little monkey who was always very curious.” In this book George causes trouble at the fire station but saves the day when he comforts frightened children at the scene of a fire.
The Little Fireman, by Margaret Wise Brown
This is such an odd little book that I hardly know what to say about it! There are a great big fireman and a little fireman who live next door to teach other. On each page they do kind of the same things, including put out fires in houses where fat ladies jump out of the windows onto a net. As a reader I found it annoying that there is no capitalization or punctuation. But who am I to argue with a classic?
Chief Rhino to the Rescue, by Sam Lloyd
This is a charming book about Fire Chief Rhino, one of the bravest animals in Whoops-a-Daisy World. The town rarely has fires, but when Chief Rhino spots one he gets right on it. As it turns out, the fire is just the 100 candles on Great Granny Wrinkle’s birthday cake! My Three loved it.
Plumbers, by Carl Meister
I fell in love with this book right away because it’s informative, has great photographs, and is written in an easy reader style. My Five (a kindergartner) could read it all by himself, and my Three enjoyed listening to it. Keep an eye out for the Bullfrog Books. They’re fantastic!
Plumbers, by Tracey Boraas
This book has a little more information than the previous one. The photographs are not as appealing, but the book has good information. My Three liked learning about different kinds of plumbers, what they wear, where they work, and the tools they use.
We Need Plumbers, by Helen Frost
This is a great little Pebble book (another great nonfiction series) which tells something plumbers do on each page — whether that’s putting pipes together, putting pipes in buildings, or fixing pipes that leak.
Policeman Small, by Lois Lenski
This is a vintage book (1962) that captivated my Three. The book was a great history lesson, as Policeman Small is a traffic cop who signals which vehicles or pedestrians may cross the street. He monitors a parade, helps a little boy find his mother, and stops traffic so cats can drink up spilled milk. When traffic is heavy, he brings his Stop-Go sign. It gave me a few chuckles, and my Three requested it often.
I Want to Be a Police Officer, by Dan Liebman
This book shares different ways police officers can travel (motorcycle, bike, horse, patrol car, etc.) and what their job involves. Like the other books in this Firefly Books series, it’s less a story than a collection of facts often unrelated from one page to the next. (Some lucky police even get to ride horses. These officers are patrolling a park… Police inspect cars and trucks to make sure they are safe to drive.) But I don’t think this has to be a problem in nonfiction for young children.
Little Critter Policeman, by Mercer Mayer
This little book doesn’t teach a whole lot about what police officers do, but it’s it’s a cute story about Little Critter, one of our favorite characters. In typical Little Critter fashion, everything he tries to do causes a little more trouble.
Keeping You Safe, by Ann Owen
This simple series is not my favorite by a long shot, but it’s good for young preschoolers. Older listeners might appreciate the fun facts in the back and the glossary. I do appreciate the helpful websites listed on the back page.
I’m Going to Be A Police Officer, by Edith Kunhardt
This book is about a little girl who wants to be a police officer like her dad. We learn about his uniform, getting fingerprinted, and the jail at the police station. Then we follow her dad through his day and see what kind of work he does as a patrol officer. The photographs are quite dated, but it’s a nice story.
A Day in the Life of a Police Officer, by Linda Hayward
This is a DK reader. I think Dorling Kindersley has some great books, but I’m not crazy about this series. The photographs are obviously staged, and each book in the series ends with “He/she has the best job in the world.” Obviously that can’t be true for every occupation, so why include that line? I’m just picky, I guess.
We Need Police Officers, by Lola M. Schaefer
This one I like! It’s very simple with just one image and a single sentence on each double page spread. It’s perfect for young preschoolers or for early readers.
Officer Buckle and Gloria, by Peggy Rathman
I can’t even begin to do justice to this favorite book about Officer Buckle, a safety conscious police officer who gives boring talks to schoolchildren that put them to sleep. But when he acquires Gloria, his police dog, the children sit up and listen. Officer Buckle is requested time and time again — and he’s thrilled to be such a sought after speaker, until he learns that Gloria has been doing pantomime as he speaks. This Caldecott winner (for best pictures) is one to own!
Police Officers Help, by Dee Ready
I love this little book and was surprised at how much detail the author packed into nine pages of text and accompanying photographs. It goes into a fair amount of detail as to what police officers do and what tools they use.
Police Officers, by Cari Meister
This is another winner from Bullfrog Books. I like the variety of races represented and, as always, the nice clear text and good photographs.
My Great Aunt Arizona, by Gloria Houston
This is a wonderful, inspiring picture book based on a true story. Arizona longs to see the world, but as it turns out she spends her life teaching one generation after another in a one-room country schoolhouse. It’s her optimism and determination that leads many of her students to see the world in her stead. Love!
Miss Nelson is Missing, by Harry Allard
This is one of my all time favorite children’s books about a teacher whose students constantly misbehave. When she comes back to school disguised as the cruel Mrs. Viola Swamp, the children shape up in a hurry.
My Teacher Is a Monster, by Peter Brown
This is a funny book about a boy who sees his teacher as a monster because she yells at him and takes away recess when he flies paper airplanes. One day he meets her unexpectedly in the park. On each page she looks more like a woman and less like a monster as Bobby realizes his teacher is just a person, after all.
A Day in the Life of a Teacher, by Heather Adamson
I like the First Facts series which takes you through the day of a community helper. Through Mrs. Chan’s day, children learn to appreciate how hard teachers work and what they do at different points in the day.
Teachers, by Cari Meister
This book helps kids understand that teachers help kids learn and understand, write lesson plans, and show children how to play fair.
First Day Jitters, by Julie Danneberg
Sarah is nervous about the first day of school. When Mr. Hartwell urges her to get out of bed, she covers her head with the covers. Finally she arrives at school, nervous and feeling sick about a new year at a new school. It isn’t until the last page that we learn that Sarah is Mrs. Hartwell, the teacher!
My Teacher Sleeps in School, by Leatie Weiss
My Three really liked this book in which little elephants imagine that their teacher lives at school. Their imaginations run wild as they wonder where she eats, sleeps, etc. Cute book!
Bakers, by Tami Deedrick
I really like how this nonfiction books is organized. Each page covers a simple topic next to a full color photograph. It tells where bakers work, what they do, what they wear, and more. It’s just enough information to teach a lot without overwhelming preschoolers.
Mr. Cookie Baker, by Monica Wellington
This is a simple, sweet book about Mr. Baker’s morning making sugar cookies and the hungry children who come to eat them.
The Baker’s Dozen, by Dan Andreasen
This is a cheerful counting book with a jolly baker creating tasty treats on each page. I drooled over the pictures, and we picked which pastries we’d choose to eat if we could!
Walter the Baker, by Eric Carle
Some of Carle’s books are too repetitive for me, but both my kids and I enjoy this story about a baker who must create a special kind of bread before he’s banished from the kingdom. It’s a cute piece of fiction about how pretzels were invented.
Mr. Griggs’ Work,by Cynthia Rylant
I read this whole book and enjoyed it immensely before seeing that it’s written by one of my favorite children’s book authors, Cynthia Rylant. No wonder it’s a gem! Mr. Griggs is an old man who loves his job at the post office. In fact, when even when he’s not working he’s thinking about it.
But one day Mr. Griggs is unwell and takes his first sick day ever. When he finally returns to the post office, he’s thrilled to be back. There isn’t a lot of plot to this book, but it’s a tender story about someone who dearly loves his job. Recommended!
Delivering Your Mail, by Ann Owen
This is a very simple book with friendly illustrations about the mail carrier’s job. They sort mail and deliver it in all kinds of weather.
Mail Carriers, by Cari Meister
This super simple book teaches that mail carriers sort mail, put it in boxes, and deliver it on their walking or driving routes.
The Post Office Book: Mail and How it Moves, by Gail Gibbons
This book goes into detail about exactly what happens after you mail a letter. I found it very interesting, but I’ll admit that my Three wasn’t too fascinated. I think Gibbons’ pictures missed the mark, at least for young kids. They aren’t very colorful and have too much going on on each page. But the book does share good information.
We Need Mail Carriers, by Lola M. Schaefer
I like how each page has a single sentence and how my Three could often fill in the last word when I left it off (after hearing many books about mail carriers). Mail carriers sort mail, pick it up, walk or drive, and deliver to businesses or homes.
Millie Waits for the Mail, by Alexander Steffensmeier
You have got to check it out if you haven’t seen it yet! Every day on the farm, Millie the cow anxiously waits for her favorite thing… scaring the mail carrier! She loves finding a new place to hide so that the mailman is scared right off his bicycle. The poor man tries sending Millie her own package so that she’ll start being nicer to him… it doesn’t have the effect he wants, but the happy surprise ending had me laughing out loud.
Letter Carriers, by Alice K. Flanagan
This book was a tad long for my Three, but maybe he was just sick of community helper books, ha! I liked seeing pictures of rural carriers, including a teeny tiny post office in Ochopee, Florida. The book teaches about training mail carriers need, problems they have (weather and dogs!), and more.
A Day with a Mail Carrier, by Jan Kottke
I’ve always loved the Welcome Books, a series of small books that double as easy readers. The story is told in first person. There’s no amazing detail here, but it’s a nice quick read aloud for young preschoolers or to introduce mail carriers.
The Giant Hug, by Sandra Horning
This is such a sweet book! A little pig wants to send a hug to his grandmother, so the postal carriers pass it along to each other as it travels to his grandmother’s home. This is a darling and well written story. Recommended!
The Jolly Postman, by Allan Ahlberg
This is an entertaining book about letters sent from different fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters. One example is an apology written to the bear family from Goldilocks. Preschoolers won’t catch all the subtle humor, but you’ll enjoy it!
I Want to Be a Nurse, by Dan Liebman
This book’s photographs feel dated (they seem older than the copyright of 2001), but it’s still a wonderful nonfiction book for young children. I like how the text overlays the photos in a white box. It gives just the right amount of information to entertain and inform preschoolers without boring them.
A Day in the Life of a Doctor, by Linda Hayward
This is a nice book of photographs which tell the story of a doctor’s day. My son learned that they take X-rays, diagnose problems, visit their patients in the hospital, and more. A bonus about this book is that the doctor is an African American woman. I only wish that the pictures didn’t look so staged, which is often a problem with Dorling Kindersley Readers. My Three didn’t notice. 🙂
A Day in the Life of a Doctor, by Heather Adamson
This First Facts book tells how this doctor’s work starts at a hospital and concludes at the clinic. Children may learn new vocabulary as the doctor makes a diagnosis, write a prescription, and checks reflexes.
Nurses, by Cari Meister
In the simplest of terms and sentences, children learn that a nurse cleans cuts, checks sore throats, puts in IV’s, weighs patients, and administers shots.
Do I Have to Go to the Hospital? by Pat Thomas
This is a gentle book intended to help children feel better about an impending hospital visit. It uses lovely kid-friendly language to teach about X-ray machines, a heartbeat monitor, etc. It’s really a very sweet book.
The Berenstain Bears Go to the Doctor, by Stan & Jan Berenstain
Brother and Sister Bear are getting their routine checkups at the doctor’s office. The book covers all the basic parts of a checkup. It felt strange to me when all the cubs in the waiting are called in to watch Sister Bear bravely get a shot, especially as she’s just wearing her underwear. Weird.
Doctors, by Cari Meister
Doctors help people who are sick, take X-rays, give stitches (I didn’t like this picture!), put on casts, and give medicine.
What Do They Do? Doctors, by Josh Gregory
This is quite an informative book about how doctors may listen to your heartbeat, do simple tests to see what’s wrong, give check ups, teach you how to stay healthy, and more. For advanced listeners.
Froggy Goes to the Doctor, by Jonathan London
Personally, I find Froggy books to be somewhat inane, but my kids love them. Froggy (not on purpose) hurts the doctor by throwing his paper airplane in her eye, shouting in the stethoscope, stunning her with his bad breath, etc. Stuff kids love.
Nurse Nancy, by Kathryn Jackson
My son loved this vintage book (1952), about a girl who wants to be a nurse but whose three older brothers are too busy to play with her. One day one of her brothers actually hurts himself when Mother is out (Where is she anyway? Her kids are little). Nancy cleans and bandages the cut. Then the siblings all play ambulance with a red wagon, bell, real bandages and candy medicine. Cute.
A Day in the Life of a Nurse, by Connie Fluet
This nurse begins his day by checking charts and filling supplies. He cares for patients and gathers information for doctors. The book also tells about the tools they use and the skills they need.
Doctor Meow’s Big Emergency, by Sam Lloyd
This is a sweet book about Doctor Meow and her work at Kiss It Better Hospital. She rescues Tom Cat, who has fallen after chasing a bird up the tree. Tom Cat and his friend Mr. Bird make up at the end.
Doctors Help, by Dee Ready
This is a great little book that teaches what doctors do, what they wear, where they work, etc.
Librarian on the Roof! by M.G. King
I’ve seen this book recommended many places, but I’ve just now read it. I’m sorry I’ve been missing it all this time! You’ll love this true story about a librarian who camps out on the roof until the town raises enough money for a children’s section.
The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians, by Carla Morris
This book is a longer one perhaps more appealing to kindergartners than preschoolers, but my Three enjoyed it. It’s the story of a small, inquisitive boy who befriends the local librarians. They’re always ready to help him learn something new, so that one day he becomes a librarian himself. A sweet book!
Librarians, by Cari Meister
This is a simple book about librarians who take care of books, order new ones, lead story time, and teach children and adults how to use the library.
Tomas and the Library Lady, by Pat Mora
This book (recommended for advanced listeners) tells the true story of a son of migrant workers who was befriended by a librarian. Later he became a writer, professor, university administrator, and national education leader.
Library Lion, by Michelle Knudsen
On the day a lion comes to the library, Miss Merriweather (a stickler for rules), isn’t sure what to do. The lion, anxious to stay, learns to follow all the library rules — until an emergency. He breaks the rules in order to carry out a rescue, and Miss Merriweather learns that there are times to break the rules, even in the library.
Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile, by Gloria Houston
Though Miss Dorothy has always dreamed of working in a large city library, she ends up in a remote rural area. After delivering books all over the community in her bookmobile, she’s finally given a small house to make her library. We loved this true story.
Max Goes to the Dentist, by Adria F. Klein
This is an extremely simple, appealing book which tells the basics of what a dentist does at a child’s appointment.
Dentists, by Cari Meister
What do dentists do? They look at teeth, clean them, take X-rays, floss, and fill cavities. A quick, satisfying read.
The Crocodile and the Dentist, by Taro Gomi
This is a silly book about a dentist and crocodile who are afraid of each other. It was too repetitive for me, but my Three was entertained by it. You should know that, for some children, the book might create anxiety about dental visits.
The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist, by Stan and Jan Berenstain
The Berenstain Bears are so not my favorite series of books (typically too long and too preachy), but this one isn’t bad. Brother Bear shows off for Sister at the dentist during his routine check up, and the dentist pulls Sister’s loose tooth.
Do I Have to Go to the Dentist? by Pat Thomas
This is another friendly book about helping kids feel better about an upcoming visit to the dentist. It tells about the waiting room, the big chair, special equipment, wearing a big bib, the dentist cleaning one’s teeth, and more.
A Day in the Life of a Dentist, by Heather Adamson
I like how this book also talks about a dentist’s helpers (office manager and hygienist) . It gives a little more in depth information than the other books in this list.
What Do They Do? Dentists, by Gaetano Capici
This is a great series, but the books are a bit long for young preschoolers. (Or maybe it’s that my son is sick of community helper books, ha!). While this series might be best for a second or third grader doing research for a written report, the books are a great follow up to a shorter book for preschoolers. Try putting all the special vocabulary words on index cards and see which ones your students know before you read the book.
Just Going to the Dentist, by Mercer Mayer
I’ve always been a big fan of the Little Critter series, so I enjoyed this one. It’s very kid friendly and relatable. “She told me to spit in the sink. No grown had ever asked me to spit before. That was cool!” Definitely one to find.
Going to the Dentist, by Melinda Beth Radabaugh
I was really impressed with this book. When I checked the series, it was no surprise to learn it was a Heinemann Read and Learn book. (Heinemann never disappoints!) I like how each page has a question (“Why do you go to the dentist?”), photograph, and answer. The end of the book has objects that children can go back and find.
Road Builders, by B.G. Hennessy
This would be a great book to read if you have road construction in your neighborhood or on your drive to school. Your child will recognize the vehicles after listening to this simple, step-by-step story about how a road is built.
A Day in the Life of a Construction Worker, by Heather Adamson
In this First Facts book, we learn that construction workers begin work early in the morning before it gets hot. They might build roads, homes, or offices. They work together in crews and wear special equipment to stay safe. My Three enjoyed this book and liked finding equipment on the labeled diagram on the final page.
Construction Workers, by Cari Meister
Constructions workers read plans, tear down buildings, break up cement, make roofs, and more.
A Day in the Life of a Builder, by Linda Hayward
This book offers an interesting perspective as it focuses on the man in charge of a number of building projects. He visits different houses and checks on his crews, helping as needed. We liked the funny part where dogs run across wet cement.
Other Community Helpers
Farmers, by Cari Meister
This is a great little book to help kids see that farmers grow crops and take care of animals. We learned about different types of farm equipment and livestock. I do wonder about the page which shows a mother pig feeding her pigs… and on the very next it declares, “Later she sells them. They will be used for ham. Yum!” I guess I’m not meant to be a farm girl. 🙂 Electricians, by Mary Firestone
The job of an electrician is fascinating to my kids since we often see people up high fixing wires. It was interesting to learn all the tasks electricians have and how they stay safe.
Bus Drivers, by Rebecca Pettiford
Again another winner by Bullfrog Books, this book teaches kids that bus drivers can drive city buses, shuttle buses, coach buses, and school buses.
A Day in the Life of a Garbage Collector, by Nate LeBoutillier
I remember being fascinated by the garbage collectors as a kid. When I was quite young there were no fancy trucks in our neighborhood – just strong men who hoisted heavy garbage cans over their heads and dumped them into a truck. My own kids love it when we trail the garbage truck on our drive home. This book opened their eyes to all the responsibilities of a garbage collector.
Trashy Town, by Andrea Zimmerman
This is a big favorite at our house. Mr. Gilly drives around Trashy Town collecting garbage. After each pick-up we read, “Dump it in, smash it down, drive around the trashy town!” The simple illustrations, predictable text, and of course the subject (trash!) will likely make this a winner at your house, too.
Garbage Collectors, by Tammy Deedrick
This book, while not featuring the greatest photography, is nicely laid out with good table of contents: what the workers do, where they work, what they drive, what they wear, what they use, training, people who help, and how they help others.
We Need Garbage Collectors, by Lisa Trumbauer
I like this little series. It has one or two sentences to the right of a full page photograph, making it just right amount of informationfor early listeners. Sometimes I’d leave out a word or phrase and see if my Three could complete the sentence.
What Do They Do? Judges, by Josh Gregory
The concept of a judge was really too much for my Three, and he was looking off in the distance as I read most of this book. But I still recommend it as a simple read aloud to open kids’ eyes to another community helper.
Mechanics, by Cari Meister
My Three is fascinated by machines, so he enjoyed this book about different kinds of mechanics. In true Bullfrog Book style, the text is simple, the photographs great, and the appeal high. Just a great little book.
Diary of a Pilot, by Angela Royston
This series is wonderful (Heinemann First Library), if a little long. But since my son is fascinated by helicopters he was very interested. Told in the first person, the pilot flies workers to oil rigs.
Reporters, by Rebecca Pettiford
My son learned that news reporters bring the news, talk on TV, work for a newspaper, take pictures of games, and tell the traffic.
Coaches, by Rebecca Pettiford
Our kids aren’t involved in any team sports yet, and we don’t watch televised sports, so the concept of “coaches” was foreign to my Three. But he learned that they help kids learn to play different kinds of sports. I like how this book ends with the other team winning. “We are happy for them. We did our best.”
A Day in the Life of an Emergency Technician, by Heather Adamson
This book helps kids understand the job of EMT with a great balance of text and real life images.
A Day in the Life of a Zookeeper, by Nate LeBoutillier
Zookeepers begin and end their days checking on the animals. I like how this book shows the zookeeper caring for some less familiar animals, such as a mole rat, rock hyrax (yeah, I’ve never heard of it either), the Asian bearcat, and the red panda.
Veterinarians, by Cari Meister
Like the other Bullfrog books, this book has very simple text and great photos. I like how it helps kids see that vets also work at zoos, aquariums, and with wild animals.
Out and About at the Vet Clinic, by Kitty Shea
This is a cute book about a class going to the vet clinic for a field trip. It shows the tools, introduces different workers, and observes a check up. But I have to wonder why the kids are permitted to see an operation!
Veterinarians, by Dee Ready
This book tells about the different kinds of animals veterinarians care for as well as the tools they use and training they receive. The photos are dated, but still better than others in this series.
I Want to Be a Mechanic, by Dan Liebman
I liked the layout and information in this book, but would have liked the information to flow better. Like the other Firefly community helper books, it’s a collection of often unrelated facts.
Auto Mechanics, by Tracey Boraas
Overall I am not impressed with the Bridgestone Books Community Helpers series because the photographs are of poor quality. They look hastily taken, and many are dark and uninteresting. But mechanics fascinate my Three and probably many other preschoolers. One thing I like about this series is the familiar pattern… what the workers do, wear, use, people who help them, etc.
If you’re teaching a community helpers theme at home or school, be sure to check out our theme pack! You’ll find a printable list of these books in the appendix.
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Thank you so much for this abundant list. I am starting a community helpers project in my kindergarten class and look for sites like yours to help with read aloud recommendations. I look forward to reading your first few to see where their interests lie and go from there. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
You’re very welcome, Grace!
I love your book lists. Do they come in a printable pdf file? Would love to print them as a resource.
Not at this time, Amy! You can always choose the “Print friendly” button at the very bottom of the post. Then delete the images, etc. that you don’t want to print.