18 of the Best Kids’ Books for letter B
We’re putting together a book list for every letter of the alphabet. You can refer to these books to give extra attention to a particular letter you’re learning if you’re doing Letter of the Week. Or you can just use these lists as a resource for some of the best kids’ books around!
Paul Meets Bernadette, by Rosy Lamb
I’m so glad I found this newly published book just before I put this book list together. It’s an absolute treasure! Paul the goldfish used to have a very simple life going around in circles – back and forth and up and down; until the day that Bernadette dropped in!
Bernadette helps Paul see that there’s a whole world outside the fish bowl. We loved her perspective! The banana, she says, is a boat. The blue teapot is an elephant. As the two fish observe the teapot filling tea cups, Bernadette notes, “She is not too dangerous. But you must not disturb her when she is feeding her babies.” We laughed all the way through, and I love the tender ending. This would make a great gift book!
Otto the Book Bear, by Katie Cleminson
How can you walk by this book and not pick it up? It’s as darling as the cover. Otto is a book bear who loves when people read his book. But when no one is looking, he comes to life and explores the house! One day, when Otto is exploring, his book is taken away. The tiny bear explores the city until he finds a new home… the library. And Otto makes a wonderful discovery: the library is full of book creatures just like him!
A Bug, a Bear, and a Boy, by David McPhail
This simple book is an early reader for beginning readers, but it works great as a cozy read aloud too. Kids will enjoy learning how the bug, bear, and a boy – friends of such different sizes – are able to do things together. When they eat, the bear eats from a bucket, the boy from a bowl, and the bug from a bottle cap. The bear sleeps on a rug on the floor, the boy in a bed, and the bug in a peanut shell. Sweet book!
The Berenstains’ B Book, by Stan and Jan Berenstain
I wouldn’t call this book a piece of great children’s literature, but it’s fun and creative – and kids still love it more than forty years after it was published. The funny cumulative story features the letter B throughout.
Butterfly, by Susan Canizares
I include this book so you can get a look at some of the simplest nonfiction for toddlers and preschoolers. I love Canizares’ books because they have bright pictures and just a little bit of text. See if your library carries more of her titles.
Grumpy Bird, by Jeremy Tankard
This book is perfect to read when your toddler wakes up cranky! It’s about a little bird who’s so grumpy nothing seems right. Thankfully his animal friends help him come out of his bad mood with some exercise and companionship. Funny!
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle
At our house this book is enjoyed so much by our toddlers that our children are bored with it by preschool. But I couldn’t leave this classic out. After they’re familiar with it, young children will enjoy “reading” along, and it’s also a great book for teaching colors.
Brontorina, by James Howe
Poor Brontorina! How will she be able to achieve her dream of being a ballerina when she’s too big for the studio? Thankfully, her teacher realizes that it’s not that Brontorina is too big. It’s that the studio is too small! This is a fun story which also teaches a good lesson: find a way to include everyone, even those that are a little different.
Ballerino Nate, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
I’m not a dancer, and I’m not particularly sensitive about gender issues. But I love this book because it’s about a little boy who perseveres even when his brother ridicules him. Nate loves dancing and wants to be a ballerina. When his mother signs him up for a class, his brother teases him. “Boys can’t be ballerinas. You’ll have to wear a dress. You’ll have to wear pink. Everyone else will be a girl.”
Nate is horrified; he hates dresses! He doesn’t like pink! As it turns out, Nate’s brother is right about one thing – boys can’t be ballerinas. They’re ballerinos!
Little Bear, by Else Homelund Minarik
These stories about a little bear and his mother are true classics. I loved them as a child, and my children love them too. Just be careful not to get the books based on the TV series. They’ll have a different author and illustrator and do not have any of the magic of the original series.
Baby Brains, by Simon James
I loved this book so much I had to show it to my husband. Mr. and Mrs. Brains want their baby to be smart, so they read the newspaper aloud and play classical music to Mrs. Brains’ expectant belly. When the baby is born, all seems normal – until the next morning when he goes down the stairs and starts to read the paper! He announces that he wants to go to school, but after a day of kindergarten he’s off to medical school. We get a big laugh out of this one, and so will you – especially if you can see a bit of yourself in Mr. or Mrs. Brains!
Three Bears in a Boat, by David Soman
This is a rather lengthy book, but it captured the imagination of my Four, who requested it many times. Three bear siblings – Charlie, Dash, and Theo – have broken their mother’s special seashell. Without telling her, they set sail to find a replacement. Breathtaking illustrations capture the bears’ journey. You’ll appreciate the subtle references that only adults will get. There’s also a nice little lesson about accepting responsibility.
I Like Bugs, by Margaret Wise Brown
We own this simple rhyming books, and it’s been a favorite at our house for quite a few years. Quick to read, with fun illustrations. Recommended!
Goldilocks and Just One Bear, by Leigh Hodgkinson
My Four loved this fun variation on the classic Goldilocks story. Little Bear is lost in the city. He finds a fancy apartment, where he tries the porridge, the beds, and the chairs… only to be surprised by the family who returns home. I’m sure you can guess who the golden-haired mother is!
That’s Good! That’s Bad! by Margery Cuyler
This was a favorite read aloud in my classroom, and it’s one of my favorites to read at home too. A little boy at the zoo finds himself in a series of adventures with wild animals when his balloon carries him away from his parents. Is the situation a good one or a bad one? Things are never as they seem!
Not a Box, by Antoinette Portis
Do you have a child who likes to play with boxes? Sometimes I go a little batty with the piles of boxes my Four likes to collect. Rabbit likes to play with boxes too. But it’s not a box – it’s an airplane. It’s not a box – it’s a robot. No, it’s… a not-a-box!
The Pigeon Needs a Bath, by Mo Willems
Have you seen this newest addition to the Pigeon series by Mo Willems? The books, which began with Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus, are big favorites at our house. It’s impossible to get through these books without laughing, and they are so fun to read aloud. Kids and parents alike might notice that the pigeon’s whining sounds remarkably familiar…
Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McCloskey
I end my list with a classic book that should be on every child’s listening list. Sal and a baby bear get mixed up as they hunt for blueberries with their mothers on Blueberry Hill. This book is still popular, nearly seventy years after it was originally published!
Be sure to check out our other ideas for learning about letter B!
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