School Readiness Themes

Updated: Jun 3

Below you will find a collection of storytime themes geared towards preparing children for kindergarten. Each theme includes a checklist of skills as well as suggested read aloud books to support children in their learning. You can also view my more complete and updated libguide on this topic here.

Theme 1: Colors & Art

  1. Name and identify basic colors.

  2. Sort objects by color.

  3. Hold a crayon correctly.

Suggested books: Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Wash (teaches color mixing), Cat's Colors by Jane Cabrera, Bear Sees Colors by Karma Wilson & Jane Chapman, Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin, Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin & James Dean, My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss, Mix It Up! by Hervé Tullet, Green Is a Chile Pepper by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, & The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

Theme 2: Letters

  1. Sing the alphabet song!

  2. Identify upper and lowercase letters.

  3. Recognize their printed name (and write it, if possible).

Suggested Books: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr., LMNO Peas by Keith Baker, Adventures with Barefoot Critters by Teagan White, B is For Bulldozer: A Construction ABC by June Sobel, Some Smug Slug by Pamela Duncan Edwards, Alphabet City by Stephen T. Johnson, & There's a Zoo in Room 22 by Judy Sierra

Theme 3: Math Skills

  1. Count to at least 10.

  2. Recognize the difference between letters and numbers.

  3. Recognize basic shapes.

  4. Recognize the number of objects in small groups.

Suggested Books: A Tree for Me by Nancy Van Laan, Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin & James Dean, Round is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes by Roseanne Thong, Tea For Ten by Lena Anderson, & Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang. For more, see my list here.


Theme 4: Rhyme

  1. Recognize simple rhyming pairs/words that end with similar sounds.

  2. Be able to recognize and sing popular nursery rhymes.

Suggested Books: Llama Llama series by Anna Dewdney, No Sleep For the Sheep by Karen Beaumont, The Way Home For Wolf by Rachel Bright, The Pout-Pout Fish series by Deborah Diesen, Bear Sees Colors by Karma Wilson, Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae, Sandra Boynton books, Bill Martin Jr. books, Dr. Seuss books, & Interstellar Cinderella & Reading Beauty by Deborah Underwood.



Theme 5: Independence


For many young children, school will be their first time away from their parents for an extended period of time. Reading books about independence and self-reliance may help prepare children for this situation.

Suggested Books: All By Myself by Mercer Meyer, All By Myself! by Aliki, If I Never Forever Endeavor by Holly Meade, Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney, Love, Mama by Jeanette Bradley, The Good Egg by Jory John, & Goat Moves Out of the Barnyard (and others from the series) by Nikki Potts.