Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to starting the day. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about starting the day.
Our list includes board books and picture books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
We hope this list of kids books about starting the day can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!
Day turns into night and some animals drift to sleep while others spring to life in this beautiful high-contrast board book.
Sun rises. Bird sings.
And so the day begins in this beautifully simple board book with bold artwork and lyrical text that shows us the passing of time in the day. Fish swim under a blue sky, squirrels dream as the sun sets, the moon rises as stars blink, and an owl hoots when night falls. With word repetition and a single tree that houses both the bird who sings as the sun rises and the owl who hoots after the moon rises, little ones can begin to understand that the day begins and ends in the same way.
It’s dark and quiet.
The moon still glimmers in the sky.
While the baker, the ferry boat captain, and the TV anchorman are busy at work, most people are cozily snuggled in bed. Then dawn’s first light peeks through the tree branches. Wake up, city! There is much to be done in neighborhoods all across the metropolis. As the morning gets brighter, the city streets bustle with people ready to begin the day. GOOD MORNING, CITY, by morning news anchor Pat Kiernan, is sure to start the day off right.
A little rabbit receives hugs around the clock.
Rise and shine! This charming board book about farm animals waking up and getting ready for a busy day is perfect for the youngest readers. As the sun rises, the animals on a bustling farm get ready for the day. Pigs roll around in the mud, cows wait at the milking stall, and horses run through pastures. But is everyone awake? The rooster will make sure of it! The fun rhyming text and colorful illustrations in this delightful book will help little ones start their day off just right.
Get ready for the first day of school with this sweet, reassuring board book. Follow one little boy as he experiences all the firsts a first day of school brings, from his first story to his first friend. When it’s time to leave, he can’t wait for another day at school!
Wakey, Wakey, Elephant! - A tickly feather. Roosters crowing. Even a marching band. Will ANYTHING wake Elephant? How do you make a snoozing, sleepyhead Elephant get up? Edgar tries everything, from putting a silly hat on Elephant’s head to dancing a cha-cha on the bed. Nothing works . . . until Edgar whispers something very special in his friend’s ear. SURPRISE! It’s Elephant’s birthday–and he’s ready to party. Lively, silly, and full of fun, this picture book is a joyful celebration.
Llama Llama Wakey-Wake - Start a brand-new day the Llama way with this new board book by Anna Dewdney. A good day starts with breakfast and brushing, kissing and hugging.
Isabella, Girl in Charge - Plucky, purple-haired Isabella, star of the New York Times bestselling picture book series, is back for another adventure! Just how high can a little girl dream? A big event has Isabella ready to leave home at the crack of dawn. But that’s a motion her parents are not likely to pass. After a two-to-one vote, it’s decided that some things need to happen before Isabellacan leave the house-like eating breakfast and brushing her teeth! If her house is going to work like a democracy, Isabella knows what she has to do; call an assembly and campaign her way out the door! Taking inspiration from the women who trail blazed their way onto the political map of America, Isabella celebrates the women who were first to hold their offices. And if Isabella can get her parents out the door, she might just witness the first woman voted into the highest position of all…
Wake Up, City! - In this beautifully illustrated picture book, one little girl and her father are on their way to school as the whole city wakes up around them! The gumdrop sun rises high in the cotton candy sky. A woman stretches. She starts to run. The city morning has begun! The city is still fast asleep when a young girl and her father leave the house. But slowly, little by little, light starts to creep up over the buildings, and the city starts to wake up. As they walk through the drowsy streets, a woman begins her morning jog, street sweepers clean up the roads, stores begin to open, and food deliveries are made to stores and restaurants. Join these two on their morning walk to school through the city in this beautifully illustrated picture book.
Three little piglets are all bundled up and as cozy as can be. Open the “blanket” flaps of this novelty board book and help the piglets start their day! Young readers will follow their wacky antics and ever-changing wardrobes as these energetic pigs jump, prance, and dance through a fun-filled day before finally climbing back into bed again. A delightful rhyme reinforces key daily rituals and the importance of winding down the day and going to sleep.
The perfect partner to Pajama Time!, Hey! Wake Up! is a good-morning book with the irrepressible language, the inimitable illustrations, the irresistible cast of characters only Sandra Boynton could create.
Touch your toes.
Shimmy shimmy shimmy,
Wiggle your nose.
Just watch out for the broccoli stew. (Ew.)
This rhyming, brightly illustrated book is the perfect way to practice the alphabet and to introduce young children to kindergarten.
It’s the first day of kindergarten and Miss Bindergarten is hard at work getting the classroom ready for her twenty-six new students. Meanwhile, Adam Krupp wakes up, Brenda Heath brushes her teeth, and Christopher Beaker finds his sneaker. Miss Bindergarten puts the finishing touches on the room just in time, and the students arrive. Now the fun can begin!
A delightful picture book about all the cheeky names daddies give to their little ones. Someone’s pretending to be asleep, but Daddy’s cheeky monkey is awake and soon the whole house will be a zoo! From the team who brought you GOODNIGHT, ME comes a gorgeous picture book about the cheeky names daddies give to their little ones.
Where does the sunrise begin? Douglas Wood asks this question in the style that has made him an internationally bestselling author. He answers it by focusing on the world of one child, then moving to another child’s world farther away, and then yet still farther, to the ends of the Earth, before bringing the text back to its starting point. Stunning artwork provides a beautiful sweeping look at a world that is simple yet complex, one in which the sun always rises to reveal a new day, a new life, and a new chance.
Have You Seen My Lunch Box? - As a little boy gets ready for school, he asks for help in finding his socks, lunch box, and other items he needs to start his day.
Good Morning - Buenos Días - A bilingual slide-the-tab board book, with text in English and Spanish. Cleverly introduce basic ideas about what happens in the morning when you wake up, including a rooster crowing, an alarm clock ringing, Dad shaving, and neighbors making coffee. The tabs add fun and unexpected movement for illustrator Xavier Salomó’s simple but engaging art. Illustrator Xavier Salomó was born in Barcelona. He studied illustration, drawing, and printing at the Massana School of Barcelona and art history at the University of Barcelona. He’s worked as an illustrator and graphic designer for various advertising agencies and publishers. In 2006, he won the Junceda Prize for his book The Sounds of . . . Meritxell Martí was born in Barcelona, and is a writer and professor of humanities at the Open University of Catalonia.
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