Books to Capture the Imaginations of ECE Children

Developing a passion for books is not only important for children in terms of their academic success in honing reading, writing, and comprehension skills, but it is also a brilliant way for them to explore magical worlds and expand their imaginations beyond the boundaries of the real world immediately around them. Getting children into the habit of reading for pleasure from a young age can have life-long positive benefits. Here, YCIS Puxi Early Childhood Education (ECE) and Primary Librarian Ms Theresa Kemp, and YCIS Pudong ECE Coordinators Ms Veronica Martin and Ms Michelle Wang share some fantastic books that will be a joy to read for some of our youngest learners.

The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin

The rhythmic rhymes express all the things parents believe their children will be when they look at them. The loving and truthful message makes it a real winner on every bookshelf.

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Dragons love all tacos – big, small, beef, chicken. If you want dragons at your party, serve tacos! But where there are tacos, there is salsa. When a dragon accidentally eats spicy salsa, you have red-hot trouble!

How to Babysit a Grandma by Jean Reagan

This is a funny and heartwarming celebration of grandmas and grandchildren. It includes very useful tips to become an expert babysitter. All readers will enjoy the tongue-in-cheek role reversal.

Imagine by Alison Lester

This book is full of beautiful pictures you and your child can spend a long time looking at together as you read the rhymes.


蚂蚁和西瓜 (Ants and the Watermelon) by 田村茂 

For humans, a watermelon can be picked up with one hand, but in the eyes of ants, they are unfathomably huge and handsome things! This Chinese-language book tells the story of a group of ants taking on the task of carrying a watermelon home, using wisdom and cooperation.

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

Harold goes for a walk in the moonlight with only an oversized purple crayon. He draws himself a landscape full of beauty and excitement. This joyful story gives the sense that everything is possible!

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak 

One night, Max makes mischief, his mom calls him ‘Wild Thing’, and he is sent to bed without supper. Max uses his imagination to form the story of an island where he is king, and no one tells him off. When all are put to bed and it’s quiet, Max feels lonely and realises it’s time to sail home where someone loves him the best. 

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson

This book is one about friendships and how the characters support each other when things go bad. It is full of fun rhythming words that encourage children to listen.

Possum Magic by Mem Fox

A beautiful story of working together where Hush and her Grandmother move around Australia and meet many native animals in their search to find a way to reverse Hush's invisibility.


Bark, George by Jules Feiffer

A book that will inspire laughter as George the dog learns how to bark. 

Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman

A lovely story about a baby bird trying to find his mother, in which he goes on a walk and meets many animals and things. It provides a lot of opportunities to ask questions of your child as you read together. 

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

This is a wonderful tale of a small mouse walking through the woods who, to stay safe from other animals, invents stories to tell them. The Gruffalo grows with each telling.

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell & Patrick Benson

Three baby owls who live in a hole in the tree, wake up one day and are unable to find their mother. The pictures in this book are detailed and you can see the personality of each owl in them.

好饿的小蛇 (Hungry Snake) by 宫西达也

Popular with children due to its strong painting style and a warm story that skillfully combines the knowledge of fruits, colours, shapes, and more, so that young children can learn a lot of other knowledge in the process of reading. This book gives us infinite imagination. No matter what your conclusion is, there will always be a more unexpected and interesting surprise waiting for you, and children will like this surprise very much.

With ECE libraries that are packed with a huge variety of titles in both English and Chinese that are sure to captivate any child, YCIS students have a world of literature to choose from, allowing them to grow and develop at they become budding readers. As Dr Seuss said: "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

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