Children's Literature (all forms)

Fall For Phonological Fun!

by Ann Crewdson

Not only apples and pumpkins are plump this season but there is also an abundance of books, especially those emphasizing phonological awareness, one of the six early literacy skills (what children need to know about reading and writing before they actually read and write).  Phonological Awareness is defined as “The ability to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words.  Use the power of repetition, alliteration, rhyme and play on words in books to teach children language.  Check out this bountiful harvest of books at your local library:


Llama Llama Mad at Mama by Anna Dewdney

Llama Llama is forced to go to Shop-o-roma, put on sweaters, pick up groceries and decide on lunch until he realizes that he’s doing all of it with his mama.


Charlie and Lola’s Numbers by Lauren Child

Count to ten with Lola starting with one brother Charlie, through four moonsquirters and over ten elephants.


Baby Bear, Baby Bear What do you See? Written by Bill Martin Jr. and illustrated by Eric Carle.

Baby Bear searches for his mama, identifying all kinds of North American wildlife along the way.


Badger’s Fancy Meal by Keiko Kasza

Badger doesn’t care for the apples, worms and roots in his food storage but his fickle mealtime habit has him chasing the whole animal kingdom, which gets him his just desserts. 


Max’s Words by Kate Banks

Little Max has nothing to trade until he finds the words to negotiate with his two older brothers through story telling.


One Naked Baby by Maggie Smith

Naked baby runs through the household, trying silly hats, eating crunchy fish, exploring the garden, ending in a bath, counting to ten and back again.


Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard

Bird wakes up grumpy, but the other animals convince him that there’s still fun to be had, even by mimicking being grumpy.


I Love Cats by Anne Mortimer

All kinds of cats, cats, cats from big cats, prancing cats to weirdy cats and beardy cats.   


Fix It, Sam by Lori Ries

Sam helps his little brother fix things around the house from trucks to pillow cases to make-shift tents.


Let’s Play in the Forest While the Wolf is Not Around by Claudia Rueda

Follow forest critters through traditional French and Spanish play and music, as the wolf gets ready for the day.


I’d Really Like to Eat a Child by Sylviane Donno

A young crocodile whines that his favorite food, children, is not available for him to eat.


Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett

Bears, oranges, pears, and apples blend into one in beautiful water-color pages. 


The Bear and His Boy by Sean Bryan

A bear named Mack wakes up with a boy on his back leading to all kinds of adventures running around like a maniac, until they stop to smell the lilacs.

To learn more about early literacy skills and the King County Library System’s Ready to Ready Initiative through its Foundation, please visit


  1. kate

    While “phonological awareness” (as well as the other 5 early literacy skills) is a key component of storytime planning these days, it may not be on the tip of everyone’s tongue (or mind). So, as a proponent of plain-speaking, I appreciate your plain language definition of phonological awareness and your examples of useful books within this framework. I’m kinda hoping you will go through the other 5 skills as well on this blog. Gone are the days when all that mattered in storytime was that our programs were “thematically” unified. Even though our work with young children has always supported early literacy, it is ever more important to ground programming in awareness of child development and to make it a point of validation.

  2. acrewdson Post author

    Hi Kate!

    Absolutely…I will make light of an early literacy skill every week with booklists. I’ll try to do it consecutively as time allows. Thanks for encouraging me. I consider work with Early Literacy an agent of Change, just like Second Life. 🙂



  3. Julie

    This is a wonderful list–I’m looking forward to the future lists highlighting other literacy skills. Thank you very much for this post–and I’m so glad the link made it to my email via ALA Direct.

  4. acrewdson Post author

    Thanks for your comment Julie! I appreciate you looking at it and using. I will definitely come out with the other 5 early literacy skills list as I find time. Thanks again, Ann

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