What is 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten?

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is a program that encourages parents to read to their children frequently.  We are our children’s first teachers, and it is up to us to introduce them to books and a life-long love affair with the written word. 

Check out 1000BooksBeforeKindergarten.org to learn more about this program’s mission.

Or log your child’s reading by signing up for our READsquared app.  Need help getting started with READsquared? Be sure to watch our video below on how to get started.

By reading one book a day, you and your child(ren) can read 1,000 books in as little as three years.  

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do we have to read books from the library?

 No, they can be books from anywhere at any time – your home, grandma’s, preschool, or other libraries.

2. What should I read?

You can read any book; if you are having difficulty finding the right book come into any one of our libraries and chat with our friendly staff, as they can point you in the right direction.

3. Can I count my child’s favorite book more than once?

Yes, you can enter the title more than once and are eligible to enter it every time you read it.

4. Should I count the books that are read at storytime?

Of course!  Ask one of the librarians to write down the titles of the books read during storytime, and you can add them to your reading log.

5. My child “reads” books to himself.  Should I count these?

While it’s a great start, if your child is only mimicking or pretending to read, you shouldn’t count these books.  But congratulate yourself for influencing an enthusiastic early reader.

6. How long do I have to read 1,000 books?

There is no official end date.  You have as long as you need to read.  So don’t rush; take your time and enjoy reading with your child(ren).

What Should I Look For When Choosing Books?

Infants 0-12 Months

  • Books with simple, large pictures or designs with bright colors.  Images should be of familiar objects or other babies
  • Small, stiff cardboard (board books) made specifically for small hands
  • Washable cloth books to cuddle and mouth
  • Vinyl or plastic books to use during bath time

Books for Young Toddlers (12-24 Months)

  • Sturdy books that they can carry and handle
  • Books with children doing familiar tasks (i.e., sleeping, eating, playing, etc.)
  • Books with only a few words on the pages
  • Simple rhyming
  • Predictable text

Books for Toddlers (2-3 Years)

  • Books that tell simple stories
  • Books with rhymes and rhythms they can learn by heart
  • Food, animals, vehicles, bedtime, and princesses are favorite subjects
  • Books about saying hello and goodbye (great for separation anxiety)

Books for Ages 3-6

  • Books that tell stories
  • Books about kids who live and look like them
  • Stories about children who are different from them (i.e., appearance, country, etc.)
  • Books about counting, ABCs, shapes, and sizes
  • Books about making friends and going to school

Tips for Reading with Your Child(ren)

  • Find a quiet spot that is comfortable and allows you to sit together
  • Turn the TV, cell phone, music, and all distractions off
  • Read the book to yourself first so that you know what is going to happen and you can pace your voice to the action in the story
  • Talk about one or two of the pictures in the book
  • When reading a male or female voice match the character
  • Slow down or speed up your voice depending on the different tempos of the story; make the story come alive