School Readiness

Following is a list of resource books that can be used by early childhood educators and parents as they prepare children to be successful in school. Purchased by the Fairfax County Office for Children, these professional development and children's books were funded through a Smart Beginnings grant from the Virginia Department of Social Services and the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation. The selected titles correspond to the Early Learning Guidelines, a child development framework that outlines areas of development of learning.

Social/Emotional Development

Baby Play and Learn by Penny Warner 649.5 W 1999
160 games and learning activities for the first three years of life.

Bringing Up Baby: Three Steps to Making Good Decisions in Your Child’s First Years by Claire Lerner 649.122 L 2005
Offers parents a three step approach to supporting their child’s healthy development:

  1. Understand your own parenting style and its effect;
  2. Observe your child to understand what she is feeling and thinking; and
  3. Use those observations to make healthy and effective decisions.

Challenging Behavior in Young Children: Understanding, Preventing, and Responding Effectively by Barbara Kaiser 371.393 K 2007
Provides strategies for addressing challenging behaviors and in-depth explanations of the research on which they are based. Chapters are offered on inclusion and relationships, positive behavior support, resilience, culture, working with families, and updated material on the brain and bullying.

Conscious Discipline: Seven Basic Skills for Brain Smart Classroom Management by Rebecca Anne Bailey 371.102 B 2001
Chapters cover the topics of composure, encouragement, assertiveness, choices, positive intent, empathy and consequences-the seven basic skills for a brain smart classroom.

Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline: The Seven Basic Skills for Turning Conflict into Cooperation by Rebecca Anne Bailey 649.64 B 2000
Focusing on self-control and confidence-building for both parent and child, Dr. Bailey teaches a series of linked steps to help families move from turmoil to tranquility.

Educating and Caring for Very Young Children: The Infant/Toddler Curriculum by Doris Bergen 372.21 B 2001
Provides direction on developing a dynamic, responsive curriculum for infants/toddlers that provides education along with nurturing. Recognizing play as the core of this curriculum, case descriptions illustrate how to accommodate children with different developmental levels, backgrounds, personalities, and needs.

Everyday Goodbyes: Starting School and Early Care: A Guide to the Separation Process by Nancy Balaban 372.21 B 2006
Emphasizing the need for parents and teachers to work together in phasing children into a child care, preschool, or kindergarten program, this book offers many sensitive, practical suggestions to ease the separation process for all involved.

From Neurons to Neighborhoods : The Science of Early Child Development
edited by Jack P. Shonkoff 305.231 F 2000
Examines how we can employ our knowledge of early childhood development and the effects of family, child care, and community environments to assure the well-being of all young children. Covers such topics as the quality of child care, issues of racial and ethnic diversity, and the integration of children’s cognitive and emotional development.

From Parents to Partners: Building a Family-Centered Early Childhood Program by Janis Keyser 372.21 K 2006
Effective communication is key to developing and sustaining a family-centered model for early childhood education. Teachers and providers are shown how to use proven communication strategies to connect to and encourage the involvement of parents and other family members.

Handbook of Infant Mental Health edited by Charles H. Zeanah, Jr. 618.92 H 2000
Offers a comprehensive analysis of the developmental, clinical, and social aspects of mental health from birth to age 3. Includes models of development, neurobiology, family and cultural contexts of infant mental health, and frequently encountered disorders. Recommends assessment and intervention techniques and examines issues related to family and social policy, such as the effects on infant development of early child care and parental divorce.

Healthy Young Children: A Manual for Programs by Susan S. Aronson 362.7 H 2002
A basic manual used by early childhood programs to promote and protect the health and safety of children, staff, and families. Includes sample forms, letters, and checklists and information regarding nutrition, illness, emergencies, and facility maintenance.

I Love You Rituals by Rebecca Anne Bailey 306.874 B 2000
Seventy-nine interactive activities are provided to help children increase their attention spans, reduce hyperactivity, build self esteem, and facilitate language development. The interactions also teach children how to be kind and caring using gentle touches.

Learning & Growing Together: Understanding and Supporting Your Child's Development
by Claire Lerner. 649.122 L 2000
A handbook for parents explaining the “reflective parenting” approach to learning and growing together. Covers important early childhood development milestones, temperament, brain basics, and the effect of parental life experiences on parenting style and skills.

Aprender y Crecer Juntos: Como Comprender y Fomentar el Desarrollo de Sus Hijos by Claire Lerner SP 649.122 L 2001
Spanish version of previous title.

Secure Relationships: Nurturing Infant/Toddler Attachment in Early Care Settings
by Alice Sterling Honig 155.422 H 2002
Information and advice for parents and caregivers on the importance of forming secure attachments in a young child's healthy adjustment.

Simple Transitions for Infants and Toddlers by Karen Miller 362.712 M 2005
A resource for teachers offering more than 400 tips, ideas, and easy-to-do activities dealing with the bigger transitions in a child's life, such as separation anxiety and toilet training.

Social and Emotional Development: Connecting Science and Practice in Early Childhood Settings by Dave Riley 372.21 S 2008
Examines the rationale and research base for best practices in social and emotional development, including attachment and exploration, friendship, impulse control, problem-solving, and state early learning standards.

Social and Emotional Health in Early Childhood: Building Bridges Between Services and Systems edited by Deborah F. Perry 362.2083 S 2007
Offers guidance to practitioners and policy makers in how to encourage resilience in young children and families, implement prevention and intervention strategies for at-risk children, and enhance the link between social-emotional health and school readiness.

The Emotional Development of Young Children: Building an Emotion-Centered Curriculum by Marilou Hyson 372.21 H 2004
Offers a foundation for building an emotion-centered early childhood curriculum, linking emotional competence to school readiness, and to a broad range of important child outcomes. Provides real-life examples and evidence-based teaching strategies to advance children's understanding and appropriate expression of their emotions.

The Power of Guidance: Teaching Social-Emotional Skills in Early Childhood Classrooms by Daniel Gartrell 372.14 G 2004
Shows teachers how to help children develop lifelong skills such as mutual acceptance and cooperation, creative and peaceful problem-solving strategies, and acceptable ways to express difficult emotions. Includes a special chapter on guidance with boys.

The Transition to Kindergarten edited by Robert C. Pianta 372.218 T 1999
Focuses on issues related to families, school, teachers and communities affecting kindergarten transition. Includes research on early schooling, as well as policies and practices relating to the first years of school.

Approaches to Learning

Anti-Bias Curriculum: Tools for Empowering Young Children by Louise Derman-Sparks 372.13 D 1989
Provides guidance for helping staff and children respect each other as individuals and confronting, transcending, and eliminating barriers based on race, culture, gender, or ability. Chapters include: why an anti-bias curriculum; creating an anti-bias environment; learning about racial differences and similarities; learning about disabilities; learning about gender identity; learning about cultural differences and similarities; learning to resist stereotyping and discriminatory behavior; and working with parents.

Basics of Developmentally Appropriate Practice: An Introduction for Teachers of Children three to six by Carol Copple 372.21 C 2006
Describes the core concepts of "Developmentally Appropriate Practice" and makes them meaningful to everyday early childhood education.

Connections and Commitments: Reflecting Latino Values in Early Childhood Programs by Costanza Eggers-Pierola 371.829 E 2005
Provides information, resource lists, reflection questions, and specific outreach ideas.

Designs for Living and Learning: Transforming Early Childhood Environments by Debbie Curtis 372.21 C 2003
Features descriptions and photographs of environments that nurture children, families, and staff and support learning in program settings for infants through primary children.

Developing Your Portfolio: Enhancing Your Learning and Showing Your Stuff: A Guide for the Early Childhood Student or Professional by Marianne Jones 372.21 J 2006
Offers an alternative to standardized testing and competitive grading as the way to assess what teachers know. Emphasizes the construction of knowledge through action, reflection and documentation, and presents detailed guidelines for portfolio development in teacher preparation programs.

Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Edited by Sue Bredekamp 372.21 D 1997
Offers an overview of each period of development and extensive examples of practices appropriate and inappropriate with children in each age group.

Early Learning Environments that Work by Rebecca T. Isbell 372.21 I 2001
Provides classroom decorating ideas, storage tips, and organizational strategies designed to support and encourage learning. Includes detailed illustrations and photographs.

World of Difference: Readings on Teaching Young Children in a Diverse Society edited by Carol Copple 370.117 W 2003
Compiles professional readings from the National Association for the Education of Young Children on strategies to work with young children and their families in ways that are truly responsive to their differences and effective in combating bias. Topics include culture, language, religion, inclusion, and socio-economic status with emphasis on building respect and understanding.


A How-To Guide for Teaching English Language Learners in the Classroom by Patricia Barrett-Dragan 372.26 B 2005
Offers techniques for building a classroom community that encourages and supports English language learners by celebrating diversity, integrating language and expression into all areas of the curriculum, and actively involving families.

Learning Language and Loving It: A Guide to Promoting Children's Social, Language and Literacy Development in Early Childhood Settings by Elaine Weitzman 372.6 W 2002
Provides a step-by-step approach to promoting children's development in child care, preschool, and other early childhood settings. Includes interactive strategies for helping children whose language and/or social skills are delayed or at risk.


Literacy and the Youngest Learner: Best Practices for Educators of Children from Birth to five by V. Susan Bennett-Armistead 372.21 B 2005
Supports teachers as they work to meet new literacy standards in developmentally appropriate ways, offering guidance on building essential skills such as oral language and phonological awareness and useful suggestions for dramatic play areas, book nooks, writing centers, and other spaces that together create a literacy-rich environment.

Love to Read: Essays in Developing and Enhancing Early Literacy Skills of African American Children edited by Barbara T. Bowman 371.829 L 2002
This collection of essays from the National Black Child Development Institute documents African American children's current reading achievement, focuses on how teachers and parents can promote significant progress, and discusses policy considerations in boosting all children's mastery of literacy to have a positive impact on children's future success and well-being.

Much More Than the ABCs: The Early Stages of Reading and Writing by Judith Schickedanz 372.4 S 1999
Gives concrete suggestions on topics such as reading aloud with children, setting up a book corner and writing center, and introducing the alphabet in meaningful ways. Book lists assist in choosing good books for kids at different ages.


The Young Child and Mathematics by Juanita V. Copley 372.7 C 2000
Provides insights into young children's extensive math interests and abilities and offers both vignettes and ideas for fostering math competency.


Building Structures with Young Children by Ingrid Chalufour 372.35 C 2004
Outlines the "Building Structures with Young Children" curriculum, from planning to implementation, and provides strategies for supporting teachers over time through mentoring and guided discussions. Includes detailed charts, forms, and reproducible overheads.

Discovering Nature with Young Children by Ingrid Chalufour 372.357 C 2003
Provides tools for incorporating science in the preschool classroom, including techniques for helping children learn scientific reasoning skills, such as hypothesis, inference, prediction, and estimation, as they investigate the natural world.

Worms, Shadows, and Whirlpools: Science in the Early Childhood Classroom by Karen Worth 372.35 W 2003
Identifies important science inquiry skills and concepts appropriate for the very young and highlights particular teaching strategies for incorporating science into early childhood education as a context for the development of language, mathematical thinking, and social skills.

Books for Children to Support Social and Emotional Health

Adventures of Max the Minnow by William Boniface BOARDBOOK

Baby Dance by Ann Taylor BOARDBOOK

Baby Faces: Smile! by Roberta G. Intrater BOARDBOOK

Baby's Lap Book by Kay Chorao JP CHO

Be Gentle! by Virginia Miller JP MILL

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin JP MAR

Chocolate-Covered Tantrum by Deborah Blumenthal JP BLU

Counting Kisses by Karen Katz JP KAT

Do You Want to Be My Friend by Eric Carle JP CAR

Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley JP EMB

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney JP MCB

Hug by Jez Alborough BOARDBOOK

I Can by Helen Oxenbury BOARDBOOK

Little White Duck by Walt Whippo JP WHI

Lucky Song by Vera Williams JP WIL

Max's Bedtime by Rosemary Wells JP WEL

"More, More, More" Said the Baby: 3 Love Stories by Vera B. Williams JP WIL

No David! by David Shannon JP SHA

Oh My Baby, Little One by Kathi Appelt JP APP

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell JP WAD

Snoozers by Sandra Boynton BOARDBOOK

Time for Bed by Mem Fox JP FOX

When Mama Comes Home Tonight by Eileen Spinelli JP SPI

Kindergarten Readiness Books for Children

Henry's 100 Days of Kindergarten by Nancy L. Carlson JP CAR

Letters and Sounds: Timothy Goes to School by Rosemary Wells JP WEL

Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come! by Nancy L. Carlson JP CAR

Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate JP SLA

Miss Bindergarten Takes a Field Trip with Kindergarten by Joseph Slate JP SLA

My Kindergarten by Rosemary Wells J372.21 W

On the Way to Kindergarten by Virginia L. Kroll JP KRO

Tucker's Four-Carrot School Day by Susan Winget JP WIN

Twelve Days of Kindergarten: A Counting Book by Deborah Lee Rose JP ROS

Welcome to Kindergarten by Anne F. Rockwell JP ROC

Who Will go to School Today? by Karl Ruhmann JP RUH

Library logo

Connect with your library through social media

Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. YouTube videos. Flickr photos. Visit our blog


Share This Page

Library Resources

Your Library card is your ticket to premium resources:


Suggestions and comments can be sent to Library Customer Service.

The Fairfax County Public Library web publishing team invites you to "Keep in Touch."

Subscribe to Library eNewsletters

Library logo


Search our events calendar

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

ADA Accessibility | Website Accessibility
Awards | FOIA | Mobile | Using this Site | Web Disclaimer & Privacy Policy | Get Adobe Reader
Official site of the County of Fairfax, Virginia, © Copyright 2016

Website Feedback Website Feedback    Globe with various flags representing Web site language translations   Language Translations

Return to Graphic Version