Looking for the best penguin books for preschool? Check out our favorites!
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BOOK LIST: PENGUINS
What is it about penguins that makes them so fascinating? Is it because they’re birds, but can’t fly? Or maybe it’s because they look like they’re always wearing a tuxedo?! Whatever the reason, penguins are such a fun animal to study!
If you’re doing a penguin theme in your classroom, or if your little ones are interested in learning more about these amazing animals at home, check out this list of our favorite preschool penguin books.
This list includes both fiction and nonfiction options, plus I’ve included a penguin-themed snack that’s sure to be a hit with your little one!
FICTION PENGUIN BOOKS FOR PRESCHOOL
Penguins Love Their ABC’s: In this story, six little penguins go on an alphabet hunt. Mama Penguin hid all of the letters in the snow, and above each one, she placed an object that starts with that letter. The penguins’ job (and your preschoolers’ job!) is to find the letters and name the sounds. *If you love this book, check out these activities we’ve paired with it to bring it to life!*
Penguins Love Colors: This story is by the same author as Penguins Love Their ABCs and is just as cute! In this version, the six little penguins want to paint a picture for Mama Penguin, who loves colors. But they end up making a mess. Will mama be upset?! This book is great for little ones who are practicing color recognition or reading color words.
Little Penguins: This book has the most interesting illustrations drawn by Christian Robinson, a Caldecott Honor Winner. There is barely any text on each page, so the illustrations are really what drive this story. The little penguins want to go outside and play, but they first need to get dressed…they need mittens, scarves, socks, and boots. After they have fun playing, it’s time to head back inside and warm up with some cookies and milk. Preschoolers will love seeing penguins do what they do in winter!
Five Flying Penguins: Most of us are familiar with the poem “Five Little Pumpkins.” Well this story is the penguin version of that! It goes through the poem twice, with the penguins trying to get away from a seal who wants to eat them for a meal! In the end, though, readers realize the seal is just playing tag and chasing the penguins as part of the game. A fun twist for preschoolers who might feel worried for the penguins!
Penguin Sets Sail: This is definitely my favorite book on the list! This wordless picture book was sent to me by the author/illustrator Jessica Linn Evans. She knew it would be the perfect addition to our penguin unit! In this story, Penguin dreams of setting sail and going on the adventure of a lifetime…but all of his friends only dream about fish. After Penguin leaves the comfort of home, he goes on the biggest adventure and meets new friends who share his love of the open seas. But in the end, Penguin realizes where he truly belongs and heads back home.
Baby Penguins Everywhere: This book tells the story of a penguin who is all alone and feels lonely. One day, as she swims through the water, she finds a top hat…and out of the hat pops lots of baby penguins! Now she’s not lonely anymore…she’s too busy and tired to be lonely. But she’s also very happy!
Baby Penguins Love Their Mama: This is the sequel to Baby Penguins Everywhere. Now that Mama Penguin has lots of babies, she is VERY busy and tired (I think all of us mamas can relate to her!) There are swimming lessons, fishing lessons, and gliding lessons…and on Sundays, Mama takes a nap!
Ten Playful Penguins: This unique book is one that has 3D penguins on each page. As the story counts down from 10 to 1, the amount of penguins on each page changes, which is super fun for preschoolers! This story also rhymes, so it’s great to read aloud. As each penguin goes off to play, one stays behind and prepares a feast for all of her friends. (This story would be great to use with our FREE penguin numbers. Keep reading…they are listed down below for you to download!)
The Trouble with Penguins: This book tells the story of a penguin who meets a human and learns how to roast marshmallows. Once the penguin shows his penguin friends his new roasting stick, things are fine for awhile…until it all goes downhill & causes problems! Luckily, they are able to work it out in the end.
Penguin and Pinecone: A Friendship Story: This is the sweetest story about a penguin who finds a pinecone. He loves the pinecone and treats it like his best friend, but then his grandpa tells him the pinecone must go back to the forest if it’s going to grow big and strong. So Penguin takes him back, even though he’s going to miss him. After some time has passed, Penguin goes to check on pinecone, who’s grown into the most beautiful pine tree! And the author’s words at the end of the book totally made me tear up: “When you give love, it grows.”
Penguin’s Big Adventure: This book is by the same author/illustrator as Penguin and Pinecone: A Friendship Story. In this story, Penguin goes on an adventure to the North Pole. When he first arrives, he feels lonely and afraid of meeting a polar bear. But then he befriends a polar bear and the two have a big adventure together! In the end, Penguin heads home, because “the best part of a big adventure is coming home.”
The Chilly Penguin: This book tells the story of a penguin who is chilly! He tries doing all sorts of things to warm himself up…knitting a warm scarf, sitting by a fire, and ice-skating. Nothing works! After a few pages with just pictures (like a wordless picture book), the penguin realizes what will warm him up…a warm hug from a friend!
NONFICTION PENGUIN BOOKS FOR PRESCHOOL
Baby Penguin’s First Waddles: This nonfiction book follows a baby chick from birth through its first year of life. The photographs are incredible and make you feel like you’re really there with the little chick! There is not too much text per page, which makes it an ideal read aloud of preschoolers.
Emperor Penguins: Animals of the Snow and Ice: This nonfiction book is not designed to be read aloud in one sitting…it’s very long and there is a lot of text per page. But it’s a great resource book for learning more about penguins! It includes a glossary of unknown words (such as Antarctica and global warming), and each page is about a different topic (such as Getting Around and Time to Dine). The photographs are large and highly engaging, too!
Penguins! A Science Reader: This “Step Into Reading” nonfiction book gives little ones good information about penguins. It includes a bigger-sized font and less words-per-sentence, and the photographs are highly engaging. Great for little ones who are interested in reading some on their own.
So Cute: Penguins (National Geographic): This nonfiction book is perfect for our preschoolers because it’s small, does not have too much text per page, and has real photographs of penguins. It gives useful information in an easily-understandable way for our littlest learners.
Polar Bears and Penguins: A Compare & Contrast Book: One of the areas I focus on when teaching my polar habitats unit is comparing and contrasting polar bears and penguins, so this book is exactly what I was looking for. It has big, beautiful photographs and not too much text per page. And it alternates between each animal when presenting facts. For example, one page says, “Polar bears are covered in fur. ” And the very next page says, “Penguins are covered in feathers.” We read parts of this book before completing a Venn diagram together in my class.
Penguins: Strange and Wonderful: This book is not one to read in one sitting. It’s very long with a lot of text per page, and it includes illustrations (not photographs) of penguins. But it includes interesting information about penguins, including that explorers from Portugal called them “strange geese” when they first saw them in 1520.
Spotlight on Nature: Penguin: Here is another long nonfiction book that can’t be read in one sitting to preschoolers. But it has big photographs and interesting information about penguins. It also includes a great timeline showing the life and development of a penguin.
Penguins Waddle: Now this nonfiction book is perfect for our young preschoolers! It has only a few words per page, and our beginning readers might even be able to read this on their own! It has real photographs of penguins as they go through their day, which are sure to fascinate your little learners.
If you want to increase the excitement when reading these penguin books, then you’re definitely going to want to make these penguin cookies! You can read more about them (along with a few other penguin activities) here.
FREE PENGUIN NUMBERS
If you’re going to be learning all about penguins (and maybe even eating penguin cookies!), then you definitely need these FREE penguin numbers!
This free download includes a set of large penguin numbers and a set of small penguin numbers. They’re perfect for playing “Snowball Number Toss” (directions are included in the free download!) or for simply matching the numbers.
Click here to read more about them and grab a copy for your kiddos!
SHARE YOUR FAVORITES
Do your littles love learning about penguins? Do you have any favorite penguin books for preschool? I’d love to hear them & add them to our list! Comment below or head over to Instagram [@littleslovelearningblog] and share there!