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1000 Books Before Kindergarten

Father and Daughter Reading Photo

“Reading regularly with young children stimulates optimal patterns of brain development and strengthens parent-child relationships at a critical time in child development, which, in turn, builds language, literacy, and social-emotional skills that last a lifetime.

~American Academy of Pediatrics

Substantial research indicates that the more children are read to during their early years, the more prepared they will be to read when entering kindergarten. 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is a program designed to help you reach that goal!

You can do it!

How to participate in 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten:

  • Register at any IndyPL location or on the Beanstack app.
  • Record your reading on a paper tracking sheet or online in Beanstack.
  • Books can be from your home or the Public Library and can be read repeatedly. If you read The Very Hungry Caterpillar five times, that counts for 5 books!
  • After completing the first 100 books, return to the Library to receive a progress sticker.
  • Child care centers and preschool programs are invited to join as well. Teachers can keep track of reading and receive prizes for their classroom.
  • Prizes will be awarded for levels of 100, 500 and 1,000 books read.

To make this even easier, check out a Bunny Book Bag already full of picture books OR a Baby Bunny Book Bag full of board books.

You can listen to stories together at IndyPL Online Storytime or attend one of our virtual story times this month or next month.

You can also check out e-book picture books and read alongs from home using your IndyPL Library Card. Choose from our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten e-book collections in both OverDrive and Axis 360. If you have never borrowed from OverDrive or Axis 360 before directions are available:

For more information about IndyPL's early learning programs, or if you need more help, call or ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or text a librarian at 317 333-6877.

Extraordinary Alphabet Stories

These are not your average alphabet books: Behold the best picture books to spin entire stories out of the ABCs. Check out the charming and clever narratives! Marvel at the magnificent manifestations of metafiction! There's fun for kids of all ages in these pages.

Astronauts Zoom!

An Astronaut Alphabet

Rose, Deborah Lee

What's it like for astronauts to wake up and go about their work on the International Space Station? Travel through the alphabet *and* a day in space with this awesome NASA photo album. There's a wonderful appendix too, with detailed captions, a vocabulary list, facts about the ISS, and more.

Pride Puppy!

Stevenson, Robin

Parade through the alphabet with a celebration of Pride! Join a family of four and their pet dog on a Pride festival adventure. I love how the story of their day moves playfully from A to Z and the joyful illustrations include a whole alphabetical word search.


A Noisy Journey From A to Z

Larios, Julie Hofstrand

Fans of Patrick McDonnell's nearly wordless alphabet book, The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC's (the Hard Way), won't want to miss this gem (with a pithier title). EEK! is an alphabet of onomatopeoia, or sound effect words, adorning a rich visual tale: the quirky quest of a little mouse who picks a flower for a friend. I love how the story begins on the front matter pages and proceeds with subtle hints of what's ahead in the upper right corner. The marvelous illustrations by Julie Paschkis feature motifs that remind me of Germanic folk art.