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1000 Books Before Kindergarten

Parent and child reading

Read with me!

Reading aloud to your infant, toddler or preschooler helps develop pre-reading skills and builds a lifelong love of reading. Join the Library’s 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program and help your child learn and grow! Child care centers and preschool programs are invited to join as well. Teachers can keep track of reading and receive prizes for their classroom.

One book per day for three years = 1,095 books! 10 books per week for two years = 1,040 books! Three books per day for one year = 1,095 books!

How it works:

  • Register at any of our locations. You will receive a 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten booklet to track your reading.
  • Track your reading. Receive a sticker to put in your booklet each time you read 100 books. To track your reading online, download the Beanstack app or visit the Beanstack website. On the app, you’ll need to select “participate at my library” then search for Indianapolis Public Library.
  • Receive a prize. Show a staff member your progress and receive a prize when you reach 100, 500, and 1000 books!

Tips for young readers:

  • All books count. Books can be from the library or your home. All types of books count — board books, picture books, e-books, and magazines.
  • Read daily. Focus on building a habit rather than reading for a set amount of time.
  • Read the same book again and again. This helps children build comprehension. Each time you read a story, count it! If you read The Very Hungry Caterpillar five times, that counts for 5 books!
  • Read the pictures. Any time spent with a book fosters language and understanding.
  • Check out a Bunny Book Bag. Bunny Book Bags are already full of 15 picture books or 10 board books! No two bags are alike. (limit two bags per check-out).
  • Check out e-books for kids, audiobooks, and read alongs from home. Choose from our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten e-book collection in OverDrive/Libby. If you have never borrowed from OverDrive/Libby before directions are available: OverDrive/Libby App Directions, Browser Directions, and Video Tutorial.

Games and activities to support reading.

Play. Have a scavenger hunt. Ask your child to find something round, square, red, blue, etc.
Talk. Take an alphabet walk. Talk about things that start with different letters.
Write. Write your child’s first name. Talk about the first letter of their name. Make the sound and say words that begin with that letter.
Make music with things you have in the house like pots, pans, spoons,
boxes, and cups.
Ask your child questions as you read. What do you think will happen next? How do you think that makes them feel?
Play. Play “What Fits?”
Will the toy car fit inside your shoe?
Will your shoe fit inside the toy car?
Talk. Before going to bed, talk about things you did this morning, this afternoon, and tonight. What will you do tomorrow?
Write. Pop bubble wrap or play with squirt toys to develop muscles needed for writing.
Sing. Have a family sing-along. Each person gets to pick a favorite song.

For more information about IndyPL's early learning programs, ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or call, text or email Ask-a-Librarian.

Made possible by Friends of the Library through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.

1000 Books Before Kindergarten Sponsors

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.

Q & U Call It Quits

Wade, Stef

The letters Q and U are QUite a pair, always hanging out together. So what happens to the alphabet when U begins to feel Q is too clingy and decides to spend some time alone? This QUirky tale of friendship dynamics and orthographic chaos will appeal to young readers navigating such things for the first time. Also entertaining for confirmed word nerds, veterans of best friend QUarrels, and anybody who loves cheese.

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.