First 5 San Bernardino (F5SB) is encouraging parents and caregivers to give books as gifts to young children this holiday season. The inaugural “Gift a Kid a Book” campaign aims to share the importance of early learning and literacy for children under five. 

Science shows that 90% of a child’s brain develops in the first five years of their life. Reading plays a crucial role in brain development and the way children view learning is shaped very early on. Gift a Kid a Book is a wonderful opportunity to reinforce the joy and value of reading with our youth.

Beyond brain development, taking time to read to a baby or toddler is critical to developing social-emotional learning skills because the time together reinforces the importance of attentiveness and learning. Parents and caregivers must embrace their role in establishing curiosity and a love for learning through consistently taking the time to read with a child. Kids respond to the experience of dedicated, close and physical time with a caring adult.

We’re thrilled to share additional resources, book recommendations and fun activities with you all. #GiftaKidaBook

Upcoming Events

Gift a Kid a Book Campaign

Free Books Available

We have free books available for parents and caregivers with children under the age of five.
Please complete a request form to request a book bundle and schedule a pick-up.
Call (909) 386-7706 for questions or more information.

Recommended Books by Age

Find books your little ones are sure to love at the links below.


Touch and feel books, lift-the-flap books and sing-alongs are great for babies because they introduce them to language in a way that’s exciting for them.

Books we love for babies:

  1. Open the Barn Door by Christopher Santoro
  2. Peek-a-Who? By Nina Laden
  3. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little
    Star by Scarlett

Find more book recommendations for babies.

Ages 1-2

At ages 1-2, children will be familiar with language and starting to talk, so you can to introduce short story books.

Books we love for ages 1-2:

  1. Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle
  2. The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle
  3. Tails by Matthew
    Van Fleet

Find more book recommendations for ages 1-2.

Ages 2-3

Children ages 2-3 will have longer attention spans and will enjoy slightly longer and more complex books! You should definitely continue to read their favorites from years past.

Books we love for ages 2-3:

  1. Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills
  2. Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin
  3. Happy Birthday, Little Pookie by Sandra Boynton

Find more book recommendations for ages 2-3.

Ages 4-5

Picture books are still going to be loved by your 4-5 year old, but you can also introduce short chapter books.

Books we love for ages 4-5:

  1. Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam by Tracey Corderoy
  2. The Red Lemon by Bob Staake
  3. If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen

Find more book recommendations for ages 4-5.

Additional Reading Activities

Learning and literacy can be incorporated into lots of fun activities!

Coloring Page

Download this coloring page for free.

Tell Stories with Facial Expressions

Babies love silly faces! Make facial expressions as you tell your baby a story and see how they react to you. You can use a book or make up the story as you go. Visit First 5 California for more information.

Read While You’re Out and About

Have your child read signs, packages and anything else you can find to help them practice their reading. Visit First 5 California for more information.