Since the global pandemic, there has been a student literacy crisis in San Bernardino County and across the nation. First 5 San Bernardino is working with its partners to turn this trend around. We know that 90 percent of a child’s brain develops in the first 5 years and reading is important for healthy brain development.

book image   “Gift a Kid a Book” is about the joy and value of reading.
book image   Reading together creates special bonding moments
  between parent, caretakers and their children.
book image   Books build a curiosity and appreciation for learning.
book image   Reading is critical to developing social and emotional skills.

When is a good time to Gift a Kid a Book?

Instead of candy or toys, gift a child a book to celebrate their many milestones! From learning their ABCs, a trip to the doctor or dentist, their first time tying a shoe, or even when they share a toy. And of course, birthdays and holidays are a great time to Gift a Kid a Book!

Upcoming Events

October 14, 2023
Gift a Kid a Book Community Fair
Victor Valley Museum
11873 Apple Valley Road
Apple Valley, CA 92308
English       Español

Cancelado debido al clima
Gift a Kid a Book Community Fair
San Bernardino County Museum
2024 Orange Tree Lane
Redlands, CA 92374
English       Español

Download a Bookmark

Download and print your own Gift a Kid
a Book bookmark in English or Español

English bookmark Spanish boolmark

Partner Resources

quality start Quality Start San Bernardino County. Among their many important offerings, Quality Start San Bernardino County can help parents and caregivers find quality programs for their children.

child care resource center
Child Care Resource Center (CCRC). This is your one-stop shop for all things related to early care and education, including help obtaining child care financial assistance.
footsteps Footsteps 2 Brilliance (SBC Superintendent of Schools). A free literacy tool that provides the foundation for proficiency needed for early learners. If students use this app for just 15 minutes per day, in one month, they will show a seven month gain in literacy skills.
reach out Reach Out and Read Inland Empire. Reach Out and Read provides young children in Riverside and San Bernardino County a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care. They offer free developmental and risk screenings for families with young children.

San Bernardino County Library
San Bernardino County Library System. Let’s not forget that our local libraries can bring the gift of reading all year around! With as many as 32 branch libraries in our vast geographic region, the San Bernardino County Library System offers access to free books, technology, programs and services for all who call San Bernardino County home.

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 Wing
  4. I Love You Like No Otter, by Rose Rossner
  5. I Love You to the Moon and Back, by Amelia Hepworth
  6. If Animals Kissed Good Night, by Ann Whitford Paul
  7. Hello, Farm!, by Amy Pixtonn
  8. I Wish You Happiness, by Michael Wong

Find more book recommendations for babies:

Ages 1-2

At ages 1-2, children are becoming familiar with language, so you can 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
  4. Mail Duck: A Book of Shapes and Surprises, by Erica Sirotich
  5. Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada, by Jimmy Fallon
  6. The Wonderful Things You Will Be, by Emily Winfield Martin
  7. Dear Zoo: A Lift-the-Flap Book, by Rod Campbell
  8. Find Spot on a Rainy Day: A Lift-the-Flap Book, by Eric Hill

Find more book recommendations for ages 1-2:

Ages 2-3

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

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
  4. Llama Llama Red Pajama, by Anna Dewdney
  5. Playing Through the Seasons: Crunchy Leaves, Cozy Sweaters, by Essie Bell
  6. The Wonky Donkey, by Craig Smith
  7. Tree: A Peek-Through Picture Book, by Britta Treckentrup
  8. My First Book of Emotions for Toddlers, by Orlena Kerek

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
  4. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, by Mo Willems
  5. Leo: A Ghost Story, by Mac Barnett
  6. Dragons Love Tacos, by Adam Rubin
  7. How to Catch a Mermaid, by Adam Wallace
  8. The Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt

Find more book recommendations for ages 4-5:

Additional Reading Activities

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

Coloring Page

Quality Start San Bernardino County offers a downloadable coloring packet for free (scroll down on their page and share your email for even more coloring packets).

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.

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.