36 Children's Books for Speech Therapy

June 2, 2015
Kelly C. Bawden, MS, CCC-SLP
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One of our clinicians recently posted on our Jostle intranet that they were in a position to buy children’s books for therapeutic purposes and asked for recommendations from the rest of our clinicians. While we often have great clinical conversations among ourselves, this one was especially fun because it was the first one that involved our new colleagues from Buckendorf Associates (the future Hello Clinic). The suggestions were so great that I thought I’d go public with them. After all, this sort of information is best when it’s shared far and wide, right?

As usual, we're not getting anything from any of these books or from their sales. We just honest to goodness like them! So, without further ado, here are our favorite 36 kids books for speech therapy:

From Kathleen, Clinician at The Hello Clinic
A Boy and His Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz and Catia Chien is a really great (and true!) story if you have kids with fluency goals.

1. Chalk, Bill Thomson
2. The Chicken Thief, Beatrice Rodriguez
3. Shh We Have a Plan, Chris Haughton
4. The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, Mordicai Gerstein
5. Good Night Gorilla, Peggy Rathmann
6. Duck & Goose, Tad Hills
7. The Lion's Share, Matthew McElligott
8. Not a Stick, Antoinette Portis
9. Not a Box, Antoinette Portis
10. Hooray for Hat, Brian Won
11. A Boy and His Jaguar, Alan Rabinowitz and Catia Chien

From Sharon Soliday, Founder and CEO
When I was working with adolescents I purchased hard copies of Cliff Notes of typical books read at the middle & high school (Romeo & Juliet, Diary of Anne Frank, etc.). It really let us cut to comprehension and sequencing and other pre-teaching tasks to assist students in accessing general ed curriculum.

12. Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare
13. Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank

From Lori, Clinician at The Hello Clinic and in the Schools
Graphic novels have become really popular. I have used one called Chi's Sweet Home (Kanata Konami), which has very little language but has a good visual story, and I wrote a story with kids to go with it.

For middle readers, I like Wonder (R.J. Palacio) and Petey (Ben Mikaelsen). The main character in Wonder has a "facial deformity," and the main character in Petey has CP.

14. Pete the Cat books, various authors
15. The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson
16. Pout Pout Fish, Deborah Diesen and Dan Hanna
17. Flight of the Dodo, Peter Brown
18. Chi's Sweet Home, Kanata Konami
19. Wonder, R.J. Palacio
20. Petey, Ben Mikaelsen

From Melissa, Clinician in the Schools
I like repetitive stories for pre-k like Brown Bear, Brown Bear (Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle) or The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle).

21. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle
22. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle

From Laura, Clinician at The Hello Clinic
23. The Watermelon Seed, Greg Pizzoli
24. Escape of Marvin the Ape, Caralyn Buehner and Mark Buehner
25. Circus Ship, Chris Van Dusen
26. The Mercy Watson series (simple chapter books with great illustrations), Kate DiCamillo
27. A Piece of Cake, Cupcake Brown
28. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
29. Click Clack Moo Cows That Type, Doreen Cronin
30. Snowman at Night (lots of s-blends and verbs), Caralyn Buehner and Mark Buehner
31. Shh! We Have a Plan, Chris Haughton
32. The Elephant and Piggie series, Mo Willems
33. Rainstorm (wordless picture book), Barbara Lehman
34. Mustache Baby, Bridget Heos and Joy Ang
35. That is Not a Good Idea, Mo Willems
36. The Very Cranky Bear, Nick Bland

And myself? A few years ago, I saw Dr. Laura Justice speak on emergent literacy and fell in love. She co-authored this *totally free* Read It Again curriculum that uses common children's books to target pre-literacy and speech-language targets. I've implemented in varying ways in a few different districts with great success, and have even taught parents to use it during home visits. All of these books are, of course, just the tip of the iceberg. As Laura said at the end of her post, "Gosh, there are so many...I could go on and on!"