1000 Books Before Kindergarten


This program is possible
thanks to Jeff and Mary Weinberg and the Jedel Family Foundation
and Lawrence Public Library Foundation


Embark on a journey through the pages of 1,000 books! The 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program encourages families to explore the world of books, get prizes, grow as readers, and have fun together. The library is here to cheer you on and connect you and your baby, toddler, or preschooler with books perfect for laughs, snuggles, and building literacy skills.

How to participate | Record progress You can do it  | We can help

Why participate 

Giving your child rich experiences helps to build the basic architecture of their brain, which will give them an excellent start in school and beyond. Studies exhaustively show that an early childhood filled with books and informal learning vastly increases a child’s success in school. Young children who are read to regularly show a mastery of vocabulary and reading comprehension, and demonstrate increased learning potential over peers who aren’t exposed to books. In addition to the educational benefits, reading together is wonderful for building memories and bonding!

  • Sharing books helps to build a love of reading, which will motivate your child to stick with it when learning to read becomes more of a challenge. 
  • Reading daily with your child builds vocabulary, an essential tool in the kits of strong readers.
  • Accomplishing the goal of reading 1,000 books gives your child a sense of pride.
  • Reading builds empathy and expands acceptance for a diversity of beliefs and lifestyles that may seem different from a child’s own lived experiences.
  • Children explore colorful artwork and photographs in books, building visual literacy along with their knowledge of written and spoken language.

How to participate

  • Register by visiting the children’s desk at the library or sign up online.
  • Pick up or print out your first reading log. Each sheet will track 100 books.
  • For each book you read together, color in one icon on your log
  • Once you’ve filled in one log, bring it to the library to track your progress and get your next log
  • We’ll have prizes for you when you reach 500 books
  • Then, once you’ve read 1,000 books, you’ll receive a special hardcover book, bumper sticker to advertise your victory, and other surprises. Hooray!

Sign up online

Keep track of your progress

Here's a PDF with 10 reading logs at 100 books each, so you can take note of how close you are to finishing the program. You can print them out as you go, or pick them up at the library. Each log has a reading tip especially for parents of very young children. 

(La traducción de español es próximamente)

You can do it

  • If you read three books a night, you’ll be done with the program in less than a year
  • Most picture books are short, so reading a few a night may only take 15 minutes
  • Each time you read a book, it counts as one book
  • Attend library storytimes, because those books count, too
  • We’d love to help you find amazing books to share. Some are already included below and on our online catalog
  • We’ve put together a bundle of resources to help you keep up the good work

We've got your back

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Lawrence Kid Picks: 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Mega Lists!

We've created some wonderful mega lists of books for you and your little one to explore as part of our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program! Each of these lists feature 100 titles chosen with care by our youth services team. We hope you love exploring these books and please ask us if we can help you find more titles to help you on your 1BBK journey!

View the Mega List

Lawrence Kid Picks: 100 Classic and Popular Picture Books

Explore the world of classic and popular picture books!

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Lawrence Kid Picks: 100 Picture Books for Preschoolers

Here are 100 picture books that I dearly love. And remember, many, many more wonderful stories can be found in our picture book collection. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. With love, Miss Linda

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Lawrence Kid Picks: 100 Great Books for Toddlers

Whether you are tackling 1000 Books Before Kindergarten or you're trying to find great reads for your little mover and shaker, this list is sure to provide you with some great reads! This list is enormous, so for clarity all 100 books are alphabetized by title. 

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Lawrence Kid Picks: 100 Nonfiction Books About Animals

Explore the world of animals with this mega list!

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Lawrence Kid Picks: 100 Books for Babies (0-23 months)!

Begin to explore the world of books with these colorful titles! You'll find lots of rhythm and rhyme, which babies love (and we hope you do too)! Some of these titles have fun bonuses, like flaps that lift and textures to feel. Board books on this list can't be put on hold, but we always have some titles ready to be taken home. We'd love to help you find some to share with your baby!

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