Concept Books: Kids Core Collection

Even though you may not have heard the term “concept book,” you’ve almost certainly seen one. Concept books teach young children basic ideas such as ABCs, numbers, colors, etc. We hope this list of great books about shapes, colors, numbers and the alphabet is helpful to you and your child!



Evans, Harriet

In this exciting and tactile introduction to letters, young readers will learn the lowercase letters from A to Z.

Fadipe, Sade

Join Adanah on an alphabetical adventure as she goes to visit her grandfather in Modakeke, Nigeria. Every letter, from A to Z, is featured in this African alphabet book, including C for a camera to take pictures, E for an eagle spied above the trees, P for a pump for fetching water, and S for stories told by Auntie Sumbo. Adana recalls with excitement a memorable experience at her Granddad's village and the relaxed pace of rural life compared to the hustling city that she lives in. Her audience is her best friend Zainab, to whom she extends an invite to join her, when next she returns.

Harrison, Hannah E.

An alphabet book in which a bear wakes unexpectedly in the middle of winter, and meets a young girl who tries to figure out what he is supposed to be doing.

Horiuchi, Rina

From aardvark to zebra, this delightful cast of animal characters illustrates the many ways to show kindness to others, while teaching the youngest readers their ABCs.


Every young child is enchanted by the beautiful colors of the rainbow. Now, toddlers can learn all about the meaning of each color of the pride flag. Told in simple, engaging text and paired with bright illustrations, this board book explains the colors of this rainbow and how simple acts of kindness can brighten up our world!

Khan, Hena

In simple rhyming text a young Muslim girl and her family guide the reader through the traditions and colors of Islam.

Lo, Rich

Uses various items associated with Chinese New Year celebrations to introduce young readers to both the English and Chinese words for colors. Back matter includes explanations of the significance of the pictured items.

Martin, Bill

Children see a variety of animals, each one a different color, and a mother looking at them.

Nicholls, Sally

Follow a group of animal friends as they discover a collection of mysterious buttons, all of which do different things! From a blue singing button to a purple tickle button, from a rude sound button to a mysterious white button, there's only one way to find out what they do: press them all! And thankfully, there's even a sleeping button to lull the animals to sleep after a busy day. A lively introduction to colors and shapes, The Button Book is the perfect interactive book for story time (and bedtime!).

Thong, Roseanne

A little girl discovers all the bright colors in her Hispanic American neighborhood.


Bang, Molly

Numbers from ten to one are part of this lullaby which observes the room of a little girl going to bed.

Brown-Wood, JaNay

In rhyming text, when the whole family and guests show up for the big dinner at Grandma's house, it becomes clear that the house is much too small to hold them all.

Ehlert, Lois

An alphabetical tour of the world of fruits and vegetables, from apricot and artichoke to yam and zucchini.

Ghahremani, Susie

Cats of all shapes and sizes scamper, yawn, and stretch across the pages of this playful counting book. And every now and then, some of them pile into the purrfect cat stack!

Hu, Ying-Hwa

In this bilingual book in English and Mandarin, as Mia, her uncle, and a hungry kitten make their way through Chinatown to the Big Wok restaurant, they count one panda, two lions, and other images of Chinese culture.

Light, Steve

In the heart of the city, among the taxis and towers, a small boy travels uptown and down, searching for his friend. Readers will certainly spot the glorious beast, plus an array of big-city icons they can count. Is the dragon taking the crosstown bus, or breathing his fiery breath below a busy street? Maybe he took a taxi to the zoo or is playing with the dogs in the park.

Narita, Kate

A boy and girl find and count 100 different bugs in their backyard in increments of ten.


Allenby, Victoria

Full-color photographs feature construction vehicles. Geometric shapes discernible on the vehicles are digitally highlighted for easy identification, and rhyming text names both the shape and the truck. A final spread directed at caregivers shares age-appropriate enrichment activities for toddlers learning to identify shapes. On sturdy stiff paper pages.

Blackstone, Stella

Bear looks for shapes everywhere, such as for rectangles in a school and for stars in the nighttime sky.

Kraegel, Kenneth

What begins as a concept book about everyday shapes soon defies expectations with a series of funny and imaginative twists.

Murray, Diana

A young girl walks through the bustling city, while a pigeon flies above, both spotting hidden shapes at every turn.

Rotner, Shelley

"An introduction to shapes with examples of real-life objects that resemble those shapes"-- Provided by publisher.

Thong, Roseanne

A little girl discovers things that are round, square, and rectangular in her Hispanic American neighborhood.

Summaries provided by DPL's catalog unless otherwise noted. Click on each title to view more information.

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