Best Books for Early Language

I love sharing tips and tricks to help SLPs implement literacy-based therapy, but it’s not always easy to find the perfect book for you mixed group! This series of blog posts will help you find fun, engaging books that also make it easy to target your students’ goals. (I know I am always on the hunt for amazing books to use in therapy!)


If you work with older students, then stay tuned for a series of blog posts that highlight engaging texts that can be used to target more complex syntax goals!

Following Directions

These interactive books are a fun, engaging way to target following directions.

Press Here – Students have the opportunity to press dots, shake pages, tilt the book, and more to change what happens to the dots on the page.

Mix It Up – Students have the opportunity to tap, touch, and mix paint splatters to create some beautiful combinations!

Let’s Play – This book includes more detailed instructions (e.g., “Touch the bottom right corner.”) that students can follow to interact with a yellow dot!

Narratives/Story Grammar

These story maps fit really nicely into a story grammar framework, with a clear initiating event, an internal response, a plan, actions/attempts, and a resolution.

Little Elliot, Big City – This is a story about an elephant who is too small to buy himself a cupcake, his favorite dessert. He becomes friends with a mouse who helps him purchase a cupcake and ends up finding something much sweeter than a cupcake!

Turkey Trouble – This is a story about a turkey who doesn’t want to be eaten on Thanksgiving. He cleverly disguises himself as different animals to avoid being eaten.

Giraffes Can’t Dance – This is a story about a giraffe who gets made fun of by other animals in the jungle because he can’t dance. An unlikely friend helps Gerald the giraffe learn how to dance.

WH Questions

Where’s Spot? – This is a story about a mother dog who is looking for her puppy, Spot. This “lift the flap” is a perfect tool to practice who/where questions. Who is under the bed? Where is the crocodile?

The Old Lady Swallowed… – The infamous Old Lady Who Swallowed… series is perfect for structured practice of what questions. Each page gives students the opportunity to answer, “What did the old lady swallow?”

Pass It On – This is a sweet story about a cow who gets stuck in a fence. One of his friends finds him and decides to ask the other animals for help. The message morphs as the animals pass it along. The book has a repetitive structure that gives students the opportunity to practice answering who/what/where questions.

Here’s a quick overview of all the books we listed!

Looking for more book ideas? Check out the SLP Now Membership! You can search for books that include targets for all of your students’ goals. Try it today (for free)!


Hi there! I'm Marisha. I am a school-based SLP who is all about working smarter, not harder. I created the SLP Now Membership and love sharing tips and tricks to help you save time so you can focus on what matters most--your students AND yourself.

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