1000 Books Before Kindergarten

San Mateo County Libraries wants to invite all parents or caregivers with young children to join our new "1000 Books Before Kindergarten" program! Reading 1,000 books with your child before kindergarten may seem like a daunting task in addition to all the other obligations of parenting, but shared reading is fun and yields considerable benefits for you and your child with very little commitment of either time or financial resources. If you read just one book a day together, that is 365 books a year and 1,095 books by the time your child reaches their third birthday! Or you could read three books a day for one year and read 1,000 books lickety-split! Reading together is the single most effective way for children to learn all the early literacy skills that researchers have identified they will need to be successful when they start kindergarten.

All of our community libraries are taking part in the "1000 Books Before Kindergarten." Stop by any location to get more information and pick up your welcome packet to get started. You can also print your first log sheet, opens a new window and welcome packet, opens a new window at home to get started right away. For each book that you read together at home, color in one of the little pictures on your log sheet. You can read any type of book and repeat readings count too! Come back to the library to receive a small prize each time you fill up a log. When you have finished reading 500 books, stop by the library to receive a free book!

Snuggle up with your little one and read what you want at your own pace. The rewards aren’t limited to the free prizes and books you’ll receive for participating.

“A night with an infant can go by really fast or extremely slow,” says Librarian Min-Chou. “To keep my baby and I happily busy, I try to read with her. More importantly, I feel that we forge a bond through reading, and that's an irreplaceable gift that reading gives us.”

Your child will build their cognitive skills, vocabulary, and motivation to read and you will get to enjoy the connection of shared reading and shared accomplishments as you read 1,000 books before kindergarten!

Recommended Reading for Babies

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

Please, Baby, Please

Ten in the Bed

For more hand-picked books to read with your little ones, view our reading list.

Recommended Reading for Toddlers

Meeow and the Blue Table

A Good Day

One Is A Piñata

For more staff picks to read with your toddlers, view our reading list.

Recommended Reading for Preschoolers

This Is Not My Hat


Hello Hot Dog!

For more suggested titles to read with your preschooler, view our reading list.