1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

Giving Young Children the Tools to Become Successful Readers

1000 Books Before Kindergarten is a new program that encourages all families and caregivers to read 1,000 books with their young children before they enter kindergarten.

Why Read 1,000 Books?

When a caregiver reads to a child, it helps the child learn five essential pre-reading skills needed to learn to read:

  • Phonological Awareness – being able to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words
  • Vocabulary  knowing the name of things and concepts
  • Print Convention  noticing print, knowing how to handle a book, and knowing how to follow the words on a page 
  • Background Knowledge  prior knowledge, things the child has learned about how their environment works
  • Letter Knowledge  knowing letters are different from each other, knowing their names and sounds, and recognizing letters everywhere

How Does The Program Work?

  • Register – On our Beanstack website, or at the St. Croix Falls Library. Beanstack is also available via an iOS app and an Android app, and you can pick up a paper logbook at the library.
  • Track Your Reading – Each time you read a book with your child, log it on Beanstack. (The mobile app makes this very convenient.) Each repetition counts — if your child requests the same book five times in a row, that counts as five books read.
  • Use your reading logs to record 100 books at a time. However, when you reach your FIRST 25 books, come in to receive a copy of Blinky: A Special Gray Tree Frog by local author Randy Korb!
  • Come back every time you have completed 100 books to receive a new prize!
  • Read More Books! When you and your child get all the way to 1000, your child will be able to select a new picture book to add to the library’s collection. The book will include a bookplate with the child’s name on it. Your child will be the first one to check out his/her honor book and his/her photo will be added to our website “hall of fame.”

Who Can Participate?

  • Any child from birth to the day they enter Kindergarten is eligible.
  • Sign up for the program online or by visiting the St. Croix Falls Library.
  • Make sure to stop by the library to pick up your logbook, with its stickers and activities.


Isn’t 1000 books a lot?
Not really. If you start before your child turns 2, that averages to about 2 books every 3 days. If you start at age 2, that’s 1 book per day. Starting at age 3, you would need to read 4 books every 3 days to finish. And starting just 1 year before kindergarten, you would need to average just under 3 books per day to finish.

Help! I don’t know which books to read!
Start with books that relate to your child’s interests, no matter how silly they seem. Books that rhyme or have a strong rhythm are also good choices. And your librarians will ALWAYS gladly help you pick some books.

What if my child wants to read the same book over and over?
This is a good thing, and each time you read the book, it counts! Repetition is key to learning.

Do I have to read books from the library?
No! You can read books from anywhere, not just library books.

Can I log the books my child hears in story time?
Yes! Any and every book your child hears counts for this program.