IB PYP Learner Profile Booklist – Early Years Collection

Maggie Hos-McGrane
3 min read
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A question I often get asked when doing workshops or school visits is how to talk about the attributes of the learner profile in a way that is authentic to young children. For some schools, it is often a challenge to build a collective understanding of the learner profile attribute with parents and the wider community. Yet, it is our responsibility as teachers to ensure that students understand and demonstrate the learner profile attributes.

Of course, it is possible to notice these attributes in students as and when they occur. However, I have found that a more proactive and impactful approach is for teachers to use children’s literature as a provocation to talk about these attributes with their students.

My approach when creating this booklist

There are literally thousands of children’s books and many teachers can be overwhelmed by which books are the best ones to use.  

As I put together this list, (4 books for each learner profile) I carefully considered the balance between genders, humans, and animals. I also focussed on choosing books of authors from various countries in order to support the IB’s mission of promoting international-mindedness.

You will find that many of the books from this list are useful for more than one learner profile attribute. They’re also helpful while dealing with some of the concepts that are addressed in units of inquiry in the early years programme.

To increase accessibility of the resource, I also looked for books that are easily available with videos on YouTube. Some children respond really well to classroom read alouds by the teacher, while others may prefer more engaging forms like multimedia – the sounds and music that may accompany the stories when viewed as a video.

How you can use this booklist in your classroom

Since many early years children cannot yet read, the books have been chosen for their use as read alouds.  Read-alouds are important for early readers as they engage students in the reading process and help the development of vocabulary and comprehension.  Children who are read to frequently are usually keen to become readers themselves.

How to make your read-aloud sessions engaging:

  • When reading books aloud, think of this almost as a “performance”. Use different voices for different characters, add changes in your narration pace, volume, pitch, and tone.
  • Pause frequently and ask students questions to check for understanding.
  • Engage your class by asking them to predict what happens next, or ask them to comment about what they’re hearing. This will develop their listening and speaking skills, as well as help them connect what they’re hearing to their prior knowledge.

If you’re teaching remotely:

Since many early years children cannot yet read, the books have been chosen for their use as read alouds.  Read-alouds are important for early readers as they engage students in the reading process and help the development of vocabulary and comprehension.  Children who are read to frequently are usually keen to become readers themselves.

  • Record expressive read alouds using Toddle’s audio recording functionality. 
  • After the read aloud, pose a question to your students through the audio feature, asking students to record their answers. 
  • Students can send their responses to you through the audio recording feature on Toddle’s student app
  • Beyond asking for audio responses, you can also encourage the young learners to draw pictures and post them on Toddle to show you. Giving students opportunities to express themselves in diverse ways can help them reflect effectively!
  • It’s integral that parents support young learner in accessing these read alouds and recording their responses. As the teacher, you could share a schedule and accompanying set of expectations on how students need to share their responses.

Read alouds are a big part of developing a connection with your early years students. I hope the recommended reading is enjoyable for them and if they’re currently learning remotely, help them feel closer to you.



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Ralf the sausage dog is a little dog who takes up a lot of space and is always getting in the way. One night the house catches on fire and Ralph stretches his body to save his sleeping family.
By Jean Jullien
Hugless Douglas
Baby bear Douglas wakes up one day in need of a hug. He tries hugging lots of things, and discovers that not a lot of creatures want to hug a bear. The book teaches children that if something goes wrong they need to tell an adult. Eventually Douglas gets a hug from his mother.
By David Melling
The Old Egg
All the birds except Duck have an egg. However Duck finds a beautiful egg of his own and he is delighted to adopt it. Despite the negativity from the other birds, Duck loves and cares for the egg. Everyone is in for a surprise when all the eggs hatch.
By Emily Gravett
The Lumberjack’s Beard
Jim the lumberjack spends his days chopping down trees. Unfortunately these trees are the homes of various animals, so Jim gives them a home in his beard while he replants the forest. Jim takes responsibility for his actions and makes amends for the problems he has created.
By Duncan Beedie


Ramon loves to draw, but his older brother’s remarks about his art discourage Ramon. Luckily his little sister shows him that there is more to being creative than getting things right.
By Peter H. Reynolds
The message of this book is that more is not always better. A magpie, known for hoarding, collects so many objects in his nest that it crashes to the ground. What becomes more meaningful than possessions, is the friendship of the mice who rescue the bird.
By By I. C. Springman
Little Pea
Little Pea is a small yellow-green pea who enjoys life playing with his friends but he does not like to eat candy. However he needs to eat five pieces in order to get his favourite dessert of spinach. This is a story about picky eaters with a twist.
By Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The Way I Feel
This book contains vivid images and simple rhymes so that children will connect words with emotions. They learn that feelings are not good or bad, but are a normal part of life.
By Janan Cain

Open minded


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Risk takers

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This is a story about a pair of chopsticks who do everything together, yet have to find out how to discover the world on their own after one of them gets injured and has to recover. They learn that it can be fun to do things on your own or with another group of friends.
By Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Belching Hill
This is a retelling of a traditional Japanese folktale. An old woman lives at the top of Belching Hill, but one day a rice dumpling falls from her hand into a cavern full of ogres. They demand that she cooks for them, and she must think of a way to safely escape back to her house.
By Morse Hamilton
The Marvellous Moon Map
Mouse sets off to find the moon using his homemade Marvellous Moon Map. His friend Bear wants to be more organised and plan the trip. Mouse ends up lost in the woods and discovers he needs more than a map to find his way, but Bear finds a way to save the day.
By Teresa Heapy
What Should I Make?
When Neeraj’s mother is making chapatis she gives him some dough to play with. Neeraj turns his little ball of dough into a snake, a mouse, a cat and a lion as he uses his imagination to turn something ordinary into something extraordinary.
By Nandini Nayar


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Tiger, Tiger, Is It True?
The little tiger feels sad and that his world is falling apart, but a wise turtle asks him four questions and he comes to realise that his problems are caused by his thoughts. He learns that when he questions his thoughts that life can be wonderful again.
By Byron Katie and Hans Wilhelm
Martha Doesn’t Say Sorry
Martha the otter refuses to apologise, but she comes to realise that there are consequences associated with both positive and negative behaviour.
By Samantha Berger
The Cocky Who Cried Dingo
This Australian version of The Boy Who Cried Wolf features a cockatoo who plays jokes on his fellow birds. One day he comes face to face with a dingo and no-one believes his cry for help prompting him to learn a valuable lesson.
By Yvonne Morrison
The Thankful Book
Children and animals reflect on what they are grateful for: family, friends and kindness. The book prompts young children to think about the basic, everyday things in life that they can be thankful for.
By Todd Parr

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Maggie Hos-McGrane
Maggie Hos-McGrane
Maggie has been an educator for over 30 years, 25 of these in international schools in Europe and Asia. She has taught students from age 3 to 18 in the IB PYP, MYP and DP programmes. Maggie has presented at international conferences including ISTE, Learning2, ECIS, AASSA and EARCOS, in Asia, Europe, Africa, North and South America. She is passionate about the power of coaching to transform teaching and learning in schools. Maggie is a Google Innovator and has published several books about digital citizenship and technology integration as well as a recent book about coaching your colleagues in school. Maggie’s blog, Tech Transformation, has been read by over a million educators worldwide. In 2012 Maggie was recognized as one of the 365 heroes of education by Anthony Salcito, the Vice-President of Worldwide Education at Microsoft.
Disclaimer - This resource has been produced independently of and not endorsed by the IB. Toddle’s resources seek to encourage sharing of perspectives and innovative ideas for classroom teaching & learning. They are not intended to be replacements for official IB guides and publications. Views and opinions expressed by the authors of these resources are personal and should not be construed as official guidance by the IB. Please seek assistance from your school’s IB coordinator and/or refer to official IB documents before implementing ideas and strategies shared within these resources in your classroom.