Free Books for 4-Year-Olds

One Book 4 Colorado

Each year, One Book 4 Colorado gives away over 75,000 copies of the same book to 4-year-olds in Colorado. These books - available in both English and Spanish – are distributed through public libraries, including the Garfield County Libraries.

Every year a new book is selected. After creating a list of titles that meet the criteria each year, librarians and early childhood educators in Colorado vote to narrow the list to three finalists. Then, Colorado residents are able to vote on their favorite of the three.

This year’s title, announced on Monday, April 17, is Mouse Mess by Linnea Riley. Books will be given out to 4-year-olds April 17 through May 1. 


Previous titles given out for One Book 4 Colorado are Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles AndreaeMaybe a Bear Ate It! by Robie Harris, Duck on a Bike by David Shannon, Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard, and How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague.

Research shows that 4-year-olds that have access to books and adults that read to them often will be much more likely to be ready to read when they start kindergarten. For low-income families, access to quality books and early literacy efforts are even more important as research shows that children in low-income families tend to have fewer books in their homes and are exposed to 30 million fewer words before the age of four than their higher-income peers. One Book 4 Colorado aims to close this vocabulary gap by getting a book into the home of every four-year-old in Colorado and fostering a culture of reading.

The privately-funded program that was started in 2012, is a collaboration between Lt. Governor Joe Garcia’s office, Colorado Office of Early Literacy, Colorado State Library, the Denver Preschool Program, public and military libraries statewide, the private sector, and the nonprofit and foundation communities. Modeled after the successful Preschool One Book, One Denver program, both programs stem from the idea that providing young children with access to books promotes early literacy skills and helps families serve as their children’s first and most important teachers.

For more information on this program visit


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