Stick! by Andy Pritchett is another wonderful, minimalist story. Dog wants someone to play with him and his stick. But the other animals all have their own thing. Like mud, grass, and worms. Until he gives up and throws the stick and it comes back.
This story may not have a lot of words, but it's just enough to get the imagination going. I can see reading this with preschoolers and then asking them what other animals might play and what would they probably want to play with first. For example, a cat might want to play with yarn first, but then get roped into playing with the stick with her friends.
The art uses the empty space very well. The animals are drawn simply, but with terrific expression. It's like Mo Willems or Bob Staake, they draw simply, but with a lot of meaning.
The Early Literacy 'Playing' theme would be good for this title, and using creative dramatics to act out the story.