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10 Books First Graders Like

Over at the blog Reflect & Refine, you'll find "August 10 for 10," a roundup of posts by teachers about ten picture books they always want in their classrooms. What a fun idea! I especially like the suggestions for "Ten Picture Books That Boys Can't Live Without," at Creative Literacy.

While I'm not a teacher, I do tutor first graders on an informal basis, and here are ten picture books my reading buddies and I have enjoyed together. (They read aloud; I help when they're stuck on a word.)

1. Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things That Go. Everyone loves looking for the tiny Goldbug in the illustrations. We talk about this book as much as read it.

2. The Great Gracie Chase, written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Mark Teague.

3. Who's Hiding? by Satoru Onishi. This has to be the first-graders' favorite book ever. They adore figuring out who's missing, or turned around—the jokes are in the illustrations.

4. Go, Dog, Go! by P.D. Eastman. The kids are always so proud of reading a "long" book.

5. Ten Apples Up On Top, by Dr. Seuss.

6. The House in the Night, written by Susan Marie Swanson and illustrated by Beth Krommes.

7. "Pardon?" Said the Giraffe, by Colin West. The plot hinges on a ginormous sneeze.

8. My Friend Is Sad, by Mo Willems, which inspired this funny discussion between two guys.

9. "Hi, Pizza Man!," by Virginia Walter.

10. The Three Cabritos, written by Eric Kimmel and illustrated by Stephen Gilpin. Kimmel's version of the Three Billy Goats Gruff features a chupacabra instead of a troll.

If you're looking for nonfiction for younger elementary schoolers, a couple of years back I posted about  "50 Easy Readers with a Wow! Factor: Exciting Nonfiction for 1st and 2nd Graders."

Thanks for the inspiration for the post, teaching friends! I hope your new school years are off to an excellent start.


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Very nice twist on the top ten theme! I know I loved Richard Scarry as a child (and, ahem, now). Who's Hiding is wonderful and deserves more play, glad to see it included here. Thank you!

This is a great list and I'm glad to say I have most of these at my school library...and I've read them! Yeah.

Thanks, Michelle! "Pardon?" Said the Giraffe was a new one for me this year. The first graders had it in one of their basket of books.

Esme, so glad to hear that you're a fan of Who's Hiding?, too. It works especially well with a small group.

Thanks for sharing your list! I love to get suggestions that are tried and true. I am looking forward to Pardon? Said the Giraffe. It reminds me of a book I have about an elephant's sneeze.

Great list! I love this sentence: "The plot hinges on a ginormous sneeze."

Hi, Susan. I'm so glad I found your blog through Poetry Friday. I never knew there were so many great blogs out there! I have a five-year-old who is getting ready to start kindergarten, and I am looking forward to keeping up with your blog to help me navigate the world of books that are out there for her. I am still stuck in the land of preschoolers! These 10 books look great. We have the Mo Willems book Can I Play Too? at home here, and I've never seen my daughter laugh so hard from a book before. I see My Friend Is Sad on your list and know it is from the same series of "Elephant & Piggie" books. I am going to have to check more of them out!

Kerry, my son, who starts 6th grade soon, loved kindergarten; that's the year I started blogging because we were reading SO many good books. Your little one will LOVE the school library, I bet. Thanks for stopping by.

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