First grade readers, just beginning to appreciate the joy of independent reading, will love these books for the zany characters, the life lessons and active minds imagining new worlds. Suggestions for early reader books help round off this list of beautifully crafted and vivid picture books.
Chickerella by Mary Jane & Herm Auch
This barnyard version of the Cinderella story features a mild-mannered chicken, a fashion-conscious Fairy Goosemother, and a prince at a Fowl Ball.
That’s Papa’s Way by Kate Banks
When a father and child go fishing together, each does certain things his own way, and both have a wonderful day.
Who Ate All the Cookie Dough? By Karen Beaumont
Kanga and her friends try to discover who ate all of her cookie dough.
Our Library by Eve Bunting
A raccoon and his friends go to great lengths to make sure they will always have a library from which to borrow books.
Guji-Guji by Chih-Yuan Chen
Crocodile Guji Guji was raised by a family of ducks and things are great until one day he meets three crocodiles who tell him that he isn't a duck. When they ask Guji Guji to help them trap the ducks he feels torn and must decide who he is, what he is, and what's really important.
Great Nursery Rhyme Disaster by David Conway
Little Miss Muffet is bored. So she goes off to find a new nursery rhyme to be in. No rhyme seems quite right for Little Miss Muffet. Suddenly life with a scary little spider doesn't seem so bad after all.
Dog Biscuit by Helen Cooper
A little girl eats a dog biscuit by mistake and worries about the consequences. Includes recipe for "human-being treats."
Thump, Quack, Moo by Doreen Cronin
The annual Corn Maze Festival is coming and everyday the chickens, cows, and Duck help Farmer Brown--with a few bribes--to create a special Statue of Liberty corn maze, and every night Duck works hard recreating his own surprise.
Thunder-Boomer by Shutta Crum
A farm family scurries for shelter from a violent thunderstorm that brings welcome relief from the heat and also an unexpected surprise.
Tricking the Tallyman by Jacqueline Davies
In 1790, the suspicious residents of a small Vermont town try to trick the man who has been sent to count their population for the first United States Census.
Tippy-Tippy-Tippy, Hide! By Candace Fleming
Having worked all summer at keeping bunnies out of his garden, Mr. McGreely looks forward to a peaceful winter--if only he can keep those naughty bunnies from invading his home.
Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French
In his diary, a wombat describes his life of eating, sleeping, and getting to know some new human neighbors.
Let’s Do Nothing by Tony Fucile
Frankie and Sal have run out of things to do: "We've played every sport ever invented" and "baked enough cookies to feed a small country--" Then Sal hits upon a solution: "Let's do nothing!" How hard could that be?
Night Lights by Susan Gal
While preparing for bedtime, a little girl and her dog note all the different kinds of lights that brighten up the night, from headlights to moonlight.
Egg Drop by Mini Grey
Tragedy strikes when an egg, eager to fly like birds, airplanes, and insects, steps off of a tall tower.
Mail Harry to the Moon by Harris Robie
Harry's older brother, unhappy that the new baby seems to have taken over, dreams up imaginative ways to get rid of him.
Little Chick by Amy Hest
Three full color tales about a special intergenerational bond, featuring Little Chick and her loving Old Auntie.
Katie Loves the Kittens by John Himmelman
When Sara Ann brings home three little kittens, Katie the dog's enthusiasm frightens the kittens away, until she learns that quiet patience is sometimes needed to begin a friendship.
Goldilicious by Victoria Kann
A little girl and her brother play with her imaginary gold-horned unicorn that can float on water, fly, and turn herself into a fairy princess.
Purplicious by Victoria Kann
When her classmates make fun of her for still liking the color pink, a little girl feels all alone, but then a friend shows her the power of pink.
Library Mouse: A Friend’s Tale by Daniel Kirk
Sam, the shy mouse that lives in the library and likes to write books, collaborates with a boy in the library's Authors and Illustrators Club.
A Boy Had a Mother Who Bought Him a Hat by Karla Kuskin
After a boy's mother buys him a hat, she buys him a mouse, shoes, boots, skis, mask, cello, and an elephant--none of which he is ever without.
Pirates Don’t Change Diapers by Melinda Long
Braid Beard and his pirate crew return to retrieve the treasure they buried in Jeremy Jacob's backyard, but first they must help calm his baby sister, Bonney Anne, whom they awoke from her nap.
I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll
A unique monster-under-the-bed story with the perfect balance of giggles and shivers, this picture book relies on the power of humor over fear, appeals to a child’s love for creatures both alarming and absurd, and glorifies the scope of a child’s imagination.
The Jellybeans & the Big Book Bonanza by Laura Numeroff
The Jellybeans--four friends who have different strengths and talents--work together to make their book reports a success and to promote a love of reading.
Ella Kazoo Will Not Brush Her Hair by Jennifer Plecas
A little girl refuses to brush her hair until it becomes so unruly that it takes over everything.
The Blushful Hippopotamus by Chris Raschka
Though Roosevelt the hippopotamus's sister teases him because he blushes a lot, his best friend helps him feel better about himself.
Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons by Amy Rosenthal
Baking cookies teaches us many lessons about life and love. Includes a recipe for sugar cookies.
Epossumondas Plays Possum by Coleen Salley
Forgetting his mother's warnings, Epossumondas goes into the swamp alone then must pretend to be dead time and again as he hears frightening sounds and fears they are being made by the dreaded loup garou.
One Boy by Laura Seegar
A boy creates ten paintings in this counting book that also explores the relationship of words within words.
Peace Week in Miss Fox’s Class by Eileen Spinelli
For "Peace Week," the animals in Miss Fox's class find ways to be peaceful instead of squabbling with each other.
Great Fuzz Frenzy by Janet Stevens
When a tennis ball lands in a prairie dog town, the residents find that their newfound frenzy for fuzz creates a fiasco.
Here Comes the Big, Mean Dust Bunny! By Jan Thomas
Dust bunnies who enjoy rhyming games and a boisterous cat who likes to chase and grab learn how to play together.
Red Sled by Patricia Thomas
A boy and his father lift one another's spirits by going sledding on a winter's night.
Mortimer’s First Garden by Karma Wilson
Little Mortimer Mouse, longing to see something green at winter's end, follows the lead of the big people and plants, waters, and weeds his last sunflower seed until, finally, with God's help and a lot of patience, he harvests his crop.
Lousy Rotten Stinkin’ Grapes by Margie Palatini
Retells the fable of a frustrated fox that, after many tries to reach a high bunch of grapes, decides they must be sour anyway.
The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
In this wordless retelling of an Aesop fable, an adventuresome mouse proves that even small creatures are capable of great deeds when he rescues the King of the Jungle.
Wet Pet (Flip-a-Word series) by Yukiko Kido
Humorous illustrations and die-cut pages introduce words of the same family, such as pet, wet, jet, and then combine them in often-improbable phrases, including jet gets wet.
Used Any Numbers Lately? By Susan Allen
This book demonstrates how numbers are all around us and ties in the letters of the alphabet with an all-around teaching purpose.
Every Planet Has a Place by Rebecca Baines
Look up! Discover that Every Planet Has a Place. The Earth is just one of many planets in our solar system. Why is this the perfect place for us to live? Which are the "gas planets?" And why have we changed what we think of Pluto? Then Zigzag into other questions: what does Earth look like from space? Will I ever live on Mars? What experiment can I do to swing a planet into orbit?
Never Smile at a Monkey by Steve Jenkins
When it comes to wild animals, everyone knows that there are certain things you just don’t do. It's clearly a bad idea to tease a tiger, pull a python's tail, or bother a black widow spider. But do you know how dangerous it can be to pet a platypus, collect a cone shell, or touch a tang fish? In this dynamic and fascinating picture book, you'll find out what you should never do if you encounter one of these animals.
Sisters & Brothers by Steve Jenkins
Steve Jenkins and Robin Page investigate sibling relationships throughout the animal kingdom. In this book you will learn that anteaters are always only children and nine-banded armadillos are always born as identical quadruplets. You will also learn that falcons play-hunt in the sky and that hyena cubs fight to the death. This is the perfect book for animal lovers young and old!
All the World by Liz Scanlon
Following a circle of family and friends through the course of a day from morning till night, this book affirms the importance of all things great and small in our world, from the tiniest shell on the beach, to warm family connections, to the widest sunset sky.
Easy Reader Series & Authors
David Adler: Young Cam Jansen
Alyssa Capucilli: Biscuit
Syd Hoff: Danny and the Dinosaur
Arnold Lobel: Frog and Toad
Cari Meister: Tiny
Claudia Mills: Gus and Grandpa
Else Minarek: Little Bear
Jane O’Connor: Fancy Nancy
Cynthia Rylant: Henry and Mudge
Majorie Sharmat: Nate the Great
Mo Willems: Elephant and Piggie Series
Various Authors: We Both Read (Levels K – 3)