BIRCHWOOD MEDIA CENTER RECOMMENDED READING FOR FIRST GRADERS
(See also the Second and Kindergarten lists.)


(Lists compiled by Mrs. Disque, Media Specialist at Birchwood)

Ahlberg, Allen -"Funnybones" Books - Read about the adventures of three skeletons--a grownup, a child, and a dog.

 Aliki - My Visit to the Dinosaurs, Digging Up Dinosaurs, Best Friends, My Visit to the Aquarium (and others) - This prolific author/illlustrator has written many books, fiction and nonfiction, that are right on target for first graders

 

Allard, Harry - "Miss Nelson" Books - Miss Nelson is the nicest teacher in the school, but her class is the worst behaved group in the entire building. In Miss Nelson is Missing, gentle Miss Nelson is replaced by Viola Swamp, who looks like a witch in her black dress. She makes the children sit absolutely quietly and still and loads them down with work. Finally, the missing teacher returns to a subdued class, and only Miss Nelson and the readers know the mystery of her strange disappearance.

Arnosky, Jim - Every Autumn Comes the Bear, Deer at the Brook (and others) - Arnosky's extensive knowledge of nature and realistic illustrations enhance his books.

Ata, Te - Baby Rattlesnake - Baby rattlesnake wants to scare someone with his rattle.

Bate, Lucy - Little Rabbit's Loose Tooth - A perfect story to share with a child who has a "window" in his/her mouth.

Berenstain, Stan & Jan - "Berenstain Bear" Books - Old favorites and always popular. The official Berenstain Bears Web Site is located at http://www.berenstainbears.com/.

Bliss, Corinne - The Littlest Matryoshka
Nina, the smallest of a group of Russian nesting dolls, is separated from her sisters and swept along on a dangerous journey that eventually brings her back home.

Brett, Jan - The Mitten, Hedgie's Surprise, (and others) - Jan Brett's trademark illustrations--detailed watercolors bordered by intricate needlepoint patterns- enhance all her books. Don't miss Jan Brett's wonderful website at http://www.janbrett.com/.

Brown, Marc - "Arthur" Books, "D.W." Books - Visit http://pbskids.org/arthur/ for a fun site for Arthur fans.

Bruchac, Joseph -
How Chipmunk Got His Stripes,
Turtle's Race With Beaver,
The Great Ball Game
(and others)
This Adirondack author's wonderful retellings of Native American traditional tales reflect his heritage.


 

Cannon, Janell -
Stellaluna, Verdi, Crickwing (and others) -
Unusual, misunderstood, or neglected creatures are the main characters in these heartwarming stories.

Carle, Eric - Do You Want To Be My Friend?, The Very Busy Spider, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Quiet Cricket (and others) - See Mrs. Bashor's first grade art work in the style of Eric Carle at http://www.nisk.k12.ny.us/birchwood/bcarle0.html.

Carrick, Carol and Donald - Norman Fools The Tooth Fairy, Patrick's Dinosaurs, What Happened To Patrick's Dinosaurs, (and others) - The true life adventures of the Carrick's sons served as background for many of their books.

Christelow, Eileen - Henry And The Dragon, Henry And The Red Stripes, "Five Little Monkeys" Books, (and others) - This marvelous author/illustrator has a website at http://www.christelow.com/index.htm.

 Clements, Andrew - The Pets to the Rescue series is wonderful for beginning readers. Titles include Ringo Saves the Day, Brave Norman, Tara and Tiree, Fearless Friends, and Dolores and the Big Fire

 

Cole, Joanna - Bug in a Rug: Reading Fun for Just Beginners, "Magic School Bus" Books - Visit the Magic School Bus website at http://www.scholastic.com/magicschoolbus/home.htm.

Conrad, Pam - The Tub People, The Tub Grandfather, (and others) - Enjoyable stories for all children who like to play imaginary games with "little people" toys.

Marjorie Cuyler -
Stop, Drop, and Roll
100th Day Worries ,
Please Say Please! Penguin's Guide to Manners,
That's Good, That's Bad
(and others)

De Paola, Tomie - "Strega Nona"Books, The Baby Sister, The Popcorn Book, Meet the Barkers (and many others) - Much beloved Tomie dePaola has received virtually every significant award or recognition for his children's books. He has written and illustrated over 90 books plus provided the illustrations for over 100 more books that were written by other authors.

Dubanevich, Arlene - Tom's Tail, Pig William, Pigs in Hiding- Delightful books with pigs as the main characters.

 Pamela Duncan Edwards - Rosie's Roses , Clara Caterpillar, Muldoon, Gigi and Lulu's Gigantic Fight , The Leprechaun's Gold (and many others) - From her books chock full of alphabet alliteration and her other great stories - all are right on target for first graders

 

Ernst, Lisa - Ginger Jumps, Zinnia And Dot, Stella Louella's Runaway Book, Walter's Tail, The Luckiest Kid on the Planet, Little Red Riding Hood: a Newfangled Praire Tale (and others) - All Ernst's books have great appeal for first graders

Falconer, Ian - Olivia, Olivia Saves the Circus - Caldecott Medal winning illustrator/ author has created these marvelous stories about Olivia, a spunky little pig with an abundance of energy and enthusiasm.

Fox, Mem - Koala Lou, Hattie And The Fox, Night Noises (and others) - Visit this marvelous Australian author's website at http://www.memfox.net/mem/hot_news.html.

Gantos, Jack - Rotten Ralph Helps Out - The author of the popular "Rotten Ralph" picture book series is now beginning a new series for beginning readers.

Gibbons, Gail - Emergency, Wolves, Dogs, Cats, Rabbits, Rabbits, and More Rabbits (and many others) - Gail Gibbon's wonderful nonfiction picture books are perfect for this age group.

Gill-Brown, Vanessa - Rufferella - A little girl who wants to be like the fairy godmother in Cinderella makes her dog into a superstar with mixed results.

Graham, Bob - Jethro Byrd, Fairy Child - Annabelle's dad doesn't believe in fairies and tries to dissuade his daughter from looking for them. She looks anyway, and one day she discovers a boy the size of her finger--Jethro Byrd, fairy child. She meets Jethro's family and has her mother serve them tea--though Mommy can't see the guests. Then, the Byrds go off to a fairy picnic and leave Annabelle behind.

Hoban, Lillian - "Arthur" Books - Great books for beginning readers.

 Henkes, Kevin - Owen, Jessica, Lily's Purple Plastic Purse, Chrysthanemum, Wemberley Worried, (and others) - Find out about Kevin Henkes and all his delightful books at http://www.kevinhenkes.com/.

Hoff, Syd - Danny And The Dinosaur, Horse In Harry's Room, Julius, Baseball Mouse, Grizzwold, Stanley and the Dinosaurs - Good for beginning readers.

Holabird, Katherine - "Angelina" Books - The illustrations are charming and delicate in all the books about the little mouse, Angelina, her family and friends.

Howe, James - "Pinky and Rex" Books, "Horace, Morris, and Dolores" Books, There's a Monster Under My Bed, Creepy Crawly Birthday (and others) for the picture book set and "Bunnicula" books for chapter book listeners - James Howe is an alumni of Niskayuna High School and a Niskayuna HS Hall of Fame inductee. He has written over 50 books for children and won acclaim for many of them.

Hughes, Shirley - Moving Molly, "Alfie" Books, Dogger (and others) - Don't miss the books by this talented British illustrator and author.

James, Simon - My Friend Whale, Days Like This, The Day Jake Vacuumed, Birdwatchers, Leon and Bob (and others) - An award winning author/illustrator from Great Britain

Jenkins, Martin -
The Emperor's Egg,
Chameleons are Cool,
Grandma Elephant's in Charge
Martin Jenkins's nonfiction picture books about fascinating creatures are favorites with first graders. 

Keats, Ezra Jack - Snowy Day (and others) - Long before multicultural characters and themes were fashionable, Ezra Jack Keats used them in his stories. Visit his website at http://www.ezra-jack-keats.org/.

Kimmel, Eric - "Anansi" stories, Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, The Gingerbread Man (and others) - Eric Kimmel loves old stories and credits his grandmother, a storyteller from the Ukraine, with instilling in him a love of storytelling. Many of Eric's stories are based on tales he heard as a child.

Kraus, Robert - Herman The Helper, Leo The Late Bloomer, Phil The Ventriloquist, Where Are You Going, Little Mouse? (and others)

Lasky, Katherine - The Lunch Bunnies, Show and Tell Bunnies, Science Fair Bunnies - These books are all about a class of first graders (bunnies, of course).

Lester, Helen - Score One for the Sloths, A Porcupine Named Fluffy, Howay for Wodney Wat, "Tacky" Books (and others) - Kids love these funny books written by Helen Lester and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger.

Lionni, Leo - Frederick, Fish Is Fish, Swimmy, An Extraordinary Egg (and many others) - Leo Lionni has written and illustrated over 30 picture books and most of them are perfect for first graders.

London, Jonathan - "Froggy" Books - When Froggy's mother or teacher yells "FROOOOOGY", be prepared for an adventure.

Lowell, Susan - The Tortoise and the Jackrabbit, The Three Little Javelinas, The Bootmaker and the Elves (and others) - Don't miss the southwestern versions of well known fairy tales told by Susan Lowell with lots of humor. First graders love these stories.

Maccarone, Grace - Itchy, Itchy Chicken Pox, My Tooth is About to Fall Out - Good for beginning readers.

 

 Marshall, James -
"Fox" Books, "George and Martha" Books, Three By the Sea, Four on the Shore, Space Case (and others) -
Always humorous books. Good for beginning readers.


McFarland, Lyn Rossiter-
Widget, Widget and the Puppy
Widget, a little stray dog, is adopted into the home Mrs. Dibbs and her 6 cats after he pretends to be a cat.

 

Mills, Claudia - "Gus and Grandpa" Books - A series for beginning readers about a young boy named Gus and the special relationship he has with his grandpa.

Minarik, Else Holmelund - "Little Bear" Books - Good books for beginning readers

Munsch, Robert - Thomas' Snow Suit, The Fire Station, The Mud Puddle, Moira's Birthday, Aaron's Hair, Andrew's Loose Tooth (and others) - Robert Munsch's funny books keep first graders laughing. Visit his website at http://www.robertmunsch.com/.

Neitzel, Shirley - The Dress I'll Wear To The Party, The Jacket I Wear In The Snow - Predictable stories for beginning readers

Noll, Sally - I Have A Loose Tooth - Molly can't get anyone to listen to her news about her loose tooth, until she finds a special way to tell her grandmother.

Numeroff, Laura - Dogs Don't Wear Sneakers, If You Give a Pig a Pancake and others - Visit Laura Numeroff's website at http://www.lauranumeroff.com/.

O'Connor, Jane - EEK! Stories To Make You Shriek, Teeny Tiny Woman - Mildly scary stories.

 

Palatini, Margie
Piggie Pie , Zoom Broom , Moo Who?, Bad Boys, Zak's Lunch (and others) -
Palatini's hilarious books, usually filled with puns and traditional folk tale characters, are a laugh a minute.
Find story related activities at http://www.margiepalatini.com/

Parish, Peggy - "Amelia Bedelia" Books (and others) -
Find activities about everyone's favorite Amelia Bedelia at http://www.harperchildrens.com/hch/fiction/featuresarchive/amelia/index.asp.

 

Park, Barbara - "Junie B. Jones" Books - Short chapter books about kindergartner/first grader Junie B. who has a style all her own. Junie B. has her own website with activities, a letter, a trivia quiz and more at http://www.randomhouse.com/kids/junieb/.

Phillips, J. - Tiger Is A Scaredy Cat, My New Boy - Good for beginning readers

 

 Pilkey, Dav -
"Dragon" Books, Dogzilla, "Captain Underpants" Books (and others) -
This author/illustrator of many humorous stories has a website with activities at http://www.pilkey.com/.

Polacco, Patricia - Thunder Cake, Mrs. Mack, Trees of the Dancing Goats, (and many others) - This prolific author/illustrator's books touch readers at all levels. Visit her website at http://www.patriciapolacco.com/ and sign up to receive a bi-monthly newsletter.

Gloria Rand -
Little Flower,
Mary Was a Little Lamb,
A Home for Spooky
(and others)
Captivating stories with great illustrations. Perfect for first graders

Rathmann, Peggy - Officer Buckle and Gloria, Ten Minutes Till Bedtime, Good Night, Gorilla (and others) - This Caldecott Award winning illustrator/author has a website at http://www.peggyrathmann.com/.

Rylant, Cynthia - "Mr. Putter and Tabby" Books, "Henry and Mudge" Books, "Poppleton" Books (and others) - Wonderful books for beginning readers.

Seuss, Dr. - Cat In The Hat, Foot Book, Fox In Socks, Green Eggs And Ham, Hop On Pop, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish (and others) - Classics for beginning readers.

Standiforth, Natalie - The Best Little Monkeys in the World -What happens when the babysitter spends her time talking on the phone and the little monkeys are left on their own? This hilarious beginning reader is a favorite of first graders.

Stevens, Janet - The Tortoise and the Hare, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, Tops & Bottoms, and many others - Many of Janet Stevens' books are retellings of familiar folktales. Her large, colorful illustrations make the stories enjoyable for first graders. Visit Janet Steven's website at http://www.janetstevens.com/.

Tolhurst, Marilyn - Somebody and the Three Blairs - A funny take off on the Goldilocks story

Van Leeuwen, Jean - "Oliver and Amanda" Books - good for beginning readers

Wallace, Nancy - Apples, Apples, Apples, ATaste of Honey, Tell-a-bunny and others - Nancy Wallace's colorful artwork illustrations are made from meticulously layered cut-paper shapes, bringing a three-dimensional quality to her books.

Wells, Rosemary - Hazel's Amazing Mother, Noisy Nora, Benjamin & Tulip, Bunny Money, Yoko's Paper Cranes, "McDuff" books (and many others) - Rosemary Wells' books are enhanced by her marvelous illustrations and themes that strike a cord with young readers. Find out more about Rosemary Wells and her books at http://www.rosemarywells.com/frames.html. This site also includes activities for kids.

Wiesner, David - Tuesday, The Three Pigs - This Caldecott Medal winning illustrator/author has a website at http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/authors/wiesner/home.html.

Wilkes, Angela - The Big Book of Dinosaurs, My First Party Book, My First Nature Book and others - Good nonfiction for first graders

Williams, Linda - The Little Old Lady Who was Not Afraid of Anything - A little old lady who is not afraid of anything must deal with a pumpkin head, a tall black hat, and other spooky objects that follow her through the dark woods trying to scare her.

Williams, Vera - A Chair for My Mother (and others)

Wiseman, Bernard - "Morris and Boris" Books - funny books for beginning readers

Wood, Audrey and Don -
Tooth Fairy
, The Flying Dragon Room, Oh My Baby Bear, Piggies, Red Racer
(and others) -
Visit the Audrey Wood Clubhouse at http://www.audreywood.com/.

Ziefert, Harriet - A New Coat for Anna, Dozen Dogs, New House For Mole And Mouse, Sleepy Dog, Stitches (and others) - Good Books for beginning readers

Zion, Gene - "Harry" Books - Harry is a white dog with black spots who seems to have a knack for getting into trouble.

These books are available at the Birchwood Media Center and your public library.
See also the recommended reading lists for kindergarten and second grade for other appropriate titles.

(Updated August 2005)

Help us keep our author links up-to-date. If you find any broken links or errors, please report them to Mrs. Disquee

 

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