Favorite Books For 1st Graders

Frog and Toad Are Friends

by Arnold Lobel – (Harper Collins, 1970) 64 pages.

The book: It’s a classic friendship-themed storybook featuring two close friends, a frog, and a toad. All 5 stories in this book are full of excitement and adventure. The best friend duo enjoys everyday adventures like swimming, looking for a lost button, reading mail, and telling stories. They’re always with each other, even during hibernation. Arnold Lobel has illustrated all these adventures of these friendly amphibians so perfectly to go with his captivating text. 

Perfect for: Telling kids the value of friendship. 

Margaret and Margarita: Margarita y Margaret

by: Lynn Reiser – (Greenwillow Books, 1993) 32 pages.

The book: It’s a bilingual friendship-themed storybook written in English and Spanish. Your child is going to love the growing friendship of a girl who speaks English but doesn’t know Spanish, and a girl who knows Spanish but doesn’t know English. Despite this hindrance, the two girls still enjoy playing games with each other and became close friends.

Perfect for: Spanish children who want to learn English or English-speaking children who like to learn Spanish.

The Boy Who Loved Words

by: Roni Schotter, illustrated by: Giselle Potter – (Random House, 2006) 35 pages.

The book: A boy called Selig introduces new words to the children in a fun way. He collects new words tastefully and spreads them as he moves on. The book won Choice Gold Award for such enjoyable story and illustration which help in developing kids’ interest in new words. While reading this book, kids would like to talk about these words, use them in their sentences and maybe share more similar words with you.

Perfect for Developing kids’ vocabulary for speaking, writing, and even playing scrabble. 

Henry and Mudge

by: Cynthia Rylant – (Aladdin, 1996) 40 pages.

In the book: Henry longed for a friend who could give him company and play with him. Unfortunately, the little boy had neither any siblings nor any chile in the neighborhood. All he wanted was a friend to play with. His wish came true when his parents got him an adorable dog Mudge. Now Mudge and Henry are together all the time. Oh no, Mudge got lost. Will Henry be able to find him?

Perfect for: Kids who love their pets.

There Is a Bird on Your Head!

by: Mo Willems – (Hyperion Books for Children, 2007) 64 pages.

The book: is a story of two fast friends with unique personalities. Gerald, the elephant gets worried so easily and is a bit careful and serious all the time. Piggie the pig on the other hand cant help laughing and smiling at little things and never gets worried. Surprisingly, these friends go along with each other so well despite these differences. They rather seem to enjoy the unique qualities they possess and kind of complete each other pretty well.

Perfect for: telling kids how to value and enjoy the differences.

Max’s Words

by: Kate Banks, illustrated by: Boris Kulikov – (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006) 32 pages.

The book: People collect stamps and coins as a hobby, and so do Max’s brothers. So Benjamin owns a collection of stamps, and Karl treasures his collection of coins. So Max also wanted to have his collection but was wondering what he would like to collect. He got hold of a book review published in the New York Times, and lo and behold, Max had got such an amazing collection of new words. Now all 3 boys love to make stories of a crocodile, a snake, a worm, and whatnot. Out of these words. What fun it is to have a collection of words.

Perfect for: Helping kids understand the value of learning new words.

Carlo and the Nice Librarian

by: Jessica Spanyol – (Candlewick, 2004) 32 pages.

The book: Carlo, the giraffe, was truly excited to visit the library and took his cat Crackers along. Carl’s dad knew that he loves books so much that he surely love the library, and he did. But only one thing made him feel quite uncomfortable. The librarian Mrs. Chinca was a crocodile and Carls felt shy and scared talking to her. But things changed altogether as Carlo came to know about Mrs. Chinca’s love for books. 

Perfect for: Kids who like reading books and visiting the library.


by: Lyn Rossiter McFarland, illustrated by: Jim McFarland – (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001) 32 pages.

The book: An amusing picture book featuring a clever homeless dog, Widget. He wandered into a house where 6 cats lived lavishly with Mrs. Diggs. The widget simply tries to fit in and learns to behave exactly like the cats. He is also now a part of Mrs. Diggs’s family, just like the cats. Then one day, he rescues Mrs. Diggs using his particular dog ways and proves himself worthy.

Perfect for: Kids who love animals.

Big Bug Surprise

by Julia Gran – (Scholastic, 2007) 32 pages.

The book: The book’s main character Prunella has encyclopedic insect knowledge that helps her to prevent a bug catastrophe for her class friends. Prunella surprises her classmates with even more bug-related information while they celebrate, much to their joy.

Perfect for: Kids interested in exploring nature.

Is a Worry Worrying You?

by: Ferida Wolff and Harriet May Savitz, illustrated by: Marie LeTourneau – (Tanglewood Press, 2005) 32 pages.

The book: Children may research their worries and anxieties with the help of this book, which is intelligently written and wonderfully illustrated. It is an approachable introduction to the topic of problem-solving creatively.

Perfect for: Kids who like problem-solving.

Ivy & Bean

by: Annie Barrows, illustrated by: Sophie Blackall – (Chronicle Books, 2006) 120 pages.

The book: A favorite among young readers beginning out with children’s stories. The bestselling book deals with finding new friends, understanding differences, and going on an adventure.  These girls about whom the book is, seem radically different from the outside. While one is a sassy tomboy girl, the other is a ladylike book lover.  Quarreling with your older sister, robbing her bank account, tricking her, or calling her “tightwad” are some examples of sibling problems in this book. This first volume makes a terrific introduction to chapter books for kids who are moving beyond early readers.

 Perfect for: Teaching kids to value the differences they find in their friends.

The New Girl … and Me

by Jacqui Robbins, illustrated by: Matt Phelan – (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2006) 32 pages.

The book: As has been the case for all new pupils, Shakeeta feels like a stranger in a new school. This lovely story of Mia about adjustment and developing friendships is told in the first person, who carefully maintains a child’s perspective to emphasize its point: it doesn’t matter what you are saying, it’s that you said it.

Perfect for: Kids who love to go to school.

You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You: Very Short Fairy Tales to Read Together

by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by: Michael Emberley – (Little Brown, 2004) 32 pages.

The book: This book contains 8 of our favorite and well-known fairytales like “The Three Bears,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” and “Cinderella.” Each tale is written in short dialogues with two voices colored in two different colors, designed to be read by two kids or one. How amusing is that! Also, the writer, Hoberman, added rhyme to the dialogues which made the book even more interesting to read. Children love humor, rhymes, colors, and stories. Hoberman has succeeded in combining all of these fun aspects in one book.

Perfect for: Kids who like traditional fairy tales.

The Empty Pot

by: Demi – (Henry Holt, 1990) 32 pages.

The book: Demi’s book is about the importance of being honest. A little Chinese boy named Ping was given a gift. Everything he planted bloomed. One day the emperor of China gives a flower seed to every child in the kingdom. Whoever grows the flower will be the next heir. Ping takes care of the seed and waits for it to bloom every day with no luck. Instead of lying and replacing the seed with a flower, Ping chose to go to the emperor with an empty pot. This book teaches kids to be honest and brave and teaches them that failure is nothing to be ashamed of. 

Perfect for: Kids who are interested in legends.

Aunt Chip & the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair

by: Patricia Polacco – (Philomel, 1996) 40 pages.

The book: Triple Creek is about a town whose people are so obsessed with the TV that they use it in their everyday life. They watch it when eating, playing, sleeping, and working. They neglected books to the client that they build a dam. Aunt Chip one day discovers that her nephew and neighbors forgot how to read and write. She unplugs the TV for the whole town and teaches her nephew to love reading. One day, he takes a book from the dam creating a flood of knowledge and appreciation for reading that changed their lives forever. 

Perfect for: developing a love of reading.

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