No matter how many good books I have on my bookshelf, I am always looking for new suggestions from other parents and educators. So for anyone else looking for ideas, here is what my first-grader and I read (together and independently) last school year. Overall, there were very few books that we had to force ourselves to finish. The books that were wildly successful with both reader and listener are marked with an asterisk.
Babe the Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith*
The Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles de Lint
Half Magic by Edward Eager*
King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert O’Brien*
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Tales from the Odyssey (1-7) by Mary Pope Osborne*
Bob Books (collections 1-5) by Bobby Lynn Maslen
Bread and Jam for Frances by Russel Hoban
Days with Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel*
Elephant and Piggie books (There Is a Bird On Your Head! and Can I Play Too? being the favorite two around here) by Mo Willems*
Frog and Toad All Year by Arnold Lobel*
Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel*
Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel*
George and Martha by James Marshall*
Little Bear’s Friend by Else Holmelund Minaret
Mouse Tales by Arnold Lobel
Penny and Her Marble by Kevin Henkes
As you can probably tell from the favorites on our independent reading list, my firstborn is a fan of the ridiculous. The Frog and Toad books were an unexpected surprise. We both laughed our way through every story. On the opposite end of the spectrum, he had absolutely no interest the Little Bear books (even though I thought the one we read was adorable). Since I have heard the Little Bear books are treasured favorites in other homes, I will just try again with the girls when they get older. If all else fails, I’ll read them to my grandchildren!
What are some other great books you’ve read to or with your first graders?