Recommended Reading for Primary Grades

Alborough, Jez. Where’s My Teddy?
It seems to be a case of mistaken identity when Eddie’s Teddy suddenly becomes too big to cuddle, and he meets up with a real bear in the woods who is facing the opposite dilemma.

Allard, Harry. Miss Nelson Is Missing.
The kids in Room 207 take advantage of their teacher’s good nature until she disappears and they are faced with a vile substitute.

Aylesworth, Jim. Old Black Fly.
Rhyming text and illustrations follow a mischievous old black fly through the alphabet as he has a very busy bad day landing where he should not be.

Barrett, Judi. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.
Life is delicious in the town of Chewandswallow where it rains soup and juice, snows mashed potatoes, and blows storms of hamburgers–until the weather takes a turn for the worse.

Bemelmans, Ludwig. Madeline.
Adventures of Madeline, a Parisian schoolgirl with a mind of her own.

Brown, Marcia. Stone Soup.
When three hungry soldiers come to a town where all the food has been hidden, they set out to make soup of water and stones, and all the town enjoys a feast.

Brunhoff, Jean de. The Story of Babar.
An orphaned baby elephant goes to live in the city with a kindly old lady who gives him everything he wants, but eventually he returns to the forest where he is crowned king of the elephants.

Bunting, Eve. Flower Garden.
Helped by her father, a young girl prepares a flower garden as a birthday surprise for her mother.

Burton, Virginia Lee. Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel.
Mike Mulligan proves that, although dated, his steam shovel is still useful.

Cannon, J. Stellaluna.
After she falls headfirst into a bird’s nest, a baby bat is raised like a bird until she is reunited with her mother.

Cherry, Lynne. The Great Kapok Tree.
When a man with an axe falls asleep under a kapok tree, the creatures living in the tree come out to plead with him not to destroy their home.

Coerr, Eleanor. Josefina Story Quilt.
While traveling west with her family in 1850, a young girl makes a patchwork quilt chronicling the experiences of the journey and reserves a special patch for her pet hen Josefina.

De Paola, Tomie. Strega Nona.
When Strega Nona leaves him alone with her magic pasta pot, Big Anthony is determined to show the townspeople how it works.

Duvoisin, Roger. Petunia.
Petunia, a goose, learns that possessing knowledge doesn’t mean carrying a book around constantly.

Feiffer, Jules. Bark, George.
George is a puppy who does not sound like a puppy should, despite the efforts of his mother.

Fox, Mem. Tough Boris.
Although he is a very tough pirate, Boris von der Borch cries when his parrot dies.

Gag, Wanda. Millions of Cats.
An old man makes an unwise decision when he brings too many cats home to his wife.

Ginsburg, Mirra. Mushroom in the Rain.
How can an ant, butterfly, mouse, sparrow, and rabbit all take shelter from the rain under the same mushroom when, at first, there was only room for the ant?

Henkes, Kevin. Julius, the Baby of the World.
Lilly is convinced that the arrival of her new baby brother is the worst thing that has happened in their house, but she has a change of heart when Cousin Garland comes to visit.

Hoban, Russell. Bedtime for Frances.
Frances finds it difficult to go to sleep with the strange noises and menacing shapes that seem to fill her room after dark.

Hoban, Tana. 26 Letters and 99 Cents.
Color photographs of letters, numbers, coins and common objects introduce the alphabet, coinage, and the counting system.

Hoff, Syd. Danny and the Dinosaur.
A little boy is surprised and pleased when one of the dinosaurs from the museum agrees to play with him.

Hoffman, Mary. Amazing Grace.
When her school decides to do Peter Pan, Grace longs to play Peter, but classmates say that Peter was a boy, and besides, he wasn’t black. But her mum says she can do anything if she puts her mind to it.

Keats, Ezra Jack. The Snowy Day.
A small boy discovers that he can throw snowballs, make angels, and slide down hills in the fascinating world of snow.

Kent, Jack. The Caterpillar and the Polliwog.
A caterpillar brags to everyone she sees that she will change into a butterfly, until a polliwog tells her that he will change into something different too.

Lester, Helen. Tacky the Penquin.
Tacky the penguin does not fit in with his sleek and graceful companions, but his odd behavior comes in handy when hunters come with maps and traps.

Lionni, Leo. Swimmy.
A small black fish teaches a school of red fish to frighten their enemies by swimming close together.

Marshall, James. George and Martha.
Short stories depict the experiences of two hippopotamuses who find that friendship has its own problems and rewards.

McCloskey, Robert. Make Way for Ducklings.
After raising her ducklings on a secluded island, Mrs. Mallard leads them to the Boston Public Garden to eat peanuts.

McPhail, David M. Pigs Aplenty, Pigs Galore.
Pigs galore invade a house and have a wonderful party.

Parish, Peggy.  Amelia Bedelia and Other Titles.
A literal-minded housekeeper causes chaos in the Rogers household when she attempts to make sense of some instructions.

Peet, Bill. Big Bad Bruce.
A tiny but very independent witch teaches a bullying bear not to growl at every small creature he encounters.

Polacco, Patricia. Rechenka’s Eggs.
When Babushka’s hand-painted eggs for the Easter Festival are ruined while helping a wounded goose, the bird repays Babushka’s kindness with a special gift.

Potter, Beatrix. Peter Rabbit Tales. (Any title)
Tells the stories of Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, a fishing frog, two bad mice, and the mouse who saves the Flopsy bunnies from Mr. McGregor.

Scieszka, Jon. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs.
The wolf gives his own outlandish version of what really happened when he tangled with the three little pigs.

Sendak, Maurice. Where The Wild Things Are.
A naughty little boy, sent to bed without his supper, sails to the land of the wild things where he becomes their king.

Slobodkina, Esphyr. Caps for Sale.
A band of mischievous monkeys steals every one of a peddler’s caps while he takes a nap under a tree.

Soto, Gary. Too Many Tamales.
While preparing dough for her family’s Christmas tamales, Maria discovers that she has lost her mother’s prized diamond ring somewhere in the dough and sets out to eat her way through the many finished tamales to find the missing ring.

Steig, William. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble.
In a moment of fright, Sylvester the donkey asks his magic pebble to turn him into a rock but then can not hold the pebble to wish himself back to normal again.

Stoeke, Janet Morgan.  A Hat for Minerva Louise.
Minerva Louise, a snow-loving chicken, mistakes a pair of mittens for two hats to keep both ends warm.

Trivizas, Eugene. The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig.
An altered retelling of the traditional tale about the conflict between pig and wolf–with a surprise ending

Unger, Tomi. Crictor.
When Madame Bodot receives a boa constrictor for her birthday, he soon becomes a lovable pet.

Viorst, Judith. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
The story of Alexander’s rotten day leads off a collection of stories and poems about the trials and tribulations of childhood.

Waber, Bernard. Ira Sleeps Over.
A young boy, preparing to stay overnight at a friend’s house for the first time, is undecided about taking his teddy bear.

Wood, Audrey. The Napping House.
A restless flea manages to wake up everyone in the house who was sleeping.

Yaccarino, Dan. An Octopus Followed Me Home.
When a girl brings home an octopus and wants to keep him as a pet, her daddy reminds her of the crocodile, seals, and other inappropriate animals she has already brought into the house.

Young, Ed. Seven Blind Mice.
In this retelling of the Indian fable, seven blind mice discover different parts of an elephant and argue about its appearance.

Zion, Gene. Harry the Dirty Dog.
When a white dog with black spots runs away from home, he gets so dirty his family doesn’t recognize him as a black dog with white spots.

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