First Grade Summer Reading List (page 3)
- First Grade Sight Words List
- What to Expect in First Grade
- Writing in First Grade: It Takes Practice
- First Grade Math at Home
- First Grade Math: What Happens
- First-Grade Fiction Books, Reading Level: Beginning of Grade 1
- First-Grade Nonfiction Books, Reading Level: Beginning of Grade 1
- First Grade Milestones: Is Your Child on Track?
- First Grade: Ready or Not?
Even though your child is beginning to read on her own, sitting down together with a book is still an important part of her development as a reader, and it's a perfect summer activity! "Even if your child can read, we would encourage you to share the summer reading experience,” says Helen Huber, a veteran librarian and elementary school teacher, and a literary adviser for GiftLit, an online retailer of hand-selected books. “Your modeling of fluency and your oral expression enhances their experience of the story and their reading skills."
Many kids entering first grade are still taking baby steps with reading. Others want to read simple books on their own. If you're feeling flustered trying to find books that both you and your child can enjoy, we've got you covered. We've cracked open hundreds of new titles to bring you this list of fail-safe first grade favorites for summer.
2012 Summer Reading Book Picks
Water Sings Blue, by Kate Coombs, illustrated by Meilo So. Despite gorgeous watercolors and elegant rhymes, this pretty book of kids poetry doesn’t take itself too seriously. For parents who’d love to try a collection of poems but want it served up with some wit and humor, we’d recommend this gem of hermit crab realtors and seas turtles who don’t stop for directions. (Chronicle, $13.06)
How Many Jelly Beans, by Andrea Menotti, illustrated by Yancey Labat. It’s one thing to count to 100, or 1,000. It’s another thing to have a clear sense of what those numbers actually mean. This delicious concoction gives kids a visual picture of what really big numbers look like, by presenting them in a format kids can understand... jelly beans! Bright illustrations and a sassy text add up to serious fun, with the final foldout a 1 million jelly bean extravaganza. (Chronicle Books, $15.31)
Everything Butt Art at the Zoo, by Brian Snyder & Alexis Moniello. Who doesn’t love butts?! Kids and adults alike will have a blast flexing their drawing muscles with this hilarious art activity book where every drawing starts with a butt. More than your average drawing book, this book features step-by-step instructions for drawing 15 of your favorite zoo animals, along with fascinating fun facts about each of the animals, and activities like word searches and mazes. This playful book is the perfect way to keep your kids’ minds active over the summer while encouraging creativity and giving them some always-welcome giggle time.(Mad Brook Publishing, $9.95)
Tyrannosaurus Dad, by Liz Rosenberg, Illustrator Matthews Myers. From Tobias' vantage point, his father is larger-than-life and less than perfect. He's big and gruff and busy all the time. Tobias wonders if his dad will even notice or care when the day of the big game arrives. Rest assured, dad shows up in full effect. Turns out there's a loyal, loving, and fiercely protective guy underneath that crusty exterior. This book, a celebration of fathers, has age-appropriate elements of action, danger, and humor that will keep kids intrigued, as well as vibrant illustrations that extend the story. You'll want to share this quirky and endearing book with your own dinosaur dad. (Roaring Brook Press, $13.70)
2011 Summer Reading List
The Book with a Hole by Herve Tullet. This is a whole lot more than just a giant book with a giant hole in it. Filled with imaginative pictures and interactive activities that inspire creativity, this whimsical read gets your child thinking outside of the box (or hole, as it were). In First Grade, kids are learning to string sentences together to tell stories and think creatively. With monsters and mazes and giant bullseyes, this book is jam-packed with story starters and creative launching pads. Color it, write in it, and make it your own. Take it with you anywhere and the stories change with you. A delight for reluctant writers and readers alike. (Tate Publishing, $11.60)
Labracadabra by Jessie Nelson and Karen Leigh Hopkins. Zach wanted a dog since forever, but what his parents finally bring home is hardly the regal German Shepherd he’s been dreaming of. “Larry” is a mutt with a crooked tail, and he’s in dire need of a good home. Zach isn’t impressed, until he notices that magical things happen as soon as Larry wags that funny-looking tail. Simple text makes this charming story perfect for readers just starting to go it on their own. (Viking Juvenile, $11.02)
Suryia and Roscoe: The True Story of an Unlikely Friendship by Dr. Bhagavan Antle. What happens on the rare ocassion when an orangutan and a dog meet? In one case, they become best friends! This book uses journalistic-style writing and photography to tell the true story of Suryia the orangutan and her hound dog buddy, Roscoe. It all started when a stray dog snuck into Suryia’s preserve in South Carolina looking for food. What he found was a lifelong friend and new home. After getting over the initial shock of a giant orangutan running after him, Roscoe comes to love living on the preserve--he even learns to deal with Suryia trying to feed him bananas (which he hates.) This sweet story of an odd pair is a perfect introduction to non-fiction, with talky narrative, funny anecdotes, and goofy photos. (Henry Holt and Co, $11.55)
12 Dancing Princesses by Brigette Barrager. In a dreamy kingdom far, far away, 12 princesses have a very mysterious problem. Every morning they wake up to find their shoes worn out and every day, they are too sleepy to do anything but nap in the garden. But Pip, the kingdom cobbler, is determined to find out what's going on. What he finds may be more than he could have imagined! Set amid beautiful illustrations befitting of any great story, this classic fairy tale is retold and stunningly illustrated by Brigette Barrager to make for a perfect book for fantastical-minded young readers. (Chronicle, $13.25)
Bats at the Beach by Brian Lies. Nothing says summer like a day at the beach, but who enjoys the beach at night? Bats, of course! They build campfires, apply moon-tan lotion, dig sand caves, and eat bug-mallows for desert. This imaginative and lyrical account of a bat beach party is a surefire hit. Darkly beautiful illustrations, done in acrylic paint, show purple skies, moonlit bat wings, and campfire shadows in rich detail. Delicious rhymes and imagery make this a fantastic read-aloud your child will come back to all summer long. (Houghton Mifflin, $10.88)
Our 2010 First Grade Summer Reading List
A Birthday for Bear by Bonny Becker, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton. Bear does not like birthdays. So, in the name of party-lovers everywhere, his friend Mouse goes undercover, delivering balloons, slipping bright red notes through the window, and even dressing up as Santa in the hopes of changing Bear's mind. Can the world's grumpiest birthday boy resist the big chocolate cake that arrives on his doorstep unannounced? Kids who loved the fantastic picture book, A Visitor for Bear, but who've grown since its release, will love this early chapter book from the same team. Just the right balance of lighthearted illustrations and more complex text to keep emerging readers occupied. (Candlewick, $15.99)
Princess Posey and the First Grade Parade by Stephanie Green. It's time for Posey to start first grade, and she's finding the approaching changes a bit intimidating. For one, she won't be able to wear her pretty pink tutu on the first day of school. Or will she? This adorable story about growing up eases kids' concerns about starting "real" school and shows them they really can make a difference, even in an adult-run world. A little advanced for most incoming first graders to read by themselves, this book makes a wonderful bedtime story when shared together, especially as summer draws to a close. Get your little one hooked on reading with this offering, because it looks like the start to a delightful series! (Penguin, $12.99)
Cloud Tea Monkeys by Mal Peet. Every day while her mother spends hot hours in the sun at the tea plantation, Tashi plays and shares fruit with her monkey friends. When her mother falls ill, Tashi tries to take her place on the plantation in order to pay for a doctor, but she is too small and the overseer sends her away. The monkeys come to her rescue, with a basketful of magical "cloud tea" from high in the mountains, bringing the story to a sweet and fulfilling end. Beautiful, full-page illustrations captivate the imagination, and turn this original folk tale into an unforgettable film-like escape. A tale of love and devotion, the wonders of nature, and...tea. Take turns reading this aloud with your child, and you're bound to spark a love of books. (Candlewick, $15.99)
How to Clean a Hippopotamus by Robin Page. Why do crocodiles let plover birds sit in their mouths? What does a coyote get out of a friendship with a badger? And just what is the best way to clean algae from a hippo's skin? This book explores one of the great mysteries of nature: animal symbiosis. In clear, yet scientifically accurate language, readers get down to the nitty-gritty of nature's most unusual partnerships. The authors don't shy away from unsavory details, such as the helpful way wolves tear open carcasses for the vultures. However, first graders tend to love these gory details, and if it helps get them fired up about science, that's a good thing. The graphic novel format, with wonderful cut paper illustrations, helps to make the subject come alive. A great non-fiction read for summer. (Houghton Mifflin, $10.88)
Andy Shane and the Barn Sale Mystery by Jennifer Richard Jacobson, illustrated by Abby Carter. This easy chapter book has an old-fashioned flair-- it feels sweet and gentle, and most of all, unplugged. At its heart are Andy and Granny Webb, knee-deep in preparing to celebrate their un-birthdays. Andy wants to get Granny the best present ever, but his piggy bank is empty, so he spends the week collecting things his neighbors no longer want, then announces a Barn Sale. When his friend accidentally sells Granny's favorite pair of binoculars, it's up to them to deduct who bought them. But the real mystery here is how Jacobson manages to weave in lessons of kindness, materialism, and true friendship, without seeming the least bit preachy. (Candlewick, $14.99)
Our 2009 First Grade Summer Reading List