First Grade Summer Reading
Summer reading is a great way to get your child interested in books, on his or her own terms. For the best books for first grade summer reading, we turned to the nation’s finest independent bookstores to get their favorites, from classics to new releases, swashbuckling adventures to the just plain fun, silly, or sweet. Here are their recommendations for a summertime full of fantastic books:
Mr. Putter and Tabby (series) by Cynthia Rylant
Mr. Putter and his old cat Tabby have wonderful, funny, warm-hearted adventures in this early reader series. Readers young and old will love them. Recommended by Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO. Where to buy.
Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows
A humorous chapter book about two girls who become great friends in spite of their misgivings, and their entertaining adventures. Recommended by Powell’s Books, Portland, OR. Where to buy.
The Chicken of the Family by Mary Amato
Sibling problems lead to species confusion for Henrietta and the results are hilarious. Recommended by Prairie Lights Books, Iowa City, IA. Where to buy.
Apples & Oranges: Going Bananas with Pairs by Sara Pinto
This is a perfect mix of delightful illustrations, art, philosophy and silliness found only in books for children. Recommended by 57th Street Books, Chicago, IL. Where to buy.
Zen Ties by Jon J. Muth
A giant panda named Stillwater teaches young children - through haiku - the importance of being kind to others. Recommended by Linden Tree Children’s Recordings and Books, Los Altos, CA. Where to buy.
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.
Illustrated by Robert Ingpen This reissue of the beloved classic takes one’s breath away. Robert Ingpen’s full color illustrations of the Tale of Ratty, Mole, Toad and Badger are simply stunning. Truly reflecting the richness of the text, this is a beautiful read for the entire family to enjoy. Nothing short of a treasure. Recommended by Kepler’s Bookstore, Menlo Park, CA. Where to buy.
Want to see more from Education.com’s book list? Here’s a collection of our favorite books for first grade:
The Giants and the Joneses by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Greg Swearingen (Henry Holt and Co. , 2005)
Both Jumbeelia and Colette are avid collectors, and they both tire of their collections fairly quickly. The big difference between them is just that: Jumbeelia is a giant, and she has finally found a magic bimplestock to climb down and collect some adorable igglyplops, or human beings namely, Colette and her siblings! With the help of a glossary, children will soon be bilingual in Giantese, and read-aloud has never felt so fresh and funny.
The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds (Walker Books Ltd, 2004)
"Just make a mark and see where it takes you," Vashti's art teacher advises. When a simple dot gets kudos in class, Vashti ups her own antie and makes quite a splash at the art show.
The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss (Dr. Seuss Green Back Books, 2003)
A collection of subtle stories about tolerance and the value of being different. Do we love others even when they don't have stars upon thars? What are the drawbacks of naming twenty three sons "Dave"? And the pale green pants with nobody inside them...friend or foe?
Heckedy Peg by Audrey and Don Wood (Voyager Books, 1992)
In this introduction to the dark, moody, dreamlike world of fairy tales, a loving mother rescues seven children named for the days of the week from the clutches of a truly wicked witch.
Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies by Carolyn Crimi (Candlewick, 1995)
More interested in books than timber-shivering or plank-walking, Henry is the laughingstock of the swarthy pirate crew. But when no one heeds his red-sky-at-morning warning and the ship is lost, it is Henry's book-smarts that save the day. This book demonstrates that readers are leaders!The Giants and the Joneses by Julia Donaldson.
Three Tales of My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
Written more than 50 years ago, My Father's Dragon still seems as fresh as a daisy. A very unusual daisy. It's the story of a resourceful young man named Elmer Elevator who runs away with an old alley cat, in order to rescue a baby dragon. Armed only with the random collection of things he managed to stuff into his pockets-- a magnifying glass, a brush, and a few sticks of chewing gum-- he must outsmart a progression of savage beasts who'd love to have him for lunch. The short chapters and simple vocabulary make this a perfect first chapter book.
The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
A timeless exploration of the idea of urbanization from the perspective of a little country house. The lonely house witness many changes in its environment. Will she ever find a place that’s right for her?
When Rain Falls by Melissa Stewart and Constance Bergum
Award-winning science writer and veteran children's book author Melissa Stewart answers one of the most interesting questions that kids have about nature: where do animals go when it rains?
Follow That Bear If You Dare by Claire Freedmann
Hare has an insatiable desire to find himself a bear. He loves them! Armed with a book all about how to catch these big furry creatures, he and his friend Rumbly Rabbit launch their own bear hunt. These two characters refer to their book at every turn. This is essentially a book within a book, providing kids with insight into exactly what books do: teach new things! This is especially important for kids in the younger elementary grades, because they'll soon be transitioning from learning to read, to reading to learn. To top it all off, the text rhymes, which not only helps with fluency, but it's also more fun for a child to read out loud. Does Hare ever find his bear?
Harris Finds His Feet by Catherine Raynor
Beautiful water color illustrations spread out on every page, bringing to life the story of Harris, the wild hare, who learns to find his feet with the help of his Grandad. He shows Harris how to use his enormous feet to hop into the sky, climb to the tops of mountains, and run very fast. Grandad finally decides it's time for Harris to discover the world on his own--leaving readers with a bittersweet and thoughtful end to this story. Children will connect with Harris' journey of independence, and parents will appreciate the lesson of self-discovery.
Frankie Stein by Lola M. Schaefer, illustrated by Kevan Atteberry
Nothing like his scary parents, Frankie tries to be a creepy monster, but to no avail. How can he show his parents that he’s just as scary as them? A fun book that’s sure to be a Halloween hit.
How to Be a Baby by Me, The Big Sister by Sally Lloyd-Jones. Illustrated by Sue Heap
Reading from a book she’s written, a big sister tells her baby what she can and cannot do, as well as detailing the good things about babies (“they’re good at hugging”).
Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark by Ken Geist and Julia Gorton
The story of the three little pigs is reinvented for under the sea, with three fishies building their homes, and a nasty shark that tries to get the better of them. The familiar yet new story will have kids reading with gusto!
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