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Kindergarten Books and Beginning Readers: good books for ages 5-6

  Mercy Watson to the Rescue (Hardcover) 

Mercy Watson to the Rescue

Kate DiCamillo, Chris Van Dusen (Hardcover)

Genre: Fiction - Humorous Stories; Book Theme: Animals

Mercy Watson to the Rescue, by Newbery-winning author Kate Dicamillo, is a delightful early chapter book for beginning readers. Full of silliness and fun, this humorous story features a lovable pig named Mercy Watson as the main character. One night, Mercy Watson feels afraid when sleeping alone, so he goes in bed with Mr. and Mrs. Watson. With the added weight, a hole opens up under the Watsons' bed. The "boom" and "crack" sounds wake Mercy up and he runs off to the kitchen in search of hot toast with butter on it. Finding none there, Mercy goes to visit the Lincoln sisters who live next door. After a few comical twists and turns, two firemen come and rescue Mr. and Mrs. Watson, who think Mercy has alerted the fire department. Chris Van Dusen's colorful and expressive illustrations complement this easy-to-read story very well. Mercy Watson to the Rescue is a good book for children in kindergarten, first grade, second grade and third grade.


  The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs (Paperback) 

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs

Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith (Paperback)

Genres: Fiction - Children's Picture Books, Fairy Tales & Folklore; Book Theme: Animals

"The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs" by Jon Scieszka is a funny fractured fairy tale story retold from the point of the view of the wolf. According to Alexander T. Wolf, everybody has not read the true story of the three little pigs. He claims he has only gone to the three little pigs' houses to get a cup of sugar for his dear old granny's birthday cake. He blows the first two pigs' houses down because he happens to have sneezing fits from a bad cold. The third pig says nasty words about his grandma, so he tries to knock down the pig's front door. Newspaper reporters distort the true story and frame him as a big bad wolf. Lane Smith's simple and expressive illustrations help tell a good story. This comical picture book appeals to children in kindergarten and first grade. Older kids and adults will also find it a fun story to read.


  Zoom (Paperback) 

Zoom

Istvan Banyai (Paperback)

Genre: Fiction - Wordless Books

"Zoom" by Istvan Banyai is a wordless book with bold pictures and vivid illustrations. At each turn of the pages, pictures zoom out to show a receding perspective. For example, the story without words first shows the crest of a rooster, then the top part of the rooster, then kids looking at the rooster, then animals outside the barn where the kids are in, so on and so forth. The last picture zooms to outer space where the earth is only a tiny sphere. "Zoom" is a good book for kids in kindergarten and first grade. Older children and adults can learn about how perspectives affect the way we view our world.


  The Red Book (Hardcover) 

The Red Book

Barbara Lehman (Hardcover)

Genre: Fiction - Wordless Books

"The Red Book" by Barbara Lehman is an imaginative wordless picture book. The 2005 Caldecott Honor award-winning book features simply drawn and clean-lined illustrations that tell a memorable tale. A girl finds a red book sticking out of snow while walking on a city street. Later on at school, she opens her book and finds a map of islands and a boy walking on a sandy beach. The boy spies a red book just like hers. When he opens it, he sees a city and a girl reading the red book. The girl buys a bunch of balloons, flies across oceans and lands inside the red book where the boy happily greets his new friend. This story without words appeals to children in preschool, kindergarten and first grade.


  Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3 (Hardcover) 

Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3

Bill Martin Jr, Lois Ehlert, Michael Sampson (Hardcover)

Genre: Fiction - Children's Picture Books; Book Themes: Counting and Number, Rhyming Stories

"Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3" is a follow-up picture book to Bill Martin and Lois Ehlert's "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom". One hundred numbers climb up an apple tree. When bumblebees arrive and order the numbers to get out of the tree, counting starts again, this time backward. Children will enjoy the whimsical rhyming story by Bill Martin and Michael Sampson. Lois Ehlert's artwork is a big plus to this counting book.


  Millions of Cats (Paperback) 

Millions of Cats

Wanda Gag (Paperback)

Genre: Fiction - Children's Picture Books; Book Theme: Animals

"Millions of Cats" by Wanda Gag, a Newbery Honor Books award-winner, is a classic picture book that has delighted children for generations. An old man in search of a cat for his wife returns with millions of cats. Wanda Gag's black ink illustrations are detailed and appealing. "Millions of Cats" is a great read-aloud story to share with preschoolers, kindergarteners and beginning readers.


  Pilgrim's First Thanksgiving (Paperback) 

Pilgrim's First Thanksgiving

Ann Mcgovern, Elroy Freem (Paperback)

Genre: Nonfiction - Children's Picture Books; Book Theme: Thanksgiving Stories

"Pilgrim's First Thanksgiving" by Ann Mcgovern recounts the events that lead to the first Thanksgiving celebration at the Plymouth Colony. In simple text, this nonfiction picture book explains the Pilgrims' historic voyage on the Mayflower, the difficult first winter after the Pilgrims arrived at the New World, the Pilgrims' befriending of Indians like Squanto, the harvest, and the first Thanksgiving feast. The book also talks about Pilgrim children's hard work and their contributions. Detailed illustrations show how the Pilgrims live and work. "Pilgrim's First Thanksgiving" appeals to children in early elementary school.


  The First Thanksgiving (Paperback) 

The First Thanksgiving (Step into Reading Books Series: A Step 2 Book)

Linda Hayward (Paperback)

Genre: Nonfiction - Children's Picture Books; Book Theme: Thanksgiving Stories

The First Thanksgiving by Linda Hayward tells the story of pilgrims in short sentences and simple words for beginning readers. It is a good book for young readers to learn the origin of the Thanksgiving holiday. The easy-to-read nonfiction picture book starts with the reasons why the Pilgrims and other passengers come to America, then goes on to talk about the Mayflower voyage, the difficult first winter, the pilgrims' meeting with Samoset and Squanto, the settlers' peace treaty with the Indian chief Massasoit and the first Thanksgiving feast. The history book ends with President Abraham Lincoln's proclamation of Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday in 1863. Linda Hayward's watercolor illustrations are soft and pleasing. The First Thanksgiving appeals to children in kindergarten, first grade and second grade.


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