Kindergarten Books and Beginning Readers: good books for ages 5-6
Maurice Sendak, Else Holmelund Minarik (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Picture Story Books; Book Theme: Animals
"Little Bear", often considered one of the best picture story books, is a heartwarming classic children's book by Maurice Sendak and Else Holmelund Minarik. This ALA Notable Children's Book award winner includes four sweet tales about Little Bear getting dressed, having a birthday party, going to the moon and being told bedtime stories. The love between Mother Bear and Little Bear is expressed wonderfully both in texts and in illustrations. With large type and ample spaces between lines, this first I Can Read book appeals to preschoolers and beginning readers.
Arnold Lobel (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Picture Story Books; Book Themes: Animals, Friendship
"Frog and Toad Are Friends" by Arnold Lobel is a great book for beginning readers. The friendship between Frog and Toad is depicted vividly in five short chapter stories that are funny, engaging and easy to read. "Frog and Toad Are Friends", a Caldecott Award winner, is one of the best classic picture story books.
Kevin Henkes (Hardcover)
Genre: Fiction - Picture Story Books; Book Theme: School life
"Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse" by Kevin Henkes is one of the best children's books of the 20th century. Lilly the mouse loves school and her teacher Mr. Slinger. But one day Lilly brings a brand new purple plastic purse to school and shows off the purse at an inappropriate time. When her teacher has to take the plastic purse away, Lilly becomes angry. At the end of the school day, Lilly gets her purse back along with a thoughtful note from her teacher. In the end, Lilly retains her good feelings for school life and her teacher. This picture book appeals to kindergartners and first graders. "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse" is a good real-aloud book for both home and classroom. Apart from fun reading, the book can also be used to teach appropriate classroom behavior.
Crockett Johnson (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Children's Picture Books
"Harold and the Purple Crayon" by Crockett Johnson is one of the best picture books for children. Harold draws a magical world with his purple crayon and has many imaginative adventures. Finally, Harold's purple crayon takes him back to his own bed. Author Crockett Johnson has created an enduring classic picture book for preschoolers, kindergarteners and beginning readers. "Harold and the Purple Crayon" is a great bedtime story.
Dr. Seuss (Book and CD)
Genres: Fiction - Children's Picture Books, Humorous Stories; Book Theme: Rhyming Stories
"Hop on Pop (I Can Read It All by Myself Beginner Books)" is a great picture book for beginning readers from Dr. Seuss. The rhymes are simple, silly and include many basic sight words. The illustrations are humorous, playful and show what the rhymes mean. Toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy this rhyming story too. "Hop on Pop" is one of our favorite picture books.
Dr. Seuss (Hardcover)
Genres: Fiction - Picture Story Books, Humorous Stories; Book Themes: Animals, Rhyming Stories
"The Cat in the Hat" by Dr. Seuss is one of the best children's books and is well loved by preschoolers, kindergarteners and beginning readers. In this classic children's book, a cat in a hat walks in on a rainy day, plays games with two children, a brother and a sister, and makes a big mess with the help of thing 1 and thing 2. "The Cat in the Hat" combines a humorous rhyming story, easy words, and playful illustrations. This children's picture book will help children learn to read.
Chris Van Allsburg (Hardcover)
Genre: Fiction - Children's Picture Books; Book Theme: Christmas
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg is a wonderful classic children's book for the Christmas holiday. On Christmas Eve, a boy, narrator of the story, boards the Polar Express, a mysterious train that is headed for the North Pole. He finds the Polar Express is full of children who are having fun singing Christmas carols and eating candies. The children finally arrive at the North Pole, where Christmas toys are made. The boy is picked by Santa to receive the first gift of Christmas, and he asks for a silver bell from Santa's sleigh. Our narrator gets his wish and the Polar Express takes him home, but his bell is nowhere to be seen. To his great joy, the boy finds his lost bell under the tree on Christmas morning. Chris Van Allsburg's Caldecott Medal award-winning illustrations are soothing and enchanting; it gives a heart-warming feel to the Christmas tale. The Polar Express is a good picture book for children in kindergarten through third grade.
Steve Jenkins, Robin Page (Hardcover)
Genre: Nonfiction - Children's Picture Books; Book Themes: Animals, Five Senses
"What Do You Do with a Tail Like This?" is a Caldecott honor book by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page. This beautifully illustrated picture book first shows a close-up picture of the body parts (nose, ears, tail, eyes, feet and mouth) and the "what do you do" question. Then, upon turning the page, children can see the entire animals and find out how these animals use their body parts. Preschoolers, kindergarteners and beginning readers will enjoy this guessing book and learn interesting facts about sense organs of many animals, both familiar and unfamiliar. "What Do You Do with a Tail Like This?" appeals to children in preschool, kindergarten and first grade.
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