Great Early Elementary Reads

View all Recommendations by Age > Recommendations for Age 4-8 book lists; This list was last updated on 10/26/2012
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1 - 27 of 27 results
release date: Feb 09, 2010
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Frankie Pickle and the Pine Run 3000
Frankie Pickle returns for another imaginative adventure and this time it all comes down to race cars. Well, not quite race cars, but the Pine Run Derby for scouts. Frankie is in danger of not advancing to the next ranking with the rest of his troop unless he can win the Pine Run 3000. But Frankie wants to do everything on his own so he imagines himself as a world-class sculptor, a mad scientist, and of course, a pro-racecar driver. In the end, Frankie learns that team work is the only way he won't get left in the dust.
release date: Jan 01, 2008
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Lincoln and His Boys
A warm, moving portrait of Abraham Lincoln told through the eyes of his children and captured in exquisite full-color illustrations.

Historians claim him as one of America's most revered presidents. But to his rambunctious sons, Abraham Lincoln was above all a playful and loving father. Here is Lincoln as seen by two of his boys: Willie, thrilled to be on his first train trip when Lincoln was deciding to run for president; Willie and Tad barging into Cabinet meetings to lift Lincoln's spirits in the early days of the Civil War, Tad accompanying him to Richmond just after the South's defeat. With the war raging and the Union under siege, we see history unfolding through Willie's eyes and then through Tad's -- and we see Lincoln rising above his own inborn sadness and personal tragedy through his devotion to his sons. With evocative and engaging illustrations by P.J. Lynch, Rosemary Wells offers a carefully researched biography that gives us a Lincoln not frozen in time but accessible and utterly real.

Celebrate the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth, February 2009
release date: Oct 01, 2009
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Oggie Cooder, Party Animal
Oggie Cooder returns. . .this time showing what a party animal he can be (birthday party animal, that is)!

Oggie Cooder has never set foot (or swim fin) in his neighbor Donnica Perfecto's swimming pool. But now he has his chance - it's Donnica's birthday, and her mom has forced her to invite Oggie to the pool party! Donnica, though, isn't about to let this happen. She has a plan to keep Oggie away. But what she doesn't count on is the power of Oggie's charving, an unexpected visit from a local rock band, a creative use of a cherry picker, a dog that tweets like a bird, and a boy in a bear suit whose identity will change everything when it's revealed.
release date: Mar 01, 2011
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Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie

I had a bad August.

A very bad August.

As bad as pickle juice on a cookie.

As bad as a spider web on your leg.

As bad as the black parts on a banana.
I hope your August was better.

I really do.

 

When Eleanor's beloved babysitter, Bibi, has to move away to take care of her ailing father, Eleanor must try to bear the summer without Bibi and prepare for the upcoming school year. Her new, less-than-perfect babysitter just isn't up to snuff, and she doesn't take care of things like Bibi used to. But as the school year looms, it's time for new beginnings. Eleanor soon realizes that she will always have Bibi, no matter how far away she is. 

Written in a lyrical style with thoughtful and charming illustrations throughout, this remarkable debut novel tells a poignant story of friendship and the bittersweet feelings of growing up.


Praise for Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie
“Eleanor's ingenuous free-verse monologue should strike a chord with readers, especially those who may have had to cope with the loss of a loved one. Cordell's halftone cartoons convey the story's pathos and humor, as well as Eleanor's changeable moods.” –Publishers Weekly 

“Cordell's winsome cartoon drawings complement the text without overcrowding the verse. It tells a simple, poignant story that will resonate with any child who has ever had to say good-bye.” –Booklist 

“This first novel is a promising debut. Eleanor's concerns, not only about her babysitter, but also about playmates, friends and a new school year will be familiar to readers, who will look forward to hearing more about her life.” –Kirkus Reviews

“Sternberg hits all the right notes here, capturing a sensitive kid's first experience of loss with tender respectfulness and full acknowledgment that separation is a bereavement too. Sprightly line drawings, with the same perky homeyness as the story, add visual energy.” –Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books 

“Heartfelt, accessible, and energetic…” –Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books 

"This heartwarming novel and its winsome cartoon-like illustrations draw readers right into the story. Children would enjoy this short chapter book as an independent read, but it would also be a particularly good choice for parents to read to or with their children." –BookPage
release date: Mar 17, 2011
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Lair of the Bat Monster
Danny Dragonbreath is hoping to see lots of cool bats when he and his best friend, Wendell, visit Danny's cousin, a bat specialist in Mexico. But he isn't expecting to get up close and personal with a giant bat monster, who kidnaps Danny and carries him off to her lair! Now nerdy Wendell will finally get a chance to be a hero . . . but only if he can hunt down the bat monster before she permanently adopts Danny as her bat monster baby.

Ursula Vernon has packed the fourth book in this laugh-until-smoke-comes-out-of-your-nose series with fantastic bat facts and hilarity of the highest order. Wimpy Kid fans everywhere will love this decidedly un-wimpy (but often unlucky!) dragon. Perfect for fans of Wimpy Kid and Bad Kitty.

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release date: Oct 11, 2011
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The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester

Owen Jester wishes his family hadn't moved to his grandfather's house after his dad lost his job. For one thing, his grandfather's live-in nurse sure knows how to ruin anyone's idea of a good time. And then there's Viola, the girl next door, who can't ever mind her own business. She even thinks Owen should put his freshly captured bullfrog back into the pond. Then late one night, Owen hears a curious noise when the train passes by his grandfather's house. Something mysterious and wonderful has fallen off the train. When Owen finally discovers what it is, he realizes he just might need a know-it-all after all. But can he trust Viola keep the most fantastic secret to ever tumble into Carter, Georgia?

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Bad News for Outlaws

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson received the Coretta Scott King Award for her children's book Almost to Freedom. Here she relays the extraordinary story of Bass Reeves, a lawman in the Old West who escaped slavery to become one of the most successful U.S. Marshals in history.

release date: Jan 01, 2009
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The Day-Glo Brothers
Joe and Bob Switzer were very different brothers. Bob was a studious planner who wanted to grow up to be a doctor. Joe dreamed of making his fortune in show business and loved magic tricks and problem-solving. When an accident left Bob recovering in a darkened basement, the brothers began experimenting with ultraviolet light and fluorescent paints. Together they invented a whole new kind of color, one that glows with an extra-special intensityDay-Glo. This cover reproduction is not printed withDay-Glo colors. The actual book, however, is printed using three Day-Glo colors: Saturn Yellow, Fire Orange, and Signal Green.
by: Atinuke
release date: Mar 01, 2011
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Good Luck, Anna Hibiscus!
This title is the third in the series of delightful stories about Anna Hibiscus, a little girl who lives in Africa. Anna Hibiscus is looking forward to visiting her grandmother in Canada, where she will see snow for the first time! But before she goes, she must find suitable clothes to keep her warm in the cold winter weather, and say goodbye to the family she loves. "Anna Hibiscus", the first book in the series, was shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2008.
release date: Jan 01, 2011
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Mouse and Mole, Fine Feathered Friends (A Mouse and Mole Story)
A Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book
 
It is a blustery spring day, and Mouse and Mole are very excited. They are going to go bird watching! They are planning to make bird books! Mouse and Mole pack paper and crayons and hurry outside. It turns out, birds are not so easy to watch. Splashing in puddles scare them away. Stepping on crunchy leaves does too.

Mole rubs his snout. Mouse twirls her tail. Together, they come up with a plan to get closer to the birds. A plan that includes glue and feathers . . .

Join Mouse and Mole on another high-flying adventure in which teamwork, brainstorming, and good ideas always make for a fun day out!
release date: Sep 14, 2010
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We Are in a Book! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)
Gerald is careful. Piggie is not. Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.

Gerald and Piggie are best friends.

In We Are in a Book! Gerald and Piggie discover the joy of being read. But what will happen when the book ends?

Using vocabulary perfect for beginning readers (and vetted by an early-learning specialist), Mo Willems has crafted a mind-bending story that is even more interactive than previous Elephant & Piggie adventures. Fans of the Geisel Award-winning duo won't be able to put this book down--literally!
release date: Jun 29, 2010
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Time to Sleep, Sheep the Sheep!

Join spunky Cat the Cat as she introduces the very youngest readers to her world, where a surprise is waiting in every book.

by:
release date: Oct 04, 2010
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Mac and Cheese

When Macaroni sings a song,
Cheese will never sing along.
Mac likes to jump and play and sing,
But Cheese does not like anything.

Macaroni and Cheese are best friends, yet they couldn't be more different! Mac likes to pounce and bounce and jump, but Cheese just sits there like a lump. But when Mac runs into a problem with a gust of wind, Cheese stops being a grumpy grump long enough to help save his friend's favorite hat. Written in the style of P. D. Eastman's classic Big Dog . . . Little Dog, this modern-day alley-cat odd couple will delight beginning readers.

release date: Sep 14, 2005
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How Do Plants Grow?
Looking inside a seed. We'll look at a cut-open bean seed and talk about the food store and the baby plant and the seed coat. The baby plant in a seed stays safe and warm inside the seed coat until it is ready to start growing, usually in spring when the weather is warm and wet.
release date: Sep 27, 2011
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Is Everyone Ready for Fun?
Chicken has some unexpected and exuberant cow visitors who have exciting plans for jumping, dancing, and wiggling on his teeny-tiny couch, and Chicken is none too happy about it. That is until the fun concludes with a quiet, cozy and delicious nap for all!
release date: Apr 01, 2010
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Spring Babies
Baby animals are springing up on the ranch. Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa have a lot to do to help these new friends feel at home. But Cocoa's not sure he wants new friends, especially if they mean more work. With Cowgirl Kate's gentle nudging—and snacks!—Cocoa's happy to help out, and work is as fun as play.
 
Erica Silverman's sweet easy-to-read chapters lassoed to Besty Lewin's charming illustrations makes a sure-fire finale for this favorite early reader series.
release date: Jan 01, 2011
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Trucks Line Up
Jack truck takes the lead in this Ready to Roll, calling out colors and characteristics. All the trucks of Trucktown line up when it's their turn. But what about Pete? He's not red, or green, or pink, or blue. He doesn't have a scraper or flashers. Once he makes it to the line, it's a Trucktown parade of honks and hollers.
release date: Sep 13, 2011
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Mr. Putter & Tabby Clear the Decks
Mr. Putter and his fine cat, Tabby, are itchy. Not because of fleas, but because it is hot, they're bored, and they're out of orangesicles. So when their neighbor, Mrs. Teaberry, suggests a sightseeing cruise, they're excited about an adventure. The boat makes them feel free! Plus they get orangesicles! But when it's time to go home, there's a little problem with Mrs. Teaberry's good dog, Zeke.
 
The nineteenth Mr. Putter & Tabby book has all the sly, sweet humor that has made the series a huge success. Cynthia Rylant's perfect ear for rhythm and Arthur Howard's comical illustrations continue to bring to life the quartet of characters readers know and love.
release date: Jan 01, 2005
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Fancy Nancy

Meet Nancy, who believes that more is ALWAYS better when it comes to being fancy. From the top of her tiara down to her sparkly studded shoes, Nancy is determined to teach her family a thing or two about being fancy.

How Nancy transforms her parents and little sister for one enchanted evening makes for a story that is funny and warm -- with or without the frills.

by: Raffi
release date: Jan 01, 1983
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Baby Beluga
Illus. in full color.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
release date: Jan 01, 2005
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You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Stories to Read Together
oin the fun as 17 familiar nursery rhyme characters take starring roles in this latest addition to the New York Times bestselling series You Read to Me, I'll Read to You. Designed with budding readers in mind, each of the tales is set in three columns with color-coded type as a script for two voices to read separately and together. Whether it's Humpty Dumpty negotiating with a doctor to fix his cracked shell, Little Miss Muffet inviting the spider to share her curds and whey, or Old King Cole enjoying a feline fiddle recital, these tales with a twist will delight and amuse young readers.
release date: Apr 01, 2010
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Benny and Penny in The Toy Breaker
Benny and Penny hide every toy and tell Cousin Bo he can't play with them. Will the three mice find a way to play without something getting torn, ripped, or snatched away? Geoffrey Hayes, the uncontested master of children's comics, thrills us with this hilarious tale of tiny cousins who discover a game that can't ever be ruined.
release date: Jan 01, 2008
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The Big Fat Cow That Goes Kapow

Look inside!
This book has a mouse with a house,
and a mole in a hole,
and a squirmy worm,
and a spiky bike.
And, of course,
it has a big fat cow that goes
5, 4, 3, 2, 1 . . .
KAPOW!

release date: Jul 05, 2011
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Cake Soup
It's Lowly Worm's birthday-and Huckle Cat and all his friends are throwing Lowly a surprise party. But when Huckle and Bridget try to make a cake, their special recipe turns into . . .cake soup! But no kitchen disaster can stop this crew from celebrating.
release date: Jan 01, 2011
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release date: Apr 14, 2009
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Big and Small, Room for All
A captivating look at how a child, fits into the great, big universe around us.

“Big sky, big sky, what is bigger than the sky?”

In this clever concept book for young readers, award-winning author Jo Ellen Bogart explores the size of animate and inanimate objects and their place in the universe. She introduces children to the concept of “we” — that humans are a big part of the world, but a small part of existence.

In the vastness of the universe, with galaxies swirling through space, the book begins with simple words printed on the darkness. Moving closer to our world, we see the solar system, our sun at the center. Closer still, we see the huge ball of fire, which is the sun, and the third planet out from it — our blue Earth. From Earth looming huge on the page, young readers view smaller and smaller objects, from mountain to tree to man to child to kitten to mouse to flea to microscopic beings, amazing in their complexity.

Accompanied by artist Gillian Newland's lavish watercolor paintings, Big and Small, Room for All places the immensity and wonder of space in perspective so young readers comprehend they are part of creation, but a small part of all that exists.
release date: Oct 01, 2009
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I Spy Fly Guy!
The 7th book in the bestselling Fly Guy series--with fun foil covers!

When Fly Guy and Buzz play hide-and-seek, Fly Guy hides in his favorite place--the garbage can. But as Buzz finishes counting, the garbageman drives away with the garbage and Fly Guy, too! A very worried Buzz follows the truck to the dump, where he sees zillions of flies. Where is Fly Guy?!

Time after time, Buzz thinks he spies Fly Guy, only to be snubbed, boinked, or bitten. Then he realizes they've been playing a game. He yells, "I give up. You win!" And Fly Guy leaves his new hiding place--he was on top of Buzz's hat all along!
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