2013 Children's Choices-Beginner Readers (Grade K-2)

View all Recommendations by Age > Recommendations for Age 4-8 book lists; This list was last updated on 8/1/2013
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Each year 12,500 school children from different regions of the United States read newly published children's and young adults' trade books and vote for the ones they like best. These Children's Choices, selected from more than 500 

For more book recommendations, please check out New York Times® Best Sellers, Children's Book Recommendations or the complete list of Featured Book Lists and Award Winners

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release date: Apr 24, 2012
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Tyler Makes Pancakes!

It starts with a grumbling tummy.

And a dream of something yummy.

What is it time for?

Pancakes!

Tyler and his dog, Tofu, are hungry for blueberry pancakes.

They are so good to eat—all fluffy and juicy and hot. But the real fun is making them.

First you need a chicken, a cow, a few blueberry bushes, some special trees, and lots of mixing, flipping, and topping.

Chickens? Trees? We're still talking pancakes, right?

Yes we are, and Tyler and Tofu find out just how it's done, all before sitting down for the best breakfast ever!

Do you think pancakes come from a box? Not really! So let Food Network star Tyler Florence and Craig Frazier take you on an adventure from farm to mouth. You'll learn how we get the best ingredients and discover that the most important one of all comes from the heart.

release date: Sep 27, 2012
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The Three Ninja Pigs
Practice makes perfect in this kick-butt fractured fairy tale.

Why does this wolf think he can come to town and blow all the houses down? These three little pigs just aren't going to take it from that bully anymore! The first starts aikido lessons---he'll make mincemeat out of that wolf! His brother learns a little jujitsu--he'll chop that guy to pieces!

But when the wolf actually appears, it turs out these two pigs aren't quite ready after all. Good thing their sister has been training every day to master some serious karate moves that save the day. KIYA!

Corey Rosen Schwartz serves up a fun combination of smart-aleck dialogue and tongue-in-cheek rhymes that'll have kids howling, and rising star Dan Santat's spunky illustrations are sure to pack a punch!
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Silly Doggy!
Join Lily and her brand new pet-a lost, loveable, and very large bear that she mistakes as a doggy-as they share a fantastic day together.

When Lily looks out of her bedroom window, she finds the best surprise ever: her very own lost dog! But this is no normal puppy, this is actually a lost, lovable bear!

Nevertheless, Lily and Doggy quickly become fast friends. Sure Doggy doesn't eat his dog food, can't do any dog tricks, and never ever does what Lily tells him, but this rambunctious "pup" still steals Lily's heart.

However, Lily's mommy knows that every lost dog has a home of their own with people who miss them dearly. So Lily creates a "Found Dog" poster about their fantastic day together. But what happens if someone actually claims Doggy?
release date: Feb 01, 2012
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Senorita Gordita
In this Tex-Mex retelling of The Little Gingerbread Man, Senorita Gordita--a little corn cake-- escapes from the frying pan and leads a merry chase. She runs through the desert boasting, "You'll never catch me!" while fleeing from a spider, a rattler, and other hungry creatures "with a flip, and a skip, and a zip-zoom-zip." A fast-paced and wildly illustrated twist on an old favorite.
release date: Mar 13, 2012
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Splat the Cat

Who messed with my ducks?

Splat the Cat notices that something isn't quite right in his house. First his father's duck decoys start to go missing. Then they are mysteriously returned but, strangely enough, without their beaks! Who could possibly be causing all of this trouble? To solve the mystery, Splat musters up his courage and rises to the challenge as Secret Agent Splat.

This wacky cat-and-mouse story from bestselling author and illustrator Rob Scotton will have readers laughing from beginning to end.

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Rat & Roach Friends to the End
Friends. Enemies. And friends again!

This is a story of two friends. Rat and Roach.
They get along great!
Except when Rat makes a mess . . .
Or Roach cooks too fancy . . .
Or Rat HUGS TOO TIGHT!!
In fact, why are these two friends? Rat and Roach aren't so sure either, but they're more unhappy when they aren't friends. Here is a book that shows friendship in a whole new, wonderful, hilarious light.
release date: Dec 27, 2011
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Plant a Kiss

Little Miss planted a kiss . . .

One small act of love blooms into something bigger and more dazzling than Little Miss could have ever imagined in this epic journey aboutlife, kindness, and giving.

New York Times bestselling author Amy Krouse Rosenthal and award-winning illustrator Peter H. Reynolds have teamed together for the first time, creating what may soon prove to be a perennial favorite.

release date: Feb 14, 2012
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Piggy Bunny

Most piglets want to be pigs when they grow up. Not Liam. He wants to be a bunny. Even if it takes a lot of practice to learn how to hop...and to eat salad. Even if no one believes that a piggy can be a bunny. With a lot of determination, and a little help from his grandma, Liam is determined to make his dream come true.

For children who put on a cape or a tutu, who dream of being someone or something different, Piggy Bunny offers a reassuring and fun opportunity to believe in themselves.

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Pig Has a Plan

Poor Pig! He just wants to take a nap, but his barnyard pals are making a terrible racket. Cow gabs on her cell phone, Cat pops balloons, and Hen saws. Pig hatches a plan to block all the noise. In a surprise ending, Pig learns that his friends have been planning a birthday party just for him. So much for napping!


Hilarious illustrations, a fun story line, and an easily decodable text make for a real treat for new readers.

release date: May 01, 2012
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Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

Pete the Cat is wearing his favorite shirt—the one with the four totally groovy buttons. But when one falls off, does Pete cry? Goodness, no! He just keeps on singing his song—after all, what could be groovier than three groovy buttons? Count down with Pete in this rocking new story from the creators of the bestselling Pete the Cat books.

release date: Jan 31, 2012
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Otto the Book Bear

Otto lives in a book and is happiest when his story is being read. Otto is no ordinary storybook character: when no one is looking, he comes to life! Otto loves to walk off of his book's pages, but when his book is taken away while Otto is off exploring, the book bear sets off on a grand adventure to find a new home.

Except...it's an awfully big world for such a small bear and Otto misses his warm book. Will Otto ever find the perfect home?

With sweet, timeless illustrations and a story that will have young readers watching their bookshelves in hopes of spotting wandering book creatures, this charming story is sure to delight book lovers everywhere.
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Nighttime Ninja
Late at night, when all is quiet and everyone is asleep, a ninja creeps silently through the house in search of treasure. Soon he reaches his ultimate goal...and gets a big surprise! Will the nighttime ninja complete his mission?

With spare text and lush illustrations, Nighttime Ninja is a fun, adventure-filled story about the power of play and imagination.
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Miss Fox's Class Gets it Wrong
When Miss Fox's class sees Officer Blue leading Miss Fox into the police station, they think their beloved teacher has been arrested! When Miss Fox's mysterious behavior leads them to believe she's preparing to run away from the law, her students confront her. But she wasn't planning to run away. She and Offer Blue are preparing to get married and go on their honeymoon! Boy, oh boy, did Miss Fox's class get it wrong!
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Mice on Ice

Thought-provoking visual illusions and characters that are bright, bold, and original accompany a text that is pleasing to the ear yet just right for the newest reader.


Mice skate on ice. As they skate, their blades leave lines that depict a cat. Magically, the cat appears, colorful, graphic, and three-dimensional. What happens next? Why, the cat and the mice skate together!

release date: Sep 04, 2012
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Llama Llama Time to Share
Llama has a sharing drama!

Build a tower. Make a moat.
Nelly's dolly sails a boat.
What can Llama Llama add?
Maybe sharing's not so bad.


Llama Llama has new neighbors! Nelly Gnu and her mama stop by for a play date, but Llama's not so sure it's time to share all his toys. Maybe just his blocks? It could be fun to make a castle with Nelly . . . But wait--Nelly has Llama's little Fuzzy Llama! The fun turns to tears when Fuzzy Llama is ripped in two, "all because of Nelly Gnu!" Mama comes to the rescue and fixes Fuzzy, but she makes it clear: "I'll put Fuzzy on the stairs, until you're sure that you can share."

Fun to read aloud and helpful to children and parents alike, Llama Llama Time to Share is for any child who needs a little encouragement in sharing.
release date: Jan 05, 2012
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Little Dog Lost
On a cold winter day, a curious dog wandered onto a frozen river, and before he knew it he was traveling fast on a sheet of ice. Many people tried to help, but the dog could not be reached. Finally, after two nights and seventy-five miles, the little dog was saved by a ship out in the Baltic Sea.

The gallant rescue of the little dog nicknamed Baltic made international news. Mônica Carnesi's simple text and charming watercolor illustrations convey all the drama of Baltic's journey. His story, with its happy ending, will warm readers' hearts. An author's note and map are included.
release date: Mar 01, 2012
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Library Mouse

Sam the library mouse and his friend Sarah are off on a new adventure. This time they leave the library behind and go to a museum so Sam can make sketches in his explorer's journal. Sarah isn't so sure that explorers have the time or the interest to write in journals. But Sam shows her that a journal can contain anything, from a ticket stub to drawings of cool things like dinosaurs and ancient Egyptian mummies. As they explore the museum, they see all kinds of art and unexpectedly make friends with another artist.

The latest book in this bestselling series is sure to entice readers to come along on the museum adventure.

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Lenore Finds a Friend: A True Story from Bedlam Farm

Poor Lenore! None of the other animals at Bedlam Farm welcome her. Even Rose the border collie is too busy to play. But Lenore refuses to give up, and when she licks a grumpy ram named Brutus―right on the nose!―an unexpected friendship begins.

Jon Katz's irresistible photographs chronicle this true story of a dog determined to make friends.

release date: May 01, 2012
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Ladybug Girl and Bingo
This hardcover picture book in the New York Times bestselling Ladybug Girl series explores the theme of responsibility for a pet and the fun of a first camping trip.
 
Lulu and her dog Bingo the basset hound are best friends. Whenever they play outside, Bingo always stays close by Lulu's side. When they go camping for the first time, Lulu does her best to be responsible and hold tight to Bingo's leash. But what happens when Bingo wants to explore the forest on his own and runs off? This is a job for Ladybug Girl! She will find Bingo in time for toasting marshmallows at the campfire. 
 
For fans of Fancy Nancy and Toot and Puddle, the Ladybug Girl series honors a love of the outdoors, family, and creativity!
release date: Apr 03, 2012
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I'll Save You Bobo!
The irresistible stars of I Must Have Bobo! return in another everyday adventure in domestic disharmony!

Willy wants to write a storybook starring Bobo—and act out revenge fantasies on Earl—but Earl keeps wrecking the story (hence the desire to act out revenge fantasies!). Quit it, Earl…and stop stealing Bobo!

But sometimes it only takes a small thing to realize that even sworn enemies have something in common. For instance: Bobo and Earl both have very snakey tails! Is that a truce? Don't count on it.
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I Know A Wee Piggy
A clever, colorful read-aloud in the tradition of I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

A fun day at the fair becomes color chaos when one boy's energetic pig gets loose. Upside down, piggy wallows in brown, but that's only the beginning of this cumulative, rhyming text. Soon, he's adding a rinse of red (tomatoes), a wash of white (milk), a pinch of pink (cotton candy), and many more. Can piggy be caught before he turns the whole fair upside down?

With exuberant art by Henry Cole, this wild pig chase is a natural choice for teaching colors and begs to be read aloud.
release date: Jul 04, 2012
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Good News, Bad News
Good news, Rabbit and Mouse are going on a picnic. Bad news, it is starting to rain. Good news, Rabbit has an umbrella. Bad news, the stormy winds blow the umbrella (and Mouse!) into a tree.

So begins this clever story about two friends with very different dispositions. Using just four words, Jeff Mack has created a text with remarkable flair that is both funny and touching, and pairs perfectly with his energetic, and hilarious, illustrations.

Good news, this is a book kids will clamor to read again and again!
release date: Sep 04, 2012
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Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs is a new take on the fairy-tale classic Goldilocks and the Three Bears, so funny and so original—it could only come from the brilliant mind of Mo Willems.

Once upon a time, there were three hungry Dinosaurs: Papa Dinosaur, Mama Dinosaur . . . and a Dinosaur who happened to be visiting from Norway.

One day—for no particular reason—they decided to tidy up their house, make the beds, and prepare pudding of varying temperatures. And then—for no particular reason—they decided to go . . . someplace else. They were definitely not setting a trap for some succulent, unsupervised little girl.

Definitely not!

Supports the Common Core State Standards.

release date: Mar 15, 2012
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Frog and Fly
Six slurpy stories, two comical combatants, and one laugh-out-loud picture book

Frog and Fly are constant companions. There is only one problem . . . Frog thinks Fly is delicious! This leads to a never-ending battle of wits with laugh-out- loud consequences. Told in six short comic stripstyle chapters, Frog and Fly will delight kids and leave them begging for yet another slurpy story.
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The Fly Flew In

A fly enters a concert hall and causes a commotion among the audience and performers alike in this funny and easy-to-read picture book. In the wake of a fly's flight, a wig flips, eyeglasses fall, and a lollipop is launched. Musicians BANG and BOOM as they try to get that fly! All fail, and the chaos culminates when an overzealous singer, flyswatter in hand, leaps off the stage. The audience applauds enthusiastically for the greatest display of showmanship they have ever seen.



David Catrow pays homage to the slapstick films of the last century with masterfully rendered artwork and an understated text that has a music of its own.

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Every Cowgirl Loves a Rodeo
Nellie Sue is keeping it fair at the fair

Nellie Sue is back and she's taking her cowgirl flair to the county fair. There are games to play, animals to pet, and rides to go on. But of course, Nellie Sue is really looking forward to the Bike Rodeo. She hopes that practicing will make her and her two-wheeled horse good enough to win against the reigning champion and her friend, A. J. Pickett. When a nearby goat gets loose and threatens to ruin A.J.'s ride, Nellie Sue knows that it's her job as an honest cowgirl to step in--even if it means coming in second place.
release date: Apr 03, 2012
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The Duckling Gets a Cookie!?
The Duckling asks for a cookie -- and gets one! Do you think the Pigeon is happy about that?
release date: Aug 14, 2012
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Big Mean Mike
A laugh-out-loud funny story about not worrying what others think — even if you're big and tough, and your friends are fuzzy and cute.

Big Mean Mike is the biggest, toughest dog in the whole neighborhood. He has a big, mean car that he likes to drive around the big, mean streets. Everyone knows that Mike is big and mean, and that's just the way he likes it. But one day a tiny, fuzzy bunny shows up in his car. Mike can't believe it! Before anyone can see, he puts the bunny down on the sidewalk and drives away. When the tiny, fuzzy bunny shows up again — and this time brings a friend — Mike tells them both to get lost. Big mean dogs do not hang out with tiny, fuzzy bunnies! But gosh, those bunnies sure are cute. . . . From best-selling author Michelle Knudsen and illustrator Scott Magoon comes a comical lesson about how keeping up your image is not nearly as fun as being your own quirky self.
by: Ed Vere
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Bedtime for Monsters

In this hilarious bedtime story, a monster is licking his lips . . . maybe he's thinking about eating a bedtime snack? And what if that snack just happened to be you? Gulp! He's getting closer and closer . . . and his tummy is rumbling really loudly. But all this monster actually wants is a sloppy monster-sized goodnight kiss!

release date: Sep 01, 2012
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Bailey


Bailey is very excited about the school trip to the Museum of Natural History. After all, he loves to dig up bones even more than an archeologist!

And besides bones, there's lots of fun to be had with tepees, totem poles, and dinosaur skeletons. Bailey's classmates never know what will happen next: maybe that's why the museum guard becomes Bailey's special partner.

Bailey is a character that every picture-book age kid wants to read about and his humor and charm will keep everyone giggling.
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