2012 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: Aug 23, 2011
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Zombie in Love
Mortimer is looking for love. And he's looking everywhere! He's worked out at the gym (if only his arm wouldn't keep falling off). He's tried ballroom dancing lessons (but the ladies found him to be a bit stiff). He's even been on stalemate.com. How's a guy supposed to find a ghoul? When it seems all hope has died, could the girl of Mortimer's dreams be just one horrifying shriek away?
release date: Feb 01, 2014
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Three Hens and a Peacock
The Tuckers' farm is a peaceful place: cows chew their cud, hens lay their eggs, and the old hound rests on the porch. Everyone has a job and no one complains. That is, until a hapless peacock suddenly falls off the back of a passing truck and stirs things up.

Soon, customers are flocking to the farm to see what all the fuss is about, and business is booming. But the hens don't like the newcomer getting attention while they stay cooped up doing all the hard work. The wise old hound sees the problem and helps his feathered friends orchestrate a job swap. What follows is the hilarious tale of three hens who get in way over their feathered heads, and one very distressed peacock who just can't figure out how to lay an egg.

Popular author Lester L. Laminack has created a comical look at what happens when we underestimate the value of others' work. Henry Cole's delightful illustrations heighten the story's humor and will have readers of all ages laughing out loud.
release date: Aug 30, 2011
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Ten Little Caterpillars
Ten little caterpillars are out and about in our big, wide world--come join them! You never know what you might find. . . . A butterfly, perhaps?

Readers of all ages have celebrated the work of Bill Martin Jr and Lois Ehlert ever since their first collaboration on Chicka Chicka Boom Boom more than twenty-five years ago. Now these two picture-book geniuses are together again in this dynamic and visually stunning counting-and-natural history picture book that's just perfect for reading aloud--and comes complete with a glossary filled with intriguing information about all of the caterpillar stars!
release date: Apr 26, 2011
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Suryia and Roscoe
Who can imagine an orangutan being friends with a dog? Is it even possible? With Suryia and Roscoe it is!Dogs and orangutans rarely meet, and when they do, they are naturally shy around each other. But when Suryia the orangutan first meets Roscoe, a stray dog, they become best friends from the start.Set on a preserve for rare animals, The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S.) in South Carolina, here is a true story of a remarkable friendship between two unforgettable animals.

Book Details:
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Publication Date: 4/26/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Reading Level: Age 4 and Up
release date: Aug 04, 2011
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Squish Rabbit
Squish is just a little rabbit. But being little can lead to big problems. Sometimes Squish is hard to hear . . . or see. (Which is how he got his name.) And no one notices him. But Squish notices things- especially when someone is about to get into trouble and needs help. Here is little Squish's BIG chance.
release date: May 17, 2011
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Splat the Cat

Splat does not want to have a playdate with Spike. Spike will break his toys and eat all of his candy fish! And he does not want to learn how to swim—water is horrible, scary, and wet! He's sure that this is going to be the worst day ever. But when the rest of their classmates rush straight into the pool, Splat and Spike find that they may have more in common than they thought. Will Splat overcome his fear of water and get into the pool? And how can he help Spike to do the same?

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The Sleepless Little Vampire
Even creatures of the night can find it hard to sleep!

What could possibly be keeping a little vampire up tonight? Is it the growling of werewolves? Is it the cackling of witches? Is it the rattling of skeletons? No! It's that all scary creatures sleep during the DAY, silly!
This gentle, read-aloud romp gathers all the favorite fall frighties together for a book that's a year-round pleasure. See for yourself how Egielski masterfully lets the pictures grow and the pace build until the moment Little Vampire (empowered!) takes control.
Beautiful. Funny. A tiny bit scary. This one's a sure bet with Little Vampires everywhere.
release date: Feb 01, 2011
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Silverlicious
When Pinkalicious loses a tooth, it's not just any tooth—it's her sweet tooth! Suddenly candy no longer tastes sweet! With her pinkatastic pen, Pinkalicious writes a note to the Tooth Fairy and tucks it under her pillow... only to hear from Cupid, the Easter Bunny, and a Christmas elf instead. It is not until the Tooth Fairy finally responds—and works some magic—that Pinkalicious discovers where sweetness really comes from.

Fairy-tale characters and sparkling scenes make Silverlicious a sweet treat for all.

release date: Jan 01, 2011
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Shoe-La-La!
Meet four girls who love shoes: SHOE-LA-LA!

"Shoes with zippers, Shoes with straps,
Shoes with buckles, Shoes with taps."

Prance from page to page in search of the perfect pair of party shoes. Girls of all ages will love to go on a shoe shopping expedition with these four friends, from "fuzzy boots for when it snows" to "ballerinas on our toes." The girls try on every shoe in the store, but "eeny, meeny, my, oh, my [they] just don't know which shoes to buy." With some feathers and glitter, a little bit of glue, and a LOT of imagination, the girls come up with the best shoes of all!

release date: May 03, 2011
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RRRalph
Would you believe that Ralph the dog can talk? Yip, yip, yip--it's true!

With bestselling author Lois Ehlert's simple, funny, call-and-response text and bold, playful collage illustrations, this fresh, young book is sure to get little ones laughing (and talking to their dogs!)
release date: Mar 01, 2011
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Rapunzel
Beautiful Rapunzel is locked away in a tall, tall tower, visited only by the little creatures of the forest and the witch who has imprisoned her. Until one day a handsome prince, passing by on his horse, is transfixed by the magical sound of Rapunzel singing to her animals friends and knows he must reach her... Can true love transform Rapunzel's life forever?
release date: May 03, 2011
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Purple Little Bird

Purple Little Bird lives in a very purple world:

He has a purple little house and a purple little garden.

But somehow, it's just not quite perfect.

So Purple Little Bird sets off to find the perfect place for him—and discovers it in a most unexpected way.

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Pumpkin Cat

Through the seasons, Cat and Mouse work together in the garden.

Together, they watch seeds that turn into plants in the spring,

and plants that turn into flowers in the summer,

and flowers that turn into pumpkins in the fall!

And when their pumpkins are finally ready, Mouse gives the best surprise of all to his friend, Cat!

Anne Mortimer's charming story about friendship and discovery is perfect for any season.

release date: Mar 30, 2011
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Press Here
Fans of Press Here can follow the friendly yellow dot in the new companion book, LET'S PLAY!
Press the yellow dot on the cover of this book, follow the instructions within, and embark upon a magical journey! Each page of this surprising book instructs the reader to press the dots, shake the pages, tilt the book, and who knows what will happen next! Children and adults alike will giggle with delight as the dots multiply, change direction, and grow in size! Especially remarkable because the adventure occurs on the flat surface of the simple, printed page, this unique picture book about the power of imagination and interactivity will provide read-aloud fun for all ages!

And don't forget! Watch colors splatter, mix and transform in Mix It Up!, the highly anticipated follow-up to Press Here.
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Pirates of the Sea!

"No cryin'
No dyin'
No brushin' yer teeth!
No stealin'
No squealin'
No eatin' Parrot Pete!
No nappin'
No scrappin'
No wimpy moans or groans!
No veggies
No wedgies
No disobeyin' Cap'n Bones!"

It's the pirate code! Do you pledge? Do you agree?

Then open this book to join the crew on the Dragonfish of Doom and become a pirate of the sea!

release date: Mar 03, 2011
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Pirates Don't Take Baths
For any young child (or pig), there are few things more excruciating, more traumatic, more torturous than bathtime. And this little pig is putting his hoof down. No. More. BATHS. But how can he possibly accomplish this? Well, by being someone else, of course. After all, everyone knows that pirates, astronauts, and knights in shining armor-just to name a few-never, EVER take baths. Now if only he can convince his mother . . .

In his hilarious new picture book that is sure to become an integral part of bathtime routines, John Segal documents one particular skirmish in this never-ending battle of wills.
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Pirate Boy
After reading his favorite book about a pirate boy, Danny wonders what would happen if he sailed away on a pirate ship. Luckily, his mother reassures him that she would find him, even if she had to ride on a dolphin, battle sea monsters, and wield a bottle of magical pirateshrinking  spray to do it! Young readers will love this adventurous and ultimately reassuring tale of a mother's love.
release date: Jan 01, 2011
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Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes

Pete the Cat is back—and this time he's rocking in his school shoes. Pete discovers the library, the lunchroom, the playground, and lots of other cool places at school. And no matter where he goes, Pete never stops moving and grooving and singing his song . . . because it's all good.

release date: Sep 06, 2011
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Otis and the Tornado
Otis and all his farm friends are enjoying a summer's day, but the bull has no interest in playing and stays in his pen. Suddenly the day turns frightening and stormy: it's a tornado! Otis takes all of the animals to safety, but the bull is still locked in his pen! Quick as his tires will take him, Otis putt puff puttedy chuffs back to the farm to save the day.
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The Little Red Pen
Poor Little Red Pen! She can't possibly correct a mountain of homework all by herself. Who will help her? "Not I!" says Stapler. "Not I!" says Eraser. "¡Yo no!" says Pushpin, AKA Señorita Chincheta. But when the Little Red Pen tumbles in exhaustion into the Pit of No Return (the trash!), her fellow school supplies must get themselves out of the desk drawer and work together to rescue her. Trouble is, their plan depends on Tank, the rotund class hamster, who's not inclined to cooperate. Will the Little Red Pen be lost forever?

There's no lack of trial and error, hilarious chaos, and creative problem-solving in this mission! Kids—and adults—will never see their school supplies in quite the same way again.
release date: Jan 01, 2011
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IF YOU GIVE A DOG A DONUT

If you give a dog a donut, he'll ask for some apple juice to go with it.

When you give him the juice, he'll drink it all up.

Then, before you can say “Woof” . . . Dog is off on a backyard adventure!

The exuberant dog who first appeared in if you give a pig a party is now the star of his very own book. Written in the irresistible “If You Give…” tradition, if you give a dog a donut is another home run from the beloved team of Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond.

release date: Aug 01, 2011
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Happy Birthday Hamster
Hamster and Dog are back to celebrate Hamster's birthday!

Pink cake, blue cake, chocolate through-and-through cake.
Short cake, tall cake, cannot-eat-it-all cake.
WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

Newbery Honor author Cynthia Lord and NEW YORK TIMES bestselling illustrator Derek Anderson return with a tale chock-full of fun rhymes and hilarious artwork about Hamster's favorite day: his birthday! But is it possible that Dog and his friends have forgotten all about it? Not a chance. Join them as they plan the best surprise birthday party ever!
release date: Jul 01, 2010
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Goldie and the Three Hares

The Hare family—Papa, Mama, andLittle Baby Hare—are enjoying a peacefulday in their rabbit hole until they heara big THUMP outside their door. Thethump is Goldilocks herself, who hasfallen down the rabbit hole after beingchased by the Three Bears.

(I think you know why those bearswere chasing her.)

The Hare family is happy to helpthe girl, who has hurt her foot. But asyou might imagine, Goldie is not a verygood houseguest. She is tough to please,since every chair is too hard, too soft, orotherwise not just right.

(If you were the Hares, you mightagree that Goldilocks is loud, obnoxious,and demanding.)

But when Goldie is finally comfy-cozyin the Hares' rabbit hole, how are theyever going to get her to leave?

Margie Palatini and Jack E. Davisbring a hilarious, just-right twist to thenursery classic.

release date: Jun 09, 2011
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Gilbert Goldfish Wants a Pet
Gilbert has almost everything his fishy heart could desire: a castle, a chest filled with treasure, and food that falls from the sky. But there's one BIG thing missing from his life: a pet. And so begins Gilbert's harrowing search for the perfect fishbowl companion - a search filled with loud barking, quiet buzzing, and one giant whiskered surprise!

With snappy, rhythmic text and the most irresistible goldfish in picture book history, this tale of fish woe and triumph will make readers long for a pet as lovable as Gilbert.

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release date: Aug 09, 2011
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Gibbus Moony Wants to Bite You!
Watch out! This little vampire is looking for a bite.

Gibbus Moony's grownup fangs have finally grown in. Now all he wants to do is chomp on something juicy! All day Gibb hunts high and low for his first unsuspecting victim. But just when he thinks he's found the perfect bite, he may discover something even more fangtabulous to sink his teeth into. Get ready for a totally toothsome tale!
release date: Jun 09, 2011
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Every Cowgirl Needs Dancing Boots
Nellie Sue is back with brand-new dancing boots and her usual cowgirl flair. She knows that dancing would be more fun with friends, but her new neighbors, the Glitter Girls, would rather pirouette and twirl than hoedown. Nellie decides to throw a Barnyard Bash and invite the whole neighborhood. With her big imagination, Nellie transforms her garage into the perfect place to do-si-do. Soon everyone is joining in, but could a slip, a trip, and a slide cause her big bash to be a big messy flop?
release date: Aug 30, 2011
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Dot

Dots here, dots there, you can see dots everywhere! Some are loud, and some are quiet. Some are happy, and some are sad. Some dots even taste yummy, while others taste bad. Graphic designer Patricia Intriago sets bold, circular shapes against a stark white background to emphasize opposite dot relationships.

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Dinosaurs Don't, Dinosaurs Do

Dinosaurs don't just take, take, take;
they share. When they are mad, they
don't hit or bite; instead, they use
words to express their feelings.
Hilarious dinosaurs introduce good manners and how to make friends.

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Detective Blue
Miss Muffet is missing . . . and Detective Blue is on the case!

"Today started like any other day. The dish ran away with the spoon."

Little Boy Blue is all grown up, and he's a detective working to find Miss Muffet. Join in the fun as Detective Blue tries to crack the case with the help of his nursery rhyme friends. The fun is never-ending as Detective Blue interrogates grown-up nursery rhyme characters in order to solve the Missing Muffet Mystery. Kids, parents, and teachers can find a list of referenced nursery rhymes and go back into the story to find the characters.
release date: Sep 15, 2011
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Blue Chicken
In this deceptively simple picture book, author-illustrator Deborah Freedman has created an irresistible character that springs to life and wreaks havoc in a farmyard with a pot of blue paint. The innocent chicken just wants to help, but things get worse and worse-and bluer and bluer--the more she tries. Playing with colors and perspective, and using minimal text, this richly layered story reveals new things to see and laugh about with each reading.
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