2009 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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1 - 28 of 28 results
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You Can't Go To School Naked!
A guaranteed crowd-pleaser!

Lots of kids like to run around naked and here's a funny book to remind them why it's best to keep their clothes on, particularly at school. Just think about it—could you go down the slide? Steal second base? This little guy's parents warn him of many dangers he'd face if he went to school without clothes on, and eventually he sees their point. But if he has to wear something, it's going to be what he chooses (and it's only slightly better than going naked).

Kids will giggle and squirm at the silly scenarios this little guy imagines and cheer his unique solution.

release date: May 27, 2008
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Who Ate All the Cookie Dough?

Kanga wants to make cookies, but someone has eaten all the cookie dough.Who could it be? Join in the fun and find out! This rollicking whodunit begs to be read aloud. The refrain will remind teachers and kids of the preschool game Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar, making Who Ate All the Cookie Dough? a perfect story-time choice in conjunction with the popular classroom game.

Even the youngest readers can solve the mystery if they look closely― preschool children will want to gobble this up!

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Where's My Mummy?
This gently spooky read-aloud treat is also a satisfying bedtime book — sure to delight the youngest reader on many a deep, dark night.

Little Baby Mummy wants just one more game of hide-and-shriek with Big Mama Mummy before bedtime. The night is deep and dark, full of friendly creatures that click their clacky teeth and whoosh past on flippy-floppy wings. But who will comfort Little Baby Mummy if a small, scritchy-scratchy someone gives him a scare? Big Mama Mummy, of course! Fresh, comical illustrations complement this everso- slightly suspenseful story with a satisfying ending.
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What Does Mrs. Claus Do?
We all know Santa spends Christmas Eve making lists, checking them twice, reigning in reindeer, leaving gifts for the "nice." But what about Mrs. Claus? First-time author Kate Wharton weaves a modern tale about the ways Santa's better half might occupy herself while her husband navigates chimneys and stuffs the stockings.

Wharton's merry text will inspire many a theory about Mrs. Claus, while the visual jokes in Christian Slade's detailed paintings will have little bellies shaking like bowls full of jelly.
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What A Trip!
From the author and illustrator of HEY, AL, winner of the Caldecott Medal

release date: Sep 01, 2008
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We're Going on a Lion Hunt

We're going on a lion hunt. Time to put on your safari hats, says a teacher before leading her class on an exciting imaginary journey. Off they go! They slosh through mud, splish-splash through rivers, swish through grass, and finally come face to face with a lion! Joe Mathieu brings the lion hunt to life with delightful illustrations rendered in Prisma colors, dyes, pen, and ink that add to this classroom fantasy based on a traditional game.

release date: Apr 10, 2008
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The Way Back Home
From the illustrator of the #1 smash hit The Day the Crayons Quit comes an imaginative tale of friendship in a world where what makes us different isn't nearly as important as what makes us the same.

When a boy discovers a single-propeller airplane in his closet, he does what any young adventurer would do: He flies it into outer space! Millions of miles from Earth, the plane begins to sputter and quake, its fuel tank on empty. The boy executes a daring landing on the moon . . . but there's no telling what kind of slimy, slithering, tentacled, fangtoothed monsters lurk in the darkness! (Plus, it's dark and lonely out there.) Coincidentally, engine trouble has stranded a young Martian on the other side of the moon, and he's just as frightened and alone. Martian, Earthling—it's all the same when you're in need of a friend.
release date: Apr 14, 2011
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Twenty-six Princesses
The Prince may be a frog, but that's not going to stop these lively lasses from attending the ball. Starting with Princess Alice (who's first to the palace) all the way through Princess Zaire, these girls show that getting there can be half the fun. Full of vibrant, witty details, this frog's-eye view of palace life is a colorful way to learn the alphabet.
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Twelve Terrible Things
At last, a grown-up brings to light some of the awful, horrible things kids must endure. A brother's smelly socks, a jump off the high-dive, or a sloppy kiss from a great-aunt--hey, childhood isn't without peril. In-your-face graphic paintings paired with droll text will have readers chuckling and sympathizing. Reviews

 "This is essentially Gary Greenberg'­s Pop-Up Book of Phobias (1999) but with a wonderful sense of how kids sometimes feel the world treats them. Expect this book to be a hit with not just younger children but their older teenage siblings as well. Turns the terrible into the terrific."-Kirkus Reviews

 
release date: Feb 10, 2008
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'Twas the Day Before Zoo Day
This delightful adaptation of the children's classic, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, takes readers to the zoo, as preparations are under way for Zoo Day. But things aren't going according to plan . . . The llamas won t quit spitting, the giraffes are drooling, and the zebras aren't happy at all with their stripes. Meanwhile, the zookeepers are scurrying this way and that, cleaning up poop, ringing mealtime bells, and trying to get the animals bathed. But are the naughty elephants listening? Not a chance. And if that wasn't bad enough, a poor alligator mistakes a bee for a fly, and instead of eating supper, he gets stung in the eye! Does it all work out? Will the zookeepers end up spending the night at the zoo? Will Zoo Day go off without a hitch, or will the dancing monkeys take over?
release date: Sep 06, 2011
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Those Darn Squirrels!
The story of what happens when a grumpy old man and some mischievous squirrels match wits—with hilarious results.


Old Man Fookwire is a grump who only likes to paint pictures of birds that visit his backyard. The problem is, they fly south every winter, leaving him sad and lonely. So he decides to get them to stay by putting up beautiful birdfeeders filled with seeds and berries. Unfortunately, the squirrels like the treats, too, and make a daring raid on the feeders. The conflict escalates—until the birds depart (as usual), and the squirrels come up with a plan that charms the old grump.
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Sort it Out!
Packy the Packrat s mother has had enough! It s time that he sorts through his ever-growing collection of trinkets and puts them away. Told in rhyme, the text leads the reader to participate in the sorting process by categorizing Packy s piles of things according to like characteristics and attributes. The reader response is worked into the rhyme, building a sense of anticipation. The illustrations include a humorous subplot about Packy s sister, who enjoys pilfering some of his things for her own enjoyment. Children will relate to the idea of having a collection of favorite objects and the satisfaction that comes from examining and admiring these collectibles. The story promotes and reinforces analogous thinking a critical thinking skill in math, science, and life. In the supplemental activity section at the back of the book, the reader can explore even more attributes and characteristics of objects, including color, size, texture, shape, and material. Lexile code: NP.
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The Sandman

Where did that little piece of sand in the corner of your eye come from? That's easy―the Sandman.

It all started a long time ago when a tiny man named Tor discovered that a dragon's scale held magical powers. Ground dragon scales make magic sand that Tor sprinkles in the eyes of children to help them fall asleep. But how does he get the scales to make the special sand? He has to venture into the lair of a dragon, and that's no easy feat!

This imaginative telling of the legend of the Sandman combined with fantastical, illuminating pictures will be enjoyed by the whole family.

release date: May 29, 2008
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Sally and the Purple Socks
Sally?s Purple Socks: They keep growing and growing and growing . . .

Sally?s purple socks have finally arrived and she can?t wait to try them on. Oops, she forgot to include the size when she ordered them. But they?re so warm and comfortable. She lounges in them, cleans house in them, even dances in them. But wait, is it just Sally or are her socks . . . growing?! And growing! ?Dry Clean Only? takes on a whole new meaning in this adorable and wonderfully illustrated tale about an out-of-control pair of socks and their enchanting owner. A genuine delight for children.

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Red Truck
Can Red Truck make it
up the hill?
Red Truck can!
Red Truck will!

ZOOOM!

 

 

Truck fans of all ages but especially the littlest ones will love cheering on the hardworking red tow truck that stars in this high energy picture book. Mighty Red Truck splashes and zooms through mud and rain to rescue a stalled school bus on the side of the road, and becomes the hero of a rainy day. Eye-popping quirky illustrations and the fast-paced rhyming text will make this truck story a fast favorite.
release date: Jan 08, 2008
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Princess Baby
Poor baby, no one calls her by her real name! “I am not a buttercup, or a giggly goose. I am not a cupcake. Please don't call me Little Lamb, and never ever Gum Drop,” she insists. With a curtsy and a twirl, again and again our protagonist makes it abundantly clear who she is. She wears a shiny crown, a fancy dress, sparkly shoes, a velvet cape, and glittery jewels. There are more clues too—she dances with princes, has perfect manners, and makes sure that everyone in her kingdom is happy. Her persistence pays off in the end, and even the youngest readers will be cheering, “Princess Baby!”

This is the first book in the Princess Baby collection, followed by the picture book Princess Baby, Night-Night and the board book Princess Baby on the Go!
release date: Jan 01, 2009
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The Pigeon Wants a Puppy
He really, really, REALLY wants one. He'll take really good care of it! What's the matter--don't you want him to be happy?
 
The latest book in the best-selling Pigeon series is the funniest one yet.
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No Hugs Till Saturday
When Felix gets in trouble for playing ball in the house, his mother takes the ball away for the rest of the day. So Felix decides to take something away from his mother—hugs. “No hugs till Saturday!” he declares. But then Felix finds out Saturday is a whole week away, and both he and Mama soon realize that just one day without a hug can be a very long time.
This is a terrific way to introduce young children to the names and order of the days of the week, and Julie Downing's wonderfully expressive dragon characters capture all the tenderness, humor, and everyday drama of life with a preschooler.
release date: Jan 01, 2008
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Maybe A Bear Ate It!
Let your imagination go wild with this hilarious new picture book from bestselling duo, Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberely!

"It's gone! It's nowhere!
I can't find it anywhere!
Where is MY BOOK? I need MY BOOK!"

What happens when your favorite book goes missing? Bestselling duo Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley climb into the mind of a young child and create a hilarious picture book romp. As the frantic search for the beloved book takes off all sorts of horrifying thoughts come to mind and the imagination goes wild.

Robie Harris's simple, yet adventurous text is accompanied by hilarious animal illustrations from Michael Emberley. A story to entice book lovers of all ages!
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A Kitten Tale

Four kittens have never seen the snow. The first three kittens are wary--snow is cold, it's wet, it covers everything. This unknown thing called snow is a little bit. . . scary. As the seasons pass and winter begins to loom, the three skittish kittens worry. But the fourth kitten takes a different view. The fourth kitten is getting excited. Snow will cover everything?! "I can't wait!"

Caldecott Medal winner Eric Rohmann gives us a charming, gentle story that both respectfully acknowledges a child's fear of the unknown and celebrates the power of a positive outlook. Deceptively simple and quietly profound.

release date: Jan 01, 2010
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Katie Loves the Kittens

The acclaimed author and illustrator of Chickens to the Rescue has created a sweet, funny, and entirely irresistible new character―a little dog just bursting with good intentions.

Katie is so excited when Sara Ann brings home three little kittens that she can't stop herself from howling "AROOOOO!" and trying to run after them. She loves them so much!

But Katie's enthusiasm frightens the kitties, and she's sad when they run away from her. Don't they know that she just wants to play?

Katie Loves the Kittens is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

release date: Jun 12, 2008
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I'm the Best Artist in the Ocean
The squid that charmed a nation is back . . . and he?s making a big mess!

Not only is this irrepressible squid the biggest thing ever, he?s also the best artist in the entire ocean. He squirts ink, for goodness? sakes, and there aren?t many animals in the ocean who can do that! This squid is making a masterpiece that is sure to wow his fellow fish. But perhaps they aren?t as pleased as he would think?

The giant squid that garnered starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus for his larger-than-life performance in I?m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean is sure to delight fans with this lively and fresh follow-up that includes a double gatefold spread featuring the squid?s impressive artwork!

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Goodnight Goon
Goodnight monsters everywhere, in this parody romp with its own special twist!

?Goodnight tomb. Goodnight goon. Goodnight Martians taking over the moon.?

It?s bedtime in the cold gray tomb with a black lagoon, and two slimy claws, and a couple of jaws, and a skull and a shoe and a pot full of goo. But as a little werewolf settles down, in comes the Goon determined at all costs to run amok and not let any monster have his rest.

A beloved classic gets a kind-hearted send up in this utterly monsterized parody; energetic art and a hilarious text will have kids begging to read this again and again.

release date: Sep 09, 2008
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The Donut Chef
IN THIS DELICIOUS tale, a baker hangs out his shingle on a small street, and soon, the line for his doughnuts stretches down the block. But it's not long before the competition arrives and a battle of the bakers ensues. In the competitive frenzy, both bakers' doughnuts become “quite bizarre, like Cherry-Frosted Lemon Bar, and Peanut-Brickle Buttermilk, or Gooey Coca- Mocha Silk!” Some are not even very tasty: “Donuts made with huckleberry (don't be scared, they're kind of hairy).” One day, Debbie Sue, just barely two, enters the bakery, and searches in vain for her favorite doughnut, where “the choice of donuts left her dazed. Said Debbie Sue, “But I want . . . glazed.” A fun lesson in keeping it simple in which our hero chef decides to go back to the basics, and wins over the whole town.
release date: Mar 27, 2008
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Don't Worry Bear
The star of Thank You Bear returns to make a new friend, as well as a wonderful discovery. When Caterpillar tells Bear that he is making a cocoon, Bear is worried. Will Caterpillar be safe? Will he be warm? Will he stay dry? Throughout the long winter, Caterpillar reassures him that all is fine. But the day comes when Caterpillar?s cocoon is empty and Bear begins worrying all over again. Until a beautiful silk moth lands on his paw. ?Don?t worry, Bear,? he says. ?I?m right here.?

Incredibly touching in its simplicity, Don?t Worry Bear reveals the very heart of friendship.



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Doctor Meow's Big Emergency

Dr. Meow's Big Emergency is the first in a series of books which all take place in the friendly Whoops-a-Daisy World. In this exciting adventure, Tom Cat has hurt his leg, and Doctor Meow must help him right away. Doctor Meow and her helpers are good neighbors, and good friends, too!

Sam Lloyd's humorous, brightly colored art is thoroughly kid-friendly, and will appeal to fans of Richard Scarry.

Each book will feature a different character, but all of the characters reappear throughout the series, so kids can return to their favorite friends in various books. Stay tuned for the second installment from Whoops-a-Daisy World, Chief Rhino to the Rescue!

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Cottonball Colin
Award-winning duo Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross team up again for this delightful book about growing up and letting go.

Colin is the smallest of his ten brothers and sisters, and oh, how his mother worries about him! She won't let him run and play. She insists that Colin sit quietly indoors -- until Grandma has a clever idea: wrapping him up tight in cotton.

Sweet, humorous illustrations of Colin's adventures in the big, wide world will charm readers of all ages.

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Bats at the Library
Houghton Mifflin Company Another inky evening's here— The air is cool and calm and clear.
Can it be true? Oh, can it be?
Yes!—Bat Night at the library!

Join the free-for-all fun at the public library with these book-loving bats! Shape shadows on walls, frolic in the water fountain, and roam the book-filled halls until it's time for everyone, young and old, to settle down into the enchantment of story time. Brian Lies' joyful critters and their nocturnal celebration cast library visits in a new light. Even the youngest of readers will want to join the batty book-fest!
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