2009 Teacher's Choices-Primary 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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Since 1989,  the International Reading Association started the Teachers' Choices project  that will encourage young people to read. These are books that kids will enjoy—and that contribute to learning across the curriculum. Teachers and parents will  find exceptional for curriculum use or reading aloud uses.

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: Jul 29, 2008
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Yoko Writes Her Name

Yoko is so excited for the first day of school. She's just learned to write her name. But when Mrs. Jenkins asks Yoko to show everyone, Olive and Sylvia make fun of her Japanese writing. “Yoko can't write. She's only scribbling!” The teasing continues as Yoko shares her favorite book at show and tell, and reads it back to front.

That evening, Yoko declares that she can't go back to school. “How can I when my reading and writing are a failure?” she asks. Luckily a little wisdom from her Mama, a little cooperation from Mrs. Jenkins, and a lot of enthusiasm from her classmates teach Yoko the most important lesson of the year: that friendship can bridge cultural differences.

Not only does Yoko learn to read and write in English and graduate Kindergarten with her classmates, but everyone's name appears in two languages on their diploma—even Olive's and Sylvia's!
release date: Aug 05, 2008
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Two Bobbies

Bobbi and Bob Cat are the best of friends. When their hometown of New Orleans was struck by Hurricane Katrina, many lost everything. But not Bobbi and Bob Cat―they still had each other. Only by staying together could they survive. This is the story of their remarkable friendship.

release date: Apr 01, 2008
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Planting the trees of Kenya

Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Green Belt Movement, grew up in the highlands of Kenya, where fig trees cloaked the hills, fish filled the streams, and the people tended their bountiful gardens. But over many years, as more and more land was cleared, Kenya was transformed. When Wangari returned home from college in America, she found the village gardens dry, the people malnourished, and the trees gone. How could she alone bring back the trees and restore the gardens and the people?

Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature, says: "Wangari Maathai's epic story has never been told better―everyone who reads this book will want to plant a tree!"

With glowing watercolor illustrations and lyrical prose, Claire Nivola tells the remarkable story of one woman's effort to change the fate of her land by teaching many to care for it. An author's note provides further information about Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement. In keeping with the theme of the story, the book is printed on recycled paper.

release date: Apr 23, 2008
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Manfish
Before Jacques Cousteau became an internationally known oceanographer and champion of the seas, he was a curious little boy. In this lovely biography, poetic text and gorgeous paintings combine to create a portrait of Jacques Cousteau that is as magical as it is inspiring.
release date: Mar 01, 2008
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Looking Closely along the Shore
Look closely. Look very closely. Is it ... a string of beads? Stars in the sky? Give up? Just turn the page and, lo and behold, it's an ochre sea star! See what looks like a bird's beak revealed as a gooseneck barnacle, blades of grass as a blue mussel, and many more surprises when you look closely along the shore. The Looking Closely series takes children on a journey of discovery through four environments --- the forest, the shore, the desert and the garden. Frank Serafini's camera lens enlarges each world through the magic of close-up photography.

Young eyes will rediscover our planet as a place of beauty, mystery and delight. Readers are first challenged to guess the identity of each close-up photograph. The next page reveals the entire photograph of the plant, animal or natural object accompanied by a simple but detailed description of the habitat. By inspiring children to ask questions and use their imaginations, these books help build problem-solving skills. They also encourage curiosity about environments that, examined this closely, are full of unexpected wonders.
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Grace for President
"Where are the girls?"
When Grace's teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides to be the first. And she immediately starts off her political career as a candidate the school's mock election!
Author Kelly DiPucchio not only gives readers a fun introduction to the American electoral system, but also teaches them the value of hard work, courage, and independent thought--and offers an inspiring example of how to choose our leaders.
release date: Jan 01, 2008
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Frogs
Nic Bishop's signature up-close, stop-action photographs show frogs larger than life.

For the first- to third-grade set, frogs are an endless source of fascination, especially when looked at VERY close up. See tiny poison dart frogs and mammoth bullfrogs, as Nic Bishop's amazing images show the beauty and diversity of frogs from around the globe. And simple, engaging text conveys basic information about frogs -- as well as cool and quirky facts. Nic Bishop Frogs is a fun and informative tour through an exciting amphibian world.
release date: Sep 01, 2008
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First Dog Fala
In 1940, Fala came to live with President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the White House. On sunny days, the little dog played in the grass outside the Oval Office. He attended important meetings with the president s advisors. At night, the president and Fala often dined together.

But as the world slipped further into war and America was drawn into the conflict, life at the White House changed. Fala stayed up late into the night with President Roosevelt. He accompanied the president on journeys across the country and around the world and waited with him for the return of American servicemen and the end to a terrible war.

Author Elizabeth Van Steenwyk offers young readers a glimpse into American history and the life of a U.S. president through the story of a loyal dog. Michael G. Montgomery s full-color illustrations capture the indomitable spirit of Fala and the nation and president who loved him.
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Boycott Blues

This story begins with shoes.
This story is all for true.
This story walks. And walks. And walks.
To the blues.

Rosa Parks took a stand by keeping her seat on the bus. When she was arrested for it, her supporters protested by refusing to ride. Soon a community of thousands was coming together to help one another get where they needed to go. Some started taxis, some rode bikes, but they all walked and walked.

With dogged feet. With dog-tired feet. With boycott feet. With boycott blues.

And, after 382 days of walking, they walked Jim Crow right out of town. . . .

Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney present a poignant, blues-infused tribute to the men and women of the Montgomery bus boycott, who refused to give up until they got justice.

release date: May 29, 2008
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The Best Story
The best story is one that comes from the heart The library is having a contest for the best story, and the quirky narrator of this story just has to win that rollercoaster ride with her favorite author! But what makes a story the best?

Her brother Tim says the best stories have lots of action. Her father thinks the best stories are the funniest. And Aunt Jane tells her the best stories have to make people cry. A story that does all these things doesn?t seem quite right, though, and the one thing the whole family can agree on is that the best story has to be your own.

Anne Wilsdorf?s hilarious illustrations perfectly capture this colorful family and their outrageous stories in Eileen Spinelli?s heartfelt tale about creativity and finding your own voice.

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