2008 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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A Seed Is Sleepy
Award-winning artist Sylvia Long and author Dianna Hutts Aston have teamed up again to create this gorgeous and informative introduction to seeds. Poetic in voice and elegant in design, the book introduces children to a fascinating array of seed and plant facts, making it a guide that is equally at home being read on a parent's lap as in a classroom reading circle.
release date: Jan 01, 2007
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The Rainforest Grew All Around
Imaginations will soar from the forest floor, up through the canopy and back down again, following the circle of life in this clever adaptation of the song, The Green Grass Grew All Around. The jungle comes alive as children learn about a wide variety of the animals (jaguars, emerald tree boas, leafcutter ants, sloths, poison dart frogs, toucans, and bats) and plants (kapok trees, liana vines, and bromeliads) living in the lush Amazon rainforest. Delve even deeper into the jungle using sidebars and the three-page For Creative Minds educational section.
release date: Jan 01, 2009
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Over in the Jungle
Teachers and parents, here is the easiest, most entertaining way ever to teach about this important habitat. The special talent of this author is entertaining kids while the adults think it is a lesson about the rainforest. Kids will sing, clap, and count their way among monkeys that hoot, ocelots that pounce, parrots that squawk, and boas that squeeze! It will not take much to have your child joyfully hooting and squawking too. And the illustrations are painstakingly all done in polymer clay and then photographed, giving a 3-D effect. They are truly remarkable, vividly conveying the abundant energy of a rainforest, and will inspire many an art project. Plus there are several pages of extension ideas for curriculum and art projects as well as resources on the web and elsewhere.


Please note: The board book edition is 28 pages. It includes suggestions for children to do body movements as the text is read. It does not include additional information about the animals, rainforests, and the score of the song as is in the hardback and paperback editions.
release date: Oct 31, 2011
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The Orange Shoes
Delly Porter has a happy life. She needs new shoes, but doesn't really mind because she loves the soft, silky feel of the dirt road beneath her bare feet. She's a good artist, too, even if she has to make her own art supplies. And she loves her schoolteacher, Miss Violet, who lets her help in the classroom. Life only looks brighter when Miss Violet announces the school will have a Shoebox Social to help raise funds for new art materials. But when what should be a festive occasion is threatened by prejudice and cruelty, Delly finds out that one must stay true to oneself to successfully navigate life's joys and sorrows. From Trinka Hakes Noble, the author of The Scarlet Stockings Spy and The Last Brother, comes the story of a young girl who learns the most precious things in life are not measured in dollars and cents but by the warmth of one's heart. And that truth, beauty, and love are in the eye of the beholder.
release date: Jan 01, 2012
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Library Mouse
A small creature offers his big voice for aspiring authors everywhere

Every child can be a writer—and Library Mouse shows them how!

Beloved children's books author and illustrator Daniel Kirk wonderfully brings to life the story of Sam, a library mouse. Sam's home was in a little hole in the wall in the children's reference books section, and he thought that life was very good indeed. For Sam loved to read. He read picture books and chapter books, biographies and poetry, and ghost stories and mysteries. Sam read so much that finally one day he decided to write books himself!

Sam shared his books with other library visitors by placing them on a bookshelf at night. Until there came the time that people wanted to meet this talented author. Whatever was Sam to do?

The joy of reading, writing, and sharing is brought to life in this warmhearted tale.
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How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?

Here is an adorable picture book for curious kids, which explores skip counting and estimation in a fun pumpkin-themed classroom experiment.

"How many seeds are in a pumpkin?" Mr. Tiffin asks his class as they gather around the big, medium, and small pumpkins on his desk. Robert, the biggest kid, guesses that the largest one has a million seeds; Elinor, sounding like she knows what she's talking about, guesses the medium one has 500 seeds; and Anna, who likes even numbers better than odd ones, guesses that the little one has 22. Charlie, the smallest boy in the class, doesn't have a guess.

Counting pumpkin seeds is messy business, but once the slimy job is done, to everyone's surprise, the smallest pumpkin has the most seeds! As Charlie happily exclaims, "Small things have a lot going on inside of them."

This book makes a wonderful read-aloud companion to any math or science curriculum, and it's a fun way to reinforce counting skills at home.

release date: Jan 01, 2007
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Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad
A stirring, dramatic story of a slave who mails himself to freedom by a Jane Addams Peace Award-winning author and a Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist.

Henry Brown doesn't know how old he is. Nobody keeps records of slaves' birthdays. All the time he dreams about freedom, but that dream seems farther away than ever when he is torn from his family and put to work in a warehouse. Henry grows up and marries, but he is again devastated when his family is sold at the slave market. Then one day, as he lifts a crate at the warehouse, he knows exactly what he must do: He will mail himself to the North. After an arduous journey in the crate, Henry finally has a birthday -- his first day of freedom.
release date: Dec 22, 2006
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Guess What Is Growing Inside This Egg
Crack, crack...animal babies are hatched all over the place. Can you figure out who's who? Watercolor and collage illustrations depict close-up scenes of an egg or eggs about to hatch. The text hints at what the eggs contain: "Hidden in a rock cave/ Deep beneath the ocean waves/ Their mother wraps her long arms around/ To keep these eggs safe and sound." The observant young nature lover will find a visual clue of what animal the mother might be. The next spread provides the answer-in this case, it's an octopus. The second spread also provides fascinating facts about the species. The book features a number of species ranging from spiders to penguins to octopuses, and the back matter provides more information about the actual size of various eggs and how they develop.
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D Is for Drinking Gourd
The tapestry of American history is made up of countless threads marking the contributions of people from many different backgrounds and cultures. D is for Drinking Gourd: An African American Alphabet showcases many of the remarkable achievements of and contributions from African Americans throughout our history. Evocative watercolor paintings from acclaimed artist E. B. Lewis perfectly capture the spirit of each letter topic's poem and expository text.
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Ain't Nobody a Stranger to Me
Two Caldecott Honor recipients join to bring you the incredible journey of one man, as he recounts the story of his passage on the Underground Railroad to his granddaughter. His message is one of cheer, for although he and his family found troubles during their escape, he found that folks, black and white, "helped lift us up when we was down." How, then, could he ever turn his back on another human being?
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