Education World: First Grade Summer Reading List

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Take aim at the "Summer Slide" and get your students excited about reading with these titles picked specifically for kids at the first grade reading level.

 

FIRST GRADE SUMMER READING LIST
 
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
by Judith Viorst, Ray Cruz (illus.)

From the moment Alexander wakes up and finds gum in his hair, everything goes wrong! His brothers both get prizes in their cereal boxes, his best friend demotes him to third-best friend, there are lima beans for dinner, and there is kissing on TV. All kids experience this kind of day and will be glad to find they are not alone!

 

The Bears' Picnic
by Stan Berenstain, Jan Berenstain

The Berenstain Bears endure countless trials before finding a suitable picnic spot.


Bedtime for Frances
by Russell Hoban, Garth Williams (illus.)

It may be bedtime for Frances, but that doesn't mean Frances is ready to go to bed -- not by a long shot. First she must have a glass of milk and make certain Mother and Father have each kissed her good night (twice). Then she is ready to imagine there is a tiger in her room, and a giant, and ... each time Frances thinks up something new, off she goes to tell her ever-patient, if increasingly weary, parents. The familiar delaying tactics of Frances the song-singing badger have delighted fans young and old for more than three decades. Combining sympathetic understanding with gentle humor, Russell Hoban created in Frances a character at once immediately recognizable and eminently likable. In this new edition, the warmth of full color enriches Garth Williams's original artwork, bringing a fresh look to an enduring favorite.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
by Bill Martin, Eric Carle (illus.)

Eric Carle's double-page tissue collages and Bill Martin's friendly chant unite to create this vibrant introduction to colors. The first line of the book is the title, to which a big brown bear responds, "I see a redbird looking at me." The redbird responds with another animal and so on, until a mother (or a teacher, depending on the edition) asks a group of children what they see. A wonderful read-aloud for either a group or individuals, this book is a favorite of teachers.

Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys, and Their Monkey Business
by Esphyr Slobodkina

A cap peddler wakes from a nap to find all his caps are gone -- a bunch of naughty monkeys have taken them up a tree. Angrily shaking his finger at the monkeys, the peddler demands his caps back, but the monkeys only shake their fingers and say "Tsz, tsz, tsz." No matter what the peddler does, the monkeys only imitate him. Finally, the peddler is so enraged he throws his cap on the ground -- and all the monkeys follow suit!

 

Franklin Rides a Bike
by Paulette Bourgeois, Brenda Clark (illus.)

At the beginning of spring, Franklin and all his friends have training wheels on their bikes. But soon Franklin is the only one who can't ride without them. Every time he tries he falls down, and he's beginning to get discouraged. His mom finally convinces him to keep with it, and Franklin finally rides on his own.

 

Freckle Juice
by Judy Blume, Sonia O. Lisker (illus.)

Nicky has freckles -- they cover his face, his ears, and the whole back of his neck. Once, sitting behind him in class, Andrew counted 86 of them, and that was just a start! If Andrew had freckles like Nicky, his mother would never know if his neck was dirty. One day after school, Andrew works up enough courage to ask Nicky where he got his freckles. And, as luck would have it, who should overhear him but giggling, teasing Sharon. She offers Andrew her secret freckle juice recipe -- for 50 cents. That's a lot of money, but Andrew is desperate. At home he carefully mixes the strange combination of ingredients. Then the unexpected happens. ...

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
by Laura Joffe Numeroff, Felicia Bond (illus.)

What happens if you give a mouse a cookie? Why, he'll need a glass of milk to go with it! He'll also need a straw, a napkin, a mirror -- each item prompts the need for another. When the mouse is hanging a picture from a refrigerator (how did he get there?), he's reminded that he's thirsty and needs a glass of milk (uh-oh). With this milk, it's absolutely necessary to have a cookie, of course! Bond's wonderful illustrations enliven this modern-day classic.

The Listening Walk
by Paul Showers

We're going on a Listening Walk. Shhhhh. Do not talk. Do not hurry. Get ready to fill your ears with a world of wonderful, surprising sounds. In this colorfully illustrated book a little girl and her father take a quiet walk and identify the sounds around them. This beautiful lesson in appreciating the extraordinary qualities found in the rhythm of everyday life entices readers to pay more attention to the world surrounding them.

The Little Engine That Could
by Watty Piper, George Hauman (illus.), Doris Hauman (illus.)

When the other engines refuse, the Little Blue Engine tries to pull a stranded train full of toys and good food over the mountain. This classic never loses its appeal or fails to teach its lesson.

Make Way for Ducklings
by Robert McCloskey

This Caldecott Award-winning classic about Mr. and Mrs. Mallard and their brood of ducklings has been a favorite since 1941. When Mrs. Mallard and her eight ducklings are stuck at a busy street in downtown Boston, their policeman friend Michael rushes in to stop traffic and make way for them. McCloskey's sepia illustrations are priceless, and a statue of Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings can be found in the Boston Common today.

Play Ball, Amelia Bedelia
by Peggy Parish, Wallace Tripp (illus.)

Amelia Bedelia, who knows very little about baseball, stands in for a sick player during a game. The result, as usual with literal-minded Amelia Bedelia, is hilarious.


Quick as a Cricket
by Audrey Wood, Don Wood (illus.)

A joyful celebration of a child's growing self-awareness. This classic children's book is a teacher's favorite, with outstanding illustrations by Don Wood.

Ten Apples Up on Top!
by Theodore LeSieg (Dr. Seuss), Roy McKie (illus.)

A lion, a dog, and a tiger are having a contest -- can they get ten apples piled up on top of their heads? You better believe it! This first counting book works as a teaching tool as well as a funny story.


There's an Alligator Under My Bed
by Mercer Mayer

This sequel to There's a Nightmare in My Closet brings back that story's imaginative young hero for an even funnier nighttime adventure. All kids will identify with the realistic alligator who just happens to live you know where.

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
by Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith (illus.)

In this highly acclaimed version, Alexander T. Wolf tells his never-before-heard version of the story. Is he the bad guy history has portrayed him as, or was the big, bad wolf framed? This outrageously funny version of a familiar nursery tale will leave readers grinning all the way to their chinny chin chin.

 

 

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