Ellie Goes Back to School
By: Elle and Marci Fair
Another amazing adventure of Ellie and Pudgy! The book begins with a heartfelt dedication to teachers written by eleven-year-old Elle Fair. As a primary teacher this book is a great read aloud for the beginning of the school year. However with the simple text second graders can easily read the book independently. Parents will enjoy reading this book with young children to help ease the uncertainty of what school will be like.
An additional way educators can use Ellie Goes Back to School is to model their beginning of the year school tour based off of the book. While mimicking Ellie and Pudgy’s adventure in your own school, teachers can take pictures of their class participating in activities/tour and create a class book. What a fun book to display along side of Ellie Goes Back to School at parent/teacher conferences.
What I love about all the books written by Elle and Marci Fair is that my students read their books and tell me, “I can do that. I can write like a ‘real’ author.” This mother/daughter duo is an inspiration to my young writers.
Finally this book is about friendship. Having a true friend and making new friends so others do not feel left out. The idea of a Buddy Bench is introduced and is springboard for social skills discussions. This book has it all and is a must have for primary classrooms. 5 Stars!
By: Edward Miller
This book is filled with recycling facts and helpful tips. Miller does an amazing job of blending fiction and nonfiction. The children in the story are working together to clean up a vacant lot and although the story is fiction it could easily spark personal narrative writing ideas.
Don’t forget to “read” the illustrations. The facial expression on the insects and rats make their personalities come to life. They are also beneficial when teaching students to infer feelings.
Finally this is a perfect book to read on Earth Day and the message that children working together can make a difference is ideal for young children. 5 stars.
Little Puppy and the Big Green Monster
By: Mike Wohnoutka
I’m not sure if the monster or the puppy stole my heart first. The friendship that develops between the puppy and the monster is precious. Little Puppy and the Big Green Monster is a touching read aloud about developing friendships. Little Puppy only wants to play while the Big Green Monster has no interest. An unexpected twist begins a friendship that will touch any reader’s heart.
The simple story is easy for young readers to retell. The illustrations are full of emotion, students as young as kindergarten can work on their inferring skills. This book is also a perfect mentor text for teaching beginning writers how to add feelings to the stories they author by using illustrations. Young or old you will love this book! I am so excited to add this book to my second-grade classroom library. 5 stars
Pig Is Big on Books
By: Douglas Florian
The I Like to Read books are perfect for beginning readers. Pig loves books but one day he runs out of books to read so he decides to write a book…this book. As a primary teacher I appreciate books written at beginning levels that readers can retell using characters, events, setting (inferred), problem and solution. The illustrations are done in crayon and have the “I can do that!” feeling for young writers. This book is for any PreK-1 classroom library. 4 stars.
Pie for Chuck
By: Pat Schories
The I Like to Read books are perfect for beginning readers. Pie for Chuck has a central theme of working together. Beginning readers will love finding the animals in the illustrations inside the front/back covers. The details in the illustrations are astonishing. This book is GRL C and is a story that students can retell. An incredible book for a PreK-K classroom library. 4 stars.
By: Ted Lewin
An I Like to Read book for beginning readers. Animals Work has simple text that is multicultural. At the end of the book is a map of where animals in the book are found. A great introduction of text features to young readers. 3.5 stars.
Cat Got a Lot
By: Steve Henry
An I Like to Read book whose illustrations will surprise readers every time. This book is perfect for beginning readers (PreK-K). The simple text and colorful illustrations will help build confidence while reading a “real” book. Readers will find themselves making predictions about which friend cat is buying each item for. I can’t wait to share this book with the kindergarten teachers at my school. 4 stars.
By: Bruce Degen
This I Like to Read book is GRL D. Beginning readers would benefit from reading the illustrations and making predictions using inferences. Red seems to think being mean is just a joke but Bunny does not see it that way. Using this book as read aloud in a kindergarten class sets the stage for a discussion on being a good friend.
Both Bunny and Red are strong characters. Making this book perfect for introducing character traits to young readers. 4 stars.
By: Dan Moynihan
I love the surprise ending of this I Like to Read book. Any child that loves dinosaurs will want to read this book (GRL E). The little boy in this book is surprised and excited when the eggs in his kitchen hatch into baby dinosaurs. He makes every attempt to hide the dinosaurs from his parents as they grow. The use of speech bubbles encourages readers to add character voices while reading. This will be a great book to share with my beginning readers. 4 stars.