To celebrate National Library Week, encourage your students to visit their local library and perhaps even make it a family outing. The more they read, the more words they will gain exposure to, and eventually, those words will make their way into everyday vocabulary. Immersing in a good book can transport children to another time and place, and reduce their stress levels.
If you prefer to have a recommended reading list in hand during your library visit, The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is a good place to start. ALSC is a division of the American Library Association that offers booklists and material for children of all ages. Featured book award lists include recipients of the John Newbery Medal, Mildred L. Batchelder Award, Randolph Caldecott Medal, and many more. Parents and caregivers can explore these titles and other resources that will help match or spark their child’s interest.
Every book exposes a reader to opportunities to activate critical thinking, even books without words! For the pre-reader and emergent reader, wordless picture books give children the opportunity to get creative with oral language and establish comprehension by connecting with the story in pictures.
Here are a few favorite wordless books:
The Arrival by Shaun Ton Elephant and Piggie Series by Mo Willems
Mercy Watson by Kate DiCamillo A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog by Mercer Mayer
The Umbrella by Jan Brett Chalk by Bill Thomson
Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day Where is the Cake by TT Khing
A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka The Red Book by Barbara Lehman
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen The Secret Box by Barbara Lehman
Mr. Men series by Roger Hargreaves Little Miss series by Roger Hargreaves
During your library visit, remember to check out a variety of fiction and non-fiction choices and to match books to the appropriate reading level. When children choose books above or below their independent reading level, it can lead to frustration. Books should be selected so that the child can read with few errors and with little help. If a child shows interest in a book that is above this level, then select it as a read-aloud and dive into it together or search for an audiobook version.
Below are some of IMSE’s favorite books for children, segmented into two age categories 8-years old and under and 9-years old and above.
Great Reads for Children 8 and Under
Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld
Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
Froodle by Antoinette Portis
Bee Bim Bop by Linda Sue Park
Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osbourne
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
The Starlight Barking by Dodie Smith
Wonder Bear by Tao Nyen
The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan
Beetle Boy by M.G. Leonard
Oh the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Suess
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Bear Came Along by Richard T. Morris
Thank you, Omu by Oge Mora
Grow Happy by Jon and Sage Lasser
A Single Pebble by John Hersey
The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry
A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead
Bayou Magic by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Baloney by John Scieszka
Great Reads for Children Over 9
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Last Slice of Rainbow by Joan Aiken
Nancy Drew Series by Carolyn Keene
Hardy Boys Series by Franklin W. Dixon
Green Smoke by Rosemary Manning
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
HOOT by Carl Hiaason
The Virginia Mystery Series by Steven K. Smith
Paper Boy by Dav Pilkey
The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis
Capital Mysteries by Ron Roy
Escape from Mr. Lemincello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein
One Amazing Elephant by Linda Oatman High
The Terrible Two by Jory John and Mac Barnett
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The 39 Clues Series by Rick Riordan
Enjoy the book hunt!
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