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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