Suggested List of Books

Quality Children’s Books

Read-In Year: 2018

Below you will find our suggested list of books for your consideration. This year we have also included tips on presentation ideas, however these are only suggestions and feel free to let your imagination carry you along as well. While the books are listed by grade level many can overlap and are not necessarily restricted to a single grade. You can also click on the title and it will link you to the web where additional information is available.

The Stockton Barnes & Noble will have a special section set up for the Read-In and staff available to assist you in your selection if needed. If you purchase your book at the local Stockton Barnes & Noble store and mention you are buying it for the Rotary Read-In you will receive a 20% discount on your purchase at the register and your purchase will also add to our Book Fair project supporting our local Stockton, San Joaquin Libraries. Again remember to mention Rotary Read-In.

Thanks again for your participation and support of the annual Rotary Read-In.

Mention that you are purchasing the book for the "Rotary Read-In" and receive a 20% off discount!

These books can be read for any grade. We have put them into grades as suggestions. Suggestions only. Thank you for doing this. Have a great time!

Download this file in PDF format:   Rotary Read-In Book List 2018

Kindergarten

Please, Mr. Panda – Steve Anthony
When Mr. Panda offers his friends doughnuts, he has a lot of takers but only one knows to say the magic words to actually get him to give them away. Sharing tip: use different voices for the different animals. Talk to the kids about manners and why the word “please” is so important.

Polar Bear’s Underwear – Tupera Tupera
Polar Bear seems to have misplaced his underwear. It’s a good thing his friend, Mouse, is there to sort through all the underwear they find. Sharing tip: let the kids guess which animal the underwear belongs to. Try speaking in different voices for Polar Bear and Mouse.

Butterfly Park – Elly MacKay
When a new girl moves into the neighborhood, she draws a community together through her quest to bring butterflies to Butterfly Park. Sharing tip: talk to the class about a time you were the new kid and how you formed new friendships. Ask them for ideas on ways to make new classmates/neighbors feel welcome.

My Cousin Momo – Zachariah O’Hara
When Momo comes to visit, his cousins aren’t very accommodating of his… eccentricities. After a rough start, the cousins eventually find common ground and learn to have fun together before Momo has to fly home. Sharing tip: read in different voices for each character and exaggerate emotions. Talk about feelings and playing nicely.

The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade – Justin Roberts
Little Sally, the smallest girl in her grade, was hardly noticed because of her small stature but Sally was always paying attention. When the time comes for Sally to stop noticing and start doing something to make her school a friendlier place, can she do it? You bet she can! Sharing tip: you don’t have to sing but there is a rhythm to the words so read along with it. Talk to the kids about bullying (where you ever bullied?) and how to change the situation.

One Family – George Shannon
This counting book looks at how families may look different but, in the end, are all one family. Sharing tip: have the kids count the things/people on each page. Ask the kids about their siblings and how many they have.  

Who Wants a Hug? – Jeff Mack
Everyone loves Bear and his big bear hugs except Skunk. He doesn’t like hugs and is set on ruining everybody’s good time but, when that plan backfires, it’s Bear who shows him how to be a friend. Sharing tip: read in different voices for Skunk and Bear. Share a story about when you needed to be a friend even when it was hard or a time you needed a friend and someone helped you.

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons – James Dean.
Count down with Pete whose wearing his shirt with the four groovy buttons and learn about how to handle it when we lose things. Sharing tip: Encourage children to sing Pete’s song with you. Make up a tune or search YouTube for suggestions. Let the kids answer how many buttons are left before turning the page. Then, using your fingers, do the math together. Have fun!

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – Michael Rosen.
Brave bear hunters go through grass, a river, mud, and other obstacles before the inevitable encounter with the bear forces a headlong retreat. Sharing tip: Read the book aloud once, and then read it a second time and have students perform the actions.

Snowy Day – Ezra Jack Keats.
The adventures of a little boy in the city on a very snowy day. Sharing tip: Start a conversation about things that melt or ask students things they typically carry in their pockets.

Corduroy – Don Freeman
When a young girl finally buys the teddy bear, Corduroy, does he realize what he has wanted all along. Sharing tip: Talk about friendship, share about your best friend, ask to hear about theirs (only call on a few)

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom – Bill Martin, Jr.
A fun alphabet book. Sharing tip: Sing the ABCs. Have the kids say "boom, boom" when it comes up in the book. Practice with them before starting to read.

Harold and The Purple Crayon (picture bk) - Crockett Johnson
Harold goes for an adventurous walk in the moonlight with his purple crayon. Sharing tip: Before beginning to read the book, point out the pictures around the room, what great work the students have done. "Let's see what Harold drew as he walked along". Afterwards - what sort of things do you see around your neighborhood?

Is Your Mama a Llama? - Deborah Guarino
A young llama asks other animals if their mamas are llamas. Sharing tip: Interact with the kids as you read. When the young llama asks the animal and gets the response, let the kids fill in what the parent is. "No, my mama is a _________." At the end, ask something like, "Can you guess what my mama is?"

Very Hungry Caterpillar (picture bk) - Eric Carle
A hungry caterpillar eats his way through all kinds of food until he is ready to make his cocoon and become a butterfly. Sharing tip: Talk about butterflies, bring pictures or a book about butterflies with you.

Pigeon Needs a Bath - Mo Willems
The pigeon needs a bath, but he has every excuse in the world not to take one. Sharing tip: Use a funny voice for the pigeon. Talk about fun bath tub toys...what are their favorites. Bring rubber duckies for the kids. They can be found at Oriental Trading Co (www.orientaltrading.com)

Naked - Michael Black
A young child discovers that the only thing more fun than being naked is wearing a cape. Sharing tip: read this book in a child's voice. It is the child talking the whole time. Talk about superheroes, not only the cartoon kind either.

The Duckling Gets a Cookie - Mo Willems
Pigeon is not happy when the duckling gets a cookie. Sharing tip: choose a different voice for each character. Talk about sharing and being polite.

No David - David Shannon
David does a number of naughty things, always hearing "No, David!"...until the end. Sharing tips: Have fun reading this. Ask the kids what David did wrong. "Uh-oh!". We love them no matter what!

Green Lizards vs Red Rectangles - Steve Antony
The Green Lizards and Red Rectangles have long been at war when they discover the only way to resolve their differences is to work together and have some fun. Sharing tips: Intro to the book: "Why are these called rectangles and not squares? What is different about the green lizards and the red rectangles? Oh, ok..." After the book, talk about cooperation. Sharing and working together no matter how different we are.

Press Here - Herve Tullet
Instructs the reader on how to interact with the illustrations to create imaginative images. Sharing tips: Ask for a volunteer to help you read the book. React to what happens. Talk to the kids while it is happening. Why are there blue circles again?...

That's (Not) Mine - Anna Kang
Two bears disagree about who should get to sit in a comfortable chair. Sharing tips: Intro to the book: "Would you rather share your favorite toy or keep it to yourself? Let's see how these bears do things." After the book: talk about sharing - "Who's chair was it? Why? Why do some people have a hard time sharing?" Tell a personal story. Ask for one or more from them.

Don't Push the Button - Bill Cotter
The only rule in Larry's book is that the reader not push the button, but when no one is looking, it may be irresistible. Sharing tips: Have fun with this book! Do everything the book says: push the button, shake it, etc. After reading, talk about the book...colors, size, following the rules, or not.

Wolf's Coming! - Joe Kulka
All of the animals in the forest go into hiding because the wolf is coming, but why they are hiding is the big surprise. Sharing tips: While reading: whisper when the animals are talking about the wolf coming. "Creepy" voice when reading about the wolf. Big loud "SURPRISE!". When done, talk about birthday parties.

Wolfie the Bunny - Ame Duckman
The bunny family adopts a wolf to be their son. Daughter Dot is the only one who realizes he can/might eat them all. Sharing tip: Use your voice to show emotion, a different voice for each character. Talk about judging a book by its cover.

First Grade

Butterfly Park – Elly MacKay
When a new girl moves into the neighborhood, she draws a community together through her quest to bring butterflies to Butterfly Park. Sharing tip: talk to the class about a time you were the new kid and how you formed new friendships. Ask them for ideas on ways to make new classmates/neighbors feel welcome.

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich – Julia Sarcone-Roach
When a bear stumbles into a city, he finds new sites and smells but, most important of all, snacks. Don’t worry though; he finds his way home. Sharing tip: ask who they think is telling the story (the narrator) and why he/she may not be trustworthy. Ask who they think really ate the sandwich.

Fish Jam – Kylie Howarth
This short, jazz-influenced picture book tells the story of a fish too funky for his neighbors, who finds his fishy band of friends and bandmates in the belly of a whale. Sharing tip: don’t be afraid to sing. Let kids dance around a bit and try scatting on their own.

Last Stop on Market Street – Matt de la Peña
CJ and his nana ride the bus after church, running across new people and new things. While CJ may not appreciate all of the things he sees, readers will enjoy his adventure and diverse cast of characters. Sharing tip: ask the kids if they have ever ridden on a bus and where they went. If not many kids have traveled by bus, ask them about spending time with their grandparents.

The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade – Justin Roberts
Little Sally, the smallest girl in her grade, was hardly noticed because of her small stature but Sally was always paying attention. When the time comes for Sally to stop noticing and start doing something to make her school a friendlier place, can she do it? You bet she can! Sharing tip: you don’t have to sing but there is a rhythm to the words so read along with it. Talk to the kids about bullying (where you ever bullied?) and how to change the situation.

Pepper & Poe – Fran Preston-Gannon
When Pepper the cat meets the family’s new kitten, Poe, it is not love at first sight. With time and some trouble-making, the two forge a friendship and become best pals. Sharing tip: talk to the kids about younger siblings and being fair – are Pepper and Poe nice to the dog? What could they have done differently?

Polar Bear’s Underwear – Tupera Tupera
Polar Bear seems to have misplaced his underwear. It’s a good thing his friend, Mouse, is there to sort through all the underwear they find. Sharing tip: let the kids guess which animal the underwear belongs to. Try speaking in different voices for Polar Bear and Mouse.

Click, Clack Moo: Cows That Type – Doreen Cronin
The cows find a typewriter in the barn and start typing demands for Farmer Brown, even going on strike until he complies. Sharing tip: Talk about technology..."Who knows what a typewriter is?"

Green Lizards vs. Red Rectangles - Steve Antony
The Green Lizards and Red Rectangles have long been at war when they discover the only way to resolve their differences is to work together and have some fun. Sharing tips: Intro to the book: "Why are these called rectangles and not squares? What is different about the green lizards and the red rectangles? Oh, ok..." After the book, talk about cooperation. Sharing and working together no matter how different we are.

Bulldozer's Big Day - Candace Fleming
Bulldozer wants to invite all of his co-workers to a party to celebrate his special day, but to them it is just another day for scooping, sifting, stirring, and more. Sharing tips: Use different voices for each machine. Can skip some pages, just paperclip them together. Talk about birthdays. Ask a would you rather question: "Would you rather have a cake with white frosting or with chocolate frosting?

Llama, Llama Red Pajama – Anna Dewdney
At bedtime a little llama worries after his mama puts him to bed and goes downstairs. Sharing tips: talk about being afraid and the love of our parents. Share a real story from your life of being afraid and your parent(s) came to the rescue (short and sweet).

Harry the Dirty Dog – Gene Zion
A white dog with black spots runs away. When he returns, his family does not recognize him all black with white spots. Sharing tip: talk about hygiene, staying clean so everyone can still recognize you. What colors could they turn? How would they get clean?

A Bad Case of Stripes – David Shannon
In order to make sure she is popular, Camilla always does what is expected, until the day comes and she no longer recognizes herself. Sharing tip: How wonderful it is to be an individual. What kinds of things do they like to do to have fun?

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (picture book) - Mo Willems
You, the reader, cannot let the pigeon drives the bus, no matter how determined the pigeon is to do it. Sharing tip: funny voice for the pigeon. Let the kids say "No" each time the pigeon asks or says something. Practice ahead of time saying "no".

Leonardo the Terrible Monster - Mo Willems
Leonard is not at good at being a monster and has to decide whether being a monster is what he really wants to be. Sharing tip: What does it mean to be a friend? Who was your best friend and what did you like doing together?

Bear Snores On - Karma Wilson
On a cold winter night, many animals gather to party in the cave of a sleeping bear, who awakes and complains about missing all the food and fun. Sharing tip: Talk about hibernation.

The Farmer's Away - Anne Vittur Kennedy
What mischief do the animals get into while the farmer's away? Let the animals tell you. Sharing tip: There are only animal noises in this book. This is a great book for interacting with the kids. Every so often, point to an animal and let them make the noise. Talk about animals...which is their favorite? Why?

Bear Sees Colors - Karma Wilson
A walk in the woods give bear ample opportunities to see colors. Sharing tip: Do NOT read the question at the bottom of each color page. What is their favorite color and why? Have them stand up if they are wearing _____ (color)

Here Comes the Big Mean Dust Bunny - Jan Thomas
Who thought reading about dust bunnies could be so funny? They rhyme. They have to learn to deal with the big mean dust bunny. Sharing tip: Try to use different voices - 5 "dust bunnies". Talk about being nice/kind. How that can change how others behave.

Have You Seen My Dragon? - Steve Light
Going up and down the city streets, a young boy tries to find his friend. His friend just happens to be a dragon. Sharing tip: This is a counting book. Count on each page with the kids. Also, ask if they can see the dragon. Do not let them get out of their seats, just tell you where.

Night Animals - Gianna Marino
Scary creatures who are themselves cowardly makes for giggles. Who are they running from? Sharing tip: Use different voices that fit the animal: low and growls for the bear, high pitched for the bat, etc. Point to each animal as it is introduced and let the kids tell you what it is. What makes us scared? Share a story from your childhood about a time you were scared, or were you afraid of the dark?

Wolfie the Bunny - Ame Duckman
The bunny family has adopted a wolf for a son. Daughter Dot is the only one who realizes he can/might eat them all. Sharing tip: Use your voice to show emotion, changing your voice for the different characters. Talk about judging a book by its cover.

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons - James Dean
Count down with Pete whose wearing his shirt with its four groovy buttons. Learn how to handle it when losing things. Sharing tip: Encourage the kids to sing Pete's song with you. Make up a tune or look it up on YouTube. Let the kids answer how many buttons are left before turning the page. Then, using your fingers, do the math together. Have fun!

That's (Not) Mine - Anna Kang
Two bears disagree on who should be able to sit in the chair. Sharing tip: Before reading the story ask, "Would you rather share your favorite toy or keep it to yourself? Let's see how the bears handle that question." Use distinct voices for the 2 arguing bears. After the book talk about sharing. why do some people have a hard time sharing? Tell a personal story about a time you had a hard time sharing.

Not a Box or Not a Stick - Antoinette Portis
A rabbit shows all kinds of things you can do with a box (or a stick). Sharing tip: Use a "low", adult voice when asking the question each time. Let the kids tell you what the bunny is doing with the box/stick. Talk about a favorite toy that did not come from the store. Can they think of what else they might do with a box/stick?

Let's Play in the Forest While the Wolf is not Around - Claudia Rueda
Animals are happily playing in the forest, but are always checking to make sure the wolf is not around. What kinds of things could the wolf be doing and why? Sharing tip: Try saying the "Let's play in the forest while the wolf is not around" in a kind of sing-song voice, a simple melody. Each time "someone" asks "Wolf, are you there?" Use a different voice. For the wolf, use a low, growls voice. At the end, pause each time he says, "And. I'm going to eat..." What games do they like to play?

Interrupting Chicken - David Ezra Stein
Papa is trying to put baby chicken to bed, but he keeps interrupting the story. Papa runs out of stories to read. What story will baby chicken tell? Sharing tip: this is one of my favorite books. Use different voices for the papa and baby. Be animated when baby interrupts the stories. After, let them share about their favorite bedtime book. If you have one that you remember, bring it along and read it if there is time.

Second Grade

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich – Julia Sarcone-Roach
When a bear stumbles into a city, he finds new sites and smells but, most important of all, snacks. Don’t worry though; he finds his way home. Sharing tip: ask who they think is telling the story (the narrator) and why he/she may not be trustworthy. Ask who they think really ate the sandwich.

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt – Kate Messner
Following the seasons of a garden and its inhabitants, Messner’s book dives into the natural world. Focusing on a grandmother and grandchild, the story hops between their above ground world and the creepy-crawlers below their feet. Sharing tip: talk to the kids about different fruits and vegetables – how many can they name? What kinds of bugs and animals did they see in the book? What do the kids know about gardening? Do they grow anything with their family?

Last Stop on Market Street – Matt de la Peña
CJ and his nana ride the bus after church, running across new people and new things. While CJ may not appreciate all of the things he sees, readers will enjoy his adventure and diverse cast of characters. Sharing tip: ask the kids if they have ever ridden on a bus and where they went. If not many kids have traveled by bus, ask them about spending time with their grandparents.

In A Cloud of Dust – Alma Fullerton
A beautifully illustrated book that follows a group of students when they borrow bikes from the local bike-borrowing service. Set in Tanzania, this book offers a glimpse into the typical school day of someone that lives in a faraway place. Sharing tip: Talk about how the kids you’re reading to get to school every day. Do they travel a long way? Do they have different ways of getting to school?   

Diary of a Worm (picture book)– Doreen Cronin
This book tells the worm's eye view of the world. He is a normal "kid" but different, seeing how he is a worm after all. Sharing tip: Talk about how the worm in the book is like us and how he is different. Maybe make a list of same and different. Let the kids tell you which thing goes in which category. Isn't this true of all of us? Some things about us are the same and some things are not. All good!

There is a Bird on Your Head – Mo Willems
Gerald learns there are worse things than having a bird on your head...mainly more than one. Sharing tip: different voices for the 2 characters. Talk about helping each other and others. Why is it important to think about others and to do things for them.

A Bad Case of Stripes - David Shannon
In order to make sure she so popular, Camilla does everything expected of her. Until one day she wakes up and cannot even recognize herself. Sharing tip: Talk about how wonderful it is to be individuals. Ask them what one thing they do best.

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (picture book) - Mo Willems. (Any pigeon book!)
It is up to the reader not to let the pigeon drive the bus, no matter what way he tries to convince you otherwise. Sharing tip: Use a crazy gravelly voice for the pigeon. Before reading, practice with the kids saying "no." After reading the part here the bus driver asks them not to let the pigeon drive the bus, let them know it is their responsibility to keep the bus safe. Shake your head whenever they are to say 'NO." Be sure to talk about what the pigeon wants to drive next. Don't tell them. Let them tell you. Why is it so bad the pigeon driving the bus or the truck? What do you want to do but you keep hearing "no"? Is it a good thing or a bad thing they are told "no"?

Harry the Dirty Dog - Gene Zion
A white dog with black spots runs away. When he returns, his family does not recognize him all black with white spots. Sharing tip: talk about hygiene, staying clean so everyone can still recognize you. What colors could they turn? How would they get clean?

Llama, Llama Red Pajama - Ann Dewdney
At bedtime a little llama worries after his mama puts him to bed and goes downstairs. Sharing tips: talk about being afraid and the love of our parents. Share a real story from your life of being afraid and your parent(s) came to the rescue (short and sweet).

Amelia Bedelia - Peggy Parish. (Any Amelia Bedelia book)
Amelia is always getting things confused and doing silly things, though it all seems to work out right in the end. Sharing tip: when Amelia does something "wrong" stop and see if the kids get what it is?
"Amelia did what? What was she supposed to do?" After the book, talk about things we say that would not make sense to an alien if they came to Earth. "It's raining cats and dogs." What does it mean? Does it really rain cats and dogs?

Nugget and Fang - Tammi Sauer
Nugget, a minnow, and Fang, a shark, are the best of friends until Nugget goes off to school and learns that minnows are supposed to be afraid of sharks. Sharing tip: Use different voices for the 2 main characters, high and sweet for Nugget, gruff and low for Fang. Talk about what it means to be friends, what is loyalty?

Green Lizards vs Red Rectangles - Steve Antony
The Green Lizards and Red Rectangles have long been at war when they discover the only way to resolve their differences is to work together and have some fun. Sharing tips: Intro to the book: "Why are these called rectangles and not squares? What is different about the green lizards and the red rectangles? Oh, ok..." After the book, talk about cooperation. Sharing and working together no matter how different we are.

Splat the Cat (picture book) - Rob Scotton
It is Splat the Cat's first day of school. He is nervous, so sneaks along his friend, a mouse. Chaos ensues. Sharing tips: Have fun. Splat the Cat is a fun character with the best of intentions. Talk about friendship and loyalty.

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons or Pete the Cat: I love my White Shoes - James Dean and Eric Litwin
Whether reading about four groovy buttons or white shoes, Pete the Cat has a cool, calm demeanor…all is cool. Sharing tip: make up a melody or check you tube. Encourage the kids to sing with you. Whether doing math or figuring out colors, let the kids answer the question before turning the page. Talk about not letting the little things get you down. How can we turn lemons into lemonade?

Toys Meet Snow -Emily Jenkins
3 toys see snow for the first time and decide to go outside to play. Star fish sees the world in poetic words. Plastic Ball sees the world through facts. Sharing tip: Different voices that fit the type of toy they are. After reading talk about fact vs. "fiction." They are different, but both valuable.

Interrupting Chicken - David Ezra Stein
Papa is trying to put baby chicken to bed, but he keeps interrupting the story. Papa runs out of stories to read. What story will baby chicken tell? Sharing tip: this is one of my favorite books. Use different voices for the papa and baby. Be animated when baby interrupts the stories. After, let them share about their favorite bedtime book. If you have one that you remember, bring it along and read it if there is time.

Night Animals - Gianna Marino
Scary creatures who are themselves cowardly makes for giggles. Who are they running from? Sharing tip: Use different voices that fit the animal: low and growls for the bear, high pitched for the bat, etc. Point to each animal as it is introduced and let the kids tell you what it is. What makes us scared? Share a story from your childhood about a time you were scared, or were you afraid of the dark?

Wild Feelings - David Milgrim
Milgrim uses animal metaphors (costumes) to talk about different feelings. Great illustrations. Sharing tip: Point out the different costumes the boy is wearing. When you are done with the book, you can go back and ask why this animal means _______. Let someone share a time when they felt that way. Share a time from your own past.

Rude Cakes - Rowboat Watkins
Who knew cakes could be so rude? A not-so-sweet cake - who never says please or thank you and never listens to its parents - gets its just desserts. Sharing tip: Have fun with the voices. Talk about manners.

Waiting is Not Easy - Mo Willems
Another Elephant and Piggy book. Piggy has a surprise for Elephant, but it is hard to wait. The surprise is totally worth it. Sharing tip: Read with 2 distinct voices, full of emotion. Ask the kids how patient they are. Share about a surprise you had to wait for.

Here Comes the Big Mean Dust Bunny - Jan Thomas
Who thought reading about dust bunnies could be so funny? They rhyme. They have to learn to deal with the big mean dust bunny. Sharing tip: Try to use different voices - 5 "dust bunnies". Talk about being nice/kind. How that can change how others behave.

I Need My Monster - Amanda Noll
When Ethan's resident "under the bed" monster named Gabe takes an unexpected vacation, a host of substitutes apply to fill in for him. Sharing tip: Try varying voices for the monsters applying for the job. after the book: take a vote - which monster did they like best? Why? Go back to the pictures and agree/disagree for various reasons. Have fun.

What Pet Should I Get? - Dr. Seuss
What happens when a brother and sister visit a pet store to pick a pet? Naturally, they cannot choose just one. Sharing tip: Before reading ask..."How many of you have pets? Raise hands only, no talking." "Dog? ...Cat? ...Iguana? ...Tiger?" AFTER: talk about how hard it can be to make up your mind. Which animal would they have chosen? Use the pictures in the book. Talk about each one and why it would be perfect.

Let's Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy - Jan Thomas
As the cowboy tries to get the cows to sleep with a sweet lullaby, he keeps seeing things that scare him. when the scariest thing of all comes along, he isn't scared, or is he? Sharing tip: Make up a melody for the lullaby. Use a southern accent for the cowboy. Have fun with this one. Exaggerate the EEEEEKS! Talk about being afraid of the dark at bedtime. Have a story? Share it.

Third Grade

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt – Kate Messner
Following the seasons of a garden and its inhabitants, Messner’s book dives into the natural world. Focusing on a grandmother and grandchild, the story hops between their above ground world and the creepy-crawlers below their feet. Sharing tip: talk to the kids about different fruits and vegetables – how many can they name? What kinds of bugs and animals did they see in the book? What do the kids know about gardening? Do they grow anything with their family?

In A Cloud of Dust – Alma Fullerton
A beautifully illustrated book that follows a group of students when they borrow bikes from the local bike-borrowing service. Set in Tanzania, this book offers a glimpse into the typical school day of someone that lives in a faraway place. Sharing tip: Talk about how the kids you’re reading to get to school every day. Do they travel a long way? Do they have different ways of getting to school?   

Interrupting Chicken – David Ezra Stein
Papa is trying to put baby chicken to bed, but he keeps interrupting the story. Papa runs out of stories to read. What story will baby chicken tell? Sharing tip: this is one of my favorite books. Use different voices for the papa and baby. Be animated when baby interrupts the stories. After, let them share about their favorite bedtime book. If you have one that you remember, bring it along and read it if there is time.

What Pet Should I Get? - Dr. Suess
What happens when a brother and sister visit a pet store to pick a pet? Naturally, they cannot choose just one. Sharing tip: Before reading ask..."How many of you have pets? Raise hands only, no talking." "Dog?...Cat?...Iguana?...Tiger?" AFTER: talk about how hard it can be to make up your mind. Which animal would they have chosen? Use the pictures in the book. Talk about each one and why it would be perfect.

What Do You Do With an Idea? - Kobi Yamada
What do you do with a brilliant idea? Especially an idea that is different or daring? This is the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it about. Sharing tip: After reading the book talk about being an individual. Why was the child successful in the end? Why do we want to do what everybody else is doing? ...What kinds of things would we not have in this world if someone did not follow a brilliant idea? Computers, cars, etc...

Peanut Butter and Cupcake - Terry Border
What's a piece of bread to do when he is feeling lonely? Why, find a friend of course. Sometimes this harder to do than it seems. Follow Peanut Butter on his journey to do just that. Sharing tip: Interact with the kids while you read. The book is full of puns. Have fun with them. After: What other foods go together like peanut butter and jelly? What are some of their favorite foods? You?

Iggy Peck Architect - Andrea Beaty
Iggy's teacher does not like architecture. Ivy loves it too much to leave it behind. Can they reach an understanding? Sharing tip: Before reading the book ask: "What are some things you LOVE to do? Gigs loves architecture. Can someone tell me what that is?" AFTER the book: "Unpackage" the story. Was it bad for Iggy to use architecture in class? Why/why not? How did they work it out? Talk about dreaming big for themselves and not letting their dream go!

I Need My Monster - Amanda Noll
When Ethan's resident "under the bed" monster named Gabe takes an unexpected vacation, a host of substitutes apply to fill in for him. Sharing tip: Try varying voices for the monsters applying for the job. after the book: take a vote - which monster did they like best? Why? Go back to the pictures and agree/disagree for various reasons. Have fun.

The Power of Henry’s Imagination - Skye Byrne
When Henry's beloved stuffed bunny, Raspberry, goes missing he gets his whole family to help him find the bunny. How can Henry's imagination help? Sharing tip: Talk to the kids while reading the book. What do they think of that idea? What do you think will happen if Henry does that? Let's find out. After the book: What if no one used their imaginations. What would we have to go without? Computers, cars, etc...

We’re in the Wrong Book - Richard Byrn
When a potato-sack race goes awry, Bella and Ben find themselves on the wrong page. How are they going to find their way back? Sharing tip: Tell a story when you were lost and how you found your way back. Ask the kids if they have ever been lost. What did they do? You can talk about safety.

The Book with No Pictures - B.J. Novack
This book literally has no pictures. Your voice is the greatest tool for this book. The reader has to read everything in the book, no matter how crazy. Sharing tip: This is a fun book. Have fun reading it. Make the noises. Be embarrassed, be annoyed, etc. After the book: ask them what pictures they would have put in the book. Did they miss pictures? Why/why not? What would they write a book about?

Evermore Dragon - Barbara Joosse
In a game of hide and seek, little girl wanders off too far. Dragon is searching everywhere for her. When he finally hears her voice, he comes flying. Sharing tip: Use voices for the girl and the dragon. The dragon can be sweet but low. Before reading: Ask - What do you think "Evermore Dragon" means? Think about your best friend while we read this book. After the book: "Now that we have finished the book, what does the evermore dragon mean?" What kinds of things make up a best friend? What kind of friend do you want to be?

I Yam a Donkey - Cece Bell
Yam is trying to get donkey to understand grammar. Does donkey catch on? Sharing tip: Use different voices. Use emotion while you read! Before reading ask: What is wrong with this title? After the book: Go over the lesson the yam is trying to teach the donkey, letting the kids supply the proper words - I ___ (am), you _____, etc. Talk about why grammar is important. How do they like learning grammar from a yam?

My Teacher is a Monster - Peter Brown
Bobby has the worst teacher ever. She yells, she's loud and she makes you miss recess if you throw a paper airplane in class. She is a monster. What happens when Bobby meets his teacher outside of school? Sharing tip: Use your voice to illustrate the different "teachers" - the monster and the woman on the bench. Talk about how we judge people. Give different scenarios...what if they saw a purple alien walking down the street. Would the alien be there to kill them? Maybe, maybe not. How can you tell? Etc.

Night Animals - Gianna Marino
Scary creatures who are themselves cowardly makes for giggles. Who are they running from? Sharing tip: Use different voices that fit the animal: low and growls for the bear, high pitched for the bat, etc. Point to each animal as it is introduced and let the kids tell you what it is. What makes us scared? Share a story from your childhood about a time you were scared, or were you afraid of the dark?

There was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight - Penny Klosterman
A singing book using the melody from "There was an old woman who swallowed a fly." The dragon does indeed swallow a knight, a steed and so on. What a silly dragon. Sharing tip: Interact with the kids..."He swallowed a what? How can that be?" Practice this book! It will make it much easier when you are in the classroom. After the story: "If you were to write a story about an alien, what sorts of things might he swallow if he came to Earth?" have fun making up a story with the kids.

Froodle - Antoinette Portis
What if you just don't want to make the sound a little brown bird is supposed to make? Can't you say whatever you want? That is just what the brown bird does! Sharing tip: Have fun making the noises for all the birds. When the dove talks, extend the vowels and talk with a "coo". After the book: talk about the fun noises the brown bird made. Why did those strange words come out of his mouth and why were the other birds so upset about it? What if we all were just like everyone thought we should be. What is the good thing about being ourselves/individuals?

Let's Sing a Song with the Brave Cowboy - Jan Thomas
As the cowboy tries to get the cows to sleep with a sweet lullaby, he keeps seeing things that scare him. when the scariest thing of all comes along, he isn't scared, or is he? Sharing tip: Make up a melody for the lullaby. Use a southern accent for the cowboy. Have fun with this one. Exaggerate the EEEEEKS! Talk about being afraid of the dark at bedtime. Have a story? Share it.

Nugget and Fang - Tammi Sauer
Nugget, a minnow, and Fang, a shark, are the best of friends until Nugget goes off to school and learns that minnows are supposed to be afraid of sharks. Sharing tip: Use different voices for the 2 main characters, high and sweet for Nugget, gruff and low for Fang. Talk about what it means to be friends, what is loyalty?

Diary of a Worm (picture book) - Diane Cronin
This book tells the worm's eye view of the world. He is a normal "kid" but different, seeing how he is a worm after all. Sharing tip: Talk about how the worm in the book is like us and how he is different. Maybe make a list of same and different. Let the kids tell you which thing goes in which category. Isn't this true of all of us? Some things about us are the same and some things are not. All good!