It is never too early to start reading to your children. Many experts believe the best time to start reading aloud to your child is during the 1st grade. Here is a list of twenty-five great books for 1st graders that you can use to start reading to your child today.
It is crucial to choose the best books that will capture your child’s attention. Doing so will help your child develop a love for reading, improve their literacy skills, and encourage them to use their imagination.
A List of 25 Fantastic Books for 1st Graders to Read
It’s no secret that most parents want their children to grow up to be readers. So, the best books for 1st graders to read are the ones that will make them want to keep reading. And here are twenty-five of the best.
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1. Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel
This book is a classic choice for 1st graders as it follows the adventures of two best friends, Frog and Toad. Throughout the book, your child will laugh and learn along with Frog and Toad as they go through various ups and downs together.
Your child will also be able to relate to the characters and their experiences in these short stories that they can easily follow along as you read, which makes this book an excellent choice for 1st graders.
What kids will learn: Your child will learn about the importance of friendship and how to be a good friend.
2. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
Looking for a book that will make your 1st grader laugh out loud? Look no further than The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss. This classic story is about a mischievous cat who comes to visit two young children on a rainy day. Told in simple rhymes, with lovely illustrations, this book is an excellent choice for 1st graders.
What kids will learn: Besides being a fun story, The Cat in the Hat teaches kids some important lessons about responsibility.
3. The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
In The Day You Begin, your child will follow the story of a young girl who feels out of place in her new school. But as she begins reaching out to her classmates, she soon realizes that everyone is fighting their own battles.
This picture book is a great choice for 1st graders as it teaches them the importance of being accepting and understanding of others. It also shows kids that they are not alone in feeling different or like they don’t belong.
What kids will learn: Your child will learn about acceptance, empathy, and perseverance.
4. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems
One of the best books for 1st graders, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! is quite funny and relatable. While the bus driver’s away, Pigeon tries his best to convince the reader to let him drive the bus. But you, as the reader, know that you mustn’t! Or will you give in?
The hilarity and simple illustrations will surely make this picture book a hit among 1st graders.
What kids will learn: Not only is this a funny book, it also teaches kids the importance of following certain rules.
5. Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
This best-selling book is about a dragon who loves tacos, but what happens when he accidentally eats a spicy salsa? A hilarious story with beautiful illustrations, Dragon Loves Tacos is a perfect picture book for 1st graders who are just starting to read on their own.
What kids will learn: The importance of trying new things and being open-minded.
6. Minnie and Moo: The Case of the Missing Jelly Donut by Denys Cazet
In this book, two cows, Minnie and Moo, go on a mission to solve the mystery of the missing jelly donuts. Your child will love reading about these silly cows and their adventures. With one clue leading to another, this book will keep your child engaged the entire time. Early independent readers can easily keep track of the simple text.
What kids will learn: The importance of paying attention to detail and working together.
7. Margaret and Margarita: Margarita y Margaret by Lynn Reiser
This bilingual picture book is about two best friends, Margaret and Margarita, who live in different worlds. Margaret lives in the city while Margarita lives on a ranch. Despite their vastly different lifestyles, the two girls are best friends. This is a good book for 1st graders, as it teaches them the importance of friendship and humanity.
What kids will learn: Along with the importance of friendship, this book also teaches kids about different cultures and lifestyles.
8. The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
This classic story is about a bull who would rather smell flowers than fight in bullfights. When he is finally chosen to fight, Ferdinand refuses and is sent back home. But his peaceful nature doesn’t stop him from becoming a national hero. The gorgeous ink illustrations are sure to engross kids as they read this simple picture book.
What kids will learn: The Story of Ferdinand is a timeless tale that has a message that is still relevant today. It teaches kids to be true to themselves and not give in to peer pressure.
9. The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
Genre: Historical Fiction
Set in the 1800s, The Birchbark House follows the story of a young Ojibwe girl named Omakayas. As she grows up, she learns about the importance of family, friends, and community. This is a great book for 1st graders who are at a more advanced reading level, giving them a glimpse into another time and place.
What kids will learn: The importance of family, friends, and community.
10. Pea, Bee, & Jay: Stuck Together by Brian Smith
Pea loves to roll, so much so that he rolls right off course and into two new friends, Bee, a honeybee of course, and Jay, a bird who doesn’t know how to fly. This energetic and fun graphic novel for young readers explores unlikely friendships and even teaches a little about prejudice.
What kids will learn: In this illustrated book, the art is simple, and the story is easy to follow. Plus, the message is one that all kids can relate to: the importance of friendship and finding companionship in unlikely places.
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11. Theo TheSaurus by Shelli R. Johannes
Theo the dinosaur loves to find the best words for everything, which is why his nickname is Theo TheSaurus. When he and his friends go on a nature walk, Theo uses his big word skills to describe everything they see. This fun and educational picture book will teach your 1st grader new vocabulary words.
What kids will learn: Along with expanding their vocabularies, kids will also learn the importance of paying attention to detail.
12. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
This classic novel is about a young girl named Fern and her pig, Wilbur. When Wilbur is chosen to be slaughtered, Fern begs her father to let her keep him. She then raises him as her own. When Wilbur is shipped off to the county fair, he meets a spider named Charlotte, who befriends him. When Wilbur learns he will be slaughtered, Charlotte comes up with a plan to save him. The book is great for a read along or early independent reading.
What kids will learn: This is a classic story that generations of kids have loved reading. It is a heart-warming tale about the power of friendship.
13. Tacky and the Winter Games by Helen Lester
Tacky the penguin is back, and this time, he and his friends are competing in the Winter Games. But as usual, Tacky is more interested in having fun than in winning. This is a hilarious picture book that will have your child laughing out loud.
What kids will learn: Although this book is mostly for entertainment, it does teach kids the importance of being a good sport.
14. A Boy Called Dickens by Deborah Hopkinson
Genre: Historical Fiction
This is the story of how Charles Dickens became one of the most famous writers in history. As a boy, Dickens was forced to work in a factory after his father was sent to debtors’ prison. Yet Dickens never gave up on his dream of becoming a writer.
What kids will learn: This picture book not only explores Dickens’ little-known childhood and the inspirations he found for many of his popular characters but also teaches your child the importance of perseverance.
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15. Baloney and Friends by Greg Pizzoli
Baloney and Friends is a graphic novel for young readers about a character named Baloney. The book has three mini tales for young readers: one about Baloney performing magic; another about his friends cheering him up when he’s feeling blue and the third about his bravery about swimming in the pool.
What kids will learn: The importance of good friends and being brave.
16. Aunt Eater Loves a Mystery by Doug Cushman
Aunt Eater is a detective who loves to solve mysteries. In this book, she sets out to find out who broke Aunt Tillie’s teapot. Along the way, she interviews suspects and gathers clues. Can you help Aunt Eater solve the mystery?
Why 1st graders Will Love It: This fun and interactive book with simple text will keep your child engaged. They will also enjoy trying to solve the mystery along with Aunt Eater.
17. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
This is a classic Christmas story about a boy who takes a magical train ride to the North Pole. On the way, he meets Santa Claus and learns the true meaning of Christmas. Not only is this a beautifully illustrated picture book, but it also comes with a CD of the story narrated by Tom Hanks.
What kids will learn: This classic Christmas story will surely get your child in the holiday spirit.
18. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
This is a classic story about a girl named Wanda Petronski who is teased by her classmates for wearing the same dress every day. But Wanda insists that she has one hundred dresses at home, even though everyone knows she’s lying. One day, Wanda doesn’t come to school, and her classmates realize how mean they’ve been. A beautiful book with simple text accompanied by illustrations, Wanda’s story is a lovely way to teach kids about compassion.
What kids will learn: This is a great book for teaching kids about empathy and acceptance.
19. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
This picture book is about a mother duck who leads her eight ducklings on a journey from the Boston Public Garden to the Charles River. Make Way for Ducklings is unique because it is based on a true story. There is now a statue of the mother duck and her ducklings in the Boston Public Garden.
What kids will learn: This is a charming story that your child will surely enjoy. They will also love looking at the beautiful illustrations and learn about a little piece of heart-warming history.
20. Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
This is a humorous story about a worm who keeps a diary. In his diary, he talks about all the adventures of his day, from eating to going to school. This is a fun picture book for 1st graders.
What kids will learn: The story is a great way to teach kids about the life cycle of a worm. They will also learn little facts about worms and their daily life.
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21. The First Thanksgiving by Linda Hayward
This is a non-fiction book about the first Thanksgiving. Aided by colorful illustrations, it tells the story of how the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians came together to celebrate a harvest feast. The book also includes recipes and activities that your child can do.
What kids will learn: This is a great book for kids who are interested in learning about the history of Thanksgiving. There are also recipes and activities that kids can enjoy.
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22. Stone Soup by Ann McGovern
Genre: Fiction/Folk Tale
Stone Soup is a classic story about a clever young man and his journey to make soup from a stone. Along the way, he meets some interesting characters and learns a valuable lesson.
What kids will learn: This illustrated book is a great way to teach kids the value of sharing.
23. Agent Moose by Mo O’Hara
Agent Moose is a secret agent from Big Forest, who, along with his sidekick, Owlfred, like to solve mysteries in zany ways. With Agent Moose and Owlfred on the case, what can go wrong?
What kids will learn: This graphic novel is great for kids who love mysteries as they get an opportunity to exercise their brain and solve the case along with Agent Moose and Owlfred.
24. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
This is a classic picture book about a town where food falls from the sky. At first, the townspeople are excited, but soon they realize that the food is causing problems. Now, it’s up to the townspeople to stop the food from falling.
What kids will learn: This is a fun and unique story that your child will surely enjoy and learn a bit about weather patterns and the environment. They will also love the illustrations.
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25. The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
This beloved classic picture book is about a little house surrounded by city buildings. The house is happy in its location, but one day the city starts to grow, and the house is in danger of being torn down.
What kids will learn: This is a great book for teaching kids about change. They will also learn about the importance of preserving history.
Let’s Instill a Love of Reading in First Graders!
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There you have it, twenty-five of the best books for 1st graders. Reading these books with your child will help them develop a love for reading. You will also help them build their vocabulary and learn about different topics.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are some benefits of reading for 1st graders?
Some benefits of reading for 1st graders include: building their vocabulary, developing their imagination, and gaining knowledge about different topics.
What are some activities that 1st graders can do to enhance their reading?
Some activities that 1st graders can do to enhance their reading include:
- playing reading games,
- listening to audiobooks,
- reading comics.
Where can I find good books for 1st graders?
You can find books for first graders at your local library or an independent bookstore. You can also find online books for 1st graders at various websites or borrow them from your local library.