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Pick of the Decade 1998-2008 The Best Books for Children Grades k-8

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Easy Readers

Bauer, Marion Dane. Snow, 2003.

The delights of snow, and information about it, are both well covered as a child and dog energetically explore the wonders of winter. (See also: Clouds and Wind.)
Capucilli, Alyssa. Biscuit and the Little Pup, 2008.

Biscuit tries to coax a little puppy to come out and play. (Newest title in the series that begins with Biscuit.)

Godwin, Laura. Happy and Honey, 2000.

Honey, a frisky kitten, is determined to wake up Happy, the dog, so that they can play. (Sequels: Honey Helps, The Best Fall of All, and Happy Christmas, Honey.)

McNamara, Margaret. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 2007.

Mrs. Connor's students at Robin Hill School share their dreams for the future after learning about the day that celebrates the life and dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Newest in the Robin Hill School series.

McPhail, David. Jack and Rick, 2002.

Jack and Rick, a rabbit and a bear, work together to find a way to cross the stream that is separating them. With just one sentence per page, this is perfect for just beginning readers. (Sequel: Rick Is Sick.)

McPhail, David. Big Pig and Little Pig, 2001.

McPhail’s wonderful illustrations bring to life this very simple story of two pigs who celebrate that they are friends even though they are very different.

Meister, Cari. Tiny on the Farm, 2008.

Eliot and his big dog, Tiny, visit a farm and help Eliot's uncle find a missing litter of kittens. (Newest in a series that begins with When Tiny Was Tiny.)

Milgrim, David. Swing Otto, Swing, 2005.

When Otto, a small robot, has trouble learning to swing on vines like his monkey friends, he decides to make his own swing set instead. (Newest in a series that begins with Ride Otto, Ride.)

Moran, Alex. Boots for Beth, 2002.

Beth has outgrown her red cowgirl boots and each of her friends tries to help the pig find a new pair.

Pierce, Terry. Tae Kwon Do! 2006

Easy-to-read, rhyming text describes a Tae kwon do class, at which children learn to kick, punch, and spin, as well as to cooperate and have fun.

Rylant, Cynthia. Puppy Mudge Wants to Play, 2005.

Henry wants to read his book but frisky puppy Mudge wants to play. (Newest in a series that begins with Puppy Mudge Has a Snack.)

Schaefer, Lola. Mittens, 2006.

Nick helps Mittens the kitten adjust to life in a new home. (Sequels: Follow Me, Mittens and What’s That, Mittens?)

Shaw, Nancy. Sheep Blast Off, 2008.

Upon finding a spaceship, sheep climb aboard and bumble around until they blast off into orbit.

(Newest in the series taht begins with Sheep in a Jeep.)
Weeks, Sarah. Splish, Splash, 1999

Goldfish Chub is joined in the tub by an every growing assortment of animals. The illustrations add humor to the familiar story. (See also: Baa Choo!)

Picture Books and Easy Readers for Second Grade

Picture Books

Alexander, Lloyd. How the Cat Swallowed Thunder, 2000.

Mother Holly instructs Cat to do the chores while she is away but instead he makes mischief of one kind or another. (See also: The King’s Fountain, The House Gobbaleen, and The Fortune-Tellers.)

Arnosky, Jim. Dolphins on the Sand, 2008.

When a pod of dolphins becomes beached on the sand and ends up in distress, a group of devoted dolphin rescuers intervenes to give them the care and comfort they need to regain their strength so that they can return to their home in open waters.

Auch, Mary Jane. Beauty and the Beaks, 2007.

When Lance, a very pretentious turkey, arrives on the farm and boasts that he is the only bird invited to a special feast, no hen is impressed, but when Beauty learns that Lance is the main course, she convinces the others to save him.

Best, Cari. Goose’s Story, 2002.

Each spring, a girl and her dog watch the Canadian geese return. One year she notices that a goose is missing a foot and does her best to help it. (See also: Shrinking Violet and Sally Jean, the Bycle Queen.)

Bertrand, Lynne. Granite Baby, 2005.

Back when folks first discovered granite, five burly sisters ruled the mountains of New Hampshire. No problem was too big for those women. But when one sister carves a live baby out of granite, a problem appears that might be too small.

Biedrzycki, David. Ace Lacewing, Bug Detective, 2005.

When Motham City’s Queenie Bee is kidnapped, Ace Lacewing is on the case, delving into the underside of the bug world to rescue her.

Breen, Steve. Violet the Pilot, 2008.

Young Violet's only friend is her dog, Orville, until one of her homemade flying machines takes her to the rescue of a Boy Scout troop in trouble.

Brett, Jan. The Three Snow Bears, 2007.

Retells the story of Goldilocks, set in an Inuit village and featuring a family of polar bears.

Brown, Marc. Arthur Lost and Found, 1998.

One of the myriad of “Arthur” stories, here, Arthur and Buster take a bus for the first time. When they fall asleep the miss their stop and end up lost in a strange part of town. (One of the Arthur series which begins with Arthur’s Nose.)

Clark, Emma Chichester. Piper, 2007.

When Piper the dog's grim new master treats him badly, he is terrified and runs away to the big city where his courage and desire to please makes him a hero and finds him a new, loving home.

Cunnane, Kelly. For You Are a Kenyan Child. 2006.

Spend a day in a Kenyan village as a boy puts off his chores in order to explore more interesting things.

Daly, Niki. Once Upon a Time, 2003.

Sarie, who lives in South Africa, has trouble reading, until practicing with her Aunt Anna gives her confidence. (See also: Ruby Sings the Blues.)

Daly, Niki. Welcome to Zanzibar Road, 2006.

After moving into the house on Zanzibar Road that her neighbors helped her build, Mama Jumbo decides to share it with Little Chico.

Daly, Niki. Pretty Salma: A Little Red Riding Hood Story from Africa, 2007.

In this version of "Little Red Riding Hood," set in Ghana, a young girl fails to heed Granny's warning about the dangers of talking to strangers.

De Paola, Tomie. Strega Nona Takes a Vacation, 2000.

When Strega Nona sets off for the seashore for a much needed vacation, she leaves her assistants, Big Anthony and Bambolona in charge and that can only lead to trouble. (Previous titles: Strega Nona; Big Anthony and the Magic Ring; Strega Nona’s Magic Lessons; Merry Christmas, Strega Nona; Strega Nona Meets Her Match; Strega Nona: Her Story; and Big Anthony: His Story.)

DeSeve, Randall. Toy Boat, 2007. (SP)

A toy boat gets separated from its owner and has an adventure on the high seas.

Diakite, Penda. I Lost My Tooth in Africa, 2006.

While on vacation with her family in Mali, Amina’s tooth first becomes loose and then pops out. She follows village tradition and leaves her tooth under a gourd, hoping she will indeed get a chicken from the African Tooth Fairy.

Donaldson, Julia. Tyrannosaurous Drip, 2008.

A duckbilled dinosaur, accidentally raised by fierce tyrannosauruses who would eat duckbills if only they could reach them, tries to be like his "family" but finally gives up, runs away, and finds a real home with others of his kind.

Elya, Susan Middleton. Eight Animals on the Town, 2000.

Eight animals go to market, to supper, and to dance, introducing the numbers from one to eight and vocabulary in English and Spanish. (Sequels: Eight Animals Bake a Cake and Eight Animals Play Ball.)

English, Karen. Hot Day on Abbott Avenue, 2004.

After having a fight, two friends spend the day ignoring each other, until the lure of a game of jump rope helps them to forget about being mad.

Fleischman, Paul. Weslandia, 1999.

Wesley grows a garden full of large, strange plants and decides to create his own civilization.

Funke, Cornelia. The Princess Knight, 2003.

Princess Violetta learns the same knightly skills as her brothers, but when they tease her, she practices at night until she becomes better than they are. (See also: Pirate Girl.)

Funke, Cornelia. Pirate Girl, 2006.

Ferocious Captain Firebeard thinks that he and his band of ruthless pirates rule the high seas, but Firebeard's crew meet their match when they kidnap a girl named Molly.

Funke, Cornelia. Princess Pigsty, 2007.

Tired of being a princess, the youngest of three sisters throws her crown out the window and finds happiness working in the royal kitchen and pigsty.

Grey, Mini. The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon, 2006.

Having run away together, the Dish and the Spoon from the nursery rhyme "The Cat and the Fiddle" become vaudeville stars before turning to a life of crime.

Grey, Mini. Ginger Bear, 2007.

Despite being baked to perfection, Ginger Bear the cookie decides that he does not want to become one child's tasty treat and so heads for the hills in an attempt to avoid his culinary destiny.

Grindley, Sally. It’s My School, 2006.

Tom is not happy that his younger sister, Alice, is starting kindergarten at his school and doesn't understand why he has to share his school with his annoying little sister.

Haseley, Dennis. The Invisible Moose, 2006.

When his beloved is captured by Steel McSteal, a shy moose summons his courage and, with the help of an invisibility potion, sets off to rescue her in New York City.

Hoffman, Mary. Princess Grace, 2008.

Grace wants to participate in her community festival's princess float, but first she must decide what sort of a princess she wants to be--from an African princess in kente cloth robes to a floaty pink fairy tale princess. (Previous titles: Amazing Grace and Boundless Grace.)

Holt, Kimberly Willis. Skinny Brown Dog, 2007.

Although he keeps telling everyone that the stray pooch on his doorstep does not belong to him, Benny the baker's customers become amused by the determined pooch and name him Brownie, thus when an unexpected incident happens and Brownie comes to Benny's rescue, Benny realizes that having a dog like Brownie isn't such a bad thing after all!

Hughes, Shirley. Ella’s Big Chance: A Jazz-Age Cinderella, 2004.

In this version of the Cinderella tale set in the 1920s, Ella has two men courting her--the handsome Duke of Arc and Buttons the delivery boy.

Isaacs, Anne. Pancakes for Supper, 2006.

In the backwoods of New England, a young girl cleverly fends off the threats of wild animals by trading her clothes for her safety.

Jackson, Alison. Thea’s Tree, 2008.

Thea plants old bean seeds for a science project and ends up with a magical, gigantic tree that she can hardly handle.

Johnson, David A. Snow Sounds: An Onomatopoeic Story, 2006.

A nearly-wordless book in which a young boy, eager to reach a much-anticipated holiday party on time, listens to the sounds of the shovels, snow plow, and other equipment used to clear his way.

Joosse, Barbara. Hot City, 2004.

Mimi and her little brother Joe escape from home and the city's summer heat to read and dream about princesses and dinosaurs in the cool, quiet library.

Kellogg, Steven. The Mysterious Tadpole: The 25th Anniversary Edition, 2002.

Kellogg has updated the illustrations and filled in the plot of his classic story of the special birthday present that he receives from his uncle in Scotland.

Klise, Kate. Little Rabbit and the Night Mare, 2008.

Little Rabbit is so worried about his first school report that his sleep is troubled by a terrifying Night Mare. (Previous titles: Shall I Knit You a Hat? and Why Do You Cry?)

Krensky, Stephen. Big Bad Wolves at School, 2007.

Rufus, a young wolf, has a hard time fitting in at the Big Bad Wolf Academy where he has been sent to learn to huff and puff until the day he uses his true talent.

Kurtz, Jane. In the Small, Small Night, 2005.

Kofi can't sleep in his new home in the United States, so his older sister Abena soothes his fears about life in a different country by telling him two folktales from their native Ghana about the nature of wisdom and perseverance.

Kuskin, Karla. So, What’s It Like to Be a Cat? 2005.

A cat answers a young child's questions about such things as how much and where it sleeps, and whether or not it likes living with people. . (See also: The Upstairs Cat, The Dallas Titans Get Ready for Bed and The Philharmonic Gets Dressed.)

Marshall, James. Swine Lake, 1999.

The Boarshoi ballet is performing Swine Lake and when the wolf peeks in to observe, he thinks it’s the perfect opportunity to snatch his dinner. (See also: George and Martha; George and Martha Encore; George and Martha Rise and Shine; George and Martha, Tons of Fun; George and Martha Back in Town; The Cut-Ups; Wings: A Tale of Two Chickens; Red Riding Hood; The Cut-Ups Cut Loose; George and Martha Round and Round; The Three Little Pigs; The Cut-Ups at Camp Custer; Hansel and Gretel; and The Cut-Ups Carry On.)

Mayhew, James. The Knight Who Took All Day, 2005.

When a knight takes too long to be attired correctly for dragon fighting, the princess tames the dragon in stead.

McNaughton, Collin. We’re Off to Hunt for Aliens, 2008.

A wild and wacky book within a book features rocket ships, alien creatures, romantic twists, fun-filled rhymes, and bright illustrations.

Meddaugh, Susan. The Witch’s Walking Stick, 2005.

When a witch loses her magic walking stick, which has been used over the years to grant hundreds of miserable wishes, she tricks a young girl into finding and returning it, with unexpected results. (See also: Cinderella’s Rat.)

Melling, David. The Scallywags, 2006.

When a family of wolves known as the Scallywags finds itself shunned by the other animals in the community because of its disorderly behavior, the wolves decide to learn some manners.

Morgan, Mary. Dragon Pizzeria, 2008.

Two dragons, BeBop and Spike, open a pizzeria in Fairy Tale Land and deliver unique pizzas to various fairytale characters.

Nedwidek, John. Ducks Don’t Wear Socks, 2008.

Emily, a serious girl, meets a duck who helps her see the more humorous side of life.

Noble, Trinka Hakes. Jimmy’s Boa and the Bungee Jump Slam Dunk, 2003.

Jimmy brings his Boa to basketball practice, creating calamity. (Previous titles: The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash, Jimmy’s Boa Bounces Back, and Jimmy’s Boa and the Big Splash Birthday.)

O’Neill, Catharine. Annie and Simon, 2008.

Recounts four adventures of Annie, her big brother Simon, and their dog Hazel.

Polacco, Patricia. Mr. Lincoln’s Way, 2001.

Mr. Lincoln, an African-American principal, is well loved by most of his students, but “mean Gene,” bullies everyone. Instead of berating him, Mr. Lincoln uses Gene’s interest in birds to help lead him to a new way of looking at life. (See also: Thunder Cake, Just Plain Fancy, Mrs. Katz and Tush, Babushka Baba Yaga, My Ol’ Man, Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair, The Keeping Quilt, and The Graves Family.)

Polacco, Patricia. Something About Hensley's, 2006.

Hensely's, a neighborhood general store, always seems to have what Molly, Kate, and their mother need.

Pulver, Robin. Punctuation Takes a Vacation, 2003.

When the punctuation in Mr. Wright’s class gets miffed, all of the marks decide to go on a vacation and the students discover that nothing makes sense without them. (Sequel: Nouns and Verbs Have a Field Day and Silent Letters Loud and Clear.)

Ray, Jane. The Apple Pip Princess, 2008.

In a land that has stood barren, parched by drought and ravaged by frosts since the Queen's death, the King gives his three daughters the task of making the kingdom bloom again, and discovers that sometimes the smallest things can make the biggest difference.

Recorvits, Helen. My Name Is Yoon, 2003. (SP)

Yoon, newly arrived in America, misses her native Korea and struggle to be a part of her new class. She hates the way her name looks in English and tries different words until settling on her own name at last. (Sequel: Yoon and the Christmas Mitten and Yoon and the Jade Bracelet.)

Ryan, Pam Munoz. Mice and Beans, 2001. (SP)

Rosa Maria, a Spanish-speaking grandmother, is making the special preparations for her granddaughter’s birthday party, unaware that the mice are making plans for a celebration of their own. (See also: Nacho and Lolita.)

Schwartz, Amy. Things I learned in Second Grade, 2004.

A young boy shares all of the things he learned and how he changed in second grade, what he still wonders about, and what he hopes to accomplish when he is in third grade.

Smith, Lane. Madam President, 2008.

A little girl imagines what her day would be like if she were President of the United States.

Soto, Gary. Chato Goes Cruisin’, 2005.

Chato, a cat who lives in East Los Angeles, and Novio Boy win a cruise but are disappointed to find that everyone else on board is a dog, and things go from bad to worse when the dogs party themselves sick and it is up to the cats to find help. (Previous titles: Chato’s Kitchen and Chato and the Party Animals.)

Stanley, Diane. Raising Sweetness , 1999.

Sweetness, one of eight orphans living with a man who is an unconventional housekeeper, learns to read and writes an important letter to improve their situation. (Previous title: Saving Sweetness.)

Swallow, Pamela Curtis. Groundhog Gets a Say, 2005.

Groundhog is tired of being ignored after Feb. 2nd and regales his audience with all the merits of his species.

Teague, Mark. Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School, 2002. (SP)

Mrs. LaRue has sent her terrier, Ike, off to obedience school and the pup writes begging to come home. (Sequels: Detective Larue: Letters From The Investigation and LaRue for Mayor: Letters from the Campaign.)

Urbanovic, Jackie. Duck Soup, 2008.

Maxwell Duck is trying to invent a soup that everyone will remember him for, but when he goes out to look for the missing ingredient and his friends show up, they think he has fallen into the soup. (Sequel: Duck and Cover.)

Viorst, Judith. Just in Case, 2006.

Always prepared for anything that may come his way, Charlie's organized world is thrown for a loop when his friends decide to give him a surprise birthday party, where he quickly discovers that not being prepared can be quite fun as well! (See also: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.)

Watt, Melanie. Scaredy Squirrel, 2006.

Scaredy Squirrel is a squirrel who never leaves his nut tree because he's afraid of the unknown "out there." But then, something unexpected happens that may just change his outlook. (Sequels: Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend and Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach.)

Wilson, Karma. How to Bake an American Pie, 2007.

Rhyming text and illustrations present a recipe for how to bake a pie from all the things that make America great, such as a dash of purple mountain majesties and cups of courage.

Winter, Jeanette. Angelina’s Island, 2007.

Every day, Angelina dreams of her home in Jamaica and imagines she is there, until her mother finds a wonderful way to convince her that New York is now their home.

Winters, Kay. My Teacher for President, 2004.

When Oliver, a savvy second-grader, learns about the president's job he decides that his teacher would make a perfect commander-in-chief.

Wisniewski, David. Tough Cookie, 1999.

Tough Cookie, a trench-coat wearing cookie detective, lives at the bottom of the cookie jar, investigating crime and trying to ward off the invasion of “Fingers.”

Woodson, Jacqueline. Coming on Home Soon, 2004.

After Mama takes a job in Chicago during World War II, Ada Ruth stays with Grandma but misses her mother who loves her more than rain and snow.

Woodson, Jacqueline. The Other Side, 2001.

Two girls, one black and one white, gradually get to know each other as they sit on the fence that divides their town.

Young, Ed. I, Doko: The Tale of a Basket, 2004.

A Nepalese basket tells the story of its use through three generations of a family.

Easy Readers
Baker, Barbara. Digby and Kate, 1, 2, 3, 2004

Digby the dog and Kate the cat are the best of friends and even if they don't always see things the same way, they do agree that being together is the most fun of all. (Newest in a series that begins with Digby and Kate.)

Bottner, Barbara. Pish and Posh, 2004.

When Pish and Posh discover fairy magic, they face a series of wacky surprises. (Sequel: Pish and Posh Wish for Fairy Wings.)

Brown, Marc. Arthur in New York, 2008.

Arthur and his family--and D.W.'s favorite doll, Mary Moo-Cow--take a vacation to New York City. (Newest in an ongoing series that begins with Arthur’s Reading Race.)

Cannon, A. E. On the Go with Pirate Pete and Pirate Joe, 2002.

Pete and Joe, pirates with “stinky feet” discover that they are both afraid of water and decide that what they need is a parrot. (Sequels: Let the Good Times Roll with Pirate Pete and Pirate Joe and Way Out West with Pirate Pete and Pirate Joe.)

Cazet, Denys. Minnie and Moo: Minnie and Moo and the Haunted Sweater, 2007.

Minnie and Moo want to give special presents to the Farmer for his birthday, but something goes awry when Moo knits him a sweater. (Newest in a series that begins with Minnie and Moo Go to the Moon.)

Cazet, Denys. The Octopus, 2005.

In this first of the Grandpa Spanielson’s Chicken Pox Stories, Grandpa helps his favorite grandpup to avoid scratching his chicken pox by telling how he once had to fight off an octopus during a terrible storm. (Sequels: A Snout for Chocolate and The Shrunken Head.)

Chaconas, Dori. Cork and Fuzz, 2005.

A possum and a muskrat become friends despite their many differences. (Sequel: Cork and Fuzz: Short and Tall; Cork and Fuzz: Good Sports and Cork and Fuzz: The Collectors.)

Cushman, Doug. Inspector Hopper, 2000.

Inspector Hopper and his partner McBugg solve a mystery in each season of the year. (Sequel: Inspector Hopper’s Mystery Year.)

Cushman, Doug. Space Cat, 2004.

When Space Cat and Earl the robot encounter trouble with their space ship, they crash-land on an alien planet to search for more fuel.
Danziger, Paula. Second Grade Rules, Amber Brown, 2004.

Amber Brown loves the second grade but wonders if she will ever receive an award from Deskarina, the desk fairy, for keeping her desk clean. (Part of the A Is for Amber series.)

De Paola, Tomie. T-Rex Is Missing, 2002.

Morgie accuses his best friend of taking his favorite dinosaur toy, and then finds out he must apologize. (Newest in a series that includes Hide and Seek and Boss for a Day.)

Driscoll, Laura. The Bravest Cat!: The True Story of Scarlett, 1997.

The true story of a mother cat that rescues her kittens from a burning building in New York in 1996.

George, Jean Craighead. Duck and Goose, 2008.

A young boy becomes the "mother" to a goose, who becomes "mother" to a duck, as they learn about the rhythms of nature together.

Guest, Elissa Haden. Iris and Walter and the Field Trip, 2007.

When best friends Iris and Walter go on a field trip to an aquarium, Walter gets lost and a worried Iris helps Miss Cherry look for him. (Newest in a series that begins with Iris and Walter.)

Holub, Joan. The Garden That We Grew, 2001.

Children enjoy the pumpkins that they planted and watched grow.

Johnston, Tony. Alien and Possum: Friends No Matter What, 2001.

Possum discovers a spaceship and with perseverance discovers that he and Alien can be friends despite their differences. (Sequel: Alien and Possum Hanging Out.)

Little, Jean. Emma’s Yucky Brother, 2001.

Emma is excited about her new adopted brother, Max, because she has wanted a little brother for a long time. But when Max has trouble adjusting to the move from his foster home, Emma finds out how hard it is to be a big sister. (Sequels: Emma’s Magic Winter and Emma’s Strange Pet.)

Maitland, Barbara. The Bookstore Ghost, 1998

To catch mice in his bookstore, Mr. Brown gets a cat that comes up with a most unusual method to attract customers. (Sequels: The Bookstore Burglar and The Bookstore Valentine.)

McMullan, Kate. Pearl and Wagner: Two Good Friends, 2004.

Friendship isn’t easy between Pearl, a hardworking rabbit, and Wagner, a daydreaming mouse. (Sequels: Pearl and Wagner: Three Secrets and Pearl and Wagner: One Funny Day.)

Miller, Sara Swan. Three Stories You Can Read to Your Teddy, 2003.

Bored with sitting on a shelf day after day, a teddy bear sets out on three adventures and inadvertently gets the family dog and cat in trouble. (Newest in a series that begins with Three Stories You Can Read to Your Cat.)

Omerod, Jan. The Ballet Sisters: The Ugly Duckling and the Swan, 2007.

Sylvie and her older sister dance their way through make-believe adventures that include princesses, fairy queens, swans, and ducklings. (Sequel: The Newest Dancer.)

Parish, Herman. Amelia Bedelia Talks Turkey, 2008.

Amelia Bedelia volunteers to fill in as the director of a third-grade Thanksgiving play, but she misunderstands everything from one girl's desire to play a big role to an opening night wish that she "break a leg." (Newest in a series that was begun by Peggy Parish with Amelia Bedelia.)
Rylant, Cynthia. Henry and Mudge and the Big Sleepover, 2006.

Henry and his dog Mudge are invited to a sleepover in Patrick's attic, where they watch monster movies, eat pizza, and enjoy a contest to determine whose dog is the best popcorn catcher. (Newest in an ongoing series that began with Henry and Mudge: The First Book of Their Adventures.)

Rylant, Cynthia. High-Rise Private Eyes: The Case of the Baffled Bear, 2006.

Bunny and Jack, animal detectives, take a break from playing cards to look for Bernard Bear's missing messenger whistle. (Newest in a series that begins with: The Case of the Missing Monkey.)

Rylant, Cynthia. Mr. Putter and Tabby Run the Race, 2008.

Mr. Putter, a senior who does not like to run, makes a goal to place second in a marathon so he can win a train set. (Newest in a series that begins with Mr. Putter and Tabby Pour the Tea.)

Rylant, Cynthia. Annie and Snowball the Teacup Club, 2008.

Annie forms a club for girls who love teacups and other dainty things, but she will always love her cousin Henry and his big drooly dog too. (Newest in the series that begins with: Annie and Snowball and the Dress-Up Birthday.)

Sharmat, Marjorie. Nate the Great Talks Turkey, 2006.

Nate the Great and his cousin Olivia are on the case of a runaway turkey, but unfortunately the clues appear to contradict each other. (Newest in the series that begins with Nate the Great.)

Silverman, Erica. Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa, 2005.

Cowgirl Kate and her cowhorse Cocoa, who is always hungry, count cows, share a story, and help each other fall asleep. (Sequels: Partners, School Days, and Rain or Shine.)

Thiesing, Lisa. A Dark and Noisy Night: A Silly Thriller with Peggy the Pig, 2005.

Peggy wants to sleep, but spooky noises keep her awake. Then she is scared further by a knock at the door. (Sequel: The Scarecrow’s New Clothes.)

Thomas, Shelley Moore. Good Night, Good Knight, 2000.

The good knight helps three little dragons who can’t get to sleep. (Sequels: Get Well, Good Knight; Happy Birthday, Good Knight; and Take Care, Good Knight.)

Van Leeuwen, Jean. Oliver Pig and the Best Fort Ever, 2006.

Oliver Pig decides to build a fort in the backyard and his friends become involved with the project as well. (Newest in the series that begins with Tales of Amanda Pig.)

Weeks, Sarah. Baa-Choo, 2004.

When Sam the lamb has trouble sneezing, the other animals try to help.

Wells, Rosemary. Make New Friends, 2003.

Will Juanita, the new girl from Texas, ever feel at home at Hilltop School? (Newest in the series that includes Doris’s Dinosaur, The Germ Busters, Mama Don’t Go, The Halloween Parade, The School Play, Be My Valentine, When I Grow Up, Bubble Gum Radar, Read Me a Story, The Secret Birthday, and Practice Makes Perfect.)

Willems, Mo. Today I Will Fly, 2007.

While Piggie is determined to fly, Elephant is skeptical, but when Piggie gets a little help from others, amazing things happen. (Sequels: My Friend Is Sad, There Is a Bird on Your Head, I Am Invited to a Party, I Love My New Toy, and I Will Surprise My Friend.)

Yolen, Jane. Commander Toad and the Voyage Home, 1998.

Commander Toad is experienced at finding new worlds, but runs into trouble when he tries to get home. (Newest in a series that begins with Commander Toad in Space.)

Picture Books for Older Readers

and Beginning Chapter Books

for Third Grade
Picture Books for Older Readers
Almond, David. My Dad’s a Bird Man, 2008.

Lizzie, a young girl whose mother died, begins thinking that her father has lost it when he starts to act like a bird, but agrees to help him with his goal of winning the town's Great Human Bird Competition, strengthening the bond between them.

Armstrong, Jennifer. Magnus at the Fire, 2005.

When the Broadway Fire House acquires a motorized fire engine, Magnus the fire horse is not ready to retire.

Barbour, Karen. Mr. Williams, 2005.

An African American describes what life was like for him as a young boy growing up in the small rural town of Arcadia, Louisiana, when Calvin Coolidge was president, children worked in the fields, and life was much simpler.

Borden, Louise. Across the Blue Pacific, 2006.

A woman reminisces about her neighbor's son who was the object of a letter writing campaign by some fourth-graders when he went away to war in 1943.

Bunting, Eve. Gleam and Glow, 2001.

Eight-year-old Viktor flees his home with his family when war ravages the countryside. When they return home, they find it destroyed, but the fish Viktor put in their pond have survived (based on a true story of Bosnian refugees).

Bunting, Eve. One Green Apple, 2006.

While on a school field trip to an orchard to make cider, a young immigrant, Farah a Muslim girl, gains self-confidence when the green apple she picks perfectly complements the other students' red apples.

Cheng, Andrea. Anna, the Bookbinder, 2003.

Anna’s father is a bookbinder in the early 1900s, but when he is called away, it is Anna who carefully stitches the binding on the special order her father has received.

Conway, David. Lila and the Secret of Rain, 2008.

For months the sun has burned down on Lila's Kenyan village. Lila is so worried that when her grandfather whispers to her the secret of rain, she decides to go and talk to the sky herself.

DiPucchio, Kelly S. Grace for President, 2008.

After finding out there has never been a female U.S. president, Grace decides to run in her school's mock election, where she learns about the American electoral system and sets out to be the best person for the job even though her opponent, Thomas, seems to be winning all the boys' votes.

Farmer, Nancy. Clever Ali, 2006.

When seven-year-old Ali's greedy pet steals cherries from the wicked Sultan for whom his father keeps carrier pigeons, Ali is given three days to find 600 new cherries or his father will be thrown into the deep, dark oubliette.

Geeslin, Campbell. Elena’s Serenade, 2004.

In Mexico, a little girl disguised as a boy, sets out for Monterrey determined to master the art of glassblowing, and in the process, experiences self-discovery along the way.

Goldberg, Myla. Catching the Moon, 2007.

Using a mouse as bait instead of a worm, an old woman fishes all night long, confusing the fishermen as well as the Man in the Moon.

Hale, Bruce. Snoring Beauty, 2008.

An adaptation of the traditional tale, featuring a sleeping, snoring princess who is rescued by a prince after being cursed by a bad fairy.

Hall, Bruce Edward. Henry and the Kite Dragon, 2004.

In New York City in the 1920s, the children from Chinatown go after the children from Little Italy for throwing rocks at the beautiful kites Grandfather Chin makes, not realizing that they have a reason for doing so.

Hamilton, Virginia. The People Could Fly: The Picture Book, 2004.

In this retelling of a folktale, a group of slaves, unable to bear their sadness and starvation any longer, calls upon the African magic that allows them to fly away.

Hesse, Karen. The Cats in Krasinski Square, 2004.

Two Jewish sisters, escapees of the infamous Warsaw ghetto, devise a plan to thwart an attempt by the Gestapo to intercept food bound for starving people behind the dark Wall.

Hesse, Karen. Spuds, 2008.

Maybelle, Jack, and Eddie want to help Ma by putting something extra on the table, so they set out in the dark to take potatoes from a nearby field, but when they arrive home and empty their potato sacks, they are surprised by what they see.

Hicks, Betty. Goof-Off Goalie, 2008.

Ten-year-old Goose is best at goofing off, but when he decides to become the goalie for their soccer team, his friend Henry sets up a practice schedule and enlists their other friends to help Goose improve his skills.

Hoffman, Mary. The Color of Home, 2002.

Hassan has recently moved from Somalia to America and although his new classmates are friendly he his homesick. When the teacher hands out art supplies, Hassan discovers he can communicate through his pictures.

Hopkinson, Deborah. Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings, 2003.

In the early 1900s, Alta Wiess loves to play baseball and must find a way to prove that she can play professionally, even though she is a girl (based on a true story).

Howe, James. Houndsley and Catina, 2006.

Houndsley and Catina run into trouble when they decide to prove that they are the best at cooking and writing, respectively. (Sequels: Houndsley and Catina and the Birthday Surprise and Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time.)

Jacobson, Jennifer. Winnie at Her Best, 2006.

Zoe is the smartest speller and Vanessa is the top actress in the fourth grade, but Winnie doesn't know what she does best until she helps a young neighbor in need.

Jacobson, Rick. The Master’s Apprentice, 2008.

Marco, chosen as a junior apprentice to the young genius Michelangelo, is sabotaged at every turn by the jealous senior apprentice Ridolfo, but his skills at mixing color, as well as his unfaltering loyalty to his father, earn him a place at Michelangelo's side when the artist is summoned to Rome.

Johnson, Angela. A Sweet Smell of Roses, 2005.

Minnie and her sister hear about a freedom march and leave their home to go to their city's downtown area where they listen to Dr. Martin Luther King and join the march, all the while smelling roses.

Johnson, Angela. Wind Flyers, 2007.

A boy's love of flight takes him on a journey from the dusty dirt roads of Alabama to the war-torn skies of Europe. Introduces young readers to the contributions of the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II. (See also: I Dream of Trains.)

Keller, Laurie. The Scrambled States of America, 1998.

When the states become bored with their place on the map, they decide to change places. (Sequel: the Scrambled States of America Talent Show.)

Kerby, Mona. Owney the Mail Pouch Pooch, 2008.

In 1888, Owney, a stray terrier puppy, finds a home in the Albany, New York, post office and becomes its official mascot as he rides the mail train through the Adirondacks and beyond, criss-crossing the United States, into Canada and Mexico, and eventually traveling around the world by mail boat in 132 days.

Lester, Julius. Let’s Talk About Race, 2005.

The author introduces the concept of race as only one component in an individual's or nation's "story."

Levine, Ellen. Henry’s Freedom Box, 2007.

A fictionalized account of how in 1849 a Virginia slave, Henry "Box" Brown, escapes to freedom by shipping himself in a wooden crate from Richmond to Philadelphia.

Lowell, Susan. The Elephant Quilt: Stitch by Stitch to California, 2008.

Lily Rose and Grandma stitch a quilt that tells the story of their family's journey from Missouri to California by covered wagon in 1859.

Maloney, Peter. The Magic Hockey Stick, 1999.

When Tracy begins to play hockey with Wayne Gretzky’s stick, she suddenly becomes the star of the team, but Wayne is in the worst slump of her career.

McKissack, Patricia. Goin’ Someplace Special, 2001.

As Tricia Ann journeys through the segregated Nashville of the 1950’s, she experiences the harsh reality of exclusion at place after place until she reaches the integrated public library.

McNulty, Faith. If You Decide to Go to the Moon, 2005.

The narrator provides a detailed description of what it would be like to journey to the moon, from blastoff to touchdown.

O’Malley, Kevin. Once upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude, 2005.

Cooperatively writing a fairy tale for school, a girl imagines a beautiful princess whose beloved ponies are being stolen by a giant, and a boy conjures up the muscular biker who will guard the last pony in exchange for gold.

O’Malley, Kevin. Captain Raptor and the Moon Mystery, 2005.

When something lands on one of the moons of the planet Jurassica, Captain Raptor and his spaceship crew go to investigate. (Sequel: Captain Raptor and the Space Pirates.)

Osborne, Mary Pope. New York’s Bravest, 2002.

Mose Humphreys, a larger-than-life firefighter, works tirelessly to rescue those in need in 19th century New York City.

Pak, Soyung. Dear Juno, 1999.

Juno receives a letter from his grandmother in Korea. Although he must wait for his parents to translate, he understands her from the picture he sends and creates his own picture to send to her.

Park, Frances and Ginger. The Have a Good Day Café, 2005.

Mike's grandmother, who has moved from Korea to live with Mike and his family in the United States, inspires him to suggest an idea to help their floundering food cart business.

Pericoli, Matteo. The True Story of Stellina, 2006.

The true story of a baby finch rescued and raised by the author and his wife. Stellina was a bird: "Cheep", a very little bird: "cheep!cheep!" So begins critically acclaimed author Matteo Pericoli’s all-true story of how he and his wife, Holly, came to rescue and raise a little finch, Stellina, in the middle of New York City. When no zoo would take the abandoned bird, fallen from her nest onto a busy street, Holly took her home and gave her the best life she could. And there, in a Manhattan apartment, Stellina leaned how to eat, fly, and sing.

Polacco, Patricia. Ginger and Petunia, 2007.

When her beloved Ginger, a piano-playing socialite and very snappy dresser, makes a last-minute trip to London not knowing her housesitter has cancelled, Petunia the pig does more than fend for herself, she becomes Ginger.

Polacco, Patricia. For Love of Autumn, 2008.

Miss Parks, a new teacher, is devastated when her cat, Autumn, disappears during a storm, but with the help of her students, she finds not only Autumn but also the man of her dreams.

Rumford, James. Silent Music: A Story of Bagdad, 2008.

As bombs and missiles fall on Baghdad in 2003, a young boy uses the art of calligraphy to distance himself from the horror of war.

Shulivetz, Uri. How I Learned Geography, 2008.

As he spends hours studying his father's world map, a young boy escapes the hunger and misery of refugee life. Based on the author's childhood in Kazakhstan, where he lived as a Polish refugee during World War II.

Sierra, Judy. The Secret Science Project That Almost Ate the School, 2006.

A boy sends off for "Professor Swami's Super Slime" to use as his science fair project and then has to cope with the funny disaster that follows.

Stanley, Diane. The Giant and the Beanstalk, 2004.

Unlike other giants, young Otto is gentle and polite. When Jack steals his beloved pet chicken (who just happens to lay golden eggs), Otto climbs down the beanstalk in search of him, but encounters a plethora of nursery rhyme Jacks before working out a trade with the right one. (See also,: Rumpelstiltskin’s Daughter.)

Stevens, Janet. Help Me, Mr. Mutt! 2008.

Dogs across the United States write to Mr. Mutt, a people expert, for help with their humans.

Walker, Alice. There Is a Flower at the Tip of My Nose Smelling Me, 2006.

The narrator celebrates the wonder of being alive and in touch with the world her.

Woodson, Jacqueline. Show Way, 2005.

From the time of slavery to the present, generation after generation of African-American women pass down the tradition of embroidering secret maps to freedom in their quilts.

Zee, Ruth Vander. Always with You, 2008.

Orphaned at the age of four when her village in Viet Nam is bombed, Kim is rescued by American soldiers and raised in an orphanage, always finding comfort in her mother's last words: "Don't be afraid. I will always be with you."

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