Books for 1st grade. This list of suggested reading books has been curated and compiled by teachers, home educators and librarians for elementary school students aged 6-7. There is a range of picture books and short single chapter books to suit all abilities, including easy readers and more challenging stories. This list of 1st grade reading recommendations include titles by Jacqueline Woodson, Jon Scieszka, Mal Peet, Mo Willems, Dr. Seuss, and Eleanor Estes.
Books for Grade 1 – our recommendations
The World Belonged to Us by Jacqueline Woodson
There’s a world of summer adventure in store for the kids in Brooklyn in this vibrant and joyful picture book. Celebrating freedom and adventure, the children in this story turn the streets into their playground, chase ice cream trucks, and believe everything is possible – until it’s time for dinner. It’s an inspiring book for children and a nostalgic story for parents and teachers.
Blue Sky White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus
Sarvinder Naberhaus paints a vivid portrait of America in this poignant illustrated children’s book. With short, poetic, and bilingual prose, she explores the nation’s history and values through iconic imagery. The American flag, the enduring spirit, and the diverse tapestry of culture that define the United States are all brought to life for young readers.
The Book Hog by Greg Pizzoli
The book hog adores books – any books. He feels the pages with his hooves. He sniffs the pages and loves the pictures. However, he has a secret that mustn’t be told. He can’t read! Follow his journey to the library for story time and the joy when he learns to read. A great picture book to encourage younger readers.
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
The traditional tale of the Three Little Pigs is retold by the Wolf, and it wasn’t his fault. A very funny reimagining of this story with great illustrations. A perfect book for grade 1 group and shared reading.
There’s an Alligator Under My Bed by Mercer Mayer
A young boy is convinced there’s an alligator under his bed. How will he stop it eating him in the middle of the night? Can he lure it to the garage with a series of clever tricks? Ideal for more confident 1st grade readers.
Freckle Juice by Judy Blume
Andrew’s best friend Nicky has freckles, and Andrew wants them so badly he’ll do anything to get some. Then Sharon offers him a secret recipe to grow freckles.
The Boy Who Loved Words by Roni Schotter
Selig doesn’t collect action figures or trading cards – he collects words. Words which make him giggle or words which sound nice to say. An excellent book to spark your child’s interest in language.
There is a Bird on Your Head! by Mo Willems
Gerald the Elephant gets extremely irritated by a series of birds that camp out on his head. Can his friend Piggie help him out?
Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
Ramona is excited to start school for the first time. But things don’t go to plan and she’s in trouble from the first moment. Will she work out what she’s doing wrong? A thought-provoking 1st grade reading book.
Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French
The daily life of a wombat is not at all what you might expect. A very funny look at life from a different point of view. A funny 1st grade reading picture book.
Little Cliff’s First Day of School by Clifton L Taulbert
A classic based in the South in the 1950s, this is a great book to discuss anxiety about starting school. Heartwarming and sensitive, it should answer many children’s worries and questions.
Classic | School story
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
Wanda is teased by her classmates for wearing the same blue dress every day. This isn’t helped by a lie she tells which snowballs out of control. But, her friend Maddie then shows extraordinary kindness and stands up for her. Ideal to discuss with your 1st grade child.
Classic | Picture book
Hot Hot Hot by Neal Layton
Oscar and Arabella don’t like summer. Heat, flies, sweat, insects are not for them – because they are woolly mammoths. But then they come up with a very clever idea.
Tuesday by David Wiesner
A stunningly imaginative picture book with strange and fantastical images including frogs on flying lily pads. There are no words in this book – which makes it ideal for helping your child tell the story and develop a rich and descriptive use of language. An ideal first grade reading book to share.
Picture book | Fantasy
365 Penguins by Jean Luc Fromental
Imagine you wake up each day to find a penguin delivered to your front door. Who is sending them, what should you do with them, and where do you put them? A great picture story for helping 1st grade children to count and use their imagination.
Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
A funny story about life from the point of view of a worm. Homework can be eaten, baths are not necessary and mud is fine everywhere. But there’s one thing the worm wishes he could do.
Animal story | Humor
Uneversaurus by Aidan Potts
A clever book all about dinosaurs which encourages children to imagine for themselves what these creatures looked, like, sounded like and felt like.
Narrative non fiction
Water Boy by David McPhail
A moving fantasy story. When a teacher tells a boy that people are mostly made out of water, he begins to panic. What if he dissolves? What if he goes down the plughole at bath time? But when he deals with fears, amazing and unexpected things start to happen. A great book for 1st grade children.
The Dot by Peter H Reynolds
Vashti sits through art class looking at her blank piece of paper. She hates art. But her teacher tells her, “Just make a mark and see where it takes you.” A world of creativity is opened up in this memorable story about overcoming a fear of failure.
When Sheep Cannot Sleep by Satoshi Kitamura
A story about a sheep who goes to extraordinary lengths to get to sleep, by going outside and counting everything he meets. A great story for developing math and memory skills.
When Will I Read? by Miriam Cohen
Ideal for children struggling to read in first grade. A heartwarming story about how different people learn in different ways.
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
The classic Dr. Seuss rhyming story about all the places green eggs and ham can be eaten. Can the reader remember all the places at the end?
And I Mean It, Stanley by Crosby Bonsall
A fun and madcap story about a girl and her pet and the imaginative ideas she has to build something from nothing. This is an ideal first grade book for more confident readers.
The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
An amazing book about a grumpy and rude ladybug who refuses to say please or thank you or be polite in any way. Great collage illustrations from the author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Animal story | Classic
Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin
Ideal for reluctant and emerging readers, this is a great rhyming book with repetition and stunning pictures.
Classic | Rhyming
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
Mrs. Mallard has the unenviable task of guiding her troop of ducklings across the city of Boston to the Public Gardens. But lots of interesting people help her along the way.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Max has been sent to bed without supper. But once in his bedroom, his imagination comes alive with forests, jungles, wild beasts, and almost scary monsters.
Classic | Picture book
Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw
A group of sheep decides to see if they can all fit into a Jeep. Then they think of all sorts of unlikely places they can drive to, and nothing quite goes to plan. A very funny book ideal for more reluctant readers.
Humor | Animal story
Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
Trixie goes with her father to the Laundromat. But she leaves something behind. No! It’s Knufflebunny her favorite toy! How can she explain to her father when she has yet to utter her first word? A touching and fun 1st grade reading book.
Classic | Picture book | Family
Morris the Moose by Bernard Wiseman
Morris, a toothy-grinned Moose, encounters some strange new animals for the first time and assumes each one is a strange kind of moose. But the Cow has other ideas. A story of unlikely friendship.
Animal story | Humor
How do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen
A fly on the wall story of the life of dinosaurs, including dinosaur bedtimes, dinosaur dinner, and dinosaur tantrums. Great pictures.
Bats at the Beach by Brian Lies
A night out at the beach with a group of bats – including moon tan lotion and toasting bug-mallows. A very original rhyming story.
Cloud Tea Monkeys by Mal Peet
A heartwarming story about a girl whose mother is too ill to work. Set in the foothills of the Himalayas, Tashi is helped by magic monkeys to find the most valuable tea leaves in the land. Based on a Chinese legend. Ideal to read aloud to grade 1 children.
Legend | Picture book
How to Clean a Hippopotamus by Robin Page
A clever book about how animals help each other. By posing questions such as the story title, the book explores how living things work together in harmony.
Animal story | Narrative non fiction
The Retired Kid by John Agee
Brian has had enough of school, homework, chores and being told off – so he decides to retire and live at the Sunset Retirement Community. However, Brian’s new life isn’t quite what he’d imagined.
Humor | Picture book
Press Here by Herve Tullet
A clever book to fire the imagination. The reader presses dots, shakes pages, pulls tabs – and creates their own magic trick-like adventure. A great book for emerging readers and ideal for reading and discussing with your child. A great 1st grade storybook to share with reluctant readers.
Merriam-Webster Children’s Dictionary
With over 35,000 words this dictionary is suitable for 6-9 year olds who want to look up definitions, explore spellings, and find new words. With 3000 color illustrations, maps, world history guides; and bright, accessible pages, this is a great book for children to explore.
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