Many of the books that I have listed are classics and books that I also enjoyed as a child. The first time I realized that I could read a book in one sitting by myself was in first grade. I am not talking about a picture book but an actual book with over twenty-five pages.
In first grade, our teacher had encouraged us to read a set number of books in a set amount of time. We got a star for every book we finished. Me and another little girl were almost done reaching our goal. My last book was a Dick and Jane book. Remember them? "See Spot. See Spot run." Do they still read Dick and Jane books in elementary school?
I raced home and curled up on the couch and read and read and read. I remember that the sun was out and I could hear my mother making meal preparations for our dinner. The afghan beneath me that had been crocheted by my grandmother was scratchy against my legs and arms. I burrowed into the couch trying to block everything out so that I could concentrate on reading. I finished the book that night, without any help.
I was exhilarated. I was going to get my last star. I was going to be the first one in my class to finish all of her books. Even then I was competitive.
When I went into school the next morning, I took my book and went to my teachers desk. I told her I was finished. She didn't believe me. She sent the book home with me again and the request that my mom sign off when I finished the book. I was crestfallen. That other little girl, finished reading her books that day. I came in second. I would like to say that it was enough to know that I had finished first, but what can I say, I was six years old.
I ran into my former first grade teacher, who saw my mother periodically. I was in college and shopping with my mother. I had an armful of undergarments and was standing in line waiting to check out. Yes, I still felt a twinge at the slight she had inflicted on my six year old self but nary a word came out of my mouth about the incident. In all honesty, I still think of her fondly. She was one of my favorite and most memorable elementary school teachers from my youth. I have lots of wonderful memories of her classroom.
Books for 4-8 Year Olds
Alexander and the Terible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell Arthur series by Marc Brown The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman Polar Express by Chris van Allsburg Green Eggs and Ham and any other book by Dr. Seuss Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire Tawny, Scrawny Lion by Kathryn Jackson The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper Little Critter series by Mercer Mayer Tess's Tree by Jess M. Brailler Eloise series by Kay Thompson Curious George by Hans Augusto Rey Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish The Berenstain Bears series by Stan and Jan Berenstain A Treasury of Dick and Jane and Friends by William S. Gray Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein Madeline series by Ludwig Bemelmans Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park What Do People Do All Day and Best Word Book Ever by Richard Scarry Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
Click here, to read the recommended books for preschoolers.
I am working on compiling the lists for older children. Stay tuned!