Books for Kindergartners:
- Everyone Loves Bacon by Kelly DiPucchio: This picture book chronicles the rise to fame of Bacon (the main character and "hero"). I like the retro style illustrations and the humor in the story. I am also all for anthropomorphizing food.
- I'm Cool by Kate McMullan: A picture book on about a Zamboni seemed like it would have natural kid appeal, especially in a town so close to Detroit (aka "Hockeytown"). Vehicles and sports are always a winning combination.
- The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton: I wanted to include a picture book with a strong female character and this one about a warrior named Princess Pinecone fit the bill. As an added bonus it mentions farting. The first few pages made for a great read aloud; her big battle beginning was a natural cliffhanger.
Books for 1st graders:
- Knights of the Kitchen Table by Jon Scieszka: Jon Scieszka is one of my all time favorite authors, and this is the first in his "Time Warp Trio" series. I wanted to include something on the upper end of the difficulty spectrum for first graders and this seemed like it would work perfectly. Comparisons to the popular "Magic Tree House" series seemed fitting, because both involve time travel. The first chapter of this book was my read aloud selection for this age group. It involves the characters being threatened by the Black Knight and definitely grabbed the kids' attention!
- Don't throw it to Mo! by David Adler: This beginning reader is about a boy named Mo who loves playing football but isn't all that skilled at it. It also has a diverse main character, which I try to include in my booktalks as much as possible.
- Frog and Friends celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve by Eve Bunting: I've shared "Frog and Friends" books in previous booktalks with first grade because it seems to fit well from a difficulty standpoint. With the holiday season approaching I figured this latest addition to the series would be a good choice.
Books shared with both grades:
- We're in the wrong book! by Richard Byrne: Bella and Ben get bounced out of their story and into a variety of others. The tie ins to other stories (such as Red Riding Hood) make this a picture book with pretty broad appeal.
- I really like slop! by Mo Willems: I love all things "Elephant and Piggie" so I am always happy to share a new one as part of my booktalks. The gross out factor of slop was definitely a point in this book's favor.
- How to swallow a pig by Steve Jenkins: This was my nonfiction selection for both grades. Animals are always a popular subject, and the kids seemed appropriately awed that a snake could swallow a pig whole.
As usual, I've tried to include a range of difficulty levels and topics in my booktalks. I've also tried to include both fiction and nonfiction, and stick with newer titles as much as possible. Six books works well to fill my 15 minute visits to each class.
I hope these titles are of help for other librarians planning book talks, and anyone looking for book suggestions for this age group! I will be updating you on the titles I chose for 2nd and 3rd graders as soon as possible.