Reading: Great Books for Kindergarten-First Graders

mearts & entertainment

If you have a child in the early elementary (K-1) grades, you probably struggle like I do with finding good reads for your kiddo.

My daughter's in kindergarten and the leveled readers that are sent home from school seem a bit dry and dull. The characters are not that engaging and she tends to bore easily. So it's important to me that when my kids choose to do pleasure reading, it's something a cut above what they're bringing home from school. I try to find book series that are fun, entertaining, and most importantly, inspire an "I want to read more" attitude.

So today, I'd like to share with you some of the reading series that have really gotten my kids jazzed and hungry for more reading.

I've separated these by grade; however, as we all know, in the early grades, reading abilities can vary widely. What I suggest for 1st grade may be something much too easy for your 6-year-old. But this should help get some ideas going for you when you head off to the library or bookstore.

Kindergarten Reading Series

Here's a great selection of kindergarten books that run the gamut from very basic to a little more advanced.

  • Fluffy the Classroom Guinea Pig Series (Kate McMullan)
  • Fly Guy (Ted Arnold)
  • Clifford The Big Red Dog (Norman Bridwell and others)
  • Elephant and Piggie (Mo Willems)
  • The Pigeon Series (Mo Willems)
  • If You Give A Moose A Muffin (and related titles) (Laura Joffe Numeroff)
  • Little Critters (Mercer Mayer)
  • No, David (and related titles) (David Shannon)
  • Maisy (Lucy Cousins)
  • Bob Books (Bobby Lynn Maslen)
  • Biscuit Series (Alyssa Satin Capucilli)

First Grade Reading Series

Some first graders are ready for chapter books; others are still on beginning readers. I've included a good selection here.

  • Horrible Harry (Suzy Kline)
  • Arthur (Marc Brown)
  • Bailey School Kids (Debbie Dadey)
  • Junie B. Jones (Barbara Jones)
  • Black Lagoon Adventures (Mike Thaler)
  • Henry & ¬†Mudge (Cynthia Rylant)
  • Cowgirl Kate & Cocoa (Erica Silverman)
  • Mercy Watson (Kate DiCamillo)
  • Young Cam Jansen (David A. Adler)
  • Frog and Toad (Arnold Lobel)
  • Annie and Snowball (Cynthia Rylant)
  • Magic School Bus (Joanna Cole)
  • Minnie and Moo (Denys Cazet)
  • Mr. Putter and Tabby (Cynthia Rylant)

I think it's great to give kids the freedom to choose their own books at the library or bookstore in exchange for you getting to pick out one or two age-appropriate titles for them to try as well. What's most important is making reading empowering and exciting. Now, go hit the books!

What were your favorite books when you were in this age group? What were your childrens' favorite books?

Gigi Ross is a mom of 2 from Austin, Texas who keeps her personal blog at KludgyMom, where she shares her sometimes snappish, sometimes neurotic take on parenting and blogging. Gigi is a freelance writer and social media consultant. She is the business columnist for ShePosts and the Managing Editor of Business 2 Blogger. Her work has been syndicated by Mamapedia,, and BlogHer. Connect with Gigi on Twitter at @akludgymom.

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Gigi Ross

Gigi is a mom to 2 school-aged kids in Austin, Texas. She blogs about the art of living haphazardly and gives blogging tips at her personal blog, KludgyMom.


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