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12 best children's books series for grades 1 to 3

A great series can turn a reluctant reader into a life-long book lover. Here are our top picks to transform your young elementary schooler into a bookworm.

By GreatSchools Staff

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The Elephant and Piggie books

By Mo Willems

Our favorites: We Are in a Book!, Pigs Make Me Sneeze, Watch Me Throw the Ball

Perfect for: Early readers (and their parents) with a sense of the absurd.

The hook: This hilariously conceived series stars two friends who couldn’t be more different: stodgy, harumphing Elephant and optimistic, zanny Piggy. Each tale deftly explores the nuances of friendship and human (well, animal) foibles to brilliant effect. It’s also a wonderful tool for teaching fluency: Because the text involves lots of repetition as the characters pass back ideas or argue — “We’re in a book.” “We’re in a book?!” — no child can read this text in a dull monotone.