Great books for 2nd graders
by: Andrew Clements, illustrated by: Tim Bowers - (Simon & Schuster, 2007) 40 pages.
Dogku is a clever and sweet little story about a stray dog who finds a loving home. Such plots are a staple of children’s literature and entertainment, but what sets this book apart is the method of telling the tale — each page is written in haiku. … For example, Clements writes: “Morning brings children/Hugs, licks, barking, and laughing./Warmer than sunshine.” The oil on canvas illustrations by Tim Bowers are just as warm and cheerful as the text. There is a helpful author’s note at the end of the book, giving a simple and enthusiastic explanation of haiku for the child reader. … A novel way for young children to experiment with language.
Perfect for: Kids who like making friends.
Find Dogku at your local library.
Mom and Dad Are Palindromes
by: Mark Shulman, illustrated by: Adam McCauley - (Chronicle Books, 2006) 36 pages.
Children don’t often want to be singled out by their teachers, but this is just what happens when Bob learns that he — horror of horrors! — is, in fact, a palindrome. Soon Bob begins to spot these forward/backward verbal oddities everywhere – in his family, out on the street, even while running away on a ship (where the available jobs involve radar or the rotor). Bob’s manic struggle to escape this bothersome label is both silly and clever, and his final “solution” to the dilemma is the book’s punch line. Author Mark Shulman and illustrator Adam McCauley embed more than 101 palindromes in the text and pictures, making this wacky story a highly visual exercise in wordplay. … A fun read-aloud for children and parents (or teachers) to share.
Perfect for: Kids who like humor stories.
Find Mom and Dad Are Palindromes at your local library.
It’s Raining Pigs & Noodles
by: Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by: James Stevenson - (Greenwillow Books, 2000) 160 pages.
The title, which is also the first line, sets the playful tone. Delightfully anti-authoritarian and anti-establishment, Prelutsky is the unexcelled master of word-playing nonsense. His laugh-aloud poems are rude, disrespectful, annoying and perceptive. In a word, marvelous. Childish readers, however, will read, laugh and pay him the ultimate compliment. They will memorize and repeat them with pickle relish.
Perfect for: Kids who delight in rebellious behavior.
Find It’s Raining Pigs & Noodles at your local library.
by: Jon Scieszka, illustrated by: Lane Smith - (Viking Juvenile, 2004) 40 pages.
Loosely based on a variety of famous poems (“Listen, my children, and you shall hear/Of how loud noises go in your ear.”), these 21 wacky poems – accompanied by Lane Smith’s equally goofy illustrations — cover everything from the “Water Cycle” (“It’s raining, it’s pouring/For H20, it’s boring”) to anatomy (“I think that I ain’t never seen/A poem ugly as a spleen”) to parasites (“Mary had a little worm./She thought it was a chigger./But everything that Mary ate/Only made it bigger.”) The main thing you’ll learn about science is that it can be a lot of fun.
Perfect for: Kids who like a little scientific humor.
Find Science Verse at your local library.
Evangeline Mudd and the Golden-Haired Apes of the Ikkinasti Jungle
by: David Elliott, illustrated by: Andrea Wesson - (Candlewick, 2007) 196 pages.
In this first book in a series, the main character, Evangeline, has a pair of primatologist parents. When her parents are called away on a research trip to the Ikkinasti Jungle and mysteriously fail to return, it’s up to Evangeline to find them. With a wild, fast-paced adventure and illustrations that drive the narrative, this book about a plucky heroine will have your child asking for the next book in the series. Perfect for those “climb into a tree and read” summer days.
Perfect for: Kids who like adventure stories.
Find Evangeline Mudd and the Golden-Haired Apes of the Ikkinasti Jungle at your local library.