Vacation reads for 1st graders
The Little Golden Key
by: Roberto Aliaga, illustrated by: Dani Padrón - (Cuento de Luz, 2016) 28 pages.
Three mouse brothers are wandering in the forest when they find a gold key. Their search for what it opens takes them on a gentle adventure and eventually brings them home to their little cheese-shaped house, where they are very happy. Originally written in Spanish, the illustrations in this great read-aloud story have lots of chunks of cheese and keyholes to find.
Perfect for: Kids who love animals.
Find The Little Golden Key at your local library.
The Princess in Black series
by: Sharron Hale and Dean Hale, illustrated by: LeUyen Pham - (Candlewick, 2015) 96 pages.
The hook: Princess Magnolia is a proper frilly princess — until danger strikes. Then she puts on her ninja outfit and fights monsters in her top-secret guise as the Princess in Black. Funny, sneaky, and action-packed, this first book in a series for early readers has colorful illustrations and silly names (case in point: the princess’ unicorn is called Frimplepants) that poke fun at the fussy princess trope.
Perfect for: Recovering princesses.
Find our favorites at your local library: The Princess in Black, The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party, and The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation.
The Not-So Itty-Bitty Spiders
by: Amy Marie Stadelmann - (Scholastic, 2015) 80 pages.
Olive and her twin sister Beatrix couldn’t be more different: Olive loves science and Beatrix is a witch who practices magic. When Olive’s prank clashes with Beatrix’s magic potion, the two have to join forces to figure out how to shrink a bucket of giant spiders.
Perfect for: Siblings and science lovers.
Find The Not-So Itty-Bitty Spiders at your local library.
Binky the Space Cat
by: Ashley Spires - (Kids Can Press, 2009) 64 pages.
The hook: Meet Binky, a housecat with a vivid imagination. He sees himself as a space adventurer. The first story in a captivating series, this book’s visual humor will be appreciated by kids transitioning to chapter books.
Perfect for: Comic book lovers and cat whisperers.
Rumble in the Jungle
by: Giles Andreae, illustrated by: David Wojtowycz - (Tiger Tales, 2001) 32 pages.
Preschoolers and kindergartners are sure to fall in love with this rhythmic read aloud. If your little one is mesmerized by animals of the jungle, then this book is a must have. Travel on a jungle adventure with a small group of ants and see what wild animals you may encounter. Could it be a lion, a zebra or an elephant, too? Look inside and a surprise is waiting for you.
Perfect for: Kids who like fantasy stories.
Find Rumble in the Jungle at your local library.
Call Me Tree
by: Maya Christina Gonzalez - (Children's Book Press, 2014) 24 pages.
This lyrical ode to the tree creatively depicts the parallel journeys of a seed sprouting into a tree and a child growing up. We see a tyke who grows, dreams, and experiences the world around us both as a tree and as a child. Bright watercolor and colored pencil drawings connect the ideas of kids growing into strong — and different — trees with roots and independence to be part of a diverse environment. Trees, often represented by multicultural children in yoga-based tree poses, or vrksasana, inspire young readers to be unique, respectful dreamers.
Perfect for: Nature lovers and young yogis.
Find Call Me Tree at your local library.
by: Campbell Geeslin, illustrated by: Ana Juan - (Atheneum, 2004) 40 pages.
More than anything, Elena wants to be a glass-blower, but in her region in Mexico, and in her father’s eyes, this is an art for boys alone. When she heads to Monterrey, where all the great glass-blowers live and work, disguised as a boy, she learns the depth of her own talent.
Perfect for: Kids who like realism.
Find Elena’s Serenade at your local library.
Infinity and Me
by: Kate Hosford, illustrated by: Gabi Swiatkowska - (21st Century, 2012) 32 pages.
Can a very small girl understand anything as enormous and complicated as infinity? Yes! This quirky philosophical book transforms the mind-numbing concept into a kid-friendly personal story. Silly, graspable ways to contemplate “forever” are presented via ice cream, families, school recess, stars, and shoes. With clever, old-fashioned illustrations.
Perfect for: Kids who like math.
Find Infinity and Me at your local library.
The Most Magnificent Thing
by: Ashley Spires - (Kids Can Press, 2014) 32 pages.
A little girl wants to make something magnificent. She and her dog scheme and plan and hammer and glue, and then meet with frustration — her creation is not what she envisioned at all! If your creative child has ever had a big idea that didn’t come out the way he or she wanted, they will relate to this story of frustration and perseverance.
Perfect for: Makers and visionaries.
Find The Most Magnificent Thing at your local library.
How to Hide a Lion
by: Helen Stephens, illustrated by: Helen Stephens - (Henry Holt and Co., 2013) 32 pages.
A kindly lion comes to town one day to buy a hat. The townspeople are afraid and chase him away, but Iris isn’t afraid of lions. She sneaks him into her house and hides him from her mom and dad. A big lion can’t stay hidden forever, but the lion ends up winning over the townspeople and getting his hat after all. The gentle story and sweet illustrations feel timeless. Young readers may want to cuddle up with their own soft animal friend while they listen.
Perfect for: Kids who love animals.
Find How to Hide a Lion at your local library.