Reading Week is April 7-11. To prepare for Reading Week each homeroom will compile a "must read" list of books. Grade 4 will create "Ten Books Every Child Should Read by Fourth Grade" and Grade 5 will create "Ten Books Every Child Should Read by Fifth Grade."
Here’s how the process will go:
1. Classmates brainstorm books
2. Vote on the top 10
3. Work in groups of 2-3 to write up a few sentences about the book and why everyone should read it
4. Create a blog post for your class complete with picture of the book cover, title, author, and blurb about the book
I don’t ask you to do anything if I haven’t modeled it myself. Therefore, I give to you the “10 Must Reads for Every Toddler.”
1. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd
This classic is well loved because of its familiar animals and objects as well as its rhythmic prose that has a way of making a baby sleepier.
2. My World by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd
A companion book to Goodnight Moon, this book is special because it also provides names of everyday objects. We read this daily and eventually when Daniel talked, it dawned on me that most of the words he said were the objects from this book. Coincidence? I think not.
3. Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins
This book is largely told in pictures. An unsuspecting hen goes out for a walk around the farm not realizing that a fox is trailing her. The reader watches as the fox keeps attempting to get her but (thankfully) always falls short. It was the first book that provided me a glimpse of my son’s sense of humor. He giggled with glee while saying, "Oh!" and tapping his head with the palm of his hand when the fox got hit in the face with a rake.
4. Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle and Jill McElmurry
A friendly little truck and his animal friends need to help a big dump truck out of the mud. The dump truck realizes that taking time to be kind to others has its benefits. It’s got everything a toddler could ask for: farm animals, friendship, and the “beep, beep, beep” of a truck.
5. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
The pictures are absolutely delightful as this family goes looking for a bear and finds what they’re looking for. There’s lots of action to keep a toddler engaged. It's also comforting to say "Good night" to the bear as he walks back to his cave by the ocean.
6. Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
Another book told mostly in pictures, the idea of animals wanting to sleep over at the zookeeper’s house is hilarious. I have a special place in my heart for this one because my son loves the zookeeper’s wife’s reaction when she says good night expecting to hear from her husband but instead hears from many animals throughout the dark room.
7. Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown and Felicia Bond
What toddler doesn’t go through a farm animal phase? We make farm animal noises constantly – in the car, at the house. This book is a phenomenal way to introduce all the animals and practice their sounds.
8. Moo Moo, Brown Cow by Jakki Wood and Rog Bonner
This little gem brings together animals and numbers. A cat travels through the farm asking animals if they have babies. Told in a rhythmic cadence, it is pleasing to the ears and there are enough farm animals for your toddler to practice the animal sounds.
9. Over in the Meadow by Olive A. Wadsworth and Anna Vojtech
A popular song, there are many variations of this book. However, my son and I like the soft, happy pictures of the animals in this counting rhyme book. We spend a few minutes looking at the beginning picture as he points out all the animals he can find in the bird’s eye view two-page spread.
10. Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
What a great book to read on a cold winter’s night when you’re cozy in your pajamas before bed! Bear is sleeping when friend after friend takes shelter in his den. The word choice such as “the coals pip-pop and the wind doesn’t stop” is really pleasing to the ear. My toddler likes to act out the scene when the bear wakes up. Such fun!
I hope you enjoyed my list. It was created based on lots of experience reading with my son Daniel. Now it's your turn to put your experience to work. Imagine that someone is coming to you, the expert on kids your age, to get a list of 10 books everyone your age should read by the end of the school year. Which ones would you choose? There are so many to pick from that it's a more difficult assignment than you might think.
Have fun with it. I know that we will have fun creating these lists and checking out the lists of every classroom!