Expedition Backyard by Rosemary Mosco, illustrated by Binglin Hu
Two best friends, Mole and Vole, go on adventures together in nature. Exuberant and curious Vole wants to try everything whether it’s pigeon dancing or riding on an opossum’s back. When the two friends accidentally move to the city, they make the best of it with positive attitudes. In the city, they have exciting new city nature adventures and discover new animal friends, sights, and sounds which are interspersed with facts about everything. It’s a delightful friendship story with appealing, beautiful illustrations!
Fenway and the Bone Thieves by Victoria J. Coe, illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
REALISTIC / Books for 1st Graders Age 6
Written from Fenway’s hilarious doggie point of view, readers will delight in Fenway’s complete bone obsession and his determination to keep it away from the squirrels. His paranoia leads to him burying the bone so NO one can find it, including him. His solution? Dig a million holes to find it. Read the next book, Fenway and the Frisbee Trick about Fenway learning a frisbee trick in his own, unique way.
Bee & Flea and the Compost Caper by Anna Humphrey, illustrated by Mike Deas
HUMOR / SCIENCE / Books for 2nd Graders (Age 7)
If you like funny and gross stories with wordplay and science, don’t miss this hilarious choice! A bored bee offers to help a flea with her rule enforcement for the agents of F.L.E.A. Bee and Flea land on a compost pile where Bee and Flea encounter danger, a daring rescue, and a heartwarming, developing friendship moment — plus, we learn all about the purpose of compost and the jobs of its many residents!
Zara’s Rules for Record-Breaking Fun by Hena Khan
REALISTIC / FRIENDSHIP / Books for 3rd Graders (Age 8)
Emmet and Jez Adventures in Fosterland by Hannah Shaw, illustrated by Bev Johnson
REALISTIC / ANIMAL RESCUE / Books for 2nd Graders (Age 7)
Jez, a kitten with three legs, assumes that Emmett is a kitten. She teaches him about their food fairy and tuna and climbing and telling cat jokes. The two friends sleep in the same bed, even when Emmett grows MUCH bigger than Jez. But Emmett notices that he’s not a very good kitten — and learns that he’s a pig. Eventually, they both will go to Foreverland. Emmett’s Foreverland is exactly what he dreamed of — a friendly farm with other pigs and cows and many new friends. It’s a sweet, meaningful, sometimes funny book about kindness and learning to be yourself.
Tâpwê and the Magic Hat by Buffy Sainte-Marie, illustrated by Buffy Sainte-Marie and Michelle Alynn Clement
MAGICAL REALISM / Books for 3rd Graders (Age 8)
Tâpwê lives on the Cree reserve with his Kohkom who gives him a magical hat made of bluebirds and snakes who come to life. He takes it to his cousins’ house for a visit. They welcome him with kindness and advice to watch out for trickster Wapos (rabbit). Tâpwê plays with Wapos who he wants to emulate and loses himself and his hat’s magic. Once he realizes his mistake, Tâpwê feels regretful. This regret brings him back to himself and the hat’s magic returns.
All About Plants: Ada Twist, Scientist The Why Files by Andrea Beaty and Dr. Theanne Griffith
PLANTS / NONFICTION FOR AGE 7 / Books for 2nd Graders (Age 7)
Packed full of information, this informational book hits the right spot for primary ages. Full-color photographs, diagrams, labels, cartoons, and informational text answer big questions like “How do they eat?” and “Do plants need air like me?“ I like this book — the writing and format are excellent. However, I’m disappointed the book doesn’t include a table of contents or a glossary.
Star Friends Mirror Magic by Linda Chapman, illustrated by Lucy Fleming
FANTASY / Books for 2nd Graders (Age 7)
This is the first book in a new and popular series of magic and friendship. The story falls flat for me but a lot of kids like it so here’s the gist. In this first story, the magical animal friends are matched to their star friends in the human world. Mia suspects her sister’s under a dark magic spell from a mirror and accidentally releases a Shade into the world. This sets us up for more books about the friends fighting the dark magic…