Tag Archives: early reader books

Do you have a list of good books for my kindergartener to read? Or for me to read to her?

Yes!  The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy has published lists of recommended books by grade level.  These lists do not include all good books (far from it!).  Rather the lists suggest books of the right complexity and quality for children by grade level.  The lists also suggest the wide range of subjects that a student should encounter in reading.

The Common Core Standards developers would prefer that you use these lists as guides to find appropriate reading material for you child.  One of the criticisms of the Common Core Standards is that teachers will limit themselves to only the reading material listed.

For kindergarteners and first graders, the lists include stories, poetry, read-aloud stories, read-aloud poetry, informational texts and read-aloud informational texts.  Some of the stories are classics such as Are You My Mother by P. D. Eastman and Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss.  Others are newer stories.

When you read these or any books with your child, pause as you read and ask the child to tell you what is happening.  If there are pictures, ask him what he learns from them.  Ask him what he thinks will happen next.  When you complete the book, ask him what it was about.   Can he name the setting (time and place) and important characters?  Pick out two or three new words and see if he remembers what they mean.

To find complete lists of recommended books for all grade levels, review the contents listing at the front of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects.

Below are the books recommended for kindergarten and first grade.

kindergarten to 1st grade stories.

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kindergarten to 1st grade poetry.

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kindergarten to 1st grade informational text

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Mrs. K and Mrs. A publish fifth book, “Not Yet, Baby”

Our fifth book for children learning to read was published this past week as an app on Apple products.  Not Yet, Baby is the story of a big brother and the family baby.  The little one wants to do whatever the big brother does.

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If big brother swims, baby wants to swim.  If big brother eats a hot dog, baby wants to eat a hot dog.  If big brother kick-boxes, baby wants to kick box.  Often in danger, the baby is dragged away just in time by two arms.

Like our other books, Not Yet, Baby illustrates typical yet humorous situations that a four, five, or six-year old would understand.  The book uses mostly one syllable, short vowel words appropriate for beginning readers.  Interactive activity pages follow—word searches, matching rhyming words, filling in the correct vowel and answering yes and no questions.

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The idea came to me as I was traveling through national parks in Utah and Arizona last summer.  Occasionally I would get a text or a picture from my son, Tom, the dad of two little boys.  The younger one was walking and following his three-year-old brother everywhere.  Whatever the older boy had, the baby wanted.  Whatever the older boy was doing, the baby was underfoot.

I reminded Tom that he too, had been a younger brother and had been a pain in the neck to his big brother, Lou.  Lou would build elaborate corrals with wooden blocks, enclosing a dinosaur in "Not Yet, Baby" sketch bookeach compartment.  Tom would totter across the rug, destroying the entire habitat.  On the tour bus in the Rockies, as I remembered spending hours restraining the rambunctious Tom, the ideas flowed, and within a few days I had a book full of sketches!

As you read Not Yet, Baby, you may remember being the older child trying to understand the limitations of a younger one.

Page 13 of "Not Yet, Baby"

Here’s page 13 of “Not Yet, Baby” from the sketch book idea.

Or maybe you can relate to a baby trying to keep up, or the adult who works tirelessly to keep one child safe and another one happy.  Maybe the story will lead to talks with your child about your childhood or his.  There’s so much to talk about in Not Yet, Baby.  You can find the “Not Yet, Baby” iTunes app at http://goo.gl/CVTFZx.

Mrs. A

Mrs. A describes how she illustated Dad Won’t Let Go of Meg’s Yo-Yo

Illustration used in the book app

Illustration used in the book app

Like the characters in Play, Pop, Play, the characters in our new ebook app, Dad Won’t Let Go of Meg’s Yo-Yo, are based on real people.  As an artist, I find it helps to imagine someone I know when I am drawing.  My brother-in-law, John, is one of the funniest people I have ever met, both in his words, and in his over-the-top gestures!  He is the role model for the father in our story.  His daughter, Meaghan, (Meg) is a sweet, forgiving girl like the birthday girl in our story. Meaghan’s older sister, Rachel, unfortunately for our purposes, has a name that can’t be easily decoded by beginning readers, so we changed Rachel to Jen.  Rachel looks out for her little sister, and sometimes reminds her Dad to settle down if he is getting too enthused. 

An early version of an illustration for Dad Won't Let Go of Meg's Yo-Yo, not used in the book

An early version of an illustration for Dad Won’t Let Go of Meg’s Yo-Yo, not used in the book

My early sketches (I am attaching one here) look so simple compared to the final drawings that comprise the book.  I try to put many details into each page of art, so that a child reading the book has lots to notice and discuss.  Somehow a mischievous cat sneaked into this story too! 

Although there are many yo-yo tricks (around the world, side winder, boomerang, and sleeper), none of these are C-V-C (one-syllable, short-vowel) words. The challenge for us in composing Dad Won’t Let Go of Meg’s Yo-Yo was to find a way to show the tricks yet use simple words.  Instead of around the world, our book says, “spin the yo-yo.”  Instead of side winder, we say “jump the yo-yo.”

Most of us can do the simple up and down motion of a yo-yo unless the string is too long.  And THAT is the premise of our book: Dad delays cutting the string so little Meg can’t play with her yo-yo. Maybe I should call this book a memoir.  It reminds me of being a little girl, and of having a bigger, taller and smarter brother (or so I thought at the time), who was also a master of the yo-yo.  Like the Dad in Dad Won’t Let Go of Meg’s Yo-Yo, my brother would sometimes torment me, showing off his yo-yo prowess, until—SPOILER!  I almost away gave the ending.  You’ll have to read our latest book to find out what happens!

Also, to see some mighty nice yo-yos, go www.yo-yo.com and www.yo-yoplay.com

Check out our newest beginning reader book app, “Dad Won’t Let Go of Meg’s Yo-Yo.”

Like our previous app books, Dad Won’t Let Go of Meg’s Yo-Yo is written in easy, one-syllable, mostly short-vowel words that beginning readers can sound out.  The story is silly—a father gives his little girl a yo-yo for her birthday, and becomes so engrossed in showing her how to do tricks that little Meg can’t play with her yo-yo.  Eventually the father realizes his mistake, apologizes, and cuts the string to fit Meg.

Dad won't let go of Meg's yo-yo.

Our fourth book app for early readers is at http://goo.gl/XDZoy1

Our app books are genuine literature, that is, real stories with a beginning, middle and end.  Yet very early readers—those who know consonant and short vowel sounds—can read the books and appreciate the story.  The art is humorous, meant to appeal to the child’s funny bone, yet the message at the end—an apology—teaches the child an important value.

In addition, because Dad Won’t Let Go of Meg’s Yo-Yo and other books are apps, they are interactive.  At the end of each book are ten pages of activities which take advantage of technology.  Students can draw lines with electronic crayons; they can swipe words with a highlighter; they can draw letters or circle yes or no.  When they are done, they can erase and start over, or save, or email to Grandma.

Dad won't let go of Meg's yo-yo vocabulary exercise.If you are a teacher with a white board, and you have an iPad or iPhone and a computer compatible with Apple products, you can show the book on your white board and let the whole class participate.  Right now you need to be able to download our app on an Apple device, but eventually we will have our books available for Android products.

To preview Dad Won’t Let Go of Meg’s Yo-Yo, go to http://goo.gl/XDZoy1.   To preview our other books go to http://goo.gl/JMrT3, http://goo.gl/ClVyM, and http://goo.glK1HcU.

Mrs. K and Mrs A publish another beginning reading book

Mrs. K and Mrs. A have published our third children’s book app in three months!  Play, Pop, Play, our latest book app, resembles our prior book apps, Not a Lot on Top and Look, Babysitter, Look.  All three are written in easy CVC words for beginning English and ESL readers and have hilarious drawings featuring a little kid to attract young readers.

Play, Pop, Play iTunes App

Go to http://goo.gl/JMrT3 for more information.

In Play, Pop, Play, little Tom wants his Pop to play with him—tucked under a table, splashing in a tiny swimming pool, and pumping high on swings.  Pop tires out and wants to nap, but Tom keeps going until—well, you’ll have to read to find out.

Several activity pages follow, all using the simple vocabulary and events of the story.  Unlike paper workbook pages, these app pages are interactive, encouraging the beginning reader to draw lines with electronic crayons, swipe words in a word search, and number the story events in sequence—appropriate reading skills for new readers.  Then—poosh!—the child can erase and start over, or save, or email her work to Grandma.

Play, Pop, Play is available for $1.99 on Apple iPhones, iPads and iPods.  To preview or to buy this book, go to http://goo.gl/JMrT3.

Also, check out Not a Lot on Top at http://goo.gl/ClVyM, and Look Babysitter, Look at http://goo.gl/K1HcU.

Mrs. K and Mrs. K and Mrs. A publish second beginning reader book app: “Look, Babysitter, Look”

Mrs. K and Mrs. A have published our second children’s book app for beginning English readers and beginning ESL readers, Look, Babysitter, Look.

Book app for iPhone and iPad.

Available for iPhone and iPad at http://goo.gl/K1HcU

The story of Look Babysitter Look follows the antics of a little girl who cannot sleep while her clueless babysitter talks on the cell phone.  The pictures are funny, the words are easy and the cost low–$1.99 for the book and activity pages.  The book was designed as a fun method to attract beginning readers using phonics—mostly short-vowel, one-syllable (CVC) words.

Look  babysitter look sample activity page.The activity pages resemble workbook pages except that they are interactive, which delights kids.  A child can write a letter in a blank with an electronic crayon, circle words in a word search, fill in simple crossword puzzle words or draw lines to match drawings that rhyme.  All the activities are appropriate for a beginning reader and pertain to Look, Babysitter, Look’s characters and theme.

Right now Look, Babysitter, Look is available on Apple products through iTunes books but we expect it will be available on android products.  To preview the book, or to buy it, click on http://goo.gl/K1HcU.

Also, check out our first book, Not a Lot on Top, at http://goo.gl/ClVyM.