Baby's First Laugh by Beverly Blacksheep, Carter LOVED this book! It was a board book so he was able to turn the pages easily and we didn't have that issue of wanting to rip the pages like he does with paper books. The words were written in both English and Navajo. I read it to him in English first and he was pretty indifferent to the book although he did like pointing to the baby on the pages and exclaiming "Baby!". But then I read it to him (the best I could) in Navajo and he loved it! He would turn and stare at me as I read the words, smile, and laugh. In a way I felt like he was laughing at my sorry attempt to read in Navajo, but I know it was really that he loved hearing a different language. I read and speak to him in Spanish frequently, but that's the only other language he's heard on a regular basis. He sure enjoyed hearing Navajo which makes me think I need to do a better job of exposing him to other languages, especially because at his age he is such a sponge for language!
Rain! by Linda Ashman, This little book features a little boy who rejoices in the rain and an older man who is grumpy about the rain. I love that the book shows it's not what happens to you, but how you react to what happens to you. It would be a great book to pull out when your child or class is being grumpy about something. Even kids sometimes need a reminder to not let one bad thing ruin their day. It was also a fun book to read on a rainy day. Carter and I went out and splashed in puddles after we read the book. This would be a great buddy book with "A Good Day" by Kevin Henkes.
Andrew Drew and Drew by Barney Saltzberg, Carter loved the flaps of this book that opened to reveal more of the picture. I love the idea of talking through the book with kids and having them guess what the picture will be before opening the flap to discover the full picture. It would also be a good book to read at the beginning of the year in kindergarten or first grade to discuss with students how pictures can inspire stories.
One Two That's My Shoe! by Alison Murray, This was another one that Carter absolutely loved. The cover had a dog on it and he picked the book out at the library exclaiming "doggy!" While reading the book he would excitedly point at the doggy and say "doggy" and then he'd point at the chicks and chickens and say "bird!" It was so cute. The book was a great counting book with each number page having that number of an object on it. It would be great for a younger child to try to figure out what on the page represented that number and count them to see if they were correct. It would also be a great book to read and then read the rhyme "1, 2, Buckle My Shoe" and have children discuss how they are alike and different.
Art by Patrick McDonnell, I loved the idea of using this book to talk about different kinds of lines and pictures you can make. It shows lines, zig zags, squiggles, dots, etc. When Carter's a little older I'd like to read him this book and have some paper and markers available next to us so he could try each of the different things as we read. The book also deals mostly with primary colors until toward the end when some of the colors get mixed together. It would be a great resource to use when talking about primary and secondary colors. I could show Carter the mixed colors and say "Oh my goodness, what happened?" Then we could even try it with finger paint or water colors. At the end of the book it says "A picture is worth a thousand words" and then you turn to a full 2-page picture. It would be great to stop here and allow older children (I'm thinking of my first grade students or even a bit younger or older) write a story about the picture or even just turn and talk to share out what they notice in the picture and what story they think the picture is showing. Carter also enjoyed this book and would point at the dog that was on a few pages and exclaim, "doggy!"
Ribbit! by Rodrigo Folgueira, This book was so cute. It is a great book to read and then discuss how to make friends. The pig in the book goes to the pond and says "ribbit" in an attempt to make friends. Then the pig gets up in a tree and says "tweet" to make friends. It would be good to discuss how the pig should've been him/herself to make friends and how the other animals shouldn't have judged the pig. It would be a great read aloud at the beginning of the year which would lead to a discussion and then creation of a student led anchor chart on how to make or be a friend.
Red Sled by Lita Judge, Carter absolutely loved this book. He would laugh so hard each time we read it and would carry it to us to read. The pictures were beautiful and there were lots of animals. Each page had just a few words which kept Carter's attention span. All of the words were sounds which he also loved. Since the only words were sound words it would be a great book for beginning readers who can't read words yet or are working on reading the pictures. Children could tell the story by reading the pictures. It would also be a good book to practice inferring. Children could infer what would happen after the book ends.
Diggers Go by Steve Light, This book had 3 of Carter's favorite things: noise words, diggers, and board book pages he can turn easily. He enjoyed reading this book to me as well as me reading it to him. He would even copy some of the sounds after I read them.
Tumford the Terrible by Nancy Tillman and Tumford's Rude Noises by Nancy Tillman, Carter picked both of these books out during one trip to the library. Tumford the Terrible was displayed on top of a shelf. He immediately spied it, yelled "kitty", and pointed at it until I got it down for him. He had to have that kitty book! Later he pulled Tumford's Rude Noises off a shelf. I'm not a big fan of her other books I've read, so I was pleasantly surprised with these books. They were both books that could be used to start a conversation with children about appropriate behavior. In Tumford the Terrible, he doesn't like to apologize and in Tumford's Rude Noises, I bet you could guess, he makes rude noises! They would both be great beginning of the year books to read in the classroom and then revisit when needed. I hope she writes more Tumford books because they were adorable. Carter got so excited spying the "kitty" on each page and even spied him when he was hiding in a sack and you could barely see his ears!
Pottytime Chickies by Janee Trasler, This book will be great to read with Carter before potty training. It would be good to simply just spark his interest in the potty. It could also be used later to remind him what the potty is for. I thought it was a cute book and they even had a free song download that went with the book.
Dog Wants to Play by Christine McDonell, Carter loved this book! He would grab the book and bring it to me saying, "Doggy!" The doggy tried to play with various different animals. I made the noise of each of the animals when they were on the page and Carter would laugh.
My Very First Book of Motion by Eric Carle, This was another one Carter loved. The book pages were 2 separate flaps to turn. The top half showed an animal and the bottom half had a word for a kind of movement. Carter loved turning the flaps and I could see him really liking to match the movement word to the animal that moves that way in the future.
Strawberries are Red by Petr Horacek, This book was so cute and had fun flaps/pages for Carter to turn. I liked that it showed different colors of fruits and I also liked that the colors were put in the same order as the rainbow. It would be a cute book to use when teaching Carter about colors.
Looking Like Me by Walter Dean Myers, In math we talk a lot about different names for numbers. We introduce name collection boxes by making name collection boxes for ourselves listing different names we go by. This book would be a great one to read before hand as the author lists all the different things he is. It would also be a good mentor text for writing not just during a poetry unit, but also at the beginning of the year when getting students to think of themselves as writers.
Play by Elizabeth Verdick & Marjorie Lisovskis, Carter loved this book and wanted to read it over and over. It was one of those books that once we finished, he passed it back to me to read again. I loved the actual photographs of babies. I also loved that each page was interactive in that I could make the noise or movement along with the baby in the picture and Carter could as well. I went back and added this book to our list of books to read about babies because it's a great way to remind Carter of ways we can play with babies.
123 Zoo by Puck, Carter loved this book just as much as the other book we've read by Puck, 123 Beach. It was another one that he handed to me right after we finished reading it so I could read it again. I love that the pages are so simple and really focus on the correspondence between a number and a set of objects that the number represents, such an important foundational skill in math to understand that 3 means a set of 3 objects, etc. I also like that the simple pages leave the book up for us to discuss and interpret in many different ways and we never read the book the exact same way.
Mommy, Look What I Can Do! by Mack, This was another book we finished reading and Carter immediately picked back up. I liked that it was a combination of photographs and cartoon illustrations. It gives a perfect opportunity to discuss fiction vs nonfiction along with their features. Carter loved the book because it was a lift the flap book. On the outside of the flap the baby animal was just sitting. Once you lifted the flap the baby animal was showing off it's skill. The book was so cute!
Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert and Color Farm by Lois Ehlert, I'm lumping these two books together because they are extremely similar and we couldn't decide which one we liked better. I picked the books up for our color weekly learning theme and was pleasantly surprised that they were great shape books. Carter loved grabbing onto the cut out shapes to turn the pages and I had to read quickly! I also loved that at the end of the book it showed each of the animals' whole bodies. The books would be great to put in a geometry math tub. Students could attempt to re-create the animals using pattern blocks, pattern block templates, or by free handing shapes. I got really excited thinking of the possibilities and wished I read the books before!
My favorite children's book authors as a first grade teacher were Mo Willems, Kevin Henkes, and Eric Carle. I still love them and enjoy reading Mo Willems and Eric Carle to Carter, although Kevin Henkes' books are a bit long and involved for Carter. Now I have my favorite early childhood authors from reading books with Carter. I've always enjoyed Nancy Tafuri and Lois Ehlert and they are definitely my favorite authors to read to Carter. I also enjoy Sandra Boynton books, but who doesn't?! It's so much fun to learn and discover a whole new genre of children's books now that I'm focused on toddler/pre-school level!