Here is the end of the list. I read to my class everyday. I highly suggest that you read to yours everyday. Your students will greatly benefit from it.
Roxaboxen, by Alice McLerran, is one of my favorite books ever. It celebrates one of my favorite subjects of imagination. This is the true story of the author’s mother and aunt’s play world in Yuma, AZ during the Depression. Money and toys were scarce, so they used their imagination and created a little town they called Roxaboxen, complete with a sheriff and a jail. This is the cutest little story. Read it. Your class will love it.
A Fire Engine for Ruthie, by Lesléa Newman, is a must read, especially for little girls. I’d have to say this book is especially good for tomboys. The little girl in the book, Ruthie, goes to visit her grandma who has many activities all planned out for them; girly activities, that is. As it turns out, Ruthie isn’t interested in any of that. What Ruthie’s interested in are things that boys are traditionally interested in- fire trucks, silver ladders, blue trains, and a little red caboose and wheels that go chucka-chucka, chucka-chucka and a whistle that goes toot! toot! Although Nana doesn’t understand, she lets Ruthie be who she is. This book is about being true to yourself. Great story!
Stephanie’s Ponytail, by Robert Munsch, is so funny. The first time I read this, I kept laughing. It’s so silly. And you know, if you’ve been reading my blog, that I love anything silly. Stephanie, the title character, loves her ponytail. But she doesn’t want it to be like anyone else’s. She asks her mom to put her ponytail on top of her head where it looks like a waterfall. Initially her mother protests, but she does it anyway. A little girl tells Stephanie it’s ugly, ugly, very ugly. However, the next day, when Stephanie comes to school, everyone has their hair like that. Even the teacher. The story continues like that, until Stephanie teaches them all a lesson about being themselves. Although this book is silly, it still has a clear message- Be yourself; don’t copy anyone.
When I Was Little (A 4 Year Old’s Memories of Her Youth), by Jamie Lee Curtis is too cute. I would recommend this book for no older than 1st grade. My daughter loved this when she was in Kindergarten. She liked how the little girl was like her. She pointed out that she spilled things a lot like the little girl in the book, that she rode in a car seat, that she took a nap and made up songs. The part I like is the last page:
When I was little, I didn’t know what a family was.
When I was little, I didn’t know what dreams were.
When I was little, I didn’t know who I was.
Now I do!
This is just a cute little book. There’s no real big message here. The kids may be able to identify with the little girl and they might get a chuckle or two out of it. I think it’s for adults more than children, but it’s still cute.
I’m Gonna Like Me (Letting off a little self-esteem), by Jamie Lee Curtis, is good for up to 5th grade. I read it to my students (that ranged in age from 7-12) and they still thought it was cute. Of course, as the title states, it’s about self-esteem. The little girl in the story tells about how she’s going to like herself when she jumps out of bed, when she grins, when she looses her teeth, etc.