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Great Books for Beginning Readers

Experts pick their favorite titles for early elementary-schoolers.
 
Cover image for Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
by Judith Viorst Illustrated by Ray Cruz

In this contemporary classic, veteran children's author Viorst introduces us to Alexander, a kid with an unruly crop of hair, who gets out of bed to face a day that seems to grow increasingly worse with each passing minute.

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Paperback Picturebooks : $5.59

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Cover image for All about Frogs
All about Frogs
Series: All About
by Jim Arnosky Illustrated by Jim Arnosky

From tadpole to frog, Jim Arnosky shows and tells kids how frogs grow and live. Big bullfrogs and tiny spring peepers, vivid tropical frogs and bronze swamp frogs spring from the pages of the book.

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Cover image for Amazing Grace
Amazing Grace
by Mary Hoffman Illustrated by Caroline Binch

When her class decides to do Peter Pan, Grace wants to play Peter.  With the support of her family, Grace learns that she can be anything she wants to be, and the results are amazing!

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Hardcovers : $15.29

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Cover image for Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon
Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon
Series: Amber Brown, Book #1
by Paula Danziger Illustrated by Tony Ross

Amber Brown and Justin Daniels are best friends. They've known each other for practically forever, sit next to each other in class, help each other with homework, and always stick up for each other.

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Paperbacks : $4.99

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Cover image for Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti
Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti
by Gerald McDermott Illustrated by Gerald McDermott

Author Gerald McDermott has presented picture-book enthusiasts with yet another enthralling adaptation of a well-known folktale, this one from West Africa.

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Cover image for Chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum
by Kevin Henkes Illustrated by Kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum loves her name — until she starts kindergarten, which is an unfamiliar world full of short names like Sue, Bill, Max, Sam, and Joe.

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Cover image for Clifford the Big Red Dog
Clifford the Big Red Dog
Series: Clifford
by Norman Bridwell , Scholastic Illustrated by Norman Bridwell

It only takes a little to BE BIG!

Meet Clifford and Emily Elizabeth in the original Clifford book! Clifford is big. Clifford is red. But most of all, Clifford knows how to BE A GOOD FRIEND.

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Audiobook Read-alongs : $6.96

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Paperbacks : $2.79

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Cover image for A Color of His Own
A Color of His Own
by Leo Lionni Illustrated by Leo Lionni

Elephants are gray. Pigs are pink. Tigers have black and orange stripes. It seems that every animal has its own distinctive color, except the chameleon. And that makes the little chameleon hero of this picture book very sad. Every time he moves, he changes color!

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Board Picturebooks : $5.59

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Cover image for Corduroy - DDA
Corduroy - DDA
by Don Freeman Illustrated by Don Freeman
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Paperback Picturebooks : $4.79

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Cover image for Frog and Toad Are Friends
Frog and Toad Are Friends
by Arnold Lobel Illustrated by Arnold Lobel

It's April, and Frog is looking forward to a whole year of happy times with his best friend, Toad. If only Toad would agree to wake up from his long winter nap! In the first of five short stories, clever Frog finds a way to rouse his sleepy friend. And as children will soon see, theirs is a marvelous friendship.

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Cover image for Good Night, Gorilla
Good Night, Gorilla
by Peggy Rathmann Illustrated by Peggy Rathmann

In this practically wordless bedtime story, a weary zoo keeper bids good night to his charges and then goes home to bed. He doesn't notice, however, that clever Gorilla has pickpocketed his keys and is letting the animals out of their cages, one by one.

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Hardcover Picturebooks : $11.99

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Paperback Picturebooks : $4.79

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Cover image for If You Take a Mouse to School
If You Take a Mouse to School
Series: If You Give …, Book #5
by Laura Numeroff Illustrated by Felicia Bond

If you take a mouse to school, he'll ask you for your lunch box. When you give him your lunch box, he'll want a sandwich to go in it. Then he'll need a notebook and some pencils. He'll probably want to share your backpack, too...

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Cover image for Miss Nelson Is Missing
Miss Nelson Is Missing
by Harry Allard Illustrated by James Marshall

"The kids in Room 207 were misbehaving again. Spitballs stuck to the ceiling. Paper planes whizzing through the air. They were the worst-behaved class in the whole school."

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Paperback Picturebooks : $5.95

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Cover image for Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale
by John Steptoe Illustrated by John Steptoe

This Caldecott Medal-winning African tale evokes the Cinderella story, as well as the traditional theme of good triumphing over evil.

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Hardcover Picturebooks : $11.95

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Cover image for Pinky and Rex and the Just-Right Pet
Pinky and Rex and the Just-Right Pet
by James Howe Illustrated by Melissa Sweet

In the 12th book in this popular series, Pinky is upset when his family decides to get a cat instead of a dog — but soon starts to love the new pet.

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Cover image for The Snow Day
The Snow Day
by Komako Sakai Illustrated by Komako Sakai

A modern take on a winter classic!

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Hardcover Picturebooks : $11.89

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Cover image for Ten Black Dots
Ten Black Dots
by Donald Crews

One dot can make a sun or moon when day is done. Two dots can make the eyes of a fox or the eyes of keys that open locks.

Children count all the way to ten with simple rhymes and brightly colored objects. By the author of the Caldecott Honor Books Freight Train and Truck.

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Cover image for The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!
by Jon Scieszka Illustrated by Lane Smith

The big bad wolf has spent ten years in pig prison for the destruction of the three little pigs, and he has quite a story to tell that just might prove his innocence!

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Cover image for The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
by Eric Carle Illustrated by Eric Carle

A hungry caterpillar eats his way through a varied and very large quantity of food until, full at last, he forms a cocoon around himself and goes to sleep.

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