Teachers for Teachers | Ten Tried and True Picture Books for K-2 Book Clubs #pb10for10
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Ten Tried and True Picture Books for K-2 Book Clubs #pb10for10

When we think about our own reading lives, we know community matters. We are both in book clubs, regularly participate in #IMWAYR with Jen Vincent and Kellee Moye, and read and write for the Nerdy Book Club Blog.  Today the Picture Book 10 for 10 community comes together to share collections of fiction picture books. This online community, created by Cathy Mere and Mandy Robek, helps us discover new titles, learn interesting ways to group texts and stay connected with friends near and far.  Thank you, Cathy and Mandy.  We love being a part of this community each August.

As you can see, our reading communities are important to us, and we want our K-2 readers to experience the joys of discussing books with others too. To make this work accessible, playful, and purposeful for our youngest readers, we have a basket of books right in the classroom library to promote book discussions.  Sometimes, we read these books aloud before they go in this basket, so students are familiar with the storyline and do not struggle to decode the text.  For other books, we book talk the text, knowing that our preview will give readers enough support to work independently.

To celebrate reading communities, we chose ten books we see K-2 readers pick time and time again from this basket.  These tried and true texts get students looking closely at the details, laughing out loud, and sharing their thoughts with one another:

Blackout, John Rocco

The detailed illustrations are hard to see when we read this book aloud, but students love to sit together and study this text together.

Good News, Bad News, Jeff Mack

Readers laugh out loud as they see the characters’ opinions change as mishaps turn into blessings and happy moments have some unintended outcomes.

Monkey Bridge, Joy Cowley

This oldie but goodie book has readers thinking about the way the characters solve the problem and their motivations.

The Lion and the Mouse, Jerry Pinkney

This wordless book encourages students to retell this classic tale and act as if they are the characters.  We love watching readers linger as they study Jerry Pinkney’s illustrations of the African Serengeti.

Are We There Yet? Dan Santat

This book pushes kids to differentiate between what is happening in the story and what is in the characters’ minds.

Look! Jeff Mack

This book gets kids laughing and thinking about the joys of reading.

Jabari Jumps, Gaia Cornwall

A poignant story about recognizing and overcoming our fears.  We love listening to readers as they talk about how Jabari’s words do not always match what he is feeling.

Surf’s Up, Kwame Alexander

The setup of this text encourages students to take on the role of a character and think about his perceptions and feelings. A fun book for students to act out and discuss how characters’ opinions can change.

I Don’t Want to be a Frog, Dev Petty

A funny book to promote conversations about appreciating ourselves and others for who they are.

I Am (Not) Scared, Anna King

This book, as well as the two others in this series, help readers think about point of view and the “why” behind a character’s words.

If you are looking for more books to get K-2 students sharing their thinking with partners and in book clubs, check out our Pinterest Board. Please feel free to add titles in the comments that you might add to this collection.  We love learning about what your K-2 readers are excited to discuss with one another.

  • Avatar
    Lisa Maucione
    Posted at 11:36h, 10 August Reply

    Jabari Jumps is one of my favorites! I have to get more Jeff Mack books because they are perfect for beginning readers. If you haven’t checked out Jeff Mack’s Mr. Monkey Bakes a Cake yet, it’s a really fun read.

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    Melanie Roy
    Posted at 11:41h, 10 August Reply

    What a great list! With a guy at home going into first grade I’ll be sure to read these with him! Thanks for your expertise as always!

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    Linda Baie
    Posted at 13:45h, 10 August Reply

    Terrific list for my emerging reader granddaughter! She has recently loved Ruzzier’s Fox & Chick! Thanks for all. I love Jabari Jumps & Blackout!

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    Jana Eschner
    Posted at 17:21h, 10 August Reply

    Great list! Are We There Yet? is one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful school year!

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    Carrie Gelson
    Posted at 18:56h, 10 August Reply

    Love seeing Jabari Jumps here! Are We There Yet was a favourite in my Grade 3 class last year. What a fun list!

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    Lori Sabo
    Posted at 16:35h, 11 August Reply

    I love nine of these already. Can’t wait to read Look! by Jeff Mack. It is new to me.

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    Tammy Flanders
    Posted at 15:58h, 13 August Reply

    Thanks for your suggestions. Monkey Bridge is a new title for me. I appreciate the recommendation.
    Apples with Many Seeds

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