Books for First Graders to Read

From the day I could fill my sweet baby girl kicking around in my tummy, I have known it was important for her to read.  Each night while I would lay in bed dreaming about holding her, I would read her a bedtime story.  That is a tradition that has continued nightly ever since.

To help inspire a love for traveling the world through reading in my child, I vowed to grow her library monthly.  I figure there are a lot of things I could spend money on, but reading is truly an investment in her future.

When she was in kindergarten, and I was looking for books for kindergarten, this got a little easier through the Scholastic Book Club. Each time her teacher sent home a flyer, we would sit down and pick out at least five new books together to add to her kindergarten book collection.

When COVID-19 hit, and we were thrust into virtual homeschool, Scholastic Book Club was gone for us for several months. But Amazon wasn’t, and we found new ways to build our first grade books list for summer reading.  When we decided to do the virtual option of public school in the fall of 2020, I also discovered that you can setup your own Scholarstic Book Club account as a homeschooler.  They key is to setup a TEACHER account, not a student account.  So now we utilize both Amazon and Scholarstic to grow our library of first grade books.

First Grade Book List

On this page you’ll find books for first graders that my child loves to read. All of the reading books for first graders on this list she can read by herself. We have found the best way to inspire reading is at bedtime. Each night she picks out one book to read to me and one book for me to read to her. Some of the books are “longer” and some are really quick reads. If she picks out one of the “longer” books, we take turns reading pages.

During first grade, she can earn points as part of the Accelerated Reader (AR) program, so we are always looking for books on the AR list that she loves to read.

Like they have done for my child, I hope these first grade books open your child’s immagination and inspire a love of reading.

The Kissing Hand

This is a must read book for all kindergarten and first grade students at the start of the new school year.  We first learned about The Kissing Hand when my daughter started kindergarten.  Her teacher read it to them on the first day of school.  They also did a Kissing Hand activity where they drew about how they felt on the first day.  When we had the opportunity to order it, we read it every night for several days.  It is one of our favorite books for kindergarten and first grade students!

Chester is a racoon who is about to go to school, but he’s worried about missing his mom. Chester’s mom teaches him about how “With a Kissing Hand, we’ll never be apart.”  To make a kissing hand, kiss the hand of your little one and tell them to press their hand upon their cheek to feel a loving glow. The Kissing Hand is Chester’s mom’s way of saying, ‘I love you,’ wherever you may go.” The Kissing Hand has become a children’s classic that has touched the lives of millions of children and their parents. A Kissing Hand for Chester Raccoon conveys the heart of the story in rhyming verse, perfect for read-aloud and easy for even the little ones to remember and recite. With illustrations by Barbara Gibson that capture the warmth and beauty of the original artwork, toddlers now share in the benefits from Mrs. Raccoon’s secret for making a child feel safe and secure.

Splat the Cat

We are big fans of most of the “I Can Read” Books, and Splat the Cat is no exception.  We have several of the Splat the Cat books.  They are funny, easy to read for first grader books.  We especially love Splat the Cat: I Scream for Ice Cream, as it combines two of our little one’s favorite things into one book — cats and ice cream!  It’s a cute book that your little one will want to read over and over again.

Splat’s class is going on a year-end field trip to the ice cream factory. Splat is extremely excited thinking about the mountain of ice cream he’s going to eat. But when things don’t go as planned, that ice cream mountain turns out to be more of an avalanche. It’s up to Splat and his classmates to save the day! Beginning readers will scream for more Splat the Cat fun after devouring this delectable tale.

Peppa the Pig Series

Of all the book sets we have purchased, the Peppa Phonics Boxed Set of books is not only great for first graders who are learning to read, it is also the one set of books most read most often at our house.  My daughter loves these books because they are short with only one sentence per page.  As an added bonus, she loves Peppa.  But the short length of these books makes her feel successful that she can truly read an entire book from cover to cover without help.  Plus, the sightwords on the back of the book make for great practice.  I highly recommend this book set to moms with little girls who are learning to read.

First-time readers can now follow along with Peppa while they learn their phonics sounds. This set includes 10 Peppa Pig stories written specifically to help children learn short vowel sounds, as well as 2 phonics workbooks to practice–all in a sturdy box with a plastic handle.

Daniel Tiger Series

We were in love with these books the first few weeks of kindergarten, and now they’re making a comeback as one of our favorite books in first grade, too.  If you have a little one who loves Daniel Tiger, these Ready-to-Read books are perfect.  They follow the cartoons, so your little one may already be familiar with the story line.  We even found an idea in one of the books to keep us all entertained while we wait for dinner at a restaurant.

Daniel Tiger fans will love this grr-ific Ready-to-Read value pack with six Neighborhood stories for the price of four! As an added bonus, take a peek inside for tips to help your child become a reading star!  It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood…a beautiful day to read with Daniel Tiger! Little ones will love reading about all of Daniel’s adventures, from the Neighborhood Thank You Day celebration to a special dinner with Katerina Kittycat and her mom. Plus, check the inside of the packaging for a bonus set of tips to help your reading star soar to new heights.

Biscuit Series

Who doesn’t love the adorable yellow puppy named Biscuit?  This collection of stories is another great set of books for first graders from the I Can Read series.  We started these books as bedtime stories in kindergarten and transitioned them into readers over the summer before first grade.  They are great read aloud stories for emergent readers.  Biscuit is such a cute character and the lessons in the stories are always uplifting and positive.

Biscuit, everyone’s favorite little yellow puppy, stars in a five-book I Can Read box-set. Five fun-filled Biscuit My First I Can Read stories are now all together in one portable collection. Whether he’s playing with his favorite ball, helping feed pets, or visiting his local library—this puppy is always up for an adventure!  Now young readers can take these tail-wagging adventures with them wherever they go. The books included are: Biscuit, Biscuit Plays Ball, Biscuit Goes Camping, Biscuit Feeds the Pets, and Biscuit Loves the Library.

Pete the Cat Series

To say we love Pete the Cat would be an understatement.  We love him so much, our fourth birthday party was a Pete the Cat themed birthday party.  So it should be no surprise that we own every Pete the Cat book written, plus this great My First I Can Read Pete the Cat Storybook series.  If you’re looking for a groovy set of books that will empower your kiddo to love reading, this series won’t disappoint.

This set of 12 simple and fun Pete the Cat storybooks is an excellent choice. It’s a fun way to learn to read and as a supplement for activity books for children ages 3 to 6. Enter into the world of reading with My First I Can Read! New York Times bestselling author and artist James Dean’s Pete the Cat helps kids learn to read with phonics. Who knew reading could be so groovy! Reviewed by a phonics expert, these 12 short full-color books feature repeated examples of short and long vowel sounds and common sight words. Each of the simple stories in this box set is designed to teach kids how to master reading while rocking out with Pete the Cat.

Morris the Moose

If there’s one storybook character that has captured our hearts above all others, it is Morris the Moose.  We fell in love with him first in Morris Goes to School before we learned about this Morris the Moose book.  He’s such a curious character, and this book is sure to be one your child will love.  We even had to add a stuffed moose to our toy animal collection when we found him because we just love Morris that much.

Morris is a mixed-up moose, and he tries to figure out why all the other animals with legs and a tail aren’t also a moose.  The story involves a cow, a deer, a horse, and Morris, as they explore how their similarities don’t make them the same, but it is okay for them to be different. Morris the Moose is a Level One I Can Read book, great for shared reading with a child, and especially wonderful for reluctant readers.

Morris Goes to School

Are you looking for a great book to get your first grader excited about school, learning, and reading?  Look no further than Morris Goes to School.  This book is one of the most read books in our collection of storybooks.

Morris wants to buy candy, but he walks into a fish shop.  When he ends up at the candy shop, the store owner realizes Morris has never gone to school.  He takes Morris to school, where Morris learns about letters and numbers and makes friends with the kids in Miss Fine’s class.  This Level One I Can Read book is perfect as a read aloud book for first graders or as a book for a first grader to show their emergent reader skills.

Diary of a Worm: Teachers Pet

We love all of the Diary of a Worm and Diary of a Spider books … and Diary of a Worm: Teacher’s Pet is included in that love.  This particular book is one of our favorites because it is part of the I Can Read books, making it perfect for emergent first grade readers.  It’s a cute story that will entertain your kiddo!

In Diary of a Worm: Teacher’s Pet, Worm makes a surprising discovery—teachers have birthdays. That means Worm and his friends have to find the perfect present for their teacher, Mrs. Mulch.  The things they come up with for presents are cute as they relate to the bug world, all while helping your first grader sound out words and sentences.

The Owl Diaries

When we first learned about The Owl Diaries, chapter books for first graders, we had to get them.  We read two of the books the first day they arrived.  If you’re a member of the Scholastic Book Club, you’ll pay about 1/2 the price for the set of books than you’ll pay buying them through Amazon.  But even at $4.95 a book through Amazon, the 10 book collection is worth the investment.

This adorable early chapter book series is perfect for young girls who love friendship stories starring animal characters.  This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers. Eva Wingdale is the main character in this book series, which is written as Eva’s diary.  Each book finds Eva learning about friendship, sharing, and family values.  Our favorite book in the series is about Eva planning a sleepover birthday party.  The books are written by Rebecca Elliott and feature full-color illustrations throughout.

Fancy Nancy Series

What is better than teaching your kids how to read?  Teaching them to do it in most fancy way possible … with Fancy Nancy!  Like other I Can Read Phonics books, these Fancy Nancy books are perfect to keep fans of Fancy Nancy excited about reading!

This set of 12 simple and fun Fancy Nancy storybooks is an excellent choice to share at home with your kindergarten and first graders. Fancy Nancy’s lively personality and the full-color illustrations make learning vital emergent reader skills enjoyable for parents and children.

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First Grade Book List

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