Beginning Readers for Kindergarten to Grade 3 June 2016 Picks
Best Beginning Reader Picks for June 2016

Intro

This month’s picks for great beginning reader books for Kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and third grade include several awesome, critically acclaimed graphic novels, several popular series books, plus a story told in the tradition of classic fairy tales, and more.  As you know, I'm a huge fan of graphic novels (similar to a comic book style) for beginning readers.  There is so much richness conveyed through the the illustrations in well-crafted graphic novels, which makes even sparse text rewarding to read.  Series books are also beneficial to beginning readers as familiar characters and story lines can reinforce vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Little Dee and the Penguin, Hilo: Saving the Whole Wide World, and especially I Am Pan are all graphic novels that have received much love from professional critics.  Little Dee and the Penguin looks particularly sweet to me.  It’s about a little girl who finds friendship amongst an odd collection of animals, including a vulture, a dog, a bear, and a penguin.  Reviewers say the book is full of heart.  Hilo: Saving the Whole Wide World looks action-packed and awesome.  I’m also intrigued by I Am Pan.  The critics went crazy over this one, and, doubtless due to the success of Rick Riordan’s books (The Lightning Thief and more), Greek Gods are super popular these days.  I Am Pan looks to be an energetic and contemporary telling of the story of the Greek God Pan.

There are new books from the Scholastic Branches series, The Notebook of Doom and Owl Diaries.  Both series are very popular.  Also popular is the Pete the Cat series, which released a new volume called Sir Pete the Brave.

I’m super excited to read The Robber Hotzenplotz.  This release is a recent translation of the original work published in 1962.  From reading the teaser in the Amazon preview, I already felt drawn in to the story.  It has a timeless, familiar quality that immediately resonates with a reader, but it's also a totally unique tale.

 Seeing stars?  Professional book reviewers only award a star to exceptional books.  More than one star means experts from multiple organizations felt the book was outstanding. 

See Pip Point Book Cover
See Pip Point (The Adventures of Otto)
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 1
by David Milgrim
published May 24, 2016

Otto must rescue a friend who is swept away by a gust of wind in this Pre-level 1 Ready-to-Read byNew York Times bestselling author/illustrator, David Milgrim, part of the award-winning, star-reviewed The Adventures of Otto series.

Meet Otto’s friend, Pip. Pip wants Otto’s balloon. Otto’s balloon is very, very big. Pip...READ MORE

Hilo Saving the Whole Wide World Book Cover
Hilo Book 2: Saving the Whole Wide World
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 2
by Judd Winick
published May 17, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Kirkus Reviews

HILO’s BA-ACK—in this funny, New York Times Bestselling, full-color new middle-grade graphic novel series that Bone creator Jeff Smith calls “delightful” and Lincoln Peirce says “every kid will love!” 
 
DJ and Gina are TOTALLY ordinary kids. But Hilo . . . isn’t. HILO is just settling into life on...READ MORE

The Robber Hotzenplotz Book Cover
The Robber Hotzenplotz
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 3
by Otfried Preussler
illustrated by F.J. Tripp
published May 10, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal  

The Robber Hotzenplotz is a merry tale of two scoundrels, two friends, a toad-fairy, and an unforgettable escapade.
 
The Robber Hotzenplotz works hard at his job, waking early to hide in the woods and waylay new victims. One morning Kasperl’s grandmother is sitting in the sun outside her house,...READ MORE

Basil of Baker Street (The Great Mouse Detective) Book Cover
Basil of Baker Street (The Great Mouse Detective)
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 3
by Eve Titus
illustrated by Paul Galdone
published May 17, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Kirkus Reviews  

Named one of “13 Detective Book Series You Obsessed over as a Kid” by Buzzfeed.com and the inspiration for a hit Disney film, the masterful Great Mouse Detective series is now available to a whole new generation of readers!

Basil—the famous sleuth of mousedom—lives in the cellar of Sherlock...READ MORE

Owl Diaries Eva and the New Owl Book Cover
Eva and the New Owl (Owl Diaries)
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 2
by Rebecca Elliott
published May 10, 2016

Pick a book. Grow a Reader! 
This series is part of Scholastic's early chapter book line Branches, aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow! 
In...READ MORE

I Am Pan Book Cover
I Am Pan!
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 3
by Mordicai Gerstein
published March 8, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publisher's Weekly Star ImageHorn Book

Mischievous from the moment he emerges howling and screeching from his mother's womb, Pan, god of the wild, creates pandemonium wherever he goes. Noise and confusion follow him as he steals arrows from Artemis, conceives panic, tricks the moon into falling in love with him, and saves the world from...READ MORE

Little Dee and The Penguin Book Cover
Little Dee and the Penguin
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 2
by Christopher Baldwin
published April 5, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Kirkus Reviews

Graphic novel fans will love this hilarious animal adventure by webcomic creator Christopher Baldwin—perfect for readers of Dan Santat’s Sidekicks, Ben Hatke’s Zita the Spacegirl, and Berkeley Breathed’s Bloom County

When Little Dee meets a motley crew of animals deep in the forest, she knows she’s found the perfect set of new friends....READ MORE

Pete the Cat Sir Pet the Brave Book Cover
Pete the Cat: Sir Pete the Brave (My First I Can Read)
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 2
by James Dean
published June 28, 2016

New York Times bestselling author and artist James Dean brings readers a new story about the most gallant cat around—Pete! This time Pete is a knight on an adventure to save a pal in Pete the Cat: Sir Pete the Brave.

When Lady Callie, the most awesome harpist in all the land,...READ MORE

Snail and Worm: Three Stories About Two Friends Book Cover
Snail and Worm: Three Stories About Two Friends
Approximate Reading Level: Kindergarten,
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 1
by Tina Kugler
published May 3, 2016

Combining deceptively simple art with clever wordplay, Snail and Worm—told in three comical, episodic shorts and ranging in topic from adventuring to having pets—will have both girls and boys delighting in the friends' silly antics, making it a perfect book for readers transitioning between picture books and chapter books....READ MORE

Snap of the Super Goop Book Cover
Snap of the Super-Goop (Notebook of Doom. Scholastic Branches)
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 3
by Troy Cummings
published June 28, 2016

This series is part of Scholastic's early chapter book line Branches, aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow! 
In this tenth book, Alexander keeps seeing monsters that...READ MORE

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Hello there!

Hi!  I'm Sarah.  I'm a former librarian and mother of two -- a teen daughter and a preschooler son.  We love to play outdoors... and read.  :)

This site is all about discovering great books to share with kids and teens. ...Read more

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