Picture Book 10 for 10 – Best Read Alouds

This is my second year participating in the August Picture Book 10 for 10 Event hosted by Cathy Mere of Reflect & Refine: Building a Learning Community and Mandy Robek of Enjoy and Embrace Learning. I look forward to seeing everyone’s lists!

After much thought, I have come up with a list of the top 10 (possibly 11…whoops!) books that I either love reading aloud to my first graders or can’t wait to read aloud this year. Some are old and some are new, but they all have a certain something that catches the attention of wiggly 6-year-olds. And that is a beautiful thing. Here we go…

PS…our blog is doing weird things and no matter what I try, I can’t get the spacing right. Apologies!


1. The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Goes to School by Laurie Halse Anderson

The title alone makes this a must read. Zoe is a girl with a LOT of hair. And it can do tricks! It was so helpful in kindergarten, but now her first grade teacher is fed up with her unruly locks. But Zoe finds a way to help her teacher see that her hair doesn’t have to be a nuisance.

2. The Surprise by Sylvia van Ommen
This is a wordless picture book that follows a sheep as she makes her wool into something for a friend. You don’t know until the last page what she’s making or who it’s for. This book is great for making inferences.
3. A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead
This is one of my all-time favorite books. Zoo worker, Amos, visits the animals at the zoo each day. He knows just what each one needs. When he is sick one day, the animals make their way to his house to help him feel better. This is a quiet story of kindness and compassion.
4. Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros? by Shel Silverstein
This book is hilarious. Go read it. Right now.
5. Ira Sleeps Over by Bernard Waber
I read this book every year. The dialogue is so fun to read out loud and the kids always jump in fright when it’s time for the ghost story part.
6. Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag
Friends. This book is old.  Like 1928 old. And I think I might just love it because I really identify with the man in the story who keeps finding cats he wants to take home. I don’t actually have a cat right now, but every time I see one I want to take it home. Anyway…the first graders always join in with the repeating line, “Cats here, cats there, cats and kittens everywhere. Hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats.”  Good times.
7. Who Is Melvin Bubble? by Nick Bruel
In this hilarious book, everyone who knows Melvin Bubble has something to say about him. Even Santa.
8. Pickle-Chiffon Pie by Jolly Roger Bradfield
Three interesting princes must find “the most wonderful thing” in the forest and present it to the King in order to win the hand of the beautiful Princess. Kindness wins in this funny little story.
9. Betty Bunny Didn’t Do It by Michael B. Kaplan
If you haven’t discovered the Betty Bunny books yet, please go and buy all four of them. They are all excellent. In this one, Betty Bunny breaks a lamp, lies about it, and then blames the Tooth Fairy. The fun thing about the Betty Bunny books is that we’re never quite sure if Betty has learned her lesson in the end.
10. Pardon Me! by Daniel Miyares
When I got this book, I read it three times in a row. It’s that good. A little bird who is on his last nerve just wants to sit quietly on his perch, but he keeps getting interrupted. And that’s all I’m going to tell you. Get this book.
11. Poor Doreen: A Fishy Tale by Sally Lloyd-Jones
I just got this book and have to add it to my list. The more I read this book, the funnier it gets. Doreen is a fish and she is completely clueless about the terrible things that are happening to her on her journey to visit her “second cousin twice removed who’s just had 157 babies.” I love how the narrator talks to Doreen throughout the whole story. I can’t wait to read this one aloud.
So there you go!  I hope you found some new books to check out and read aloud in your own classrooms!
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  • Carrie Gelson

    Great list! The first three titles are favourites of mine! Betty Bunny is VERY popular in my classroom. The kids love to share these titles during buddy reading. I still love the chocolate cake in the pocket from the first book! Going to look for Poor Doreen!

    • Tricia

      Thanks Carrie! Doreen just makes me giggle–hope you enjoy it!

  • Cathy Mere

    I may have just maxed my library card on your post. How do I not know these titles? I can’t wait to check them out.


    • Tricia

      Ha! Glad you found some new titles. 🙂 Enjoy!

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