6. If You Take a Mouse to School (Buy on Amazon)
Written by: Laura Numeroff
Illustrated by: Felicia Bond
Juvenile, Fiction, School, Mice
Ages: 3-8 Years
U.S. Grades: Preschool-Second Grade
Lexile® Measure: AD660L
If You Take a Mouse to School is a hilarious look at what happens when a boy takes a mouse, who wants everything, to school. The mouse will read, write, do math problems, and science experiments, but it will take a bus full of extra school supplies in order to satisfy this little scamp.
The illustrations complement the writing masterfully to keep the pace lively. The collaboration between Numeroff and Bond is entertainment at its best! 5 stars
Awards/Recognition: NYT Bestselling author and Publisher Weekly Bestselling author
7. Splat the Cat (Buy on Amazon)
By: Rob Scotton
Juvenile, Fiction, School, First Day of School, Cats, Kittens, Mouse
Ages: 3-7 years
U.S. Grades: Preschool-Second Grade
Lexile® Measure: AD390L
Splat the Cat is an enchanting and comical glimpse at Splat’s (our protagonist) first day of school. Scotton takes us from Splat’s silly excuses about why he cannot attend school to his pet mouse (Seymour) escaping in the classroom.
Children will enjoy the emotionally expressive artwork of Splat, and the details Scotton planted around the story from the fish bone wallpaper to Seymour drinking milk with the class.
Awards/Recognition(s): Rob Scotton is a New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of several Splat the Cat books, Splat the Cat is a Time Magazine’s Top 10 Children’s Books of 2008
By: Eric Litwin
Art by: James Dean
Ages: 3-8 years
U.S. Grades: Preschool- Third Grade
Lexile® Measure: 600L
Juvenile, Fiction, School, Music, Cats, Kittens, Rhyming
Pete the Cat feels amazing all school day long because he is rockin’ and singing with his school shoes on. He sings, paints, does math problems, writes, and much more while his happy feet are in his school shoes. The humorous artwork with Pete with his extra-large sneakers adds a “cool cat” vibe.
This is a lighthearted book that is a groovy way to transition kids back to school. There are free Pete the Cat songs, videos, and extras at the HarperCollins Children (publisher) website.
Awards/Recognition(s): New York Times bestselling series Pete the Cat books, 2012 Children’s Choice Beginning Readers (Grades K-2)
9. Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse (Buy on Amazon)
By: Kevin Henkes
Ages: 4-8 years
U.S. Grades: Kindergarten-Third Grade
Lexile® Measure: 540L
Juvenile, Fiction, School, Mice, Teacher, Students, Conflict Resolution
Lily (mouse) is an outgoing student who loves school and adores her teacher Mr. Slinger. She is so enthusiastic about school and her teacher that she plays school at home. One day, Lily brings her new purple plastic purse that plays music when it opens, and wears her sunglasses to school.
During several lessons, Lily cannot resist the urge to open her purse and let the tune play. After several warning, Mr. Slinger confiscates Lily’s purse. In turn, she tells him she does not want to be a teacher anymore. Once she arrives home, she realizes that Mr. Slinger had written her a kind note. How can Lily make amends? This is an ideal book to illustrate conflict resolution.
I invited students to wear sunglasses while I read the story, and this was a wonderful book to open a discussion with my students about how Lily could have prevented the problem, and how she can remedy the situation. Henkes playful and endearing books and illustrations have won numerous awards, and he is one of my favorite authors/illustrators.
Awards/Recognition(s): ALA Notable Children’s Book, Booklist Editors’ Choice, Horn Book Fanfare, Publishers Weekly Best Book, School Library Journal Best Book, New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing, IRA Children’s Choice, American Booksellers Book of the Year Award
Other books starring Lily/ where Lily appears by Kevin Henkes:
Lily’s Big Day
Lily’s Chocolate Heart
A Box of Treats (Five little books about Lily and her friends)
Julius: The Baby of the World
Written by: Jack Prelutsky
Pictures by: Doug Cushman
Ages: 6-10 Years
U.S. Grades: First Grade-Fifth Grade
Poetry, School, Education, Juvenile, Poems
What a Day it Was at School is a hilarious collection of poems by Jack Prelutsky. When a cat mother asks her cat child how the day at school went, his response is a reading her the journal full of poems. This feline’s journal covers: music, gym, and art class, lunch time madness (a food fight), going to the nurse, a field trip, a visit from an author names Mister Hoobybatch, and so much more. Although this is outrageously funny, be careful not to give your students/children the wrong idea (it’s funny to start a food fight).
My favorite poems were:
My Backpack Weighs a Thousand Pounds (Most students can relate to this with all of their enormous, overweight books).
I Wish I’d Studied Harrder (This made me burst into laughter. The student wrote a poem, mostly misspelled, about how he/she wished he/she had studied harder for his “spellink” (spelling) test. And yes, that is how he/she spelled harder and spelling.)
It’s Library Time (The protagonist goes on adventures as he/she reads books in the library.)
I Know How to Add (The main character’s head is spinning as he tries to figure out complex math problems.)
Join the fun with these poems!
Awards/Recognition(s): Jack Prelutsky is a National Bestselling author, and Doug Cushman has won the 2005 Christopher Award for his artwork for Never, Ever Shout in a Zoo.
All Flowers with Titles Created and Photographed by: Christina teacher-librarian-forlife.com