A list of books for second-graders.

Life is a little frantic, is it not?

We flit from task to task to task (we? maybe just I) and somehow a month passes, or two, and the thing that was top of mind is infrequently even on the radar.

Gosh, we have a lot of books. This is due in large part to the generosity of friends and the dedication of my mom to library withdraws and garage sales. I would not change this for the world.

If I’d had a little foresight — seriously, we can all just agree now and forevermore that this is not my strong point — I’d’ve had some nice evergreen posts in the can, ready to go live all by their very selves from time to time, especially through the summer, and keeping up with this would be less — onerous? taxing? something done only out of obligation but easy to set aside? — or something.

I knew this would happen, you know. It’s my least favorite thing about blogs, the occasional huge gaps between posts, the dead silence in the blogiverse. I knew it would happen.

I’m full of good ideas. It’s the good execution that sometimes (often) goes by the wayside — not just here, but with a lot of things I say I’m going to do. But I will get up and keep trying every day that I get on this lovely planet.

In the meantime: Our daughter’s classmate’s mom was gracious enough to accept a list of book ideas for her reluctant reader. I seriously love recommending books. I don’t love reading aloud, but I’ve done (and continue to do) a whole stinking lot of reading aloud.

And when we needed a second bookcase for picture books, I had my sister (in Dallas at the time) go to IKEA for me. Yep, it’s a Billy. Ha.

No matter how frantic life gets, please do this for the children in your life. So many ideas and diverse scenarios, such good vocabulary, the advantage of sentence structure and spelling familiarity — read out loud early and often!

Some books are better than others for this task (Richard Scarry’s word books: I’m looking at you); some books get me in the feels and then it’s just better to set them aside for some other time (“Snowmen at Christmas” by Caralyn Buehner); some picture books are clearly meant for adults and kids are just not interested (Cynthia Rylant’s fantastic “All In A Day”). Some are just plain junk (“The Giving Tree” should never have been published, plus the photo of Shel Silverstein on the cover is just the icing on the poop cake).

But that leaves SO MANY BOOKS that are awesome. And, since I made this list, I will now share it with you. This is not all-encompassing! It happens to be a bunch of books that are great for second-graders.

Stop with all the ado and just post the list already. OK.

(Oh, and sorry about my style change; I don’t want to take the time to figure out indents because I love using the internet but not so much making the internet; so instead of quote-marking the titles as I did above, specific titles are italicized going forward.)

Picture Books
Richard Scarry (he’s very prolific, but these are my two favorites)
Cars and Trucks and Things That Go
What Do People Do All Day?

Virginia Lee Burton
Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel
Katy and the Big Snow
The Little House

H.A. and Margret Rey (the older the better; the ones based on TV episodes are not as good)
Curious George
Curious George Gets a Medal
Curious George Rides a Bike

Stan and Jan Berenstain (again, the older the better; the new ones are too, too preachy)
The Berenstain Bears: New Baby
The Berenstain Bears: Messy Room
The Berenstain Bears: Trouble with Money
The Berenstain Bears: In the Dark

Joanna Cole (the originals, not the ones based on TV episodes)
Magic School Bus: Inside the Earth
Magic School Bus: Water Works
Magic School Bus: Ocean Floor
Magic School Bus: Inside the Human Body

Robert Bright
Georgie the Ghost
Georgie and the Robbers
Georgie and the Noisy Ghost

Jack Kent (again, very prolific, but these are my favorites)
There’s No Such Thing as a Dragon
Mrs. Mooley

Mac Barnett

Amelia Bedelia books by Peggy Parish
Paddington Bear books by Michael Bond
Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel
Otis books by Loren Long
Froggy books by Jonathon London
Tacky the Penguin books by Helen Lester
Johnny Tractor books from John Deere Marketing
Johnny Tractor and His Pals
Corny Cornpicker Finds a Home
Family Reunion
Centennial Surprise

Case IH books by Holly Dufek

Authors and Illustrators — all work is good
Steven Kellogg
Jan Brett
Kevin Henkes
Judith Viorst
Oliver Jeffers
Cynthia Lord
Doreen Cronin
Drew Daywalt

Other Individual Titles (although many of the authors have more than one book)
Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown
Doctor DeSoto by William Steig
The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll
Monsters Love Underpants by Claire Freedman
Nugget and Fang by Tammi Sauer
Sammy and the Dinosaurs by Ian Whybrow
Big Joe’s Trailer Truck by Joe Mathieu
Rudolph’s Night Off by Baxter Black
The Kitten Who Thought He Was a Mouse by Miriam Norton
A Fly Went By by Mike McClintock
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf by Mark Teague
Here Comes Trouble by Corinne Demas
The Runaway Dinner by Allan Ahlberg
We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan Higgins
Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex
The Library by Sarah Stewart
Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White
The Diggingest Dog by Al Perkins

Chapter Book Series to Read Aloud
Magic Treehouse by Mary Pope Osborne (could also read independently)
Hank the Cowdog by John Erickson
The Littles (original series) by John Peterson
Soup by Robert Newton Peck
Great Brain by John Fitzgerald
Ribsy/Henry by Beverly Cleary
Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks

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