recommended picture books, autumn of first grade edition

We’re always discovering great books, new and old! Here are a few I’ve loved reading with Noah during the past few months.

Older Than the Stars: Who isn’t interested in the Big Bang? This book talks to young children about the beginnings of our universe. It’s great.

Life on Earth: The Story of Evolution: This beautiful book applies Steve Jenkins’s always-awesome cut-paper collages to the inherently fascinating question: how did we get here?

Born with a Bang, From Lava to Life, & Mammals Who Morph: A trilogy taking us from the Big Bang to the beginning of humanity. These are really really weird–I do not imagine that the creators were sober. The illustrations, the writing, and the whole concept (the universe is writing letters to the human reader) are all freaking trippy. But they’re an engaging narrative introduction to huge scientific topics and achieve surprising depth. Noah (6) loved them, and they would also be appropriate for significantly older children.

The Boy Who Grew Flowers: A quirky and fanciful book about being different and finding love. Sweet.

A Tree Is Growing: Excellent introduction to trees, with gorgeous, detailed illustrations. I would have loved poring over this book as a child. Again, good for my six-year-old but also relevant for older children.

Tess’s Tree: This one talks about the death of a child’s beloved tree. A nonthreatening and thoughtful approach to issues surrounding death and mortality, including the idea of a funeral.

Out of the Way! Out of the Way!: A little boy in, I’m guessing, India? protects a seedling from traffic; we get to follow him through old age. Super-energetic and fascinating artwork and text; I loved reading this one.

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves: Such a cute little fox. He freaks out because his favorite tree is losing leaves, but it’s okay: it’s just autumn! This one would be good for quite little children.

Wind-Wild Dog: A sled dog with one blue eye and one brown is torn between her new, gentle human and her wolfish wildness. Her owner, a man, is refreshingly emotional and kind.

Looking for Seabirds: Journal from an Alaskan Voyage: Another Sophie Webb book. I find Far from Shore more visibly appealing, but they’re both full of information and huge hits with Noah.

Axle Annie: She’s a totally hardcore school bus driver: no amount of snow can stop her! Fun.

The Great Big Book of Families: A super-inclusive book to begin conversations about different kinds of families. The colorful and busy illustrations add a lot to the simple text.

(For more great books, here’s the summer edition.)

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