Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown
Told through the eyes of an exuberant bear who discovers a lost child in the woods. The bear is desperate to make the kid a pet. Doesn't work out well, because, children make terrible pets. Peter Brown's story is delightful.
Stellaluna by Jannell Cannon
Stellaluna is a baby bat who falls from her mother's back one night and lands in a bird nest. Raising the bat as her own, the mother bird tries to teach Stellaluna the "right" way to eat, sleep and behave. A tale of individuality, friendship, caring, and coming into one's own.
Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies by Carolyn Crimi
What better way to instill a love of reading and learning than through pirates! Henry is the pirate captain's son, but he would rather spend his time buried in a book than searching for buried treasure. And once the crew is stranded on a deserted island, it's Henry to the rescue with all his knowledge and know-how from those very same books. Great swashbuckling fun.
Clever Jack Takes the Cake by Candace Fleming
In the spirit of traditional tales, Jack has been accidentally invited to the princess's royal birthday, but is stumped on what gift he could possibly bring. He bakes a beautiful strawberry cake only to have it destroyed bit by bit along the way. In the end, his only gift to the princess is his story of the cake which, to his delight and hers, is her favorite gift of all. Clever all the way around.
Let's Do Nothing! by Tony Fucile
If you want to reduce your elementary kid to giggles, then start here. The boys have done everything possible - played games, sports, cards, you name it. Then Sal decides that they should do nothing. So the pair attempt to sit as statues in the park. But Frankie's awesome imagination carries him away.
Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen
This gentle story is one of friendship, loyalty, kindness and forgiveness. One day a lion wanders into the children's section of the library and much to everyone's surprise, the librarian discovers that the lion is a fantastic addition to their world.
The Squeaky Door by Margaret Read MacDonald
The little boy in the this story is spending the night at his grandma's house in the big bed in the room with the squeaky door. He assures her that he won't be scared. But he is. And so one by one Grandma adds animals into the bed to keep this little guy company. Each hilarious addition repeats the sequence until at last the bed breaks.
Lousy Rotten Stinky Grapes by Margie Palatini
In this fable, the fox fancies himself clever and sly and is certain he can design a way to get the grapes hanging too high from the tree. Adding animals to his ridiculous plans one at a time do not yield the fruit and each animal tried in vain to tell fox how they can get the grapes themselves. But fox, in all his stubborn, ignorant glory, refuses to listen. When at last the grapes are dropped by possum, fox stalks away in disgust blaming the grapes while bear, and all the other enjoy their feast a chuckle at fox's expense.
Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian
Written in diary format, this is a day-by-day journal of a poor goldfish whose tiny fish bowl is taken over by new neighbors. Prepare yourself - your child will want repeated readings and you will most likely have to stifle a giggle or two as you read.
The Great Fuzz Frenzy by Janet Stevens
In a groundhog hole, a new found object is the center of interest. It's yellow and round and it's fuzzy. So fuzzy. Great fuzz. Who knew fuzz could be so awesome? There's enough fuzz to share, right? Enough fuzz to go around? Stevens infuses a little social theory into this story and gives you and your children lots to talk about.
Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg
If you aren't already familiar with Jumanji, it's the story of two children who stumble on a fantastical board game. But players beware - once you start the game, it will never end until you finish. Every roll of the dice launches new jungle adventures and terrors into the room as the house slowly transforms. (The movie is based on the book and while I enjoy the movie, I actually prefer the book, so if you haven't given it a try yet, you are in for a treat from Van Allsburg.)