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25 Fantastic First Grade Read Alouds

Reading aloud to first graders helps them to develop their language and listening skills as well as their comprehension.

It also gives them the opportunity to use their imagination and to identify with characters or situations in the books you read to them. 

25 Fantastic First Grade Read Alouds

We have found 25 fantastic first grade read alouds for you to enjoy with your class. From adventure to heartwarming tales, classic children’s literature to modern stories there’s something for everyone in this selection. 

You can use read alouds to introduce children to a specific lesson topic or to get them interested in a specific series of books.

Take a look through our list and find some books that you think are just right for the children in your class or homeschool. 

1. Charlotte’s Web By E.B White

Charlotte’s Web is a children’s classic and beloved by generations as a wonderful tale of friendship. It is the story of Wilbur the pig and his friendship with a spider who lives in the barn called Charlotte. 

When the farmer makes plans to slaughter Wilbur, Charlotte starts to write messages in her web praising Wilbur to persuade the farmer to spare him. 

This is a heartwarming story that makes a great read aloud book for 1st graders who will be spellbound by the tale of this devoted friendship. 

2. Mercy Watson To The Rescue By Kate DiCamillo

To her owners, Mr and Mrs Watson, Mercy isn’t just a regular pig, she’s a porcine wonder, and they reward her with lots of buttery toast.

Unfortunately when she snuggles up with them in bed it breaks with a loud crack. 

Mercy runs off, to alert the fire department her owners assure themselves, but it may be that Mercy has other motives. Like the neighbor’s cookies! 

This is a wonderful adventure book for 1st graders, and it has fantastic illustrations that kids will love. Another gem from award winning author Kate DiCamillo. 

3. The Wind In The Willows By Kenneth Grahame

A classic of children’s literature The Wind In The Willows was written in 1908 but is still a captivating story that 1st graders will love.

It tells the story of a group of animals most of whom live on or near the riverbank. 

Mole, Ratty and Badger become friends with Toad who lives in Toad Hall.

But he begins to become obsessed with motorcars and starts to get into all sorts of trouble and his new friends have to try and help him out. 

Kids will love the mischief and mayhem of these lovable characters. 

4. The Boxcar Children By Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Boxcar Children is the first in a series of mystery stories about four orphaned children who live in an abandoned railroad boxcar.

They are afraid that they will be separated or put into an orphanage so have learned how to live by themselves. 

The book follows their adventures and their eventual discovery that their grandfather is a nice person after all.

Eventually they go to live with him, and he surprises them by putting their boxcar in his back garden.

It is a wonderful story about family and 1st graders will love it.

5. Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs By Judi Barrett

This book has recently been made into a successful animated movie, but the book is a joy to read aloud for 1st graders.

The story is told by a grandfather to his grandchildren and concerns a town called Chewandswallow where three times a day it rains food from the sky. 

Kids will love the ridiculousness of the idea of food weather and what happens when the food raining down starts getting bigger and more bizarre. Something has to be done to save the town. 

A well written and engaging story. 

6. Gooney Bird Greene By Lois Lowry

Gooney Bird Greene arrives in Mrs. Pigeon’s class at Watertower Elementary School with a unique style all her own and a talent for telling stories.

When the teacher introduces storytelling lessons the whole class asks for Gooney Bird to be the main character, and so she begins to tell ‘only absolutely true’ tales. 

Needless to say Gooney Bird loves being the center of attention and her classmates are enthralled by her stories. Written by two time Newbery Medalist Lois Lowry this is a book 1st graders will thoroughly enjoy. 

7. Dinosaurs Before Dark By Mary Pope Osborne

Dinosaurs Before Dark is the first in the Magic Tree House series. It’s the story of a brother and sister, Jack and Annie who discover a tree house while exploring and go inside.

They find stacks of books, one of which is about dinosaurs. 

When Jack says he wishes he could see a real dinosaur the tree house starts to spin and transports them back in time to the Cretaceous period when the world is full of dinosaurs.

Now they have to work out how they are going to get back home in time for dinner. 

8. A Bear Called Paddington By Michael Bond

This is the book that introduced Paddington the Bear to the world of children’s literature. Having found a little bear at Paddington Station in London, the Brown family take him home. 

As a young and small bear he does find adjusting to human life a little tricky and so has all sorts of mishaps and adventures.

Paddington has a strong sense of right and wrong which is a wonderful thing to impart to 1st graders through this delightful character. 

9. Interrupting Chicken By David Ezra Stein

Interrupting Chicken is a wonderful tale about a rooster trying to read a bedtime story to his little chick.

He tells her not to interrupt while he’s reading the tale out loud, but unfortunately she can’t help wanting to warn the characters of approaching danger. 

So instead her father suggests she make up a story herself to tell him. The little chick then begins the tale of a little chicken trying to put her rooster father to bed. 

This is such a cute book and 1st graders will adore the lovable characters. 

10. Green Eggs And Ham By Dr. Seuss

Green Eggs and Ham is one of Dr. Seuss’s most famous book for its brilliantly ridiculous rhyming and weirdly wonderful characters.

Children will love the wacky text and enjoy anticipating what’s coming next. 

This is also a good story for those children who are picky eaters as the main character’s friend Sam-I-am keeps insisting that if he would just try them he might like them.

He suggests all sorts of places to eat green eggs and ham to prove his point. 

1st graders will love this read aloud book. 

11. White Fur Flying By Patricia MacLachlan

This is a heartwarming story about how a dog can help humans as much as humans can help dogs. Zoe’s family rescues all kinds of dogs and her home is always full of them.

There’s always a dog needing cuddles or a game to play. 

Across the road a family has moved in, and their house is very silent. The boy, Philip, has stopped speaking.

Zoe knows that dogs and boys are different, but she’s determined to help him with care, attention, time and understanding. 

A touching tale. 

12. Lulu And The Brontosaurus By Judith Viorst

Lulu is used to getting what she wants so when her request for a brontosaurus as a birthday gift is denied by her parents she throws a tantrum.

Storming off into the forest she meets a snake, a tiger and a bear but none of them impress her sufficiently. 

Then she finally meets a brontosaurus who she believes would make the ideal pet.

Unfortunately, Mr. Brontosaurus has other ideas and thinks Lulu would make a great pet for him. How on earth is she going to get out of this tricky situation? 

13. Dory Fantasmagory By Abby Hanlon

Dory wants nothing more than to play with her big brother Luke and sister Violet, but they both think she’s too much of a baby.

So instead, Dory or Rascal as her family call her, is left to her own fantastic imagination fueled by her endless and untiring energy. 

With her imaginary friends and a quest to outsmart all the monsters in the house Dory is kept busy. She has to escape from prison otherwise known as time out and take revenge on her sister’s favorite doll. 

1st graders will love this character and her imagination. 

14. Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale By Mo Willems

When Trixie goes to the laundromat with her dad she takes along her favorite toy, Knuffle Bunny. But unfortunately when they leave Knuffle Bunny accidentally gets left behind. 

As she still hasn’t learned to talk, Trixie tries to alert her dad, but he doesn’t understand even when she refuses to move.

Arriving home mom asks ‘Where’s Knuffle Bunny?’ and they rush back to the laundromat to find him safe if a little wet. 

A great story about the importance of communication. 

15. Groundhog’s Day Off By Robb Pearlman

Fed up with being asked the same questions every year about the weather, Groundhog decides he needs a day off. So he packs his bags and heads off on vacation.

In his absence the town holds auditions for someone to take his spot. 

Sadly no one seems capable of filling his shoes or matching his flair for the dramatic. But is it too late for the town to win back Groundhog to his rightful place?

This is a great take on a familiar event that 1st graders will enjoy. 

16. A Boy Called Bat By Elana K. Arnold

Bixby Alexander Tam is also known as Bat, and sometimes he finds it hard navigating the world and the people around him.

When his mom, a vet, brings home an orphaned skunk kit Bat decides they should keep him as a pet. 

This is a warm, thoughtful and funny book that deals with a child that is not neurotypical. It will give children insight into how we are all different, and each person should be valued for their uniqueness. 

1st graders will enjoy the wonderful illustrations and charming storyline. 

17. Grumpycorn By Sarah McIntyre

Unicorn has everything he needs to write the most fabulous story ever, a fluffy pen and a fancy notebook, but he’s missing something…inspiration. He doesn’t have an idea for his story. 

When his friends try to help or make suggestions he complains that they are just distracting him.

In frustration, he throws his notebook and pen into the sea where his friends pick them up and fill the pages with everything that has just happened. 

1st graders will love the stubborn unicorn and the story is a good lesson in teamwork. 

18. Zoey And Sassafras Dragons And Marshmallows By Asia Citro

When a baby dragon turns up in their barn needing help, Zoey and her cat Sassafras have to figure out how to help him before it’s too late.

Naming the dragon Marshmallow, Zoey begins to use science to figure out what’s wrong and how to help the magical animal. 

This is the first book in the series where Zoey uses scientific research, experimentation and investigation to help different magical animals.

The story teaches young children the importance of using science and keeping a record of everything. 

19. Rosie Revere, Engineer By Andrea Beaty

Rosie Revere wants to become an engineer and even designed a special cheese hat for her zookeeper uncle to keep snakes at bay.

This is only one of the great gadgets and gizmos that she creates in secret as her uncle had laughed at the idea of her cheese hat. 

Then her great-great-great aunt Rosie appears and explains that before she can be successful Rosie has to risk failure.

Kids will love this inspiring tale of following your dreams regardless of how difficult it may seem. 

20. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Mellon By Patty Lovell

Molly Lou Mellon’s grandmother always told her to walk proud, smile big and sing loud which is something she has always done.

Now she has to start at a new school and on her very first day she is picked on by a bully. But Molly Lou knows how to deal with that. 

This story teaches children that even though they may be different they should be true to themselves and not let what makes them different hold them back but propel them forward. 

21. Shivers! The Pirate Who’s Afraid Of Everything By Annabeth Bondor-Stone & Connor White

Shivers the pirate is trying hard to keep up the family piracy tradition, but it’s difficult when you are afraid of just about everything.

But he does try. He has a ship even if it is on land and a first mate who is a fish. 

Nevertheless he’s confronted his fair share of deadly dust bunnies and bothersome bugs.

But now his parents have been taken captive, so he needs to rescue them with the help of his sidekick Margo. If only he could get out of bed!

22. Ninja Kid: From Nerd To Ninja By Anh Do

Nelson is not cool or fit, in fact he’s actually a totally awkward nerd. On his tenth birthday, he wakes up as a ninja and not just any ninja but the last one on earth! 

Now he has to save the world from mutant spiders, but how can he do that when he can’t even dress himself properly?

Lucky for Nelson he’s got his Grandma’s inventions and his cousin Kenny on his side. Together they need to save Duck Creek! 

23. Adventures In Fosterland: Emmet And Jez By Hannah Shaw 

As a tiny piglet Emmet fell off a truck and was separated from his family. He was scooped up and arrived in Fosterland with other baby animals including a kitten called Jez.

Emmet decides that the life of a kitten is better than that of a pig, so he decides to become a kitten. 

But as they grow older Emmet realizes that he and Jez are probably not going to be going to the same forever home. He then has to confront his fears and consider if there is a suitable forever home for him. 

A great story for 1st graders about identity and belonging. 

24. The Chicken Squad:The First Misadventure By Doreen Cronin

The chicken squad consists of Dirt, Poppy, Sugar and Sweetie, and they’re not your typical chickens.

When Tail the squirrel tells them that something round and green has landed in the backyard and has disturbed the atmosphere the chicken squad are sure it’s aliens. 

Setting out to piece together what exactly is going on they wonder if aliens are going to want to have chickens for pets or worse, for dinner!

1st graders will love guessing along with the chicken squad about what exactly has landed in their backyard. 

A silly, enjoyable read aloud book. 

25. Junie B. Jones First Grader (At Last!) By Barbara Park

Junie has just begun first grade and has to deal with a new teacher, Mr. Scary, a name she’s sure he’s made up.

To top it all her friends have now ditched her for new friends, and she’s realized that she may also need reading glasses. 

Now she also has to worry about whether the other kids will laugh and make fun of her. This is a great story for 1st graders as they can identify with the changes that Junie has to face. 

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of great books out there which make wonderful read aloud stories to get first grade kids interested in reading. 

We hope that you have really enjoyed our list of 25 fantastic first grade read alouds for your class and that we have inspired you with some of our choices. 

Simon Lewis

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