Many picture books have been written for elementary students in kindergarten through 4th grade and beyond. The ideas and humor in these books are at a higher level than those written for preschoolers. Unless otherwise noted, books are arranged on the shelves alphabetically by the author’s last name in the sections listed below.
K = Title also available as a J Kit (book and audio)
JE Picture Books
Miss Nelson is Missing! by Harry Allard K
The kids in Room 207 take advantage of their teacher’s good nature until she disappears and they are faced with a vile substitute. (Look for other titles about Miss Nelson.)
Mr. Maxwell’s Mouse by Frank Asch
Mr. Maxwell is a creature of habit. Today, however, instead of ordering his usual entrée of baked mouse, he asks the waiter to bring him a live mouse. Mr. Maxwell soon discovers that his decision is a disastrous mistake.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett K
Life is delicious in the town of Chewandswallow where it rains soup and juice, snows mashed potatoes, and blows storms of hamburgers--until the weather takes a turn for the worse. (Also look for the sequel: Pickles to Pittsburgh.)
Frog With the Big Mouth by Teresa Batemen
An Argentine wide-mouthed frog sets out through the rain forest to brag about his fly-eating abilities and encounters a toco toucan, a coati, a capybara, and a jaguar.
Ruby’s Wish by Shirin Yim Bridges
In China, at a time when few girls are taught to read or write, Ruby dreams of going to the university with her brothers and male cousins.
Pop’s Bridge by Eve Bunting
Robert and his friend Charlie are proud of their fathers, who are working on the construction of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.
Late for School! by Stephanie Calmenson
When Mr. Bungles the teacher oversleeps, he goes to great lengths trying every form of transportation he can find to get to school on time.
How to Make Friends With a Giant by Gennifer Choldenko
The other second-graders make fun of the new boy because he is so tall, but his short classmate Jake helps him fit in.
Totally Polar by Marty Crisp
In the middle of June, Peter, “a boy of winter who’s stranded in summer,” is longing for snowy days.
Mystery at the Club Sandwich by Doug Cushman
When Lola, famous singer at the Club Sandwich, loses her lucky marbles, elephant detective Nick Trunk, lover of peanut butter, takes the case.
Old Granny and the Bean Thief by Cynthia C. DeFelice
After a thief steals Old Granny’s beans while she is asleep at night, she gets some surprising help with catching him.
Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming K
After a young Dutch girl writes to her new American friend in thanks for the care package sent after World War II, she begins to receive increasingly larger boxes.
Lights Out! by John Himmelman
Eyeballs on the ceiling and vampires at the outhouse are only two of the reasons the Camp Badger Scouts find for getting Counselor Jim to turn the lights back on in their dark cabin.
The Backwards Watch by Eric Houghton
Grandad tells Sally that he never got dirty when he was her age, but when she winds his watch backwards and turns him back into a little boy, he proves to be delightfully untidy.
Pirate Bob by Kathryn Lasky
This book describes the life of a pirate named Bob, whose job is to cut the steering cables and cripple the ships he and his shipmates will loot.
Mucumber McGee and the Lunch Lady’s Liver by Patrick Loehr
Mucumber McGee learns not to judge a lunch lady by her liver cake.
Pirates Don’t Change Diapers by Melinda Long
Braid Beard and his pirate crew return to retrieve the treasure they buried in Jeremy Jacob’s backyard, but first they must help calm his baby sister, Bonney Anne, whom they awoke from her nap.
Basho and the River Stones by Tim Myers
Tricked by a fox into giving up his share of cherries, a famous Japanese poet is inspired to write a haiku while the fox, ashamed of his actions, must devise another trick to set things right.
Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco K
At first Trisha loves school, but her difficulty learning to read makes her feel dumb, until, in the fifth grade, a new teacher helps her understand and overcome her problem.
Picky Mrs. Pickle by Christine M. Schneider
After years of wearing only green clothes and eating only pickle foods, picky Mrs. Pickle learns that trying something new can be fun.
Mom and Dad are Palindromes: A Dilemma for Words-- and Backwards by Mark Shulman
When Bob realizes that he is surrounded by palindromes, from his mom, dad, and sis Anna to his dog Otto, he discovers a way to deal with the palindrome puzzle.
And the Dish Ran Away With the Spoon by Janet Stevens
When Dish and Spoon run away, their nursery rhyme friends Cat, Cow, and Dog set out to rescue them in time for the next evening’s reading of their rhyme.
Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza by Philemon Sturges
In this version of the traditional tale, the duck, the dog, and the cat refuse to help the Little Red Hen make a pizza but do get to participate when the time comes to eat it.
The Alphabet Theatre Proudly Presents the Z was Zapped: A Play in Twenty-Six Acts by Chris Van Allsburg
This book depicts how A was in an avalanche, B was badly bitten, C was cut to ribbons, and how the other letters of the alphabet suffered similar mishaps.
A Lion Named Shirley Williamson by Bernard Waber
Although a lion’s unusual name causes confusion and misunderstanding at the zoo, she becomes a favorite with the public and with Seymour the zookeeper.
Old Cricket by Lisa Wheeler
Old Cricket doesn’t feel like helping his wife and neighbors to prepare for winter so he pretends to have all sorts of ailments that require the doctor’s care. Hungry Old Crow has another idea, though.
George Hogglesberry: Grade School Alien by Sarah Wilson
George Hogglesberry, the new second grade student from the planet Frollop II, gets help from his teacher and classmates with fitting in and with his performance in the fall school play.
Coming on Home Soon by Jacqueline Woodson
After Mama takes a job in Chicago during World War II, Ada Ruth stays with Grandma but misses her mother who loves her more than rain and snow.
From Kalamazoo to Timbuktu! By Harriet Ziefert
When Mike and Millie get bored and decide to travel from Kalamazoo, Michigan, to Timbuktu, they must continuously change modes of transportation as their bicycle breaks down, a canoe tips over, and the whale gets tired out.
Papa’s Mark by Gwendolyn Battle-Lavert
After his son helps him learn to write his name, Samuel T. Blow goes to the courthouse to cast his ballot on the day that African Americans are allowed to vote for the first time in his Southern town.
The Cats in Krasinski Square by Karen Hesse
Two Jewish sisters, escapees of the infamous Warsaw ghetto, devise a plan to thwart an attempt by the Gestapo to intercept food bound for starving people behind the dark Wall.
Goin’ Someplace Special by Pat McKissack
In segregated 1950s Nashville, a young African American girl braves a series of indignities and obstacles to get to one of the few integrated places in town: the public library.
Baloney (Henry P.) by Jon Scieszka
A transmission received from outer space in a combination of different Earth languages tells of an alien schoolboy’s fantastic excuse for being late to school again.
Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles
In 1964, Joe is pleased that a new law will allow his best friend John Henry, who is colored, to share the town pool and other public places with him, but he is dismayed to find that prejudice still exists.
The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson
Two girls, one white and one black, gradually get to know each other as they sit on the fence that divides their town.
Coolies by Yin
A young boy hears the story of his great-great-great-grandfather and his brother, who came to the United States to make a better life for themselves, helping to build the transcontinental railroad. (Also look for the sequel: Brothers.)
I, Doko: The Tale of a Basket by Ed Young
A Nepalese basket tells the story of its use through three generations of a family.
Lazy Jack by Vivian French
(J 398.20942 FRE)
This is a retelling of the misadventures of Lazy Jack who can never do anything right. People find his mishaps so funny that they employ him anyway.
Jack and the Beanstalk by E. Nesbit
(J 398.20942 NES)
After climbing to the top of a huge beanstalk, a boy uses his quick wits to outsmart a giant and gain a fortune for himself and his mother.
Two of Everything: A Chinese Folktale by Lily Toy Hon
(J 398.20951 HON)
A poor old Chinese farmer finds a magic brass pot that doubles or duplicates whatever is placed inside it, but his efforts to make himself wealthy lead to unexpected complications.
Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock by Eric A. Kimmel
(J 398.2096 KIM) K
Anansi the Spider uses a strange moss-covered rock in the forest to trick all the other animals, until Little Bush Deer decides he needs to learn a lesson.
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka
(J 398.20973 SCI)
The author of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs provides a riotous romp through fairy-tale-land that will have readers clutching their sides happily ever after.
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein
(J 791.34 GER) K
This lyrical telling of Philippe Petit’s 1974 tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers won the Caldecott Award in 2004.