The Blog of Toledo Lucas County Public Library
Looking for books for a second grader? Here are wonderful picture books and easy readers specifically chosen for this age group. Books in series are noted.
Mo and his friends compete in races at summer camp, hoping to win medals. Can Mo win first place in the swimming race? A little help from a curious fish just might do the trick! Illustrations of the diverse characters and their fun day outdoors help children follow the simple text.
King the dog narrates this humorous mystery series. Readers will love the enthusiastic, tail-wagging dog detective and his smart and persistent human, Kayla. The chapters are short, showing how Kayla gathers facts and analyzes them in order to solve the cases. These titles are a great introduction to mystery stories for young readers.
Yasmin’s friends don’t want to play dress-up with her. Ali wants to juggle, and Emma wants to jump rope. Yasmin, guided by her baba, uses her imagination so they can all play together. The familiar childhood situations in this series, featuring Pakistani-American Yasmin, will appeal to young readers. Kids will learn some interesting cultural facts at the book’s end and can enjoy an activity.
How can careful and organized Chrysanthemum bake a cake for Grandma’s birthday when creative, spontaneous Ginger dumps all the ingredients together in a mess? These two cousins are best friends, but they must work at it sometimes! Colorful illustrations and references to Chinese American culture are appealing in this friendship story.
Everyone believes Princess Magnolia is perfectly sparkly, frilly, prissy and pink, just as a princess should be. But when danger strikes, she becomes the Princess in Black: monster-fighter, tough-as-nails hero. Widely spaced text, colorful illustrations and plenty of laughs make this series fun.
Every regular bean at school is in awe of the cool beans. One “uncool” bean is having an especially hard time, believing he has no special talents and will always be awkward and lonely. Small gestures of kindness build the happiness and confidence of the unhappy bean, who pays it forward. This is a great book for every child to read, no matter their age!
Sofia Martinez is the young star of this easy chapter series. Simple Spanish words are sprinkled throughout the text, with a glossary at book’s end. Sofia is spirited, imaginative and funny, and gets support from her loving family. Children will see themselves in the everyday situations Sofia faces, and laugh along with her.
Frog and Toad are true friends, despite being opposite in personality. Frog’s enthusiasm gets introverted Toad out of hibernation early to celebrate spring. Toad stands on his head to think of a story to comfort ailing Frog. Each chapter has a different adventure with this delightful pair. Widely spaced large text and illustrations on every page are appealing to young readers. There are four books in this classic series.
Pedro’s class takes a field trip to the aquarium, where they enjoy naming the different sea creatures they see. Pedro loses his school group but uses deduction and reasoning to find his way back to them. Young readers will relate to the themes of this fun series. Illustrations on each page reinforce the text, helping early readers to decode and enjoy the story.
Friends and neighbors Jada, Jamal, Carlita and Josh help their parents prepare a big surprise for the upcoming block party. The kids work together, coming up with ideas to make it a success. Culturally diverse characters and fun illustrations highlight this three-book series.
Sadiq and his classmates enjoy their visit to a planetarium so much that they decide to raise money to build their own telescope. Each student thinks of something they can sell at the school Spring Festival. Sadiq’s family works together to make a Somali food specialty to sell. Somali words and culture are featured and explained at book’s end. This book is part of the Sadiq series.
Maid Amelia Bedelia does her household tasks exactly the way they are written down for her. Draw the drapes? She gets out her sketch pad. Put out the lights? She hangs the bulbs on the clothesline. Children will laugh and learn new word meanings from some of the old-fashioned terms in the text. This is the first book in the classic series.
A reassuring picture book letting children know that no matter the circumstances, they always matter. Large illustrations of familiar objects, such as dinosaurs, help readers to absorb the text’s profound theme of value in every person. This is a good book to spark discussion with a grown-up.
Nate uses his detective skills to find a friend’s missing picture in this first book of the classic series. Self-confident Nate sounds like a famous television detective, stating the facts and repeating them, aiding young readers in comprehension. Along with lots of humor, Nate’s stories feature problem-solving and analytical skills. A great introduction to mystery stories for children.
Colorful illustrations depicting Hispanic culture and rhyming text invite readers to look for various shapes. A glossary of Spanish words is included. Bright pictures and engaging rhymes will attract young readers to this picture book.