What are the best elementary-level (Pre-K through 4) children's books with good dialogue/characters?

I'm a substitute teacher. My two favorite books to read to classes are Ira Sleeps Over (Bernard Waber), and Medio Pollito/Half Chicken (Alma Flor Ada). Big Anthony and the Magic Ring (Tomie de Paola) is not as good a story, but is fun, too.

Mostly, though, these books have lots of great characters, and I love doing voices.

Can you please suggest some more children's books I can read in elementary school (PreK through fourth grade) that are GREAT stories, and are character and dialogue driven?

Thanks!

(I am also posting this in the primary education topic.)

Update:

I'm interested in non-chapter books. That is to say, I am interested in books I can start and finish in one sitting. Thanks.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I once read that parents should read aloud books that they love as much as their children do. So here are some that my kids (now 9), my husband, and I have all enjoyed:

    When I Became a Pirate, by Melinda Long (ages 4-8): Jeremy Jacob loves the fun things pirates do, but then he finds out what they don't do (like getting tucked into bed).

    Diary of a Worm, by Doreen Cronin (ages 4-8): hilarious diary entries from a worm with a best friend who's a spider and a sister who's a pest.

    Frog and Toad, by Arnold Lobel (ages 6-9): Talk about great characters - a little reminiscent of Sesame Street's Ernie and Bert. Toad's constant refrain, "Blah," has become a family byword for us.

    The Junie B. Jones series, by Barbara Park (ages 6-9): Our daughter introduced us to this delightfully open (and blunt) little girl, the modern equivalent of Beverly Cleary's classic Ramona Geraldine Quimby (remember her?). My favorite is Junie B. Jones Has a Peep in her Pocket. My husband nearly fell out of his chair laughing when Junie related how she had heard that a rooster once pecked the head of an unlucky person down to "a nub, I tell you, a nub."

    Clementine, by Sara Pennypacker (ages 7-10): Another funny, honest-to-a-fault girl who is tired of everyone telling her, "Pay attention!" when she IS paying attention - just not to the same things THEY are.

    The age ranges are from Barnes and Noble. Sometimes they're right. But as I said, my husband and I love all of these!

    Source(s): barnesandnoble.com, personal experience
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