Early Elementary Books

Theme: Twists and Turns

Family - (ISBN: 978-1575059174)

by Isabell Monk

The little girl in this racially mixed family eagerly looks forward to a reunion with the country branch of the family. Her recipe for peppermint pickles surprises the people at Aunt Poogee’s farm, as do the dishes the others prepare and offer. Enjoy the very different recipes as you talk about how they reflect the characters of the cooks.

My Lucky Day - (ISBN: 978-0142404560)

by Keiko Kasza

Mr. Fox is preparing to feast on the unlucky pig who comes to his door. But the pig persuades the fox to let him get a little plumper, and to see that he gets cleaned up before being eaten. Who turns out to be the wily character in this book, and who is really the nice guy?

Raymond’s Perfect Present - (ISBN: 978-1584300557)

Raymond, a child in a single-parent family, wants to give his ailing mother a nice gift, so he plants seeds and nurtures a flower for her. Despite his best care, the flower wilts and dies. What present does his mother end up loving despite the demise of the plant?

Tadpole's Promise - (ISBN: 978-0689865244)

by Jeanne Willis

When a tadpole and caterpillar fall in love, they exchange a vow that they will never change. Of course the tadpole begins to turn into a frog, starting off by growing green legs. The caterpillar becomes heartsick as the tadpole changes more and more, and their love affair is doomed. When the caterpillar decides to forgive him, she has changed too. How does the tadpole-turned-frog react?

The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig - (ISBN: 978-1405206693)

by Eugene Trivizas

In this fractured fairy tale, the pig is the bad guy, and the wolves are trying to build a fortress to protect themselves from him. As the houses get stronger and more technologically fortified, the pig proves to be clever enough to get in. What material would you guess the wolves will use to keep the pig out?

All Aboard the Dinotrain - (ISBN: 978-0152052379)

by Deb Lund

Back to School for Rotten Ralph - (ISBN: 978-0064437059)

by Jack Gantos

The Baby Shower - (ISBN: 978-1580891394)

by Eve Bunting

Activities for this Theme

Play hide and go seek with your children. Afterwards talk and laugh about the best hiding places for surprising people.


Have your family plan a surprise party together for an older relative or friend. Maybe have a surprise “nothing special” party, an event to celebrate an ordinary day!