Early Elementary Books

Theme: Problem Solvers

One Dragon’s Dream - (ISBN: 978-0763644703)

by Peter Pavey

A dragon is having a really bad night, dreaming of increasing numbers of tormenting animals that are bothering him. Try looking for the stated number of animals on each page as you sympathize with poor Mr. Dragon.

Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt - (ISBN: 978-0679874720)

by Deborah Hopkinson

Sarah, a slave who has been separated from her mother, dreams of having her family together again. She finds a way to make a map to freedom by assembling a quilt that shows the way. Based on a true story of a slave girl who leaves her quilt to help other slaves find freedom, this book shows how ingenuity and craft can blend to make a big difference.

The Three Questions - (ISBN: 978-0439199964)

by Jon Muth

Nikolai has three important questions to find answers to in this picture book based on a Tolstoy story. The boy feels that, if he can find the right answers, he will be a useful person. Follow him as he explores his questions and some of their answers in his daily life. What questions would you like answered?

Uncle Jed’s Barbershop - (ISBN: 978-0689819131)

by Margaree King Mitchell

Uncle Jed persists in holding on to his dream of owning his own barbershop despite losing his money to a failed bank, and also having to pay for a relative’s operation. His dream endures despite the prejudice of the people around him and his relative poverty. His quiet persistence keeps him on track and pays off in the end. Have you ever wanted to do something for a long, long time? How did you reach your goal?

Wacky Wednesday - (ISBN: 978-0394829128)

by Theo LeSieg

In this beginning reader, you must check out every page of the book to find what’s wrong here. Have fun reading this book yourselves as you discover what is not quite right in this world.

Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky - (ISBN: 978-0517885437)

by Faith Ringgold

Caps for Sale - (ISBN: 978-1591126980)

by Esphyr Slobodkina

Mr. Archimedes’ Bath - (ISBN: 978-0241119686)

by Pamela Allen

Activities for this Theme

Give these online word searches a try.


Try this great variety of online puzzles.


Even non-readers can have a scavenger hunt, choose from 32 different ideas for scavenger hunts for pre-schoolers.