September Read Aloud Booklist

Posted in Recommended Read Aloud Booklists



The month of September has several special events/themes for choosing books to read to students. Here are some sample ideas for September read-alouds. In many cases the authors chosen have additional titles.       

Booklist Spotlight on a Theme

Spotlight Reads:

Predictable Books:

Predictable books are always great for preschool and kindergarten ages:

  •  There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick! by Lucille Colandro and Jared D. Lee
  • The Three Little Pigs by Paul Galdone and Joanne C. Galdone
  • Miss Mary Mack: A Hand-Clapping Rhyme by Mary Ann Hoberman and Nadine Bernard Westcott
  • I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson and Judy Schachner
  • There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Simms Taback



Seasonal Reads:

Beginning of School:

  • What Are You Doing?  by Elisa Amado (K-1st)

On the morning before his first day of school, Chepito finds people all over his neighborhood engaged in some type of reading. He repeatedly asks “why” to try and delay going to school. When he gets to school, he is delighted with all the books he sees.

Some children walk to school; others ride a bus. Children go by ferry in New York, trolley car in San Francisco, and helicopter in the Alaskan Tundra. Children will discover just how much fun getting to school can be.

There’s so much to do in school, and Clifford the Small Red Puppy wants to try it all.

Dexter already knows everything there is to know about kindergarten. His big sister, Jessie, told him all about it. So Dexter is not scared. Not even a little bit. But his stuffed dog, Rufus, is scared. As he’ll soon find out, kindergarten rocks!

Pete the Cat is back—and this time he’s rocking in his school shoes. Pete discovers the library, the lunchroom, the playground, and lots of other cool places at school. And no matter where he goes, Pete never stops moving and grooving and singing his song . . . because it’s all good.

School’s in session! When it comes to surviving school, Percy’s at the head of the class. If you can follow his ten simple rules, making the grade will be a piece of cake (and school will be a lot of fun). But there’s more to school than showing up on time and staying awake in class. If you have any doubts, Percy also shows exactly what not to do.

  • No spitballs!
  • No running in the halls!
  • No bouncing off the ceiling!
  • No crazy scheming!


Summer is over, and Sarah can’t wait to start school and make some new friends other than her cat, Ralph. But Ralph wants to be Sarah’s only friend, and he won’t be left behind. When Sarah boards the school bus, he disguises himself as a student and follows her to class.

An interesting presentation of what the first day of school might be like for a child in Kenya, Kazakhstan, Canada, Australia, Japan, China, Peru, Germany, India, Russia, and the United States. Youngsters tell about their first day, describing the school activities as well as their particular locale’s customs, foods, and family life. Although there are many books about the first day of school, this multinational approach provides material for comparing and contrasting cultures.

The famous mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is back for his first day of school. If you take a mouse to school, he’ll ask you for your lunch box. When you give him your lunch box, he’ll want a sandwich to go in it . . . and on and on.

Would you like to have Amelia Bedelia in your classroom? Just ask Miss Wilson. But don’t give Amelia Bedelia any problems. Or ask her to take her seat. Or tell her to paint anything. Amelia Bedelia is ready to learn, but it’s the class that gets a lesson—in reading, writing, and ridiculousness!

Louise the Big Cheese is determined to make the grade in school this year. But she’s stuck with the toughest teacher ever. Louise Cheese takes an academic turn as she begins second grade. Inspired by her older sister, Penelope, she decides that she can become a Big Cheese not by acting or wearing sparkly shoes but by being a straight-A student.

It’s the first day of school, and Curious George has been invited to Mr. Apple’s class to be a special helper! George is just the right monkey for the job—until he starts to wreak his usual havoc, that is. Red and yellow paint make orange, yellow and blue make green . . . and a mixture of all the paint colors makes a big mess!

Join Tim as he visits his future kindergarten classroom and learns what he will be doing during his first year of school.

“On the first day of kindergarten, my teacher gave to me the whole alphabet from A to Z.” Welcome to kindergarten, a wonderful world full of puzzles, pencils, and picture books! Drawing on the rhythm and rich repetition of the familiar “Twelve Days of Christmas,” Deborah Lee Rose’s story is a lighthearted and welcoming introduction to school. Kids will love following along and joining in as the text accumulates, culminating on the twelfth day.

  • Rain School by James Rumford (2nd-4th)

It is the first day of school for Thomas. He walks with older siblings to a small village in Chad to find a teacher but no school. The teacher leads the children in building the school by making mud bricks, mud walls and desks, and a grass roof. Nine months of learning pass quickly, then the rains come and the school returns to mud. The author once lived in Chad as a Peace Corps volunteer.

  • Splat the Cat: Back to School, Splat! by Rob Scotton (K-2nd)

How can there be homework when it’s only the first day of school? Splat must pick only one of all of his fun summer adventures to share with his classmates at show-and-tell. But in the end, Splat may find that the best part of his summer wasn’t an adventure at all.

David’s teacher has her hands full. From running in the halls to chewing gum in class, David’s high-energy antics fill each school day with trouble.

It’s the first day of kindergarten and Miss Bindergarten is hard at work getting the classroom ready for her twenty-six new students. Miss Bindergarten puts the finishing touches on the room just in time, and the students arrive. Now the fun can begin!

Things are always a little rowdy in a class of twenty-six kindergartners, but there are some days when chaos reigns. Watch what happens in Miss Bindergarten’s rambunctious class when water overflows, ants are on the loose, and oozy paint smudges.

  • How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Mark Teague (K-3rd)

Some kids spend their summer vacation at camp. Some kids spend it at Grandma’s house. Wallace Bleff spent his out west . . . on a ride, a rope, and a roundup he’ll never forget.

This is a new “first” for mouse as he hides in a backpack and gleefully emerges into the brave new world of preschool.

Timothy is very excited about starting school—until he meets Claude. Claude sits next to him, and he wears all the right clothes and says all the right things.

It’s the first day of school! Join the kids as they prepare for kindergarten, packing school supplies, posing for pictures, and the hardest part of all—saying good-bye to Mom and Dad. But maybe it won’t be so hard once they discover just how much fun kindergarten really is! This is an uplifting takeoff on the classic Clement C. Moore Christmas poem.

It’s the night before the Big Day—-first grade! Penny is excited to start the year with her best friend right beside her in the same classroom. This humorous take on Clement C. Moore’s classic tale has a perfect twist ending that will surprise readers —as well as the “heroine” of the story— and help all about-to-be first-graders through their own back-to-school jitters.

The bestselling, award-winning team of Yolen and Teague are back with another dinosaur tale.  Everyone’s favorite dinosaurs are back—and this time they are going to school. These prehistoric pupils are in a class of their own!

Labor Day


Labor Day is a national holiday that recognizes the important contributions of workers across North America. Celebrated every year on the first Monday of September, people who do all kinds of jobs, from factory work to health care, participate in parades, attend barbecues, and listen to speeches.

The popular Rookie Books expand students’ horizons—to all corners of the globe! This book presents the celebration of Labor Day.

This book presents a basic overview of Labor Day with color photographs.

  • Labor Day (Holidays and Festivals) by Rebecca Rissman (PreK-3rd)

Labor Day honors all the men and women who work hard to keep America economically and socially prosperous and progressive. This book shares the history and significance of Labor Day and how people celebrate this holiday each year.

This is a nice introduction into nonfiction with full-page photographs and text easy for young children to understand.

This interesting book provides a look at the labor movement of the last century, the traditions and symbols of this special day, and how workers are recognized in other parts of the world.


Johnny Appleseed

Special Subject:

Johnny Appleseed:

Jonathan Chapman (September 26, 1774 – March 18, 1845), also known as Johnny Appleseed, was an American pioneer who introduced apple trees to large parts of PennsylvaniaOhioIndiana, and Illinois. He became an American legend while still alive, largely because of his kindness and and his leadership in conservation


With a bag of seeds, John Chapman set out West to plant apple trees. He made lots of friends and planted lots of trees. Pretty soon, people started calling him Johnny Appleseed.


This is the larger-than-life story of a true American hero : John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed.


Who’s that walking along the Ohio? It’s Johnny Appleseed! He walks across the land, planting trees wherever he goes.


Rhymed text and illustrations relate the life of John Chapman, whose distribution of apple seeds and trees across the Midwest made him a legend and left a legacy still enjoyed today.


Everyone knows the story of Johnny Appleseed: how he traveled westward across our young country, spreading apple trees wherever he went and wearing outlandish hats, like a soup pot, on his head. But did you know that Johnny Appleseed was a real person, he grew up in a family of twelve children, and as a young man struck out to find the frontier? It was along this journey that he discovered the wonders of apple trees and where he had his life adventures. This book is made special by Will Moses’s folk art illustrations in the tradition of his great-grandmother, Grandma Moses.


This beautifully illustrated retelling shows how Johnny Appleseed bloomed from a young boy who loved the outdoors into the legendary man who spread apple trees all across the United States. By showing small acts of generosity and the love of nature he made a big difference.


  • Johnny Appleseed: The Legend and the Truth by Jane Yolen and Jim Burke (2nd-4th)

Planting trees is quite an art. He plants the apples with his heart. Johnny, Johnny Appleseed.

Everyone knows the legend of Johnny Appleseed and how he planted apple seeds. But the true story of Johnny Appleseed, or John Chapman, is even greater than the legend. Jane Yolen tells the whole story in lyrical verse of an individual who forever changed the landscape of America. Breathtaking paintings by award-winning artist Jim Burke illuminate the historical detail of this man’s life while capturing all the magic and mystery of his legend.



Intermediate Reads:

Chapter Books:

  • No Talking by Andrew Clements (3rd-5th)

When the noisiest, most talkative, and most competitive fifth graders in history challenge one another to see who can go longer without talking, it becomes boys vs. girls. Teachers and school administrators are in an uproar, until an innovative teacher sees how the students’ experiment can provide a terrific and unique lesson in communication.

  • Bookworm Buddies (Pee Wee Scouts series)                                     by Judy Delton (1st-3rd)

A short-chapter book for young readers teaches the importance of responsibility in an amusing manner, as the Pee Wee Scouts begin the new school year by earning their library badges and competing to see who can read the most.

  • Junie B., First Grader (at Last!)  (Junie B. Jones, No. 18)                  by Barbara Park and Denise Brunkus (1st-2nd)

Hurray, it’s a brand-new school year! Only, for Junie B. Jones, things are not actually that pleasant . . . because first grade means having to get used to a whole new classroom, a whole new teacher, and a whole new bunch of strange children. But here’s the worst thing of all: when Junie B. tries to read words on the chalkboard, she can’t seem to see what everyone else is seeing! Is it possible she might actually end up wearing glasses?

Compiled by Jan Powell; Curriculum Coordinator for Literacy Programs for The Screen Actors Guild Foundation


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