Every Hero Has a Story

For Early Readers


May 2015

This recommended reading list provides a broad list of books related to this summer’s theme of heroes and superheroes. This list includes audio, braille, and large print titles and is recommended for those reading at a preschool through 2nd grade reading level up to a kindergarten through 3rd grade reading level.

To order any of these titles, contact the library by email, mail or phone. You may also request these titles online through WolfPAC. Identification numbers for braille books begin with BR, large print books begin with LP, and audiobooks begin with DB or MDB. All audiobooks and available braille books listed are linked to the Braille and Audio Reading Download site (BARD) for downloading.


Preschool to Grade 2


The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man by Michael Chabon

BR 20019

Superhero Awesome Man can fly straight as an arrow, shoot positronic rays from his eyes, and hug mutant Jell-O. But he has something exciting to tell you: his secret identity! Illustrated by Jake Parker. Print/braille. 2011.


Bob by Tracey Campbell Pearson

BR 51209

While looking for someone to teach him how to crow, a rooster learns to sound like many different animals and finds that his new skills come in handy. Print/braille by Wolfner Volunteers, 2003. 2002.


Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

BR 09944

BR 50164

Uses rhyme, rhythm, and repetition to describe a variety of animals, each one a different color. Print/braille. 1983.


Chicka, Chicka Boom, Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault

BR 07943

LP 2042

Delightful alphabetical rhyming chant telling of the day when the letters of the alphabet decide to race up the coconut tree. "Chicka, chicka boom, boom! Will there be enough room?" Print/braille. 1989.


Clifford’s Good Deeds by Norman Bridwell

Download Clifford’s Good Deeds, DB 78608

Read by Stephanie D’Abruzzo. Reading time: 12 minutes.

Clifford has a good heart, but whenever he tries to do good deeds for others, they always seem to backfire. But finally the big red dog manages to save the day. Commercial audiobook. 1975.


Daddy Hugs by Karen Katz

LP 2054

Daddy and Baby count the hugs they share throughout the day. 2005.


Dr. Seuss’s ABC by Dr. Seuss

BR 08953

BR 15320

BR 16723

LP 2161

Dr. Seuss adds nonsensical rhymes to the alphabet to make it fun for children to learn letters and their sounds. Print/braille. 1963.


The Firefighters by Sue Whiting

BR 19003

Mrs. Iverson's class puts out an imaginary fire on their playground. After the students rest, Mrs. Iverson surprises them with a visit from real firefighters. The children learn what to do in a burning building: "get down low and go, go, go!" Print/braille. 2008.


Fireman Small by Wong Herbert Yee

LP 1490

Because Fireman Small is the only fireman in his neighborhood, he works day and night, rescuing animals and putting out fires. Between emergencies, tired Fireman Small returns to station number nine, slowly walks upstairs, "closes the curtains, gets in bed, and pulls the covers over his head." 1994.


Froggy Goes to the Doctor by Jonathan London

BR 51410

Froggy isn't looking forward to his check-up because he might get a shot but when it's over and he's pronounced a very healthy frog, Dr. Mugwort is the one who dreads Froggy's next visit. Print/braille. 2002.


How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon? by Jane Yolen

LP 2075

What if a dinosaur catches the flu? Rhyming text describes how sick dinosaurs might behave. Illustrated by Mark Teague. 2003.


I Like it When…by Mary Murphy

BR 51509

The young penguin in this board book edition of Mary Murphy's perennial favorite likes holding hands, dancing, eating new things, reading, and having all sorts of fun with an affectionate and caring older penguin. Perfect for little ones--and for the ones they love! Print/braille by Wolfner Volunteers, 2006. 1997.


In Grandma’s Arms by Karen Katz and Jayne C. Shelton

LP 2238

In Grandma's arms, you can go anywhere! From deserts to forests, and up through the sky-- come along on an adventure as reading takes this little girl and her grandma around the world. 2008.


The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

BR 51656

BR 51786

When Chester the raccoon is reluctant to go to kindergarten for the first time, his mother teaches him a secret way to carry her love with him. Print/braille. 1993.


Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity by Mo Willems

BR 18015

Her daddy in tow, Trixie hurries to school to show off her one-of-a-kind Knuffle Bunny. But an awful surprise awaits her: someone else has the exact same bunny! Sequel to Knuffle Bunny (BR 16029). Print/braille. 2007.


The Little School Bus by Carol Roth

BR 51414

A bright, yellow school bus picks up some quirky passengers as it goes cavorting through the countryside into the town. Paparone uses witty details in her illustrations to convey subplots that are going on in this fun filled book. Print/braille by Wolfner Volunteers, 2003. 2002.


Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile by Bernard Waber

BR 51284

Download Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, DB 28122

LP 1361

Read by Mary O’Neal. Reading time: 12 minutes.

Lyle the crocodile is very happy living with the Primm family on East Eighty-Eighth Street. But Mr. Grumps and his cat, Loretta, are very unhappy with Lyle's presence. Mr. Grumps even has Lyle put in the zoo! But there will soon come a day when Mr. Grumps and Loretta cannot thank Lyle enough. Print/braille. 1965.


Maisy Goes to the Hospital by Lucy Cousins

BR 17332

When Maisy the mouse bounces too high on a trampoline and hurts her leg, she visits a hospital for the first time. There, Dr. Duck and Nurse Comfort take good care of her. Print/braille. 2007.


Maisy Goes to the Library by Lucy Cousins

LP 1948

Maisy goes to the library in search of a book about fish and a quiet place in which to read it. 2005.


Mommy Hugs by Karen Katz

LP 2052

Mommy and Baby count the hugs they share throughout the day. 2006.


My Father’s Hands by Joanne Ryder

BR 15006

A young girl enjoys examining the small creatures that her father finds in the garden and brings to her cupped in his hands. They share the wonders of a pink worm, a round beetle, a snail, and a praying mantis. Print/braille. 1994.


My Mom by Anthony Browne

LP 1811

A child describes the many wonderful things about "my mom," who can make anything grow, roar like a lion, and be as comfy as an armchair. 2005.


No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (and Dragons) by Jean E. Pendziwol

BR 50023 (Uncontracted)

When a young girl's new dragon-friend sneezes and starts a fire in the house, we learn all about fire safety and what to do in case of a fire. Print/braille book. 1999.


Peanut Butter and Jelly: A Play Rhyme by Nadine Bernard Westcott

BR 7533

This play rhyme tells how to make that perennial favorite, a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich. Print/braille. 1987.


Shhhhh! Everybody’s Sleeping by Julie Markes

Download Shhhhh! Everybody’s Sleeping, DBC01469

Read by Mary Grace Newman. Reading time: 5 minutes.

A young child is encouraged to go to sleep by the thought of everyone else sleeping, from teacher to baker to postman. 2005.


A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead

BR 20037

Zookeeper Amos McGee always takes time to visit his good friends the elephant, tortoise, penguin, rhinoceros, and owl. But one day, Amos stays home because he is sick--and receives an unexpected visit. Print/braille. Caldecott Medal. 2010.


Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester

BR 08904

Tacky the penguin does not fit in. He is not sleek, graceful, and formally groomed like his companions--Goodly, Lovely, Angel, Neatly, and Perfect. He is loud, awkward, and gaudy. But when the hunters come, Tacky proves himself a good bird to have around. Print/braille.  1988


Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox

BR 18039

LP 2046

Babies born in different countries and in different circumstances have in common ten little fingers and ten little toes. Print/braille. 2008.


The Terrible Plop by Ursula Dubosarsky

BR 51575

LP 2119

Download The Terrible Plop, MDB11051

Read by Dan Deidrich. Reading time: 10 minutes.

When a mysterious sound sends the whole forest running away in fear, only the littlest rabbit is courageous enough to discover what really happened. Pictures by Andrew Joyner. Building Block Award nominee, 2011. Print/braille. 2009.


Widget by Lyn Rossiter McFarland

BR 50127 (Uncontracted), BR 51084

A small stray dog is accepted into a household full of cats by learning to "fit in," but when his mistress is hurt, he demonstrates that being a dog is not all bad. 2002 Building Block Award nominee. Print/braille by Wolfner volunteers, 2002. 2001.


Kindergarten to Grade 3


Bill and Pete: The Complete Series by Tomie DePaola

Download Bill and Pete, DB 48265

Read by Laura Giannarelli. Reading time: 29 minutes.

William Everett Crocodile ("Bill") has a best friend (also a personal toothbrush), a bird named Pete. In these three adventures, Pete helps Bill escape being turned into a suitcase, they apprehend a jewel thief, and they rescue Egyptian animals from captivity in New Orleans. 1998.


Brave Norman: A True Story by Andrew Clements

BR 51621

BR 51731

Norman, a blind golden retriever, saves a girl from drowning in the ocean. Standard print text included with braille. Pets to the Rescue series. Print/braille without pictures. 2001.


Crictor by Tomi Ungerer

BR 16357

Madame Bodot is surprised to receive a boa constrictor for a birthday present, but soon she is knitting a long sweater for him and taking him to the school where she teaches. Then one night Crictor repays her kindness with his bravery. Print/braille. 1958.


Diary of a Fly by Doreen Cronin

Download Diary of a Fly, DB 74657

Read by Jill Fox. Reading time: 10 minutes.

A young fly talks about her day-to-day life. She eats regurgitated food, studies leaping backward in flight school, copes with her 327 brothers and sisters, and dreams of being a superhero. 2007.


Doctor De Soto by Judy Sierra

BR 05462

BR 16526

BR 50571

BR 51232

LP 1380

A kind mouse dentist and his shrewd wife outfox a dangerous patient who wants to try out his new gold teeth on them! Newbery Honor Book. Print/braille. 1982.


Don’t Forget, God Bless our Troops by Jill Biden

Download Don’t Forget, God Bless our Troops, DB 75883

Read by Gabriella Cavallero. Reading time: 27 minutes.

Educator and wife of Vice President Joe Biden based this children's story on her own granddaughter's experience. Young Natalie misses her father, who is away fighting a war, and keeps him in her heart and prayers as she tries to be brave. Includes resources for support. 2012.


The Incredible Life of Balto by Meghan McCarthy

Download The Incredible Life of Balto, DB 75592

Read by Jill Fox. Reading time: 22 minutes.

Chronicles the saga of Balto, the sled dog who became a hero in 1925 after he helped deliver life-saving medicine from Nenana to Nome, Alaska. Recounts Balto's sale to a traveling show and the outpouring of support that led to his rescue. 2011.


John Henry by Julius Lester

BR 9934

John Henry was a beautiful, strong African American boy. As a man, John Henry met mean Ferret-Faced Freddy and beat him in a race. Then he tackled a huge boulder that was blocking a road, and a rainbow smiled on his work. Next he tried to beat a drill that was cutting into a mountain to let the train pass through. This was his last contest, but you might still hear him singing, "I got a rainbow." Print/braille. 1994.


Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie by Peter and Connie Roop

BR 50153

This is the exciting true story of young Abbie Burgess, who single-handedly kept the lighthouse lamps lit during a tremendous storm in 1856. Print/braille with no pictures. Reading Rainbow Book. 1985.


Librarian on the Roof! by M. G. King

Download Librarian on the Roof! DB 75685

LP 2312

Read by Faith Potts. Reading time: 15 minutes.

Account of librarian RoseAleta Laurell, who climbed onto the roof of the Dr. Eugene Clark Library in Lockhart, Texas--and stayed there for a whole week! Details RoseAleta's determination to raise the twenty thousand dollars needed to give the library a fun and fully stocked children's section. 2010.


Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen

BR 17035

Download Library Lion, DB 63583

Read by Erik Sandvold. Reading time: 14 minutes.

When a lion visits the library, Miss Merriweather's main concern is whether he is obeying the rules. All is well until an emergency arises, causing the lion to break the rule about silence. Print/braille. 2006.


Madeline series by Ludwig Bemelmans


Mad About Madeline: The Complete Tales by Ludwig Bemelmans

Download Mad About Madeline, BR 13202

A collection of all six rhymed stories about Madeline. The first--published in 1939--introduces Madeline, the smallest of twelve girls who live together in Paris with Miss Clavel. She has various adventures involving animals, gypsies, travel, a boy called Pepito, and a magical Christmas. 1993.


Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

BR 3644

Download Madeline, DB 44292

Read by Laura Giannarelli. Reading time: 4 minutes.

A story in rhyme about a little girl in a Paris boarding school who manages to have a lively time in spite of appendicitis. Print/braille. 1939.


Madeline’s Rescue by Ludwig Bemelmans

BR 05901

Download Madeline’s Rescue, DB 44293

Read by Laura Giannarelli. Reading time: 6 minutes.

Another story about little Madeline in Paris, this time being rescued from the Seine by a dog named Genevieve. Print/braille. Caldecott Medal. 1953.


Madeline and the Bad Hat by Ludwig Bemelmans

Download Madeline and the Bad Hat, DB 44294

Read by Laura Giannarelli. Reading time: 6 minutes.

The Spanish ambassador moves next door to Madeline's Paris boarding school. Instead of being a good playmate to the twelve girls, the ambassador's prankish son, Pepito, is what Madeline calls a "bad hat." 1956.


Madeline and the Gypsies by Ludwig Bemelmans

Download Madeline and the Gypsies, DB 33513

Read by Madelyn Buzzard. Reading time: 7 minutes.

Madeline and Pepito are left and forgotten on the top of the Ferris wheel during a terrible storm. Taken in by a Gypsy Mama, they travel and perform with their new friends until they find Miss Clavel again. 1958.


Madeline in London by Ludwig Bemelmans

Download Madeline in London, DB 33084

Read by Madelyn Buzzard. Reading time: 8 minutes.

Madeline, the other girls, and Miss Clavel travel from Paris to London to visit their former neighbor, Pepita, on his birthday.1961.


Madeline’s Christmas by Ludwig Bemelmans

BR 06372

Download Madeline’s Christmas, DB 23245

On Christmas Eve Madeline is the only one who is not sick in bed at Miss Clavel's school. Although she must do all the cooking and cleaning, the spunky little girl is not too busy to arrange a special Christmas treat for her beloved schoolmates. 1985.


Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

BR 10039

BR 16447

Download Make Way for Ducklings, DB 42913

Read by John Horton. Reading time: 8 minutes.

Five helpful Boston policemen stop busy city traffic so that Mrs. Mallard can move her family of eight ducklings from their island in the Charles River to their new home in the Public Garden. Print/braille. Caldecott Medal. 1941.

Mr. Putter and Tabby Catch the Cold by Cynthia Ryland

Download Mr. Putter and Tabby Catch the Cold, DB 56601

LP 2447

Read by Erik Sandvold. Reading time: 9 minutes.

Mr. Putter's cat, Tabby, can't comfort him when he catches a cold. Then their neighbor, Mrs. Teaberry, has the good idea to use her dog, Zeke, for some special deliveries. Mr. Putter and Tabby series. 2002.


New York’s Bravest by Mary Pope Osborne

BR 14050

Tells of the heroic deeds of the New York City firefighter Mose Humphreys during the 1840s. The book explains how the real-life fireman became a legend. Print/braille. 2002.


Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle by Brian Dennis, Mary Nethery, and Larson Kirby

BR 19028

BR 51585

Download Nubs, MDB11086

Read by Dan Deidrich. Reading time: 18 minutes.

Describes the bond that developed between a marine major stationed in Iraq and an injured dog that was named Nubs because his ears had been cut off. Print/braille. Missouri: Show Me Award Nominees, 2011- 2012. 2009.


Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann

BR 10015

LP 1351

Officer Buckle knows lots of safety tips, and he loves to share them with the students at Napville School. But nobody seems to listen to him. Then one day, the Napville police department gets a police dog--Gloria. Office Buckle takes her along the next time he goes to Napville School, and this time the children listen. But why? Print/braille. Caldecott Medal. 1995.


Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship by Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff, and P. Kahumbu

Download Owen and Mzee, DB 62663

LP 2450

Read by Dan Deidrich. Reading time: 18 minutes.

Describes how a baby hippopotamus, Owen, was stranded alone on the Kenyan coast after the tsunami in 2004. Discusses the rescue effort to deliver Owen to Haller Park, an animal sanctuary, where he met Mzee, a solitary, 130-year-old tortoise, who became a substitute mother. 2006.


The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch

BR 50840

BR 53771 (Uncontracted)

A turned-around fairy tale about a clever princess, a rather supercilious prince, and an over-confident dragon. Print/braille. 1980.


Ringo Saves the Day! A True Story by Andrew Clements

BR 51653

BR 51780 (Uncontracted)

A young woman and her husband are glad that they gave a stray kitten a home when it saves their lives by alerting them to a gas leak. Pets to the Rescue series. Print/braille without pictures. 2001.


Robert the Rose Horse by Joan Heilbroner

BR 06602

Download Robert the Rose Horse, DB 23542

Read by Patricia Beaudry. Reading time: 9 minutes.

Robert is a horse with a problem: roses make him sneeze. He sneezes his way out of every job he gets--until he becomes a police horse. 1962.


Stone Soup by Marcia Brown

Download Stone Soup, DB 50548

Read by Chuck Young. Reading time: 8 minutes.

When three hungry soldiers in a strange land ask some villagers for food, they are told there is none. So the soldiers decide to show the townspeople how to make soup from water and three round stones. Caldecott Honor Book. 1947.


The Story of Ruby Bridges by Eve Bunting

BR 51289

Download The Story of Ruby Bridges, DB 41709

Read by Laura Giannarelli. Reading time: 10 minutes.

In 1960, when Ruby Bridges was six, a judge ordered that she be allowed to attend an all-white school in New Orleans. Prayer helped her stay calm when angry crowds followed her to school and when all her classmates were kept home by their parents. Print/braille. 1995.


Super Hair-O and the Barber of Doom by John Rocco

BR 20044

A boy who believes he gets his strength from his hair fears he has lost his superpowers when a villain cuts his curls off. Print/braille. 2013.


Tara and Tiree, Fearless Friends: A True Story by Andrew Clements

BR 51781 (Uncontracted)

BR 51892

When Jim falls through the ice on a frozen lake, his dogs figure out a way to save him. Pets to the Rescue series. Print/braille without pictures. 2002.


Toys Go Out series by Emily Jenkins


Toys Go Out by Emily Jenkins

Download Toys Go Out, DB 64692

Read by Kristin Allison. Reading time: 1 hour, 23 minutes.

Six stories relate the adventures of three best friends--Lumphy, StingRay, and Plastic--who happen to be toys belonging to a little girl. In "The Serious Problem of Plastic-ness," Plastic discovers what toy she is with the help of TukTuk the towel. 2006.


Toys Dance Party by Emily Jenkins

Download Toys Dance Party, DB 67947

Read by Kristin Allison. Reading time: 2 hours, 14 minutes.

Six stories about three best friends who happen to be toys. Plush sea creature StingRay, Lumphy the stuffed buffalo, and Plastic, a ball, encounter a fearsome shark, enjoy a dance party, and face rejection as the Girl grows up. 2008.


Toys Come Home by Emily Jenkins

Download Toys Come Home, DB 75768

Read by Kristin Allison. Reading time: 1 hour, 47 minutes.

Six tales trace the adventures that brought the toy friends to the Girl's house. Stuffed StingRay arrives as a birthday gift but feels unwelcome by the stuffed walrus, Bobby Dot. 2011.


A Tree is Nice by Janice May Udry

BR 06122

Download A Tree is Nice, DBC02496

Read by Jessica Whitsitt. Reading time: 3 minutes.

A simple text explains in childlike terms why trees are nice to have around and to be around. Caldecott Medal. Print/braille. 1956.


The True Story of Pocahontas by Lucille Recht Penner

Download The True Story of Pocahontas, BR 12810

This is a short account of the brave young Native American who helped the English settlers of Jamestown, Virginia. Describes how her involvement with the colonists changed her life. 1994.


Violet the Pilot by Steve Breen

BR 53610

Download Violet the Pilot, MDB10055

Read by Dan Deidrich. Reading time: 12 minutes.

Young Violet's only friend is her dog, Orville, until one of her homemade flying machines takes her to the rescue of a Boy Scout troop in trouble. Print/braille. Show Me Award nominee, 2010-2011. 2009.


The Wall by Eve Bunting

BR 08959

A young boy and his father come from far away to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., and find the name of the boy's grandfather who was killed in the war. A group of girls in school uniforms comes by. "Is this wall for the dead soldiers...?" one of them asks. "The names are the names of the dead. But the wall is for all of us," the teacher answers. Print/braille. 1990.


What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

BR 15017

Explains how a lot of animals use their noses, ears, tails, eyes, mouths, and feet in very different ways. A glossary provides more information about these animals. Print/braille. 2003.


Wild About Books by Judy Sierra

BR 16024

When librarian Molly McGrew drives her bookmobile into the zoo by mistake, she first attracts the animals to reading with a book by Dr. Seuss. A story in rhyme. Print/braille. 2004.