Build a Better World

For Early Readers

Build A Better World

This recommended reading list provides a broad list of books related to this summer’s theme of construction and recycling. 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 DBC. All audiobooks are linked to the Braille and Audio Reading Download site (BARD) for downloading.


Preschool to Grade 2


Bark, George by Jules Feiffer


A mother dog is concerned when her puppy George cannot bark. He can quack and meow and moo, but no "arf" comes out. So his mother takes George to the vet to find a solution. PRINT/BRAILLE. 1999.


Bebe Goes Shopping by Susan Elya


Rhyming text describes a trip to the supermercado for a Mamá and her sweet Bebé, who can't keep his hands inside the shopping cart until they reach the animal crackers. Glossary of Spanish words. PRINT/BRAILLE. 2006


Block City by Robert Stevenson


A classic poem of the delightful world a young child creates with imagination and building blocks. PRINT/BRAILLE. 1988.


Build, Dogs, Build: A Tall Tail by James Horvath


The doggy construction crew returns for an ambitious development project involving the demolition of a old building and the construction of a new high rise with a shiny pet-house apartment on top. 2014.          


The Construction Crew by Lynn Meltzer


A construction crew tears down an old building, and builds a new house in its place. Illustrated by Carrie Eko-Burgess. 2011


Digger Dog by William Bee



Read by Mary Newman. Reading time: 5 minutes.

Loving bones so much that he resolves to dig up the world's biggest bone, Digger Dog attempts to find the world's biggest diggers to complete the job and digs an incrementally larger hole before discovering a fantastic fold-out surprise. Building Block Award nominee, 2015. 2013.


Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Rinker



Read by Erik Sandvold. Reading time: 9 minutes.

Tough trucks work all day long puffing smoke, lifting big metal beams, and moving dirt at a construction site until they get tuckered out and go to sleep for the night. PRINT/BRAILLE. 2011.


The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson


A soothing story about a child who reads a book before being tucked in for the night in a house full of moonlight. PRINT/BRAILLE. Caldecott Medal. 2008.


Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book by Yuyi Morales


In this version of a traditional tale, Señor Calavera, a skeleton, arrives at Grandma Beetle's door, ready to take her to the next life. But after helping her count in English and Spanish as she makes her birthday preparations, he changes his mind. PRINT/BRAILLE. Pura Belpré Award. 2003.


"More More More," Said The Baby: 3 Love Stories by Vera Williams      


Three delightful vignettes show a trio of toddlers--Little Guy, Little Pumpkin, and Little Bird--being cuddled, and held, and loved by their grownups. PRINT/BRAILLE. 1990.


Move Over, Rover! by Karen Beaumont


When a storm comes, Rover expects to have his doghouse all to himself. But various other animals including a skunk come to join him. A story in rhyme. PRINT/BRAILLE. Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor. 2006.


Muddle's Holidays by Laura F. Nielsen



Read by Daniel C. Diedriech. Reading time: 10 minutes.

Although accustomed to celebrating nearly all the holidays on the calendar, the Maple Street neighbors are surprised by the newly-moved-in Mrs. Muddle's definition of a holiday. Show-Me Book Award nominee, 2010-2011. 2008. 


My Bus by Bryon Barton


A bus driver named Joe heads out on his route, stopping at one bus stop after another to pick up passengers. He picks up five dogs and five cats in all, dropping nine of them off at the plane, train, or boat. The tenth passenger, a dog, Joe takes home. Illustrated by Neil Numberman. 2014.


The Napping House by Audrey Wood


BR051712 (Uncontracted)



A snoring granny, a dreaming child, a dozing dog, a snoozing cat, and a slumbering mouse in the napping house are disturbed by a wakeful flea. A cumulative tale. PRINT/BRAILLE. 1984.


The Night Worker by Kate Banks

BR051832 (Uncontracted)

Alex wants to be a "night worker" like his father who goes to work at a construction site after Alex goes to bed. Contracted and uncontracted braille in one volume. Pictures by Georg Hallensieben.  PRINT/BRAILLE. 2000.


Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann


The children at Napville elementary School always ignore Officer Buckle's safety tips, until a police dog named Gloria accompanies him when he gives safety speeches. Show-Me Book Award nominee, 1997-1998. 1995.


Pete the Cat : I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin




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

Pete the Cat wears his new white shoes while walking down the street, and as he steps into piles of strawberries, blueberries, and other messes--and the color of his footwear changes--he keeps on moving and singing to himself without being bothered. Building Block Picture Book Award nominee, 2011. 2010.


Roller Coaster by Marla Frazee


Twelve people set aside their fears and ride a roller coaster, including one who has never been on one before. PRINT/BRAILLE. 2003.


Rrralph by Lois Ehlert



Read by Mary Grace Newman.   Reading time: 3 minutes.

The narrator describes discovering how Ralph the dog can talk, appropriately saying words such as "roof," "rough," "bark," and "wolf." Building Block Picture Book Award nominee, 2012. For preschool-grade 2. 2011.  


Shhhhh! Everybody's Sleeping by Julie Markes


Read by Mary 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.


Silly Little Goose by Nancy Tafuri



A goose tries out a few odd places to make her nest before finally settling on an old straw hat, and then "hatching" a surprise for everyone. 2001. Building Block Award.


Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox



Babies born in different countries and in different circumstances have in common ten little fingers and ten little toes. Rhymed text. Illustrations by Helen Oxenbury. PRINT/BRAILLE. 2008.


Ten Tiny Toes by Caroline Jane Church


Combines art with rhymes in an adaptation of the classic song, "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes," that reveals how ears wiggle and bellies giggle. Print/Braille. Board book. 2014.


That is Not a Good Idea! by Mo Willems


A surprising lesson about the importance of listening to one's inner gosling ensues when a very hungry fox issues a dinner invitation to a very plump goose. Building Block Picture Book Award nominee, 2014. 2013


This is Our House by Hyewon Yum


Follows a family through seasons and generations as the house to which their immigrant grandparents came is transformed into a home. 2013.


Town Mouse, Country Mouse by Jan Brett


Tired of running from the house cat, the "town mouse" decides to take his wife on a picnic in the country. There they meet a country mouse and her husband, who offer to trade houses with the town mice. PRINT/BRAILLE. 1994.


The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle




BR052284 (UEB)



Read by Edward C.Stern. Reading time: 4 minutes.

A hungry caterpillar eats his way through so much food that he has a stomachache. When he builds a small house for himself, something wonderful happens. PRINT/BRAILLE. For preschool-grade 2. 1981.


We March by Shane Evans


Illustrations and brief text portray the events of the 1963 march in Washington, D.C., where the reverend Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a historic speech. 2012.


Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman


When her parents find a baby wolf on their doorstep and decide to raise him as their own, Dot is certain he will eat them all up. However, a surprising encounter with a bear brings them closer together. PRINT/BRAILLE. 2015.


Kindergarten to Grade 3


Apple Pie 4th of July by Janet S. Wong


A Chinese American girl is convinced that Americans will not be buying Chinese food from her parents' store on the Fourth of July. But she is happily proven wrong, and they sell it all before the fireworks start. PRINT/BRAILLE. 2002.


The curious garden by Peter Brown 


Read by Pamela Hoppock.  Reading time:  7 minutes.

While out exploring his dull city, Liam discovers a struggling garden and decides to take care of it and help the plants grow. As time passes, the garden he tends begins to spread little by little out into his city. The city is transformed from gray into a lush, green world. This story shows how any one person's efforts can help change the world. 2009.


The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt



Read by Wendy Devilbiss.  Reading time: 9 minutes.

But when he takes his crayons out at school one morning, he finds a stack of letters--one from each of his crayons, complaining about how Duncan uses them. PRINT/BRAILLE. Show-Me Book Award nominee, 20015-2016. 2013.


Drum dream girl how one girl's courage changed music by Margarita Engle


Poetic biography of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga. Recounts how as a girl she followed her dreams to become a drummer, despite being continually reminded that only boys play the drums and that there has never been a female drummer in Cuba. PRINT/BRAILLE. 2015.


The EARTH Book by Todd Parr


Read by Todd Parr. Reading time:  5 minutes.

Illustrates how children can help protect the Earth and make it a better place. Commercial audiobook. 2010.


Families by Shelley Rotner


Big or small, similar or different-looking, there are all kinds of families. Some have one parent, some have two, and many include extended family. This inclusive look at many varieties of families will help young readers see beyond their own immediate experiences. 2015.


Good Night Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Bedtime Story by Mariam Gates


Guide to hatha yoga for kids. Simple poses follow the natural world as it comes to rest at day's end. PRINT/BRAILLE. 2015.


A House Is a House for Me by Mary Ann Hoberman


Read by Jill Fox. Reading time:  7 minutes.

Things can be homes for many other things if you think about it. This early poem by the 2008 U.S. Children's Poet Laureate talks about the many homes around us, from barns for animals and barrels for pickles to books for stories. National Book Award. 1978


Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña


A young boy, CJ, rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things. PRINT/BRAILLE. 2015.


Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale by Carmen Agra Deedy


In this retelling of a Cuban folktale, a cockroach interviews possible husbands using her grandmother's advice--spill coffee on their shoes to test their reactions. PRINT/BRAILLE. Pura Belpré Honor Book. 2007.


Max Found Two Sticks by J. Brian Pinkney


Although he doesn't feel like talking, a young boy responds to questions by drumming on various objects, including a bucket, hat boxes, and garbage cans, echoing the city sounds around him. Building Block Picture Book Award nominee, 1996. 1994.


The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara


A little librarian operates a nighttime-only library for animals and has three owls as her assistants. PRINT/BRAILLE. 2014.


Moses Goes to a Concert by Isaac Millman


Moses and his classmates, who are deaf, go to a concert with their teacher. Performing with the orchestra is a percussionist who is also deaf. PRINT/BRAILLE. Show-Me Book Award nominee, 2000-2001. 1998.


Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann


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. Show-Me Book Award nominee, 1997-1998. Caldecott Medal.


The Paper Bag Princess by Robert N. Munsch


BR053771 (Uncontracted)

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


Penny and Her Marble by Kevin Henkes



During a walk with her doll Rose, Penny spots a beautiful blue marble in Mrs. Goodwin's grass. When she sneaks it back home, she feels horribly guilty. But Penny gets a pleasant surprise when she goes to return the marble the next day. 2013.


Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum by Meghan McCarthy


Read by Robert Sams. Reading time: 18 minutes.

Describes the efforts of Walter Diemer, a young accountant who worked at a candy and gum factory in 1920s Philadelphia, to discover a recipe for gum that could stretch to blow bubbles. Includes additional facts about gum. 2010.   


Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young


In this version of the familiar Indian folktale, seven blind mice approach Something, ask what it is, and proceed to investigate. On Monday, Red Mouse feels the leg and proclaims it a pillar. On Tuesday, Green Mouse jumps on the trunk and declares it a snake. Each succeeding day brings a different conclusion from a different mouse--until the seventh mouse scampers all over the creature and puts the clues together! PRINT/BRAILLE. Show-Me Book Award nominee, 1994-1995.


A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jennifer Bryant



Read by Jill Fox. Reading time: 28 minutes.

Biography of self-taught African American folk artist Horace Pippin (1888-1946). Describes Pippin's childhood in Pennsylvania and New York, the combat injury that threatened to end his career, his struggle to learn to paint again, and the widespread fame he achieved. Schneider Family Award.  Show-Me Book Award nominee, 20015-2016. 2013.


A Story, A Story: An African Tale by Gail E. Haley


Before the spider man can obtain the Sky God's golden chest of stories, he must outwit and capture three fantasy creatures. Caldecott Medal 1971.