We love to collect books to read for every letter of the alphabet. Sometimes a particular letter is just plain hard. Other times, we find a collection of books that my kids want to hear again and again. Then they stand on their tiptoes as I drop the books into the library drop box. Seeing a title they plead, “Don’t return that one! I love that book!” There are quite a few favorite stories for kids in this list of letter G books.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears, by James Marshall
We never tire of the fairy tale adaptations by James Marshall. This is a special favorite because the main character is so unlike the Goldilocks we’ve met in other versions. “Goldilocks was one of those naughty little girls who do whatever they please.” Ignoring warning signs posted all over the trees, Goldilocks takes a short cut right to the bears’ house. Kids will giggle when she enters their home to find fur everywhere and thinks, “They must have kitties.” A book to own!
Here’s another favorite book, perfect for bedtime. The zookeeper says good night to all the zoo animals, but the mischievous gorilla follows behind and unlocks all the cages. With very few words, the pictures tell most of the story.
The Curious Garden, by Peter Brown
This is a magical story that my kids couldn’t put down. Liam is a curious boy living in a drab, gray city. One day, he finds a few dying plants growing through an old railroad track. Liam waters and prunes the plants until they grow into a lush garden that overtakes the entire city. By the end of the book, greenery covers the rooftops and pops up in the most unexpected places. We noticed something new every time we read the book.
How Groundhog’s Garden Grew, by Lynne Cherry
Groundhog learns how to grow his own garden from his friend, Squirrel. The illustrations are magnificent, and you will just about everything there is to know about gardening. The borders along each page are filled with smaller illustrations that will help your child identify seeds and plants. My kids requested this one over and over. On the one hand, I was pleased – they recognize a good book. But I groaned inwardly – the book was a little long for this mom!
Grumpy Goat, by Brett Helquist
Sunny Acres was the friendliest little farm in the county… until a grumpy goat became its newest resident. The other animals try to befriend Goat, but he chases away anyone who gets close. One day Goat discovers a dandelion alone in the grass. As he cares for the little plant he begins to enjoy the company of the other animals. But one day the dandelion turns gray, and a breeze blows it away. Goat is heartbroken… until the day he discovers a whole mountainside of dandelions!
Melvin Berger is one of my favorite science authors for kids. He’s written very simple books (like this one), books for older readers (like this one) and books right in the middle, like Germs Make Me Sick. It’s a Let’s Read and Find Out Book, a great series for older preschoolers who love to listen and learn. You’ll learn some interesting facts in this book — did you know that 1000 germs can fit across the top of a pencil? Bacteria and viruses are explained in a way that kids can understand.
The Gingerbread Man, by Jim Aylesworth
Any version of this fairy tale will do, but we enjoy this one because of the vintage illustrations and rhyming dialogue. “No! No! I won’t come back! I’d rather run than be your snack!” The cow, pig, and fox walk upright and are fully dressed – which is a little weird-looking and takes some getting used to. But I think it adds to the book’s charm.
Where Does the Garbage Go? by Paul Showers
Paul Showers is another author who writes nonfiction for young kids. My Three (almost four) was fascinated with this book and requested it over and over again. He and his siblings learned a lot from it. The other day, when driving near the place where the city brings our garbage, my husband said, “There’s the dump!” But my kids corrected him. “Actually, Daddy, that’s a landfill.” A favorite part of this book are the pages that illustrate the process by which paper and aluminum are recycled.
The Great Gracie Chase, by Cynthia Rylant
Gracie is a dog who has been good every day of her life … until today. She loves her quiet, peaceful home – so when the noisy painters arrive, she barks so much they put her outside. And Gracie decides to take a walk all by herself. Pretty soon the whole town is chasing Gracie. Kids will love the colorful pictures (by the same illustrator of the How Do Dinosaurs series and the Poppleton books).
Giraffes Can’t Dance, by Giles Andreae
Every year the animals come together for the spectacular Jungle Dance. But poor Gerald the Giraffe… his legs are too skinny and his neck too long. All the animals let him know that he can’t dance. Finally, when Gerald starts dancing to his own music, the animals are entranced. We just enjoyed the story, but you could get deeper with the story’s lesson… “sometimes when you’re different, you just need a different song.”
The Three Billy Goats Gruff, by Paul Galdone
We love Paul Galdone’s fairy tale renditions. Nothing spectacular about the text in this story (there’s not a whole lot you can do with it!), but there’s something about the pen and ink illustrations that grabs us. Plus, the troll is really ugly.
Curious George, by H. A. Rey
My Three has loved the Curious George books for a long time. And he will sit for the entire story, no matter how long it is. I should be happy about that — but for some reason I find Curious George books tiresome. (Am I the only one who feels that way?) I usually read them anyway, but I can do without the newer books which were written by other authors to promote the TV series. Make sure you’re getting the real thing.
Goldie and the Three Bears, by Diane Stanley
In this book, Goldie is a sweet but particular little girl who knows exactly what she likes. “I want plain pasta with just butter and no green things please.” When the school bus drops off Goldie at the wrong stop, she looks for a place to call her mom. Which brings her to the bears’ house. It turns out that Baby Bear is the perfect playmate for Goldie. The ending was a little weird for me (she calls her mom, who lets her stay for dinner at the bears’ house without having met them), but my Three loved it. Sweet story.
Gregory the Terrible Eater, by Mitchell Sharmat
This is one of my all-time favorite books from my childhood, and my kids love it too. Gregory the goat is a terrible eater. He won’t eat garbage! Instead he likes fruits, vegetables, meat, and other disgusting things. What will his parents do? We love the twist in the middle and the satisfying ending.
George and Martha, by James Marshall
In my opinion, the George and Martha books – about a pair of best friend hippos – are some of the best in children’s literature. We adore the goofy illustrations (with just the right subtleties) and the simple yet hilarious story lines. Here’s one: every time George visits his friend Martha, she cooks him split pea soup. He eats it out of kindness to his friend, but he just can’t stand it. Finally, one day, he pours the soup into his shoes to avoid eating it. But Martha sees him. George feels terrible until Martha says, “Why didn’t you tell me? I don’t like to eat split pea soup either. I only like to make it!” And they enjoy cookies instead. I can’t do justice to these in a review. Don’t miss ’em!
For more learning ideas for letter G, click on the image below.
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