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Top Picture Books for 5th Graders

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“Picture books? Aren’t those for preschoolers?” That’s a fair question, and a few years back, I had the same thoughts. But after seeing my 5th grader’s excitement, I realized that we’re never too old for a good story especially if it’s brought to life through stunning illustrations.

I remember that one surprising storybook with unique illustrations that i can’t seem to forget. It’s those stories we carry in our hearts, and guess what? There’s a whole world of them out there waiting for our 5th graders!

So let’s find out how picture books can be a powerful tool to keep our 5th graders engaged, enriched, and entertained.

The Power of Picture Books

tween girl sitting on a sofa with a picture book

Expand Vocabulary

Do not underestimate the power of picture books in expanding our young readers’ vocabulary! With different storytelling styles and visually engaging illustrations, picture books offer a unique reading experience that can help introduce complex words without feeling overwhelmed.

Visual Interpretation

The illustrations allow children to visualize the story better, improving their comprehension skills. Moreover, they could translate these images in their minds when they encounter chapter books later in life.

Empathy and Understanding

Do you remember the time when your 5th grader first came across a profound moment in a story?

It’s in those moments that our children experience empathy and understanding, allowing them to see the world through someone else’s eyes.

Picture books play an essential role in teaching compassion as well as introducing our kids to diverse stories and perspectives.

Engaging 5th Graders with Picture Books: Top Picks and Tips

Now that we know the incredible impact picture books can have on our reader-in-the-making let’s explore some fantastic titles and tips to engage your 5th grader!

Best Picture Books for 5th Graders

Whether you’re looking for a book to read together as a family or something to inspire your young reader to pick up a book on their own, this list has got you covered.

Watership Down: A Graphic Novel Adaptation

boy reading Watership Down at home

This graphic novel adaptation of a literary classic captivated our family. My son didn’t move from this chair for three days, other than meals and a few quick trips to play in the snow, after receiving this for Christmas!

Pros

  • It’s an incredible story and the adaptation is well done with illustrations that attract young kids, teens, and even adults
  • Story sparks excellent conversations about leadership and what a good society is like
  • There is both good and evil, celebration and sadness in the tale in very realistic yet age appropriate ways

Cons

  • There is some violence that may impact sensitive readers
  • Topics of death, totalitarianism, and more pervade; this is a con if you’re not ready to talk about this with your kids

This story has been a classic story as well as a Netflix series and is now a graphic novel. When a warren of rabbits loses their home due to humans, they must build a new colony from scratch.

Follow the adventures of Hazel and the other rabbits as they embark on a harrowing journey to do it well.

Each rabbit has value and brings their own skills and talents, which are valuable. Leaders affect life and death. Hard decisions must be made. The lessons in this tale are many and it makes for an excellent conversation book.

Summer of the Monkeys

Summer of the Monkeys picture book

If you’re looking for a heartwarming and adventurous picture book for your 5th grader, Summer of the Monkeys is a great choice.

Pros

  • Engaging and well-written story
  • Captivating illustrations that bring the story to life
  • Teaches important life lessons about perseverance and determination

Cons

  • Some readers may find the story slow-paced
  • The book may not appeal to children who prefer action-packed stories
  • The paperback version has low-quality paper

Summer of the Monkeys is a beautifully written and illustrated picture book that will capture your child’s imagination. The story follows Jay Berry Lee, a 14-year-old boy who lives on a farm in Oklahoma and dreams of owning a pony.

When a troop of monkeys escapes from a circus and starts stealing peaches from his family’s orchard, Jay Berry sees an opportunity to earn enough money to buy his pony. He sets out to capture the monkeys and claim the reward, but the task proves more challenging than he anticipated.

The story is engaging and well-paced, with vivid descriptions that transport the reader to the Ozark Mountains of Oklahoma. The illustrations are equally captivating, with detailed and expressive depictions of the characters and settings.

The book also teaches important life lessons about perseverance and determination, as Jay Berry learns to overcome obstacles and never give up on his dreams.

However, some readers may find the story slow-paced, especially if they prefer action-packed stories. Additionally, the paperback version of the book has low-quality paper, which may be disappointing to some readers.

Summer of the Monkeys is a great choice for parents looking for a picture book that combines adventure, heart, and important life lessons.

Fractions in Disguise: A Math Adventure

Fractions in Disguise: A Math Adventure

If you want to make learning math fun for your 5th grader, Fractions in Disguise: A Math Adventure is a great choice.

Pros

  • Engaging story that makes learning fractions fun
  • Colorful illustrations that capture the attention of young readers
  • Suitable for a wide range of ages and reading levels

Cons

  • Some readers may find the story a bit simplistic
  • Recent changes to the book have made it less enjoyable for some readers
  • Not as in-depth as some other math books for kids

Fractions in Disguise: A Math Adventure tells the story of a group of fractions who disguise themselves as a human to save their friend, 5/9, from being reduced to a lower fraction. The story is both entertaining and educational, teaching kids about fractions and how they work in a fun and engaging way.

The illustrations in the book are colorful and eye-catching, making it easy for young readers to stay engaged with the story. The book is suitable for a wide range of ages and reading levels, making it a great choice for families with multiple children.

While some readers may find the story a bit simplistic, most will appreciate the fun and engaging way that math is presented in the book.

However, recent changes to the book have made it less enjoyable for some readers, so it’s worth checking reviews to see if the changes will affect your child’s enjoyment of the book. Additionally, if you’re looking for a more in-depth math book for your child, this may not be the best choice.

if you’re looking for a fun and engaging way to teach your 5th grader about fractions, Fractions in Disguise: A Math Adventure is definitely worth checking out.

Mistakes That Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions & How They Came to Be

Mistakes That Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions & How They Came to Be

If you want to inspire your 5th grader to embrace their mistakes and learn from them, then Mistakes That Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions & How They Came to Be is the perfect book for you.

Pros

  • The book is full of fun and interesting facts about how some of the most famous inventions came to be.
  • It encourages children to embrace their mistakes and learn from them.
  • The book is well-written and easy to understand.

Cons

  • The book may not be suitable for children who are not interested in science or history.
  • The book may not be suitable for children who are looking for a more action-packed story.
  • The book may be too short for some readers.

In Mistakes That Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions & How They Came to Be, your child will learn about how some of the most famous inventions came to be. From the slinky to the chocolate chip cookie, this book is full of fun and interesting facts that will keep your child engaged and entertained.

The book is well-written and easy to understand, making it a great choice for children who are just starting to read on their own. It encourages children to embrace their mistakes and learn from them, which is a valuable lesson for children of all ages.

While the book may not be suitable for children who are not interested in science or history, it is a great choice for children who are looking for a fun and educational read.

The book may not be suitable for children who are looking for a more action-packed story, but it is still a great choice for children who enjoy learning about how things work.

The Paper with No Name!

The Paper with No Name!

If you’re looking for a fun and engaging way to teach your 5th graders the importance of putting their names on their papers, then The Paper with No Name! is a great choice.

Pros

  • The book is easy to read and has a good flow.
  • The illustrations are colorful and engaging.
  • The book is a great reminder for students to write their names on their papers.

Cons

  • The book is only 33 pages long, which may not be enough for some readers.
  • The book may be too simplistic for some 5th graders.
  • The book may not be suitable for older readers.

The Paper with No Name! is a great book for 5th graders who need a reminder to put their names on their papers. The book is easy to read and has a good flow, making it a great choice for younger readers. Additionally, the illustrations are colorful and engaging, making the book even more enjoyable to read.

One of the downsides of the book is that it is only 33 pages long, which may not be enough for some readers. Additionally, the book may be too simplistic for some 5th graders, who may be looking for something more challenging. Finally, the book may not be suitable for older readers, who may find it too juvenile.

The book is engaging, easy to read, and has colorful illustrations that will keep younger readers interested. If you’re looking for a fun and educational book for your 5th graders, then The Paper with No Name! is definitely worth checking out.

Terribly Great Books: This is a Terrible Book – Will You Help Me Fix It?

Terribly Great Books: This is a Terrible Book - Will You Help Me Fix It?

This interactive book is a great choice for 5th graders who want to have fun while learning about the basic components of a story.

Pros

  • Interactive elements keep kids engaged
  • Teaches basic story components in a fun way
  • Short and easy to read

Cons

  • Some readers may find the story too silly
  • The Kindle version may not have all interactive elements
  • Only 36 pages long

In “This is a Terrible Book – Will You Help Me Fix It?”, kids are invited to help the main character improve his “terrible book” by completing various interactive tasks.

Along the way, they’ll learn about the basic components of a story, such as setting, characters, and conflict. The book is short and easy to read, making it a great choice for bedtime or a quick read during the day.

One of the best things about this book is the interactive elements. Kids will love clapping their hands, turning the book upside down, and completing other tasks to help improve the story. These elements keep kids engaged and make the book feel like a fun game rather than a boring lesson.

Overall, “This is a Terrible Book – Will You Help Me Fix It?” is a fun and engaging book that teaches kids about the basic components of a story in a unique way. If you’re looking for a short, interactive book to read with your 5th grader, this is a great choice.

My Kid’s Faves

  1. “Journey” by Aaron Becker: A world of watercolors where a young girl uses her magical red crayon to embark on an adventure without a single word.
  2. “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick: A hybrid book with captivating illustrations and a heartwarming story. Your child will love the adventure and setting of this beautifully told masterpiece.
  3. “Flotsam” by David Wiesner: A visually stunning wordless picture book that follows the story of a boy discovering an underwater world through an old camera lens.
older boy sitting on a bench with a book next to a younger girl, also reading

Picture Books Are Ageless

Picture books are an essential part of any child’s reading journey. They provide a visual representation of the story, making it easier for young readers to understand the plot and characters.

Picture books for 5th graders are an excellent way to introduce complex topics and themes to children in an engaging and accessible way.

These books are designed to capture the imagination of young readers while also providing them with valuable insights and lessons.

When purchasing picture books for 5th graders, it is essential to consider the reading level and age-appropriateness of the book. While picture books are typically associated with younger readers, those designed for 5th graders often contain more sophisticated themes and language.

It is also important to consider the quality of the illustrations and the overall design of the book. A well-designed picture book can enhance the reading experience and encourage children to engage with the story.

Finding the right picture book is like the cherry on top of a child’s reading journey.

For our young 5th graders, it means going into illustrated stories that offer challenging themes wrapped in easily digestible and engaging packages.

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