Character Matters for Preschoolers - Grade 3

Citizenship

Guthrie, Woody     This Land is Your Land.
This wonderfully illustrated picture book captures the spirit of Woody Guthrie's words perfectly.
(Preschool - K)

Henkes, Kevin      Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse.
Lilly loves everything about school, especially her teacher, but when he asks her to wait a while before showing her new purse, she does something for which she is very sorry later. (gr. K - 3)

Howe, James      Pinky and Rex and the Mean Old Witch.
Pinky, Rex, and Amanda plot revenge on the bad-tempered old woman who lives across the street, until Pinky realizes that she is lonely and needs new friends. (gr. K - 2)

Lachtman, Ofelia    
Pepita Talks Twice/Pepita habla dos veces.
Pepita is sick of translating for friends and neighbors–so she decides to stop speaking Spanish, but soon finds this is easier said than done. (gr. K - 2)

Wilson, Nancy     Hope Old People, Frogs, and Albert.
Fourth-grader Albert is afraid of the old people at the nursing home near his school, until he goes to visit Mr. Spear, the elderly man who has helped him with his reading. (gr. 2 - 3)


Fairness

Henkes, Kevin     A Weekend with Wendell.
When Wendell stays with Sophie his bossy ways drive her crazy–but after she makes up a new game, she can't wait for him to come back. (Preschool - K)

Jaffe, Nina     The Cow of No Color: Riddle Stories and Justice Tales
from Around the World. In each of these stories, collected from around the world, a character faces a problem situation which requires that he make a decision about what is fair or just. (gr. 1 - 3)

Lachtman, Ofelia    
Pepita Thinks Pink/Pepita y el color rosado.
Pepita is excited about her new neighbor until she sees that she likes pink–a color Pepita really hates. (gr. K - 2)

Madonna     Mr. Peabody's Apples.
A boy learns a hard lesson after he spreads some vicious gossip.  (gr. 1 - 3)


Honesty

Broome, Errol     Tangles.
When she takes money from her neighbor's wallet in order to buy a kitten, Sophie finds that she cannot live with the guilt. (gr. 2 - 3)

Bunting, Eve      A Day's Work.
When Francisco tries to help his grandfather find work, he discovers that even though the old man cannot speak English, he has something more valuable to teach Francisco. (gr. K - 3)

Calmenson, Stephanie      The Principal's New Clothes.
A vain principal is persuaded by two tailors that they will make him an amazing suit that will be visible only to intelligent people who are good at their jobs. (gr. K - 3)

Carlson, Nancy     Harriet and the Garden.
Harriet feels terrible until she confesses to trampling a garden and ruining a prize dahlia. (gr. K - 1)

Cosby, Bill      My Big Lie.
Little Bill gets in big trouble when he tells a fib to explain why he has come home late for dinner. (gr.K - 1)

Demi     The Empty Pot.
When Ping admits he is the only child in China who is unable to grow flowers from the seeds distributed by the Emperor, he is rewarded for his honesty. (gr. K - 3)

Gretz, Susanna      Rabbit Rambles On.
Duck and Frog decide to teach boastful Rabbit a lesson. (Preschool - K)

Havill, Juanita      Jamaica's Find.
A litle girl finds a stuffed dog in a park and decides to take it home. (Preschool - K)

Keller, Holly      That's Mine, Horace.
When Horace finds a classmate's toy truck in the schoolyard he wants to keep it for himself, even after his classmate tries to reclaim it. (Preschool - K)

Kline, Suzy      Mary Marony and the Chocolate Surprise.
Mary decides it's ok to cheat to win a special lunch with her favorite teacher, but the results of her dishonesty end up surprising the entire second grade class. (gr. 1 - 3)

Korman, Gordon      Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire.
Zoe, an imaginative third grader, thinks that she has to make things up to be interesting, until a good friend and an eagle convince her that she does not have to lie to be special. (gr. 1 - 3)

Kroll, Steven     Annabelle's Un-Birthday.
On the first day of school Annabelle tells her new second-grade classmates that it is her birthday and takes them to grandmother's for an unexpected party, but she knows she must face the consequences of her fib. (gr. 1 - 3)

Levy, Elizabeth     Lizzie Lies a Lot.
Nine-year-old Lizzie's impulse to lie affects her relationships with family and friends. (gr. 2 - 3)

O'Connor, Jane     Nina, Nina, Star Ballerina.
Nina creates a problem for herself when she tells her friends that she will be a star in the upcoming ballet performance and they misunderstand her. (gr. 2 - 3)

Roy, Ron     Awful Thursday.
Jack feels responsible for ruining a school tape recorder and dreads telling Miss Hope what happened. (gr. K - 2)

Scribner, Virginia     Gopher Draws Conclusions.
When Kevin wins an art contest using a drawing that Gopher had given him, Gopher must make a difficult choice between revenge and saving their friendship. (gr. 2 - 3)

Sharmat, Marjorie     A Big Fat Enormous Lie.
A child's simple lie grows to enormous proportions. (Preschool - K)


Kindness

Barbour, Karen     Mr. Bow Tie.
Two children and their parents befriend a homeless man and help him find his family. (gr. K - 2)

Campbell, Ann      Dora's Box.
In order to protect her, Dora's parents put anything that might harm her into a box and tell her never to open it, but when she eventually does, her life is enriched by what she finds. (gr. K - 3)

Caudill, Rebecca     The Best-Loved Doll.
When Betsy is invited to a party and asked to bring a doll, she doesn't bring her oldest, or the best-dressed, or even the doll that can do the most things–she brings Jennifer, the best-loved of her dolls. (gr. 1 - 3)

Cosby, Bill     Money Troubles.
While trying to raise enough money for a telescope, Little Bill makes a discovery about generosity and the needs of others. (gr. K - 1)

Dr. Seuss      Horton Hears a Who.
Horton discovers a settlement of tiny creatures called Whos and makes every effort to protect them. (gr. K - 3)

Fleischman, Sid      The Scarebird.
A lonely old farmer realizes the value of friendship when a young man comes to help him and his scarecrow on his farm. (gr. K - 3)

Horvath, Polly      The Trolls.
Eccentric Aunt Sally comes from Canada to babysit the Anderson children while their parents are on a trip to Paris, and every night the bedtime story adds another piece to the story of a family estrangement. (gr. 1 - 3)

Kellogg, Steven     Johnny Appleseed.
John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, traveled the American pioneer west planting apple trees to make the country a better place to live. (gr. K - 2)

Lopez, Loretta     The Birthday Swap.
Lori is trying hard to come up with a birthday surprise for her older sister, Cookie, but as she soon finds out, Cookie has a surprise for her. (gr. K - 2)

Markel, Michelle      Grácias, Rosa.
Katie doesn't want a babysitter who speaks Spanish, but as she and Rosa become friends, Katie's feelings change. (gr. K - 2)

Polacco, Patricia      Mrs. Mack.
The summer she learns to horseback ride, Patricia learns many other lessons as well. (gr. 1 - 3)

San Souci, Robert     The Talking Eggs.
In this Southern folktale, kind Blanche, following the instructions of an old witch, gains riches while her greedy sister makes fun of the old woman and is duly rewarded. (gr. 1 - 3)

Steptoe, John      Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters.
Mufaro's daughters, one kind and considerate, the other bad-tempered, seek the approval of the king, who is choosing a wife. (gr. K - 2)


Loyalty

Burton, Virginia Lee     Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel.
Mike Mulligan remains loyal to his steam shovel, Mary Ann, against the threat of the new gas and diesel machines. (Preschool - K)

Cullen, Lynn     The Mightiest Heart.
A legendary story of a brave and loyal dog reminds us that "the mightiest heart can come in the humblest vessel." (gr. K - 2)

Hoban, Russell     Best Friends for Frances.
Frances convinces her friend Albert of the values of friendship. (gr. K - 1)

Kamen, Gloria     The Ringdoves.
A crow, a mouse, a turtle and a gazelle become friends and protect each other from the hunter.  (gr. K - 2)

Komaiko, Leah    Annie Bananie and the People's Court.
When her cantankerous neighbor takes Libby's best friend, Annie Bananie, to court, Libby has to appear as a witness and tell the truth, even if it gets her into trouble. (gr. 1 - 3)


Respect

Cosby, Bill     The Meanest Thing to Say.
When a new boy in his second grade class tries to get the otherstudents to play a game that involves saying the meanest things possible to one another, Little Bill shows him a better way to make friends. (gr. K - 1)

Egan, Tim     Metropolitan Cow.
The overly dignified parents of a young cow become concerned when their calf befriends a piglet. (gr. K - 2)

Estes, Eleanor     The Hundred Dresses.
Wanda, a poor girl with only one dress, is teased by her classmates when she insists she has a hundred dresses at home. (gr. 1 - 3)

Hamanaka, Sheila      All the Colors of the Earth.
Despite changes in appearance and color, children all around the world are essentially the same.
(Preschool - K)

Henkes, Kevin     Chester's Way.
Chester and Wilson are perfectly matched best friends, with their own way of doing things. When Lilly moves into their neighborhood, they want nothing to do with her–until they see that her way of doing things is sometimes better. (gr. K - 2)

Lord, Bette Bao     In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson.
Shirley Temple Wong's move from China to America isn't as easy as she had hoped, especially when she is reminded that she represents all Chinese. However, baseball brings new friends, and with new friends come new experiences. (gr. 2 - 3)

Cruz, Alejandro    
The Woman who Outshone the Sun/La mujer que brillaba  aún más que el sol.