PK through 2nd Grade

Picture Books

List of 27 items.

  • The Wall in the Middle of the Book

    Jon Agee
    A young white knight is confident that the wall in the middle of the book protects his side from the dangers of the other side, but he doesn’t seem to notice that there is danger looming on his side of the wall too.
  • How to Read a Book

    Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
    A poetic tribute to the art of reading a book.
  • Perfect

    Max Amato
    A fussy eraser and a mischievous pencil spar in an adventure that finds them out-performing each other before they decide to work together for the sake of fun and imagination.
  • The Day War Came

    Nicola Davies, illustrated by Rebecca Cobb
    War came and took everything from the child narrator, and her new country doesn’t seem to have room for her. Still, the clear, child-friendly illustrations and poetic text offer a hopeful ending. While the story does not identify the girl’s country of origin, the illustrations and the author’s afterword suggest she is from Syria or Iraq.
  • Zola’s Elephant

    Randall de Sève, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
    A little white girl hesitates to initiate a friendship with her new white neighbor, Zola, because she imagines Zola is busy with another friend, an elephant.
  • Grains of Sand

    Sibylle Delacroix
    A stylistically white brother and sister dream up ways to save sand from a beach vacation.
  • When Grandma Gives you A Lemon Tree

    Jamie L. B. Deenihan, illustrated by Lorraine Rocha
    “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” In this imaginative take on that popular saying, an African American girl is surprised (and disappointed) to receive a lemon tree from Grandma for her birthday. But when she follows the narrator’s careful and funny instructions, she discovers that the tree might be exactly what she wanted after all.
  • Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market

    Raul Gonzalez, illustrated by Elaine Bay
    Little Lobo, and Bernabe, his dog, deliver supplies to vendors at the Mercado, a busy town market.
  • Mina vs. the Monsoon

    Rukhsanna Guidroz, illustrated by Debasmita Dasgupta
    Mina, an Indian girl, loves to play soccer all year round in her hometown. Nothing comes close to it. But when the monsoon arrives, Mina is stuck indoors and she can't help feeling restless and bored. Her ammi doesn't understand. The doodhwalla doesn't understand. That's when Mina decides she'll find ways of chasing away the clouds herself. In doing so, she makes an unexpected and wonderful discovery about her mother.
  • Night Job

    Karen Hesse
    A white boy accompanies his white dad as he works at night as a school custodian.
  • The Good Egg

    Jory John and Pete Oswald
    When the other eggs in his carton behave badly, the good egg feels like he needs to be perfect.
  • Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Make Waves

    Lauren H. Kerstein, illustrated by Nate Wragg
    It’s summertime, and you’re invited for a rollicking day at the pool with Charlie, an African American boy, and his pet dragon, Rosie. But be careful, swimming with a dragon can be challenging. As Rosie and Charlie blow bubbles, practice flutter kicks, and offer shoulder rides, Rosie proves that dragons make the most fun pets ever. Now, if only Charlie can keep Rosie’s attention focused on the rules at the pool and not on her gummy snacks.
  • Under My Mother’s Hijab

    Hena Khan, illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel
    As a young Muslim girl observes that each of six women in her life wears her hijab and hair in a different way, she considers how to express her own style one day.
  • Natsumi!

    Susan Lendroth, illustrated by Priscilla Burris
    The festival of traditional Japanese arts is coming up, and little Natsumi's big personality is too much for her family's quieter traditions, until her grandfather introduces her to taiko drumming.
  • Lubna and Pebble

    Wendy Meddour
    An evocative tribute to the refugee crisis and the power of friendship finds a little girl enduring hardships in a World of Tents by sharing stories and confidences with her best friend, a pebble, before realizing that a lost young newcomer needs the pebble even more.
  • Where are you From?

    Yamile Saied Méndez, illustrated by Jamie Kim
    A powerful story about a simple question: where are you from? When a young Latina is asked where she’s from, “where she’s really from,” she’s no longer as sure as she once was. She decides to turn to her dear abuelo for some help with this ever-persistent question, but he doesn’t quite give her the answer she expects.
  • My Mommy, My Mama, My Brother, and Me: These Are the Things We Found by the Sea

    Natalie Meisner
    Living by the sea offers an abundance of charms for the two young biracial brothers in this poetic ode to beachcombing. When the fog disappears, the path to the beach beckons, with all the treasures it leaves behind: lobster traps, buoys, fused glass, urchins, a note in a bottle. But best of all is all the neighbors they meet along the way.
  • Don’t Touch my Hair!

    Sharee Miller
    Aria loves her soft and bouncy hair, but must go to extremes to avoid people who touch it without permission until, finally, she speaks up.
  • Thank You, Omu!

    Oge Mora
    Omu enjoys cooking thick red stews for her evening meal. One day, while her pot simmers, a little boy knocks at her door, enticed by the delicious aroma. Of course Omu shares with him and later with others: a police officer, a hot dog vendor, a shop owner, a cab driver, a doctor, an actor, a lawyer, a dancer, a baker, an artist, a singer, an athlete, a bus driver, a construction worker, and the mayor! Predictably, the pot is empty when suppertime arrives, but Omu's friends give back with a feast that everyone enjoys.
  • The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family

    Ibtihaj Muhammad
    With her new backpack and light-up shoes, Faizah knows the first day of school is going to be special. It's the start of a brand new year and, best of all, it's her older sister Asiya's first day of hijab, which is made of a beautiful blue fabric, like the ocean waving to the sky. However, not everyone sees hijab as beautiful, and in the face of hurtful, confusing words, Faizah will find new ways to be strong.
  • We are Brothers

    Yves Nadon, illustrated by Jean Claverie
    With his big brother's support, a young African American boy finds the courage to jump off the big rock at the lake.
  • Gittel’s Journey

    Lesléa Newman, pictures by Amy June Bates
    This story brings to life a not-too-distant history of immigration to Ellis Island. When it's time for nine-year-old Gittel and her mother to leave their homeland behind and go to America for the promise of a new life, a health inspection stops any chance of Gittel's mother joining her daughter on the voyage. Knowing she may never see her mother again, Gittel must find the courage within herself to leave her family behind.
  • Benji, the Bad Day and Me

    Sally J. Pla, illustrated by Ken Min
    Sammy, a brown-skinned boy, is having a very bad day at school and at home until his autistic brother, Benji, finds a way to make him feel better.
  • My Papi has a Motorcycle

    Isabel Quintero
    Daisy Ramona takes a trip around the neighborhood with her father on his motorcycle and sees familiar people and places but also a community that is rapidly changing around her.
  • Another

    Christian Robinson
    A young African American girl and her cat take an imaginative journey into another world.
  • Mommy’s Khimar

    Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, illustrated by Ebony Glenn
    A young Muslim girl puts on a head scarf and not only feels closer to her mother, she also imagines herself as a queen, the sun, a superhero, and more. Later, when she visits her Christian grandmother, the story emphasizes that interfaith families love one another regardless of religion.
  • Because

    Mo Willems
    A series of events, some seemingly very insignificant, lead to a brown-skinned young girl attending a life-changing concert.

Chapter Books

List of 18 items.

  • Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants

    Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts
    (Series) When Rosie Revere's Uncle Ned, a white man, gets a little carried away wearing his famous helium pants, it's up to Ada, an African-American girl, and friends to chase him down. As Uncle Ned floats farther and farther away, Ada starts asking lots of questions: How high can a balloon float? Is it possible for Uncle Ned to float into outer space? And what's the best plan for getting him down?
  • 3x4, Three times four with Annemarie

    Ivan Brunetti
    (Graphic Fiction) Annemarie, a brown-skinned girl, and eleven other classmates find various ways to draw sets of twelve and learn about multiplication along the way.
  • A Dog’s Purpose Puppy Tales: Toby’s Story

    W. Bruce Cameron
    (Series) Toby, an unusually calm beagle puppy, finds his purpose when Mona and her mother adopt him and teach him to be a therapy dog at a nursing home.
  • Game Over, Super Rabbit Boy

    Thomas Flintham
    (Series) When the nefarious King Viking creates a robot army to spread No Fun throughout Animal Town and abducts fun-loving Singing Dog, video game character Super Rabbit Boy must use his speed and bravery to save the day, along with the help of a human player who must win level after level.
  • Captain Awesome to the Rescue

    Stan Kirby, illustrated by George O’Connor
    (Series) When second-grader Eugene, a white boy, and his family move to a new neighborhood and starts at a new school, he gets a chance to bring out his superhero alter ego, Captain Awesome, to find the kidnapped class hamster.
  • Johnny Boo is King

    James Kochalka
    (Graphic Fiction Series) Johnny Boo is wearing a crown on his head, so that means he's the king! Squiggle wants to be king too, so he puts a rock on his head. After a brief argument, they decide to share their new flying castle, and fly to the moon. Or are they just pretending? After a madcap encounter with the Ice Cream Monster, they finally get too sleepy to stay awake.
  • Emiline: Knight in Training

    Kimberli Johnston
    (Graphic Fiction) Emiline, a brown-skinned girl, is learning how to be a knight. There are many skills that knights need: sword fighting, unicorn riding, and PB&J eating! While Emiline is very good at these, she has a hard time reading. But when fixing a dangerous situation means Emiline must read some magic words, she discovers that with practice, curiosity, and help from her friends, she can improve at reading and save the day! The author/illustrator designed this book to be easier to read for children with dyslexia, including a dyslexia-friendly font and low-contrast art.
  • My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder

    Nie Jun
    (Graphic Fiction) In a collection of four short stories, readers will follow Yu'er and her grandpa as they live in a small neighborhood in Beijing. In one tale, Yu'er, a Chinese girl who has limited mobility, wants to swim in the Special Olympics. However, Yu'er and her grandpa don't have a pool! Their trick to help Yu'er practice wows the whole neighborhood. In another story, a friend takes Yu'er to a wild place full of musical insects. Later, Yu'er hears a special story about her grandparents. And in the final story, Yu'er and her grandpa show a cranky painter the sweet side of life.
  • Juana and Lucas: Big Problemas

    Juana Medina
    (Series) Juana's life is just about perfect. She lives in the beautiful city of Bogota, Columbia with her two most favorite people in the world: her mami and her dog, Lucas. Lately, though, things have become a little less perfect. When mami announces that she is getting married to Luis and that they will all be moving to a new casa, Juana is quite distraught. Lucky for her, though, some things will never change, like how much Mami loves her.
  • The Great Louweezie

    Erica S. Perl, illustrated by Chris Chatterton
    (Series) Arnold is a large black bear. His best friend, Louise, is a small chipmunk. But one day, Louise insists she is NOT Louise, she's the Great Louweezie, and she can predict the future! But when the Great Louweezie's demands begin to test Arnold's patience, the game feels much less fun. What will happen if friendship isn't in their future?
  • Everybody Needs a Buddy

    James Preller, illustrated by Stephen Gilpin
    (Series) Deon, Kym, Lizzy, and Connor, a diverse group of friends, set out to convince the PTA to use their fundraising surplus to put a 'buddy bench' on the playground.
  • Hog and Harold Pretend for Real!

    Dan Santat, illustrated by Mo Willems
    Can the friendship of best friends Harold and Hog, a carefree elephant and a careful hog, survive a game of pretending to be Mo Willems's Elephant and Piggie?
  • Sock Story

    Ck Smouha, illustrated by Eleonora Marton
    (Graphic Fiction) It's Phil and Dale's favourite time of the week - the WASH! The two socks impress each other with their acrobatics; flipping, spinning and shrieking, much to the disapproval of the other clothes in the washing machine. But why should they care? They've got each other and that's all that matters... right? When Phil goes missing, Dale is left contemplating life in solitude. After a brief encounter with a red shirt, he finds himself alone in the washing machine, lost and pink. When he is finally reunited with his buddy, Phil fails to recognise him, and the socks must decide what being a pair means if one of you has changed.
  • How to Spot a Sasquatch

    J. Torres, illustrated by Aurélie Grand
    (Graphic Fiction) On a camping trip with the Junior Rangers, Jay, an Asian boy, feels like the odd one out. He's determined to get a photo of Bigfoot-but none of his friends believe Bigfoot exists. But if there's no such thing as Bigfoot, why is there a giant footprint? And who is stealing all the snacks? Meanwhile, Sass the Sasquatch and her curious forest friends are playing practical jokes on the campers. On the last day of camp, disaster strikes when Jay falls into a rushing river. Sass comes out of the woodwork-despite her parents' warnings to stay away from humans!-just in time to save his life. Soon after, Jay and Sass become fast friends, proving that nothing is impossible when it comes to friendship.
  • Tiger vs. Nightmare

    Emily Tetri
    (Graphic Fiction) Tiger is a very lucky kid: she has a monster living under her bed. Every night, Tiger and Monster play games until it's time for lights out. Of course, Monster would never try to scare Tiger-that's not what best friends do. But Monster needs to scare someone, it's a monster, after all! So while Tiger sleeps, Monster scares all of her nightmares away. Thanks to her friend, Tiger has nothing but good dreams. But waiting in the darkness is a nightmare so big and mean that Monster can't fight it alone. Only teamwork and a lot of bravery can chase this nightmare away.
  • Lulu is Getting a Sister

    Judith Viorst, illustrated by Kevin Cornell
    (Series) Lulu is sent to Camp Sisterhood to learn how to be a big sister, but she makes it her mission to be the worst sister-in-training in camp history.
  • Mia Mayhem is a Superhero!

    Kara West, illustrated by Leeza Hernandez
    (Series) Eight-year-old Mia Macarooney, an African American girl, is delighted to learn she is from a family of superheroes, but her acceptance into the Program for in-training Superheroes requires she take a placement exam.
  • The Princess and the Absolutely Not a Princess

    Emma Wunsch, illustrated by Jessika Von Innerebner
    (Series) Princess Miranda, a brown-skinned girl, is horrified when her parents insist she attend public school, especially because Maude, a white girl, who sits next to her in class, is everything the princess finds most offensive.


List of 13 items.

  • The Undefeated

    Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson
    An ode to inspiring African American heroes in the fields of sport, the arts, and political activism, as well as everyday champions who exemplifies success.
  • The Important Thing about Margaret Wise Brown

    Mac Barnett, illustrated by Sarah Jacoby
    A picture-book biography of the legendary author of Goodnight Moon, Runaway Bunny and other children's classics shares insights into her life and enduring literary influence.
  • Planting Stories: the Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré

    Anika Aldamuy Denise, illustrations by Paola Escobar
    Describes the life and accomplishments of Pura Belpré, a Puerto Rican librarian who introduced the folk tales of her native island first to the children of New York and afterwards throughout the country.
  • Skyscraper

    Jorey Hurley
    Can you name the different kinds of vehicles required to build a skyscraper? This book explains the process of building a skyscraper, from the once-vacant lot to all the way to the completed building.
  • Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet

    Curtis Manley, illustrated by Jessica Lanan
    Discusses the concept of extrasolar, habitable planets and how those planets might be found.
  • Inky’s Amazing Escape: How a Very Smart Octopus Found his Way Home

    Sy Montgomery
    Follow the adventures of a chronically bored octopus at the New Zealand aquarium who in 2016 escapes captivity by climbing out of his tank and slithering down a drainpipe to the sea.
  • Dreamers

    Yuyi Morales
    This autobiography traces the immigration journey of Latina author Yuyi Morales and of her son. They eventually find a sense of hope and belonging at their public library which is also where Yuyi is inspired to create her own stories.
  • Stonewall: A Building, An Uprising, a Revolution

    Rob Sanders, illustrated by Jamey Christoph
    Discover the rich and dynamic history of the Stonewall Inn and its role in the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement, a movement that continues to this very day. In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn was raided by police in New York City. Though the inn had been raided before, that night would be different. In and around the Stonewall Inn people began to protest and demand equal rights as citizens of the United States.
  • A Computer Called Katherine

    Suzanne Slade, illustrated by Veronica Miller Jamison
    This biography shares the story of the pioneering African American mathematician Katherine Johnson, who helped calculate America's first manned flight into space, its first manned orbit of Earth, and the world's first trip to the moon.
  • We are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

    Traci Sorell, illustrated by Frane Lessac
    The word otsaliheliga (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah) is used by members of the Cherokee Nation to express gratitude. Beginning in the fall with the new year and ending in summer, follow a full Cherokee year of celebrations and experiences. Written by a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, and this look at one group of Indigenous people is appended with a glossary and the complete Cherokee syllabary, originally created by Sequoyah.
  • Pass Go and Collect $200: the Real Story of How Monopoly Was Invented

    Tanya Lee Stone, illustrated by Steven Salerno
    Not only is the game Monopoly complex, but so is its history! Readers and avid Monopoly players will learn of how the original game transforms into the game we play today. Lizzie Magie, a white woman, created and patented the Landlord’s Game, the precursor to Monopoly, to highlight injustices between landlords and their tenants. After a few modifications, and businessmen striking it rich by obtaining rights to the game, (unethically as some may argue) readers are left wondering, “who wins in this story?”
  • Magic Ramen: the Story of Momofuku Ando

    Andrea Wang, illustrated by Kana Urbanowicz
    Every day, Ando Momofuku, a Japanese man, would retire to his lab, which was a little shed in his backyard. For years, he'd dreamed about making a new kind of ramen noodle soup that was quick, convenient, and tasty to feed the hungry people he'd seen in line for a bowl on the black market following World War II. Day after day, Ando experimented. Night after night, he failed. But Ando kept experimenting. With persistence, creativity, and a little inspiration, Ando succeeded.
  • The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip-Hop

    Carole Boston Weatherford
    The roots of rap and the history of hip-hop have origins that precede DJ Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash. Readers will learn about how it evolved from folktales, spirituals, and poetry, to the showmanship of James Brown, to the culture of graffiti art and break dancing that formed around the art form and gave birth to the musical artists we know today.

Summer Reading Challenge

Submit a photo of yourself reading a book. We'd love to see photos of PK-12th grade students reading this summer! We will use all the photos for a joyful collage of reading at the beginning of the school year.

Feel free to be creative!

Email your photo to
Book summaries provided by the publisher with modifications from GDS librarians.


4530 MacArthur Boulevard, NW, Washington, DC 20007


4200 Davenport Street, NW, Washington, DC 20016

Georgetown Day School is a coed, preK-12, non-sectarian private school in Washington, DC with small class sizes and a diverse school community. Our comprehensive, innovative curriculum includes hands-on learning, honors and AP classes, as well as advanced-level math and STEM courses. An education is not just college prep and SAT scores. GDS teachers focus on providing the best education for each child, from elementary grades through high school. The school performing arts program includes theater, dance, and music. The athletics program offers competitive sports for student athletes, including cross-country, track, soccer, lacrosse, and crew/rowing. With our strong commitment to financial aid, an independent school tuition is affordable.