Early Elementary Books

Theme: Communities and People

Aunt Lulu - (ISBN: 978-0689714139)

by Daniel Pinkwater

A celebration of the life of a “bookmobile” librarian who delivers books in Alaska via dog sled with the help of her team of helpful huskies, this book is yet another offering from the favorite wacky author, Daniel Pinkwater. Find out what happens when she decides to head home to New Jersey behind the whip of the dogsled.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas - (ISBN: 978-0394800790)

by Dr. Seuss

Reread this favorite family tale to see how one guy with a bad intent can wreck the enjoyment of an entire community!! Enjoy it again from a different perspective!

Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street - (ISBN: 978-0531071366)

by Roni Schotter

From the diary of a small bored girl comes an awakening awareness of different people in her community and their relationships, their gifts, and their conversations with each other. As she looks for something to write about, the world opens up to her and to the reader in this beautifully illustrated volume.

Postal Workers - (ISBN: 978-1553377474)

by Paulette Bourgeois

In this form of an early reader (in the Kids Can Read series), children learn all the steps a letter goes through to get from sender to addressee in a fictionalized format. They meet workers of all nationalities and sexes as they follow the letter through the community.

Tomas and the Library Lady - (ISBN: 978-0375803499)

by Pat Mora

The true story of a migrant child who became inspired to read more and get an education after developing a relationship with a local librarian, this tale really emphasizes the positive effect community participation can have. Tomas went on to become Chancellor of the University of California at Riverside.

Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen - (ISBN: 978-0688152857 )

by Dyanne DiSalvo-Ryan

Uncle Willie takes his nephew to the local soup kitchen, his place of daily employment, and the boy learns about another side of the community, its needs and gifts, as he himself learns to volunteer.

What Do Authors Do? - (ISBN: 978-0395866214)

by Eileen Christelow

In cartoon format, two neighborhood authors write books and publish them as the reader learns all about the writing and publishing processes.

What Do People Do All Day? - (ISBN: 978-0007111589)

by Richard Scarry

Although this book can be enjoyed by pre-schoolers, it has great appeal to school age children as well because of the amount of material packed on every page. Readers will learn about the multitude of professions and activities that keep people busy; the illustrations show workers in the context of the community as they work alongside others.

Busy, Busy Town - (ISBN: 0-307-16803-4)

by Richard Scarry

Busy, Busy World - (ISBN: 0-307-65539-3)

by Richard Scarry

Grandpa's Corner Store - (ISBN: 978-0688167165)

by Dyane DiSalvo-Ryan

Police Officers (Kids Can Read) - (ISBN: 978-1553377436)

by Paulette Bourgeois

What Do Illustrators Do? - (ISBN: 978-0395902301)

by Eileen Christelow

Activities for this Theme

Pick up free coloring books that talk about the doctor’s office and other community service agencies. These often have an explanation of the service and its role in the community.


Check out the DVD of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas: or the sound track from “Seussical: The Musical" from your local library and enjoy it with your family. Be sure to talk about the community in the story and how it is different from yours (or alike).


Take your child to free activities offered by the local library.


Show your children pictures of various places in the community from the newspaper. Ask him/her to find pictures, too!


Make flashcards with names of community workers and pair them with pictures of the buildings they work in.