1st Grade Boy – Loves Superheroes… Doesn’t Like to Read (Part 1)

A friend requested book ideas for her first grade grandson who loves superheros; but doesn’t like to read.  I get it.  Many kids don’t like to read.  Or they do like to read; but we adults don’t like what they want to read.

I’m creating two posts for this request.  In this first post, I’m highlighting picture books.  First graders still love being read to.  After an exhausting day at school, reading a book out loud to a parent can be frustrating.  Teachers ask students to read at least twenty minutes at home each night.  And parents, myself included, feel guilty if we’re not having our child be the reader.

After many nights trying to get ML to read out loud to me and the tears which accompanied it,  I found a solution.  I read a page.  Then, she read a page.  Sometimes halfway through, she melted down and didn’t want to read out loud anymore.  I didn’t force it and read the rest of the book aloud to her.  I attribute ML’s high reading comprehension skills to this approach.

Below are superhero titles and a list of books I’ve blogged about before which I think Anne’s grandson may like.  And if you make it to the end of the post, you’ll read a confession about me during the preschool years.

Superhero Underpants

Charlies’ Superhero Underpants by Paul Bright and illustrated by Lee Wildish – With the words superhero and underwear in the title, it’s sure to be a hit.


Kapow! by George O’Connor – This book provides a fun way to practice sounding out words.  With words like KAPOW!  FWOOSH! ROAR!  BWAHAHAHA! KER-RASH!  THOOM THOOM THOOM!

Superhero ABC

Superhero ABC by Bob McLeod –  Superheroes are created for every letter of the alphabet.  I feel certain the entry for U “Upside-Down Man” will appeal to this reluctant reader.

Superhero Joe

Superhero Joe and The Creature Next Door by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman and drawn by Ron Barrett – A funny story about neighbors moving away and a “creature” moving next door. Extra points to the person who can name the book the picture showing the movers from Break-It Brothers Moving picture alludes to.

Traction Man

Traction Man – A series of books by Mini Grey.  These books Traction Man is Here, Traction Man Meets Turbodog and Traction Man and the Beach Odyssey are action packed.


Three Little Aliens and The Big Bad Robot by Margaret McNamara and illustrated by Mark Fearing


Doodleday by Ross Collins


If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen


Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri


Wacky Wednesday by Theo LeSieg


The Case of the Missing Donut by Alison McGhee and illustrated by Isabel Roxas


Even Monsters Need Haircuts by Matthew McElliogott


Open Very Carefully by

Robot Zombie Frankenstein
Robot Zombie Frankenstein by Annette Simon


Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown


Eleven Experiments That Failed by Jenny Offill and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter



The Gruffaloe by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler


The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems


A confession for those of you who read to the end of this post.  I would have made recommendations no matter what.  But I went above and beyond because I had a crush on her son when I was a preschooler.  I kept he and the other John’s valentine taped to my dresser mirror for until the next Valentine’s Day.  Can you guess which ones are named John in the picture below? What about which girl is me?  I’ll give you a hint.  I’m not wearing a long dress.


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