A little girl finds a perfect tutu for her unicorn, but when the unicorn won’t stop trying to accessorize her new tutu, things get a bit out of hand. This is a fun and colorful book which is filled with laugh-out-loud hilarity that younger readers are sure to love. This book is part of the wider “Never let a unicorn…” series and is ideal for getting reluctant readers hooked on books.
14. The Night Dragon by Naomi Howarth
The beautiful illustrations in this story help to tell the tale of Maud the dragon who is bullied by the other dragons. She stays by herself in her cave, but her friend mouse encourages her to fly and be herself. The Night Dragon is a lovely story about friendship where Maud learns that it’s ok to be a little bit different and that what makes her different is what makes her herself.
15. Lift the flap: Fairy Tales by Roger Priddy
Find all the favorite fairy tales in this book such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and Little Red Riding Hood. The lift-the-flap element of this book makes the book fun and interactive for younger readers, encouraging them to get involved.
16. There Is No Dragon In This Story by Lou Carter
This is a charming tale of a dragon who can’t find his place in any of the other fairy tales. He wants to be a hero, but no one wants a villainous dragon in their story! He eventually finds himself needing to become the hero and saves the day for everyone. This story is a heartwarming tale of finding where you belong and how you can help others.
18. Rapunzel by Chloe Perkins
This book is a fresh take on the classic fairy tale of Rapunzel, set in India. The story is retold with vibrant illustrations and the new multicultural take is sure to excite many children in your classroom. Representation matters and the ‘Once Upon a World’ series has ensured that their fairy tales are for everyone.
19. The Secret Life of Leprechauns by Luna James
This book is a wonderful introduction to leprechauns for little readers and a perfect reading pick for St Patrick’s Day! There are questions throughout the book to keep readers engaged with little counting tasks which add an element of interaction to this book to make it even more of a fun read.
20. Fairy Tales: A Beautiful Collection of Favorite Fairy Tales by Parragon Books
This beautiful book has a collection of eight classic fairy tale favorites such as Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Hansel and Gretel, The Gingerbread Man, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and Cinderella. With beautiful illustrations, this book is a must-have addition to any children’s library!
Fantasy Books for First and Second Grade
21. How to Catch a Unicorn by Adam Wallace
This book from the ‘How to Catch…’ series has lots of exciting ways to keep young readers engaged. The STEAM themes of the traps set are easy to expand on after reading, getting children to re-create traps or come up with their own. There is also an i-spy element to the book with hidden unicorns throughout to find.
22. Backyard Fairies by Pheobe Wahl
This book is an intricately illustrated book detailing the secret, hidden world of fairies. The fairies are always just out of sight for the girl in the book, however, the reader is able to see them. Backyard Fairies is beautifully illustrated and teaches children that magic is all around whether they can see it or not.
23. The Princess and the Pea by Rachel Isadora
A prince is looking for a princess to marry and has a difficult task ahead of him to decide who. This fresh spin on a classic fairy tale, with an African setting and featuring characters in traditional dress, body paint, and make-up is an important representation that is often lacking in traditional fairy tales. Opportunities arise with characters wearing traditional patterned body paint to delve deeper and explore parts of African countries’ cultures.
24. Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn by Shannon Hale
Kitty thinks she might be a unicorn, but when she sees Unicorn, she starts to doubt herself and lose her confidence. This is a cute and compelling story of friendship and identity, which has been brought to life by illustrator LeUyen Pham. This book is one of many written by Shannon Hale and illustrated by LeUyen Pham.
25. Mermaid School by Joanne Stewart Wetzel
This book focuses on starting school as it follows Molly the mermaid on her first day of school. The book details many elements of the first day at school such as making friends, teaching, learning, and storytime. Mermaid School is a great book to start a conversation about that first day of school nerves and talk through any worries.
26. Rise of the Earth Dragon (Dragon Masters #1) by Tracey West
This is the first book in the Dragon Masters series by Tracey West and is a superb introduction to chapter books for younger readers. Eight-year-old Drake is taken by the King’s soldiers and forced to train as a dragon master. He must find out if he has what it takes and what his dragon’s special power is. There are currently 22 books in the Dragon Masters series, which gives plenty of opportunities for children to follow on reading from this book
27. Dragons and Marshmallows (Zoey and Sassafras Book 1) by Asia Citro
This series of STEM-themed books follow Zoey as she encounters various magical animals with problems that must be solved using science. These books are perfect to use alongside science topics with a child-friendly glossary of scientific terms in addition to Zoey modeling how to research and record her findings in a science journal. In total, there are nine books in this series, each with a different STEM theme, so there is bound to be at least one that could link to an upcoming science topic.
28. StoryTime STEM: Folk & Fairy Tales: 10 Favorite Stories With Hands-On Investigations by Immacula A. Rhodes
This book gives children to the opportunity to investigate the science behind some of their favorite fairy tales. Each fairy tale in the book features three STEM activities, with sheets to record findings on. This book is a fun way to introduce science to your classroom with fun stories and easy-to-follow concepts, especially for younger learners who are just being introduced to science.
29. There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed A Knight by Penny Parker Klostermann
This funny story is full of rhymes and is about a dragon who can’t seem to stop eating everything in the kingdom! The book has a broad vocabulary which is perfect for younger readers and has lots of repetition to help them to practice their early reading skills.
30. Invasion of the Unicorns by David Biedrzycki
This charming book for kids is about Secret Agent Bubble07 who is from a race of alien unicorns from space. Bubble07 poses as a soft toy unicorn and infiltrates the home of a little girl to gather information about the human race. Bubble07 learns about life on earth and must make a report to the unicorn’s leader deciding if the unicorns should invade Earth or not.
Fantasy Books for Third and Fourth Grade
31. The Book of Mythical Beasts and Magical Creatures by Stephen Krensky