5 Great Picture Books for Teaching Primary Students to Infer (and Comprehension Questions to Go with Them!)

Looking for some great picture books for teaching inference in kindergarten, first, or second grade? In this post, I’m sharing 5 of my favorite books for teaching students to make inferences!

This post has 5 great books for teaching primary students to make inferences! Also included are comprehension questions for Kindergarten, first grade, or second grade.

Photo Credit: SpeedKingz, Shutterstock

Disclosure: Affiliate links are included in this post.

1. Officer Buckle and Gloria (Peggy Rathmann)

This book tells the story of Officer Buckle and his canine pal, Gloria. Officer Buckle tries his best to teach safety tips to the children at Napville school, but he’s not successful until he gets a little help from Gloria.

love using this book to teach inferring, because so much is shown in the illustrations that is not explicitly stated in the text!

Here are some comprehension questions you can use when teaching inferring with this text:

  • What can we infer from this drawing that the author doesn’t tell us with words?
  • What can we infer about how Officer Buckle feels?
  • What can we infer about how Gloria feels?

2. Mango, Abuela, and Me (Meg Medina) 


When Mia’s grandmother comes to live with her family, Mia finds herself in a tricky situation. She wants to communicate with her grandmother, but she doesn’t speak any Spanish (and her grandmother doesn’t speak English). When Mia buys her grandmother a pet parrot, things start to improve!

Try these comprehension questions when teaching inferring with this text:

  • Why do you think Abuela came to live with Mia’s family?
  • How do you think Abuela feels about not being able to communicate with her granddaughter? How do you know?
  • Why was it important to Mia that her grandmother learn English? How do you know?
  • Based upon the ending of the story, what do you think Mia and Abuela’s relationship will be like in the future?

3. In Plain Sight (Richard Jackson)


Sophie’s grandfather lives with her family, but he uses a wheelchair and spends much of his time in his bedroom. When Sophie comes home from school every day, her grandfather seems to have lost something and needs her help. This book is GREAT for teaching inferring, because the author never comes out and explains that Sophie’s grandfather is intentionally “losing” belongings!

Here are some comprehension questions you can try:

  • Why does Grandpa keep losing all of these items?
  • How does Sophie feel about having to find them?
  • What is Grandpa’s life like, since he has to stay in the wheelchair?

4. Kitten’s First Full Moon (Kevin Henkes)

Kitten’s First Full Moon is about a kitten who mistakes the moon for a bowl full of milk. As Kitten chases the moon, she gets herself into all kinds of trouble!

Try out these comprehension questions with Kitten’s First Full Moon:

  • Why is Kitten chasing the moon?
  • Why did Kitten jump into the pond?
  • Who put out the bowl of milk for Kitten?
  • Do you think Kitten will chase the moon in the future? Why/why not?

5. Red (Jan De Kinder)

Red tells the story of a little boy, Tommy, who blushes. His red face draws the attention of the other kids, some of whom are not kind to him.

Comprehension questions to try:

  • Why is Tommy blushing?
  • Why do the kids want him to blush?
  • How does Tommy feel about his blushing?
  • Why doesn’t the girl speak up at first?
  • Why was it important for the kids to stand together against Paul?

Conclusions

I hope you found a new book or two to try out! Please comment if you have any other great books that you love to use to teach inferring. 🙂

Looking for more resources for teaching reading comprehension? Check out my K-1 reading comprehension or 2nd grade reading workshop bundle:

Happy teaching!

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