To pick reading books appropriate for first grade, find a book that matches the child's vocabulary, reading level and interests. Even children in the same grade can have very different reading abilities. Many children's book publishers and distributors, such as Scholastic, include an age range or level on their books.
According to Scholastic, parents of first grade children should choose books of poetry and simple books to begin. This is usually the age where children develop their own interests in books and want to pick them out themselves. Picking books the child like makes the book more interesting to the child and may help them develop a stronger interest in reading.
Books for first graders should be short (less than 50 pages) and contain pictures on each page, as most first graders cannot handle longer chapter books. Because these books are so short, you can usually read almost all of them quickly at the bookstore or library to ensure the vocabulary and content is appropriate for your child. The website SmartFirstGraders.com contains lists of books appropriate for children in first grade and also agrees that poetry, or books with a rhythm or "pulse," are great for teaching kids to read. They go onto suggest alphabet books and even wordless books for further developing the child's reading ability and vocabulary.