One of the books recommended by Melissa Taylor in the previous post for 5 and 6 year olds is Frank Viva’s A Trip To The Bottom Of the World With Mouse. It has been sitting on my bookshelf for months, so it is about time to get around to it. Mouse and his explorer friend are on a ship headed to Antarctica. The seas are rough and Mouse would like to turn around and go back home, but the trip becomes worth it when they get to see penguins, whales and swim in the warm water of a submerged volcano. The book is based on a trip the author took to Antarctica (he is Mouse). You can read more about it and see some pictures of the trip here.
What makes this a terrific book for beginning readers is large, well-spaced type, few words on a page, repetition and pairing words with pictures. Not to mention, it is a good story.
The Sonoma County Library has a few copies.