I believe in the power of shared reading. We read a big book every week of the school year, many by one of our favorite authors, Joy Cowley. The text in these books is often repetitive and anchored with solid sight words. They inspire great classroom books. I simply borrow the basic repetitive pattern, and a book is born.
Yuck Soup by Joy Cowley is a beginning of the year favorite. Each page says, "In go some _____." Here are a few pages from our version. By the way, cut-up sentences are great tools to use with classroom books. They help with one-to-one match, sight words, spacing, etc.
Joy Cowley's I Can Jump has a nice repetitive pattern as well. Our book uses the same pattern, and each child wrote about what they can do, specifically what they're an expert at. (Yes, you're only in first grade, but you are an expert in something already.)
Let's Have a Swim is another good example of the use of repetition. Thanks again to Joy Cowley.
Finally there's Look by Jillian Cutting. Often times kids will draw their own illustrations, but I do enjoy mixing it up with photographs. I also enjoy changing the sizes of books. It spices things up. This book is pretty small. Each page is identical except for the child's name and picture.
So, the moral of this tale is that shared reading is a great avenue for the creation of classroom books, even without access to these particular ones. There's often something that can be pulled out of a big book or shared reading experience that can turn into a book kids will love to read because it's all about them.