Beginning Reading Books: A List of Books for Early Readers

When children are beginning to read, it's important that they read books at an appropriate comprehension level. If books are too hard, kids might get frustrated and stop reading. If books are too easy, they may become bored. Follow these suggestions to help your child become excited about learning to read.

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Where to Find Books for Your New Reader

Look for beginning reading books at your local library or bookstore; they may even have special sections devoted to early readers. Librarians can help recommend popular titles or series, and your child's teacher may have specific suggestions for age-appropriate books. Many companies sell reading books for beginners at various levels.

When your son or daughter is just beginning to read, try to select books at the lowest level, and as these books become easier, you can introduce books at higher levels. Once your child has read the most advanced books for beginning readers, he or she can move on to chapter books.

Book List for Beginning Readers

1. Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish

For nearly 50 years, young readers have enjoyed the story of Amelia Bedelia, the silly maid who performs all of her duties literally. Dust the shelf? Amelia Bedelia has it covered when she adds dust to the shelf instead of removing it. The illustrations in the book are engaging for your child, while the simple text and humorous antics make the book fun for all ages.

2. Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman

Young readers understand the bond between parent and child, which is illustrated by a baby bird's search for his mother in this classic tale. From a hen to a steam shovel, the baby bird desperately seeks to find his mother by repeatedly asking, 'Are you my mother?' The repetition and rhythm combined with short sentences make this book optimal for first-time readers.

3. Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems

This growing series of books for early readers is something you can share with your child. The friendship between these two opposite characters provides the opportunity for you to read out loud to your child, emphasizing the funny voices and dialogue, or to let your child read aloud to you. The silliness of the pig and seriousness of Gerald combined with easy-to-read phrasing make these stories ideal for beginners.

4. Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel

Tales of true friendship, the five short stories in this book teach early readers how people should treat one another. The award-winning illustrations and simple wording make it a fun read for you and your child to work on together or individually.

5. Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! by Grace Lin

Many people make the mistake of believing that identical twins are identical in personality, but this collection of short stories teaches children about two Chinese-American sisters who look alike but differ greatly. The vocabulary, illustrations and humor injected into these stories make it both enjoyable and educational for young readers.

6. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

Your son or daughter can enjoy this famous book about a mischievous cat performing tricks to amuse a brother and sister during a rainy day at home. The rhyming story includes funny scenarios, drawn in 2-page spreads for your child's amusement. The large font and rhymes make it a good text for beginning readers.

7. The Very Fairy Princess by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton

Many little girls want to be princesses, and the protagonist in this story is no different. Geraldine is a fairy princess on the inside, even though her sometimes practical attire of sneakers and scabbed knees don't always show it. Your child can learn about the importance of self-esteem and laugh with the character as she goes through her day-to-day adventures.

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