Books for early readers

I'm always trying to find books that are good for kids who have just started reading, are desperate to read on their own, but can't cope with anything too difficult.  I like to find books that have short sentences, not many words to a page, illustrations and only a few complex words for them to have to work out on their own.

I've recently found these books by Sally Rippin called the 'Billie B. Brown' series which seem to fit my criteria.  They are for girls, but the girl is a tomboy who has friends who are boys.  They are a nice alternative to the painful (yet, so loved) Rainbow Magic books (which, as an aside, were enormously helpful in getting my girls going with their reading).

Darcey Bussell's 'Magic Ballerina' series are a similar reading level to the Rainbow Fairy books (a step above Billie B. Brown) and another alternative to the fairy books.

For the boys, some series that I like are Louis Sacher's 'Marvin Redpost' series, 'Zac Power' and 'Flat Stanley'.

In saying that these are 'girls' and 'boys' books I don't think it matters all that much.  My theory is to keep finding books that suit their reading level and just keep trying them out until they find what they like.

By the way, take an early reader to the library and let them choose whatever they like.  If the book is too hard but they are fascinated by the content, let them have a go.  It's amazing how motivating the desire to find out about something for themselves is.  This is especially the case when they are starting to read.

If your daughter wants to read every single fairy book, even though they have the same plot line - just let them.  If your son will only read books on building bridges - just keep searching until there are none left for him to read.  Practicing is the key to gaining confidence with reading.

There is a lot of research that shows that a key component of high literacy levels is providing access to books.  So either buy books or borrow them but keep them always available - access is crucial.

So I hope that you are all giving your kids books for Christmas (or at least visiting your local public library!).  Plus (bonus parenting incentive), Reading Kids = Quiet Kids!


Sarah said…
One of my cousin's friends, who is a primary teacher, showed me a book which moved her to tears. I cried too when I read it. It's called 'Pearl Versus the World' by Sally Murphy Suitable for mid to upper primary students though rather than little kids.
Karen said…
We saw that motivation this year with Liam (he'll be six on New Year's Eve). He was desperate to read Beast Quest books like his big brother. We started him off in around Term 3 on the Boy vs Beast series and although it was a bit tricky at first, he managed to get through a couple of them. Now he's progressed onto Famous Five and he's also starting a couple of the Beast Quest series as well.
I just love our library, I hardly buy any books anymore other than Christian ones because we can usually get nearly every book we want to read there with pretty minimal waiting times.
Jenny said…
Yes Karen - nothing like wanting to be like an older sibling to get motivated!
Deb L said…
Ha hah! We just grabbed three of the Billie B series at our library. We were the very first to get off the shelving cart! Thanks for the recommendation.

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