Friday, January 28, 2011

Books for Your Beginning Readers

Hi there! So I LOVE when I get questions from readers! We got a question saying "What books do you recommend for a beginning reader?"....So after much thought and searching....I came up with THIS list and a few pointers when selecting books for your new reader.

Questions to think about when choosing a book for your new reader:

1. What does the book look like?
Look for books with 20 pages or less (if you are reading it to her) or 20 words total or less (is she is independently reading it), that have illustrations AND text on each page. Sequential readers are a great option to start with. These books are labeled with "levels" such as "level 1" or "level A". A level 1  or level A book is generally for readers ages 3 to 6 and a level 2 or level B book is generally appropriate for children ages 4 to 8.
(Notice the level 1 on the upper right side of the cover).
2. Is the vocabulary appropriate for your new reader?
Skim through the book and look at the words. Are they too big or are they "foreign" in your child's daily vocabulary? It is great to have a few words that are new that can challenge your child; however, we DO NOT want to frustrate your child. Have your child read the first page or two to you and if she can read it fluently (with less than a few mistakes) then it is a great fit for her. However, if she can't get through the first sentence with out you helping her with almost every word, then it's too hard.
3. Will your child enjoy it?
You don't want to find a book just because it is on the perfect level but not very enjoyable. A key aspect of learning to love to read, is finding books your reader LOVES. This will keep him engaged and want to CONTINUE to read....which is our goal!

Also, find stories your child can relate to: going to school, meeting new friends, etc. Rhyming and rhythmic stories are engaging too.

Now for the LIST:
Any of the "I Can Read" books are a MUST when choosing books for your beginner reader. Some of the series include: Frog and Toad (my FAVORITE!!), Amelia Badelia, Dr. Seuss, Fancy Nancy, and Little Bear.
And the list continues....These are books both you and your little one can read together or to each other. Some books will be too difficult, but they are VERY engaging. It is just as important for YOU to read to your new reader as it is for your child to read to you. 

Have fun with these!

(Pictures and summaries taken from Scholastic).

Butterfly House

by Eve Bunting
After she saves a black creature from a greedy jay, a girl decides to raise it. With the help of her grandfather, the girl makes a home for the creature until it turns into a butterfly and must be set...


by Kay Thompson
Eloise lives at The Plaza Hotel on the top floor with her Nanny while her mother is away. She is very busy with her daily activities, although the hotel staff sometimes wishes she would do something else.
Eloise series

Kitten's First Full Moon

by Kevin Henkes
From one of the most celebrated and beloved picture book creators working in the field today comes a memorable new character and a suspenseful adventure just right for the very youngest. It is Kitten's...

Miss Nelson Is Missing

by Harry Allard
The unruly students in room 207 learn their lesson when a stern new teacher arrives.
Miss Nelson series

No, David!

by David Shannon
Five-year-old David is told "No" over and over again for the mischievous things he does. Very humorous pictures make this Caldecott Honor book a delight for young readers who always hear these...
No, David! series

Olivia Counts

by Ian Falconer
Count along with Olivia! Toddlers will join everyone's favorite piglet as they learn to count from one to ten.
Olivia series

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs

by Jon Scieszka
An irresistible "revisionist" retelling of the traditional tale will become a classroom hit. "Alexander T. Wolf endeavors to set the record straight, and he does an admirable job of it."...

And to continue this lovely list....

Recommended Authors: (Some of this list was also taken from Scholastic).
Frank Asch
Norman Bridwell (Clifford Books)
Marc Tolon Brown (Arthur Books)
Jan Brett
Eric Carle
Nancy Carlson
Caron Cohen (How Many Fish)
Donald Crews (Ten Black Dots / School Bus / Freight Train / Rain / Truck)
Doreen Cronin (Giggle, Giggle, Quack / Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type)
Jamie Lee Curtis (Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods / It's Hard to Be Five)
Dom Deluise (Charlie the Caterpillar)
Lois Ehlert (Growing Vegetable Soup / Waiting for Wings / Planting a Rainbow)
Don Freeman (Corduroy Books)
Gail Gibbons (Apples / Grizzly Bears / Bats / Panda Bears)
Kevin Henkes (Wemberly Worried / Owen / Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse)
Amy Hest (Off to School Baby Duck / In the Rain with Baby Duck)
Tana Hoban
Pat Hutchins
Jack Ezra Keats (The Snowy Day / A Letter to Amy / Dreams / Pet Show / Whislte for Willie)
Keiko Kauza "The Wolf's Chicken Stew" (GoodReads rating)
Robert Kraus (Whose Mouse Are You? & Spider's First Day at School)
Helen Lester (Tacky the Penguin)
Bill Martin
Mercer Mayer
Al Perkins (The Nose Book / The Digging-est Dog)
Anne Rockwell (Apples and Pumpkins / Clouds / Career Day)
Marilyn Sadler (It's Not Easy Being a Bunny / Honey Bunny Funny)
Shel Silversteen (The Giving Tree, Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic)
Peter Spier
Dr. Seuss books
Rosemary Wells (Max & Ruby, and Bunny)
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Mo Willems Pigeon books
Audrey Wood
Author of the Month

Whew! That was a long list! I hope you can use these authors/titles to help build your at-home library. 

Please let us know if you have any more questions! We sure LOVE hearing from you!!!


megwrites said...

Wow! Awesome book recommendations! The Max and Ruby books are the first books that got my four year old interested in reading. Right now all of my kids are finding the No, David books hilarious. We've read lots of these, but I'm excited to check out the ones we haven't read yet!

Ashley said...

Thank you so much for this list. I'm so happy I found this blog. Thank you for creating it!

teacher2mom said...

Thank you Ashley and Meg! Meg, I love that your family reads so much!! That makes my teacher heart so so happy. :) Also, thanks to both of you for your support. We really appreciate it!

shel said...

thank you so much for putting this post/list together!

Evelyn said...

I own "The Fat Cat on the Mat" my kids love it!! They think its funny and I love to see their smiles on their faces. Thank you for the book list it will help me a lot out on what to pick to read to my kids.

Matthew and Shanna said...

What a great list! Thanks! I just finished reading a book that you might be interested in reading. It is called The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. It is wonderful for educators and parents and really instills the importance of reading to babies and children of all ages!

teacher2mom said...

Shanna, thanks so much for the tip! Maybe I can borrow it from you sometime! It sounds like it would be a perfect book to spotlight on this blog!