Is your kiddo ready to start reading? Each kid is ready in their own time, but sharing simple text with lots of repetition can help develop their literacy skills. The world of early readers can be a complex place with leveling (set by publishers), movie/franchise tie-ins (with complicated words), and lots of very little spines.
Here are our suggestions of great first books to share with your kid. Some they might be able to read or “read” on their own. There are some simple things you can do like pointing out repeating words, familiar letters, and other little letter/word games to engage your child in act of reading. More than anything, the best thing to do is make sure that reading is fun! Share books you both enjoy and stop when the interest, attention or patience is gone. Have fun!
With over 50 titles, this series offers a great place for readers to begin. Books are written by different authors and offer different styles, but are all in a large picture book format with simple and repetitive text.
Chances are you have heard of these – collections of 10 short books at various levels. Super simple illustrations focus on learning sight words and sounds, not necessarily exciting plot lines. However, some families really love the simplicity and kids love the feeling of mastering so many books at a time.
There are so many amazing Mo Willems titles and most of them are great for beginning readers. Of special note though are the Elephant & Piggie books (enjoyed by all ages!), which have humor, repetition, and clear speech, and the Cat the Cat books, which have limited text and good word repetition.
Flip-a-Word series by Harriet Ziefert
Such an effective idea – start with a base word and then change the beginning letter. Sound it out for a funny combination of words. This series has been a hit for beginning readers.
Frog and Dog books by Janee Trasler
This is a new series with more pages than a traditional early reader. Heavily illustrated and super funny, each book introduces a few new words and then plays with them.
Ed & Fred books by Kevin Bolger
Another new series, this one lays out the 50+ sight words your child will encounter. Great color illustrations and humor make this a fun pick to read together.
Non Fiction…Why Not?!
Have a kiddo who likes animals, science and nature? Try a non-fiction early reader to grab their attention. With simple sentences and striking photography these titles can inspire readers to read and learn more.
National Geographic Kids Pre-Readers / Some of these titles are also available with an accompanying CD of the text being read.
Bullfrog Books by Jump
Spot by Amicus Publishing
Penguin Young Readers series
With different authors, including some recognizable characters like Ladybudy Girl, each page has between 3-5 words and focuses on repetition.