All children just beginning to read benefit from using several approaches. The phonics method assigns a sound to each letter; children may also memorize words (called sight words) that cannot be sounded out easily. Some children will also recognize and "read" words by using the illustrations as clues. Also, the content of the story may sometimes lead to the recognition of new words. Another helpful way to make reading easier is to look at a vocabulary list before reading so that when the word appears in the text it may be recognized. For some, this might help to make reading smoother instead of a stop/start-again routine. By using various techniques or a combination of them, most children and their parents will find learning to read a positive and rewarding adventure.
The books on the following lists have limited vocabularies and some have word lists in the back of the book. These books are appropriate for children just beginning to read independently. Many authors listed have more titles suitable for this reading level.
Click here for the latest pdf version of all suggested titles.
New Books for Beginner Readers
Some of these books can be READ BY a beginner reader, others are good for READING ALOUD TO a beginner reader.
Reading Level: Ages 4 - 6
Penelope Hippo is very excited about her first day of school, until her older, jaded friend, Tiny Mouse, helps her pick out what to wear, bring and eat to make sure she conforms on that special day.
Sam is excited about his new neighbors, especially when he overhears someone yelling "Charlie, don't forget your baseball mitt!"
Sam runs over to meet his new neighbors, Charlie (short for Charlene, but never call her that) and Sam Too, Charlie's little sister. The three new friends have a lot in common other than their names and their love of baseball and hamentaschen.
In this fun beginning chapter book, play baseball, celebrate Purim, sneeze on a sick day, and much more with new friends Sam and Charlie (and Sam Too!).
For other early chapter books about good friends, try:
Pinky and Rex by James Howe (series)
Iris and Walter by Elissa Hadden Guest (series)
Mimi and Mati to the Rescue: Roger the Rat is on the Loose! by Brooke Smith
Bink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee
Nugget, a minnow, does everything with his best friend Fang. Everything except go to Minnow School. Sharks aren't allowed at Minnow School, and Fang is a shark.
At Minnow School, Nugget learns all about how terrible and horrible and awful and just plain bad sharks are. Nugget thought that his friend Fang, a shark, wasn't any of those things - he is a great friend... but his teachers and his homework wouldn't be wrong, would it?