After years of reading picture and chapter books aloud with your child, at some point, they will become independent readers who are ready for beginner readers. Selecting the best books for beginner readers can be confusing.
Publishers have different systems for attributing the ‘level’ of the book. One publisher’s ‘level’ may be more challenging than the same ‘level’ of another publisher. Regardless of the publisher, as the level numbers progress so does the complexity of the text.
What are Beginner Reader Books?Beginner readers are known, often interchangeably by different names – early readers, emerging readers, beginning readers, easy readers or even kindergarten books. Beginner readers are different from beginner chapter books. Beginner readers have large text, short sentences and lots of illustrations. They also have words that are relatively simple to decode and a lot of repetition.
Who are Beginner Reader Books for?
Beginner Readers are books for children who are decoding words, figuring out sight words, consonant/vowel/consonant words, bossy r words and magic e words.
Not sure what bossy r words are? The easiest way to explain them is when the letter 'r' is after a vowel; then the vowel is forced to change its sound. Hence the bossy 'r'. For example, the word 'cat' vs 'cart', adding the letter 'r' changes the sound of the 'a'.
Not sure what magic e words are? When the letter 'e' is at the end of the word, it is typically silent, and this magic 'e' tells the preceding or first vowel to say its name (long sound) as opposed to its phonetic sound. For example: 'ape' – the 'e' is silent, and the 'a' is said like the name, not the sound.
How do I know if my Child is Ready for Beginner Readers?
If your child is:
Choosing the Best Books for Beginner Readers
Listening to your child read for the 1st time is fantastic. When your child successfully reads a book out loud on their own, they have so much pride and confidence. Unfortunately, if a book is too difficult or uninteresting, then your child will likely struggle through the book, which is frustrating for them.
It is essential when choosing the best book for beginner readers that they are at the appropriate level. The best books for beginner readers are short story formats with easy-to-read text and illustrations on every page. Designed to boost your child's reading confidence and fluency, books with humour and repetition are also ideal.
Tips for Choosing the Best Books for Beginner Readers
- 1Let your child pick a book that interests them – trains, trucks, unicorns, animals, fairies it does not matter as long as your child loves them.
- 2Let your child read the 1st page. If your child cannot read the 1st five words on their own, the book is probably not a good fit, so consider choosing a different book.
- 3After reading the 1st page ask your child, some questions about what they have read. If they cannot answer the questions, then they have not comprehended what they have read. Your child is focusing so much on reading the words that they are losing the storyline.
30 Best Books for Beginner Readers
Picking the best books for beginner readers can be tricky. One of the biggest challenges is because the stories are short and straightforward; they can often be boring. The problem is that your child may quickly become disinterested in reading and start to view reading as a chore.
The recommended books are books that the Cool Kids Hub team have read with our children. Books that their children enjoyed and kept going back to time and time again. The good thing about this is the more your child reads the same book, the better their fluency will become and the more confident they will become as readers.
It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own.
-Arthur Conan Doyle