Best Books for Beginner Readers

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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.

Best Books for Beginner Readers

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:

  • Mastering their sight words.
  • Starting to decode unfamiliar words by breaking up the text into smaller parts.
  • Building their fluency.
  • Going back to the word and self-correcting when what they are reading does not make sense.

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

  1. 1
    Let your child pick a book that interests them – trains, trucks, unicorns, animals, fairies it does not matter as long as your child loves them.
  2. 2
    Let 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.
  3. 3
    After 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.

30 Best Books for Beginner Readers

About the Book: Join everyone's favourite robot, Otto, on his many adventures. This box set consists of 6 titles:

  • See Otto
  • See Pip Point
  • Go, Otto, Go!
  • Swing, Otto, Swing!
  • See Santa Nap
  • Ride, Otto, Ride!

Star Rating: 4.8 out of 5 

About the Book: Your child will never tire of reading these stories over and over, which is excellent for building fluency skills. This unique bind-up collection includes five stories:

  • Today I Will Fly!
  • Watch Me Throw the Ball!
  • Can I Play Too?
  • Let's Go For a Drive!
  • I Really Like Slop!

Star Rating: 4.9 out of 5 

About the Book: With only three cookies and four friends, how will Hippo, Croc and Squirrels make sure everyone gets their equal share.  

Star Rating: 4.8 out of 5 

About the Book: In this book about growing up fast. Walt is concerned that he is not the anything-est. All his friends are the something-est, that is until he discovers something special of his own.

Star Rating: 4.8 out of 5 

About the Book: This award-winning book is a fun and beautifully illustrated story about four friends, best-laid plans and their secret to attracting the birdie.

Star Rating: 4.7 out of 5 

About the Book: Your child will love this book about the adventures of P.J Funny Bunny as he tries to live with a variety of animals.

Star Rating: 4.8 out of 5 

About the Book: An adorable rhyming book about Sister and Brother Bear who enjoy a fun-filled, windy day of kite flying. 

Star Rating: 4.7 out of 5 

About the Book: A lovely story the relationship between a Granddaughter and Grandma. They have lots of fun together and enjoy spending time with each other. 

Star Rating: 4.9 out of 5 

About the Book: If you read the Mercy Watson books with your child, they will love this prequel. This book tells the story of how a little piglet arrives on the front door of Mr and Mrs Watson and the love and chaos this unexpected arrival brings.

Star Rating: 4.8 out of 5 

About the Book: A funny, touching story about Arfy, the dog who is looking for his forever home. The story is told through a series of letters written by Arfy.

Star Rating: 4.9 out of 5 

About the Book: There are 37 books in this beloved series about Llama Llama. Llama Llama is a perfect book for your beginner reader as he is also learning to read and cannot wait to show Mama Llama all that he has learnt.

Star Rating: 4.9 out of 5 

About the Book: A story about busy dogs of all shapes, sizes and colours, this book will be a favourite with your child. The repetition in this book will also make them laugh out loud.

Star Rating: 4.8 out of 5 

About the Book: This book will encourage your child to read on their own with simple words and excellent illustrations. The story is about three friends who practise balancing apples on their heads.

Star Rating: 4.8 out of 5 

About the Book: This book hilariously explores simple concepts such as colours, number and opposites. With zany pictures and riotous rhymes like ‘winking Yinks that drink pink ink’, your child will love reading this book.

Star Rating: 4.9 out of 5 

About the Book: If your child loves space, then this is a book for them. Your child will be taken on a wile adventure to visit the planets of the solar system.

Star Rating: 4.8 out of 5 

About the Book: The simple sentences like 'Cat wants a snack.' and superb illustrations make this a perfect book for beginner readers. 

Star Rating: 4.4 out of 5 

About the Book: In this book, a penguin tells humans what it is like to be a penguin. Do you know how cold it is in Antarctica or how difficult it is to find your mom in a massive crowd of identical penguins?

Star Rating: 4.6 out of 5 

About the Book: With 25 titles to choose from, there is something for every child is this big collection of storybooks. Included is a tip-filled parent guide, making this pack great value.

Star Rating: 4.7 out of 5 

About the Book: This is a bestselling counting book that your young trick-or-treater will love. Will the ghosts be able to get their house back from the mean witch before Halloween Night?

Star Rating: 4.9 out of 5 

About the Book: When Pigeon finds a hotdog, he cannot wait to eat the entire thing, but he is not the only one who wants to eat it. Will, the sly duckling who wants a bit be the cleverer bird?

Star Rating: 4.9 out of 5 

About the Book: A classic illustrated book about a baby bird’s journey to find his mother. Your child will love following the baby bird as he asks everyone he meets “Are You My Mother?’

Star Rating: 4.8 out of 5 

About the Book: There are eight books within The Nocturnals series. This a lovely story about friendship and sharing that your child will love.

Star Rating: 4.6 out of 5 

About the Book: Ollie, who is in second grade, loves to cook. When a famous chef comes to visit Ollie is so excited, now if only he can decide what to cook.

Star Rating: 4.8 out of 5 

About the Book: Uni, the Unicorn goes to her first sleepover, but she does not know any of the magical games. Can Uni find a way to contribute to the fun?

Star Rating: 4.8 out of 5 

About the Book: A perfect book for animal lovers. With dogs, cats, grooming and mayhem, this story with rhyming text and lively illustrations will be a hit with your child.

Star Rating: 4.8 out of 5 

About the Book: The Pony Scout series is perfect for horse lovers. In this story, Meg discovers that there is a lot she does not know about camping – but she has lots of fun learning.

Star Rating: 4.8 out of 5 

About the Book: Splat the Cat is so excited about his new job as a newspaper cat. But getting up early, keeping track of the papers and delivering to all the homes is not as easy as it looks. Can Splat figure out how to deliver papers like a pro?

Star Rating: 4.8 out of 5 

About the Book: Pig and Fox are back in this silly three-part story. Fox decides to play a prank on Pig by giving him a pair of stinky socks, but what happens when Fox’s prank does not go according to plan?

Star Rating: 4.8 out of 5 

About the Book: This is a great non-fiction book. Filled with amazing photos and facts – did you know some sharks glow in the dark? If your child loves learning new and interesting facts, then this will be an excellent book for them.

Star Rating: 4.8 out of 5 

About the Book: There are five stories in this box set which beginner readers will love. Titles include:

  • Flat Stanley and the Haunted House
  • Monster School: First Day Frights
  • In A Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories
  • Happy Haunting, Amelia Bedelia
  • Lulu Goes to Witch School

Star Rating: 4.7 out of 5 

It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own.

-Arthur Conan Doyle

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