By Jean Kuo Lee for bookriot.com
I remember well the transition from picture books to early chapter books in my daughter’s reading life. After years of reading aloud to her, we had both grown to love snuggling together on the couch with a feast of picture books to enjoy. The stories and illustrations of the best picture books always captivated her, holding her normally squirrely attention for an impressively long time.
Now that she’s in middle school, she’s an incurable bookworm. I really do believe I have early chapter books (and their authors) to thank for that. While picture books are meant to be read aloud by adults to children, early chapter books are designed for children to accomplish the task all on their own. We still snuggled — still read the early chapter books together — except now she did most of the reading aloud. Eventually we moved up from these beginner readers to heftier chapter books until I found that she had gotten the knack and no longer needed me.
Below I’ve put together a list of early chapter books for Kindergarten to 3rd Grade, from classics to newer titles. Learning to read is so enjoyable if we let the child’s interest lead the way. Hopefully, your beginning reader can find something here to latch onto. Because many of these books are published in a series, the child can stick with the same characters through their journey of learning to read.
DIARY OF A WORM, TEACHER’S PET (I CAN READ! LEVEL 1) BY DOREEN CRONIN, ILLUSTRATED BY HARRY BLISS
If your child loved the picture book series Diary of a Worm, Diary of a Fly, and Diary of a Spider, this level 1 reader is perfect. They’ll laugh out loud as they sound out words and sentences because life from the perspective of a worm is just too funny.
GIGI AND OJIJI (I CAN READ! LEVEL 3) BY MELISSA IWAI
This book’s main character is a biracial 6-year-old who learns about her Japanese culture from her grandfather.
Read more here.
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