These range from early readers (think Frog and Toad) to early chapter books that are often read to the very young or read independently by newly independent readers. These are simpler stories than the children’s novels. Early Readers are SO important for kids even though they don’t stay in this “phase” for long–these are some of the first books they will remember! It’s important to remember that most early readers published today are aimed for the 5-8 year old bracket; lots of kids start reading earlier or later than that, but plots will follow the typical interests of this age group. The lines below are very blurry; let your child read from any bracket if they can and want to! Kids stay in the earliest bracket a very short time and often rapidly move from the third into chapter books; then they’re off! (The major award–like the Newbery or Caldecott–for this type of book is the Geisel Award. We’ll eventually have those award winners all reviewed, so keep coming back.)
Easiest/Earliest (short vowels, fewest words, etc.)
Meisel, Paul. See Me Run. 2011. Early Reader. Geisel Honor.
Seuss: Hop on Pop, Cat in the Hat, One Fish, Two Fish . “Beginner Books.”
Willems, Mo. Elephant and Piggie Series. 2000’s. Early Reader. Geisel-winning series.
Mid-Range (most fall into this category)
Lin, Grace. Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same. 2010. Early Reader. Geisel Honor.
Lobel, Arnold. Frog and Toad Series. Early Reader.
Marshall, James. George and Martha Series. Early Reader.
Minarik, Else Holemelund. Little Bear Series. Early Reader.
Parrish, Peggy. Amelia Bedelia. Early Reader.
Quackenbush, Robert. Piet Potter’s First Case. 1980. Early Reader.
Rylant, Cynthia. Henry and Mudge Series. Early Reader. Geisel-winning series.
Rylant, Cynthia. Annie and Snowball Series. Early Reader.
Rylant, Cynthia. Mr. Putter and Tabby Series. Early Reader.
Rylant, Cynthia. Poppleton. Early Reader.
Rylant, Cynthia. High Rise Private Eyes. Early Reader.
Silverman, Erica. Betsy Lewin, illustrator. Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa series. Early Reader. Geisel-winning.
Yee, Herbert Wong. Mouse and Mole series. Early Reader.
“Hardest” (very short time here–the jump to the early chapter books is more of a side step)
Baker, Keith. Mr. and Mrs. Green Series. 2000’s. Early Reader.
DiCamillo, Kate and Alison McGhee. Bink and Gollie. 2010. Early chapter book series. (May be shelved with picture books, though); see also Bink and Gollie: Two for One. 2012
Howe, James. Houndsley and Catina. 2006. Early Reader.
Early Chapter Books (often illustrated)
Adderson, Caroline. Jasper John Dooley: Left Behind. 2013. Early chapter book series.
Atinuke. Anna Hibiscus. 2010. Early chapter book series.
Atinuke. The No. 1 Car Spotter. 2011. Early chapter book series.
DiCamillo, Kate. Mercy Watson Series. 2000’s. Early chapter book series. Geisel-winning series.
Jules, Jacqueline, author. Freddie Ramos Makes a Splash! 2012. Early chapter book series.
McKay, Hilary. Lulu and the Cat in the Bag. 2013. Early chapter book series.
McKay, Hilary. Lulu and the Dog from the Sea. 2011. Early chapter book series.
McKay, Hilary. Lulu and the Duck in the Park. 2012. Early chapter book series.
Ransom, Candice. Iva Honeysuckle Met Her Match. 2013. Early chapter book series.
Schneider, Josh. Tales for Picky Eaters. 2011. Early chapter book. Geisel Winner.
Sheth, Kashmira. The No-Dogs Allowed Rule. 2012. Early chapter book.
Voake, Steve. Daisy Dawson is on Her Way. 2007. Early Chapter Book.
Geisel Award Analysis, 2012 (Tales of a Picky Eater, See Me Run, and I Broke My Trunk )
Literary Favorites: Beginning Readers
Person + Pet Books (includes Danny and the Dinosaur, Henry and Mudge, etc.)
Single Protagonis/Main Character Easy Readers (includes Amelia Bedelia, Curious George, and others)