Learning to read is such an exciting time! One of the best ways to encourage reading skills is to introduce your early readers to great books.
When your child is interested in the material, it’s no longer a struggle to get him to read. It makes sense. Were there books you had to read that you hated in school? I know I had a couple!
Disliked books were SO MUCH HARDER to get through.
So if your child is fighting reading, it could be that you haven’t stumbled upon anything yet that is of interest. Keep trying new books, because you never know when you’ll come across the one that unlocks the love of reading for your child.
Here are 18 great books that I’ve used with beginning readers. They represent a variety of interests and difficulty level, because I’ve learned that children will stretch their reading ability if they’re engaged in the book. These all fall in the early reader (grades K-2) category though.
All of the links in this post will take you to the book on Amazon. They are affiliate links, which means I’ll get a small portion for everything you purchase. But, you won’t pay any more!
1. Fix It Duck
My mom, a former kindergarten teacher, introduced us to this book. Duck likes to fix things. Except, he’s not always very good at it. Like when he decides to use a hammer to fix a window.
It’s a fun book–you just should be sure to keep a close eye on your hammers after reading it! 😀
2. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
We love the pigeon books by Mo Willems! While some of the words will be a challenge for a young reader, the majority of the text will be easy. That makes it a great book to read together!
3. I Like Bugs!
Do any of your kids like bugs? My early readers all do. They’re always catching grasshoppers, making habitats for worms and keeping me informed of how many bugs they’ve found. Kind of grosses me out, but that’s alright. This book is the perfect one for bug lovers!
4. Henry and Mudge
Your child can read all about the many adventures that Henry has with his huge dog Mudge in this series of books. They’re great for readers who want to get to know some friendly characters and stay with them throughout several books.
5. You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You
These books have alternating colors of text. One color is for the parent to read, one for the early reader, and one color means to read the material together.
My kids love sitting and reading these. It’s a great way to model good reading at the same time as you let your child practice reading aloud!
6. Dr. Maggie’s Phonics Readers
These are my favorite phonetic readers. They actually tell a story that makes sense instead of just having random pages of easy to decode words. I highly recommend them as first books!
7. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
The repetitive pattern and beautiful pictures make this book engaging for early readers. It’s a great way to practice sight words such as do, you, and see.
8. Go Dog, Go
This was one of my favorites as a kid. My mom hated it! Now my kids love it, and I love to hear them read it. It’s one of the first they can read aloud to me.
They also like to read it to Grandma, because she still doesn’t like it!
9. If You Give a Dog a Donut
Actually, any of the books in this series are fun for early readers. It’s a cause and effect story that ends up right back at the beginning. If you give a dog a donut, he’ll want something different. Then you’ll give him that and he’ll want something new. Until he ends up wanting a donut again!
10. There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
If you sing silly songs with your kids, you can often find matching books to go along with them. This is a fun way to practice pointing to each word as you read/sing the words.
11. Thump, Quack, Moo
The animals on Farmer Brown’s farm aren’t your typical farm animals! They’re always up to something.
12. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
13. Dragon Egg
Oh no, a dragon egg rolled out of the nest. Where will it end up? This easy reader explores a fairy tale world.
14. The Very Lazy Ladybug
This ladybug likes to sleep. But everywhere she goes, she gets woken up. It’s hard to get to each new spot, because she doesn’t know how to fly. This is a fun book, that has a few more words on each page than some of the others in this list.
15. Are You My Mother?
Another classic by P.D. Eastman, the little bird in the story doesn’t know where his mother is. He travels all around asking different characters, “Are you my mother?”
16. When a Bear Bakes a Cake
This fun rhyming book is perfect for early readers who can decode long vowel words. The pictures help provide clues in case the reader gets stuck.
17. The Berenstain Bears Kitten Rescue
The Berenstain Bear books are so much fun to read, but there are so many words on each page they can easily become overwhelming to young readers.
That’s why I was so excited to find these I Can Read! Berenstain Bears books. They have just the right number of words on the page to make them accessible to early readers.
18. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
Another classic, this Dr. Seuss book has all sorts of crazy characters. This book will give your child a chance to practice decoding nonsense words like Zeep and Yop.
What Books Would You Add?
Do you recommend other books for early readers? I’d love for you to share them in the comments so I can check them out!