The best easy readers for kids just learning how to read on their own are ones that have fun characters, simple sight words, and a little challenge. From classic easy readers to new series devoted to beginning readers, kids are sure to find a book or two they enjoy reading.
Determine Reading Level of Books
Looking for easy reader books can be hard for parents, relatives or daycare providers who want to provide a solid selection of books, but are unsure about what to look for in an easy reader. These books typically have one or more of the following features:
- Patterns and repetition in the words and phrases
- Rhyming lines or words
- Sight words
- Majority of new vocabulary with just one to two syllables
- Large print
- Just one or two lines on a page
When choosing books for children in kindergarten and first grade who are beginning readers, it is important to determine the reading level of books you are considering purchasing, even if they do follow the criteria listed above. If your child is with you, have him or her read the first couple of pages aloud. If the book is at an appropriate level for your beginning reader or struggling reader, she or he will be able to read the first couple of pages with just a few errors.
Many books in libraries and bookstores are organized into categories like "beginning readers" or "early readers," making it easy for you to find exactly the right level for your child(ren). Additionally, it may be helpful to pick up an easy children's dictionary to help kids with unfamiliar words.
Examples of Best Easy Readers
While every child will enjoy reading different books, there are usually a few books that stand out among educators and parents who want their children to begin reading. Having a book with characters the kids enjoy is a great way to encourage them to keep practicing. If you are not sure what kind of books your child enjoys reading, try starting with some fun easy to read animal books. Teachers or librarians may also have recommended reading lists for primary children that are starting to read. Otherwise, a few examples of some of the best easy readers include:
- Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino
- Fun with Dick and Jane available through Grosset & Dunlap
- Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin JR.
- Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
When you're looking for the best books for first grade boys and girls who are starting to read, it is helpful to find some that are free. Read the LoveToKnow article Free Easy Readers for Elementary and find some great titles free.
Easy Reader Series
Try looking through the easy reader series offerings from companies that publish children's books. They often feature popular characters from other book series, television shows and cover topics that youngsters are interested in.
I Can Read!
I Can Read! books, available through HarperCollins, come in five different levels. This helps parents and teachers choose the best books for their beginning readers. Favorite characters are available in the books through the I Can Read! Series, including books featuring Amelia Bedelia and Biscuit, among many others.
Step into Reading
The Step into Reading books, from Random House, has plenty of great books for early readers. The easiest books for new readers are in the Step 2 category, for kids who read with help. Titles range from favorite children's characters from Disney movies, television programs like Thomas and Friends and Sesame Street and Barbie. Classic book characters like Berenstain Bears and Little Critter, along with other exciting books, are also available through Step into Reading.