Learning to read is a huge part of Kindergarten! That both thrills and frightens parents and children alike. I am going to be honest with you - even though I am a teacher, teaching my own girls to read was not as easy as 1-2-3.
We had our ups and down and many moments where I felt like I wanted to give up. It's normal so don't feel alone in your frustration. Learning to read is hard stuff for many children. It's a process that develops over time. We want to help our children be successful and feel motivated to read - that requires the "right" book(s)!
When the Lil Divas started to learn how to read I scoured the internet, book stores and the library for books for them. We needed books that had simple sentences and would boost their reading confidence but I also wanted books that would pique their interest and motivate them to read. I found this to be quite the daunting task. Many books were either too hard for them at that stage or too simplistic with absolutely no plot and simply didn't interest them.
Does this sound familiar to you? Are you struggling with the same problems?
Hopefully I can help. I am going to share the few gems we found that were hits with the Lil Divas and approved by both the mom and teacher in me.
Biscuit (My First I Can Read) Series - As dog lovers both of the Lil Divas enjoyed these books and found Biscuit very endearing as a character. The books utilize simple sentence structure, repetitive words, contextual clues and large illustrations making them great for the beginning reader. Children will be able to read these books on their own which is such a confidence booster when they are just learning to read.
Bob Books Collection - Bob Books were the very first books that the Lil Divas read on their own. They have a simple plot with short sentences utilizing sight words and lots of repetitive words. The books in the series build on each other, adding a few more words in each new book making reading a successful endeavor for children. These books have very simple illustrations and lack color which some children may not enjoy but we never had any issues with that. The Lil Divas were so excited to be reading that they loved these books.
Elephant & Piggie Collection - If you or your kids haven't heard of Elephant & Piggie you are missing out. Seriously, if you get no other books from this list - grab one from this collection! I am a huge Mo Willems fan and I have read Elephant & Piggie books to many children. They never disappoint. The illustrations are endearing, the characters are engaging, the sentences are simple and the plot is just plain funny. These two unlikely friends will have your kids laughing out loud and yes - reading! The Lil Divas still pull these off of our shelves to read just for fun.
Pete the Cat Books - Kids adore Pete the Cat. My preschoolers had me read about his white shoes a hundred time last year - seriously! Now there are also My First Readers in the collection and new ones are being published quite often. These books are great for beginning readers. They offer a beloved character, lively illustrations and a fun plot. The sentence structure and words are great for beginning readers because they are relatively simple. You'll want to add these to your collection.
Mittens Books (My First I Can Read Books) - Mittens is an adorable kitten and the star behind a collection of easy readers. The illustrations hold lots of clues and there are just a few sentences on each page but each book has a clear plot and a few words that might be a bit of a challenge for new readers which I liked.
Read with Dick and Jane - Do you remember Dick and Jane from your own childhood? I sure do and I was surprised that they were still around but they are! The books are super simple with lots of repetitive text and predictable patterns. The plot is limited but these are great for readers that are just starting to read - they are great confidence builders.
Fly Guy Collection - This is another of my favorite series. I don't like flies but I adore Fly Guy and Buzz and so do the Lil Divas. These books are like comics in their style and the illustrations are wacky, exaggerated and completely engaging. The plots are always funny and the friendship between Buzz and his pet fly is endearing to say the least.
Step Into Reading Books Level 1 - The books are varied in topics but they all utilize simple sentences and plots and repetitive words which are great for kids just starting to read. The good thing about these books is that as children master this level, they can move on to books in the next level.
Scholastic Readers Level 1 - These are like the Step Into Reading books above. They utilize the same simple sentences and plots and repetitive words and offer lots of different books and topics for children to read.
Hello Reader Level 1 - Yes, even more easy readers if you need any more after going through this list. I like the variety of topics and characters these books offer. I used many of these in the classroom successfully with new readers.
I hope you find this list useful as you search for books for your new or budding reader(s). Remember to keep it fun and engaging - let your child read to you, a younger sibling or another family member. Take them to the library or the book store and let them pick a few books that pique their interest.
Remember that while the journey may be a hard one at times for both you and your child as they become readers, it is also one of the greatest adventures you will embark on. Reading opens up whole new worlds and experiences for children. It is truly wonderful to watch them go from non-readers to readers. The process never ceases to amaze me and it is one of the things I enjoy most about being a teacher to children this age. Happy Reading!
Thank you to My Cute Graphics for the use of the superhero kids graphic.
This post is part 5 of an 8 week series being hosted on 6 blogs to help kids Get Ready for K Through Play! In previous weeks we discussed
For even more Reading Ideascheck out our other posts - Learning to Read and Sight Word Fun
and our Pinterest Boards - Reading (for Kids) and Sight Word Fun
Be sure to read this week's posts shared by my series co-hosts:
(by Coffee Cups and Crayons)
Help Your Child Learn to Read
(by Mama Smiles)
(by Mama Smiles)
Bringing Books Alive
(by Rainy Day Mum)
(by Rainy Day Mum)
and be sure to follow our Get Ready for K Through Play Pinterest Board for lots of awesome Kindergarten Readiness resources, ideas and activities.
Have fun getting ready for K!