Our 6-1/2 year-old son is reading now - so cool! But it was easier to find beginner books for our daughter.
The summer before his kindergarten year, we tried BOB books. He liked those for the sheer number of tiny books in each set. But he preferred the stories in the Brand New Readers series, especially those about the worm, monkey and dragon. We found those locally at The School Box.
But most of the credit to igniting Sam’s reading spark goes to Mo Willems.
His Elephant & Piggie books were the first to get our son excited about being able to read. We Are in a Book!, I Am Invited to a Party!, Watch Me Throw the Ball! and I Will Surprise My Friend are favorites.
We still hear Sam cackling in his room at night as he rereads them – often using the super-soft stuffed characters to act out the stories.
Here are the others he found interesting enough to read himself, roughly in the order that he was able to read them:
- Hot Dog
- Two Crazy Pigs. Read this many times, then called it “total dumbness.”
- Lego City: Firetruck to the Rescue!
- Super Friends: Flying High. Although, he was out of his superhero phase by then.
- More Spaghetti, I Say! by Rita Golden Gelman
- A Hippopotamus Ate the Teacher by Mike Thaler
- DK Readers: Lego Pirates Brickbeard’s Treasure
- The Sword in the Stone. One of the few Disney movies my kids actually like, too.
- Sir Small and the Dragonfly
- Pirate School
- Lego Ninjago Scholastic Reader series. His current favorite toy, so incentive to read.
- Narnia Easy Readers. Hard to find, but my husband read the Narnia books during our nightly Family Book, so our son was eager for the easy reader versions.
Now, the summer before 1st grade, he’s reading these chapter books:
- Roscoe Riley Rules. Great beginner chapter books. My daughter loved them, too.
- Encyclopedia Brown series. My husband loved these as a kid. Each book is divided into several mini mysteries to solve. Good for read-aloud, too.
- Magic Tree House series, which we also read aloud to both kids a few years ago.