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MattW
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Books for Beginning Readers

Recently I was reading some books with my 5-year-old nephew, who's about to start kindergarten and is a surprisingly good reader so far. It got me thinking about books for early/beginning readers, such as Dr. Seuss, which help kids discover reading for themselves with easy sentences and no (or few) chapters. Some of my personal favorites when I was a kid were Frog & Toad, Danny and the Dinosaur, and Dr. Seuss. Have any beginning reader books made a hit in your home or at school?
Matt
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coreen222
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Re: Books for Beginning Readers

there is a series called "We Both Read" that is a great resource for parents of kids just learning to read. The right pages have the adult text, and the left is for the kids to read. We have "THe Three Little Pigs" which is a level one book. This level has one or two lines of rhymed text on each child's page. And the adult text is more elaborate and introduces some of the trickier words that the child will be reading. The higher levels have more text and relies less on rhyme and repetition.
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MattW
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Re: Books for Beginning Readers



coreen222 wrote:
there is a series called "We Both Read" that is a great resource for parents of kids just learning to read. The right pages have the adult text, and the left is for the kids to read. We have "THe Three Little Pigs" which is a level one book. This level has one or two lines of rhymed text on each child's page. And the adult text is more elaborate and introduces some of the trickier words that the child will be reading. The higher levels have more text and relies less on rhyme and repetition.



Thanks for the tip on the series. Just wondering, how much do you (and other folks reading this thread) pay attention/look at the reading levels on books? What are your requirements for good beginning reader books?
Matt
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johanna49
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Re: Books for Beginning Readers

Henry and Mudge series books are great beginning readers. The author is Cynthia
Rylant.
The criteria for beginning readers are easy reading and high-interest levels.
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MattW
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Re: Books for Beginning Readers



johanna49 wrote:
Henry and Mudge series books are great beginning readers. The author is Cynthia
Rylant.
The criteria for beginning readers are easy reading and high-interest levels.



Thanks, Johanna49 - I'm wondering, why are the Henry and Mudge books such hits in your home?

I'm asking because there are many beginning readers out there on the market, some successful, others not. While the requirements for a beginning reader are easy reading and high interest level, what makes one series stand out from another one on the shelf? Did you discover Henry and Mudge by chance, or what it recommended to you?
Matt
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johanna49
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Re: Books for Beginning Readers

I did discover the Henry and Mudge books by chance. I first became aware of the Henry and Mudge books when I took my youngest and very active 5 year old to my hometown library. He loved them. I thought if he loved these books then, I will order them for my students. (I am an elementary school librarian)
My son is now 22 and still remembers being introduced to the Henry and Mudge books.
Now, 17 years later there are many Henry and Mudge books in our school library.
This series is one of the most requested easy fiction books in our library. I think they are the most requested because Cynthia Rylant is a wonderful author. Also children are comfortable with Henry and Mudge. Another plus is at this age children are excited that are able to read a book and enjoy a book.
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MattW
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Re: Books for Beginning Readers



johanna49 wrote:
I did discover the Henry and Mudge books by chance. I first became aware of the Henry and Mudge books when I took my youngest and very active 5 year old to my hometown library. He loved them. I thought if he loved these books then, I will order them for my students. (I am an elementary school librarian)
My son is now 22 and still remembers being introduced to the Henry and Mudge books.
Now, 17 years later there are many Henry and Mudge books in our school library.
This series is one of the most requested easy fiction books in our library. I think they are the most requested because Cynthia Rylant is a wonderful author. Also children are comfortable with Henry and Mudge. Another plus is at this age children are excited that are able to read a book and enjoy a book.



Thanks for the info! Have you found any other beginning reader series that are comparable or that you can recommend?
Matt
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becke_davis
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Re: Books for Beginning Readers

My son loved Henry and Mudge. He also loved the Alistair books, I think the author was Marilyn Sadler. Those are wonderful books for imaginative kids.
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coreen222
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Re: Books for Beginning Readers

I think it depends on the kids, and where they are in the reading process. I only choose books that I think will have either a fun story, or a topic he is interested in. In the Fountas and Pinell Guided REading levels, my son is probably only around level B or C, but these books tend to be one word per page, and I just don't think he would have fun reading something like that.

I try to choose books that would be fun to listen to, not just books that are within his level. IF you notice, a child who is read to a lot will try to "read" long before they have any idea that there is a connection to the print. I remember my son looking at board books before he could talk, and babbling in a rhytmic read-aloud way as he turned the pages. My 4-year-old just told me to read the book about the rabbit that got lost. I took a book out of the library called La La Rose, and I hadn't read it to her, but I guess last night before bed she was looking through it and making up her own story based on the picture. She is not yet at the stage of paying attention to the print, although she can identify where the title is, where the words of the story are, and where the author's name is. This Shows early concepts of print. However, my five-year-old suprised me during spring break when he grabbed a leveled phonics reader and read the title to me. he had never seen the book before (it was given to me by other teachers who were cleaning out their classrooms while i was studying to become a teacher). This happened shortly after he saw a sign outsisde that had the word NO, and he asked me why it said no. He is starting to make meaning from the print, rather than just the pictures, so I choose ealry reader books that have an entertaining story, use common sentence structure, and supportive illustrations .

For retellings of stories he is familiar with, I will go with a higher reading level, for stories that are unfamiliar to him, I go simpler. For example, THE FOOT BOOK and THE EYE BOOK are very funny, but very simple. The sentence structure is repetitive, and the pictures support the text, particularly the more difficult words like "underwear". I call attention to certain words, for example he doesn't recognize the word AND if it is not in a sentence, but he will reconize the words THE, ON, OFF, and NO when they are out of context. So, when AND comes up, I make sure I point out the word when he says it so it will become a sight word. Also, the funny tougher words like "underwear" I point out because he likes to say those words, and is interested in knowing what they look like spelled out. If there were a leveled reader of "The Three Little Pigs" story, I wouldn't worry about the level, because he knows the story already and will be more successful than if it were an unfamiliar story of the same level.

If he wants to read a tougher book I will do a picture walk with him first, and point out some of the harder words. This is a Guided Reading strategy, and in my 5-year-old's pre-k class they used it with their Book in Hand program as preparation for the guided reading lessons they will have in kindergarten. What you do is you go through each page and ask the child to make predictions based on what they see (usually illustrations, but sometimes they recognize words). For example, let's say there you are on a page that says, "The rabbit wanted to go to the tea party. "Please let me come," the rabbit said." And by looking at the illustration the child sees a rabbit, and sees a tea party and says, "the rabbit is going to a tea party." Then you would draw his attention to the print by saying, "Yes, the rabbit wants to go to the tea party and he says, 'Please let me come," can you find the words that say 'Please let me come?'" If the child can't find it, then you point it out for him and read it as you point. Then you can ask him to find the word "rabbit".

After the picture walk, then you have the child read the story to you. They already know what to expect, and you have helped them identify the words and phrases that might be too challenging or are difficult to predict based on the pictures. By using these kinds of strategies you don't have to worry so much about the level of the book. However, my son is still at the stage where he gets very tired trying to read a book that is very wordy, and I don't want him to be turned off this young, so we take turns reading. Henry and Mudge is still too wordy and advanced for him, but for books like that I encourage him to read at least one sentence on each page, and I read the rest. That is why I like the WE READ TOGETHER series. It is just an extension of the comfortable, and enjoyable read aloud experience.
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johanna49
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Re: Books for Beginning Readers

The Arthur books by Lillian Hoban are also great easy to read books. This Arthur is a chimpanzee. Also the Arthur and D.W. books by Marc Brown are great for reading to
children. I enjoy reading these books aloud to my library classes. They are fun for the kids and have kid-lessons that are not pedantic. (I also like to use the word kids because in school we must refer to children as students.)
Also some of the Amber Brown books by Paula Danizger are great easy to read books.
Also look for nonfiction books that children are interested in. You want children to enjoy reading. Some are in easy to read formats. Dinosaurs, snakes, wild animals, cats, dogs and other pets are what our "kids" like.
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coreen222
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Re: Books for Beginning Readers

The magic treehouse books are also very good. They have a historical element to them which appeal to many boys in the 1st - 2nd grade. Dinorsaurs, knights, and all that fun stuff. They are early chapter books.
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johanna49
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Re: Books for Beginning Readers

Coreen222,
I agree the Magic Tree House books are excellent early chapters books. They also appeal to older reluctant readers.
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Morriscsps
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Re: Books for Beginning Readers

Hi, I put this list over in the "Boys Books" thread but it would apply here as well. I would probably add two more series to the list for the 'Learning to Read' crowd.

Dinosaur series by Dav Pilkey. Very simple sentences for the 3,4,5 yr olds.
Elephant & Piggie series by Mo Willems. Short sentences and silly characters.

The younger set:
Ricky Ricotta series by Dav Pilkey is brillant. Easy sight words, simple sentences, tons of pictures. They are good for the beginners.

Commander Toad series by Jane Yolen is fun because they are spoofs of the Star Trek and Star Wars. Jake Skyhopper is a character.

The Geronimo Stilton series is a great transition to chapter books. Still a lot of pictures and crazy font changes to entertain and capture wandering attention.


8 to 9 yrs. old:
A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy. 2 boys & 1 girl team up to solve crimes. My son devoured the whole series. Some pictures, not as many as before. Great confidence builder to get him to read on his own.

Capitol Hill series by Ron Roy. Simpler reading than the A to Z mysteries but similar. He can read one of these in under 2 hours by himself.

Time Warp Trio books by Jon Scieska work because not only do they go to cool places but there is a bonus of seeing the show on tv.

Wayside School stories by Louis Sachar have nice short chapters that stand alone. You can polish off a couple of chapters easy.
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vparmley
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Help choosing Kids book

Hello!
I'm a loving aunt and am looking for some books that will help my nieces learn to read. My nieces are both 4 years old (soon to be 5.) One is in preschool and the other is not yet.

I'm not sure what I should look for in books that will help them learn to read. I've heard that choosing books that use the same dipthums is a good place to start. Does anyone have any other ideas of what I should look for when choosing books? Thanks for your help! :smileyhappy:
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Thomas_T
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Re: Help choosing Kids book

Call me Old Fashioned, but I will say the Dick and Jane books, and Dr. Suess' books too. There is a reason they have ben around forever.



vparmley wrote:
Hello!
I'm a loving aunt and am looking for some books that will help my nieces learn to read. My nieces are both 4 years old (soon to be 5.) One is in preschool and the other is not yet.

I'm not sure what I should look for in books that will help them learn to read. I've heard that choosing books that use the same dipthums is a good place to start. Does anyone have any other ideas of what I should look for when choosing books? Thanks for your help! :smileyhappy:


"I aim to misbehave" Malcolm Reynolds Serenity
" To die will be an awfully big adventure." Peter Pan
Proud Cupcake Eater in service to the Dark Countess
"Live with Honor, act with Integrity, No Regrets"
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love4books
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Re: Help choosing Kids book

Oh how I miss that age! When my daughter was that age she enjoyed reading Jesse Bear books. There are several titles her favorite was Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? by Nancy White Carlstrom. The books like Dr. Seuss all have rhyming within the lines and story. I read all the time to my daughter when she was a baby. By the time she was 2 and 3 I made sure I would point my finger to the words that I was reading. I think this really helped her as she was reading easy books at 4.

love4books
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MattW
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Re: Help choosing Kids book


vparmley wrote:
Hello!
I'm a loving aunt and am looking for some books that will help my nieces learn to read. My nieces are both 4 years old (soon to be 5.) One is in preschool and the other is not yet.

I'm not sure what I should look for in books that will help them learn to read. I've heard that choosing books that use the same dipthums is a good place to start. Does anyone have any other ideas of what I should look for when choosing books? Thanks for your help! :smileyhappy:


You might check out Mo Willems's Elephant & Piggie books - they're great! There's another thread about books for beginning readers here, in which some folks have discussed criteria for beginning readers.
Matt
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coreen222
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Re: Help choosing Kids book

Have you seen the new "We Read Together" series?

These books are ideal for this age group. They are leveled readers where adults read the left hand page, which is more sophisticated, fills out the story, and either sets up the rhyme and rhythm of the stories in the eariler reading leveled books, or introduces difficult words that the child will encounter on her page in the more advanced non-rhyming books. They are leveled from K-grade 2 reading levels (I think). With some transitional levels like k-1, or 1-2. Usually if it is a familiar story (like the three little pigs, or Jack and the Beanstalk) you can get away with going a level higher than the child's real reading level. My son is reading the K and K-1 reading levels, but we recently picked up Jack and the Beanstalk (which I think is a 1) and his text is tough, but he is getting through it. This is the first book that he couldn't read in 1 sitting, but he likes the story so he is not frustrated by reading 2 pages a night, even though it is difficult. With my preschooler we are doing the earlier levels which usually consist of only one word on the child's page, and it usually is a word that fits in with the rhyme set up on the adult page.

I think that these books are great for sharing the reading experience, and also are a good introduction to guided reading (which is now being used in many schools) as it utilizes many of the same strategies. For example, sometimes we start the book by talking about what we think it will be about based on the cover. While I read my page I show him some of the words that he will encounter on his page, I say it slowly, emphasizing the sounds, then I have him find the word on his page. Often times he likes to play (detective) and will look for other words that are the same as well. Teachers usually use similar strategies to help children be successful with books that are just slightly beyond their students' comfortable reading levels.

Out of all of the emergent reading series I have seen, I like this the best because the stories are more interesting as they are not limited in vocabulary, and they help children develop a variety of strategies and teach them to use a combination rather than depending on just one or two.
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coreen222
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Re: Help choosing Kids book

Correction, the series is called "We Both Read" but I think there is another series with the title I mentioned before, I don't have any experience with that particular series.
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MattW
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Re: Help choosing Kids book

I am not familiar with that series, but I'll check them out - thanks for mentioning! I think it's great that you're picking challenging (and not frustrating) books for your son.
Matt
Teens Editor, B&N.com