These simpler books are a transition to independent reading for first and second grade readers.
Theme: Loyalty and Courage
Best for: Boys 6 and up
“He had promised Joseph he’d protect him. But he didn’t. They were best friends. Best friends were supposed to stick together. Even if it meant being called names…Even if it ruined the sport you loved more than anything in the world. Even then.” This first chapter book delighted me from beginning to end. It places the dilemma of friendship front and center…
Theme: Give and Take
Best for: 5 and up, new readers
“Maggie said, “Let’s go for a ride, Bramble!” Bramble knew about rides. The rider sat in the saddle. The horse did all the hard work.” From the opening line of this little “first chapter book,” I loved it. I’ve been on the lookout for early reader children’s books since I began this website, hoping to help the younger struggling readers…
Theme: Dream Big
Best for: all ages
“Mr. Popper soon found it was not so easy to take a penguin for a stroll. He tied one end of the clothesline to the penguin’s fat throat, and the other to his own wrist.” Here’s a delightful, simple, amusing book with nothing possibly true in it. Purely entertaining, with some sweet morals at the end..
Theme: Daily Life
Best for: 6 and up
“You can’t pick flowers in the park. They’re for everyone who lives here to enjoy.!” “I live here,” said Amelia Bedelia. “So does my mom. I picked these for her.” For children struggling with the English language, especially if they are second language learners, words can be confusing. And no one demonstrates this better than Amelia…
Theme: Coping with Circumstances
Best for: age 5 and up
“You know, Henry,” said Mrs. Brown as they watched Paddington go up the stairs to bed, looking rather sticky and more than a little sleepy, “it’s nice having a bear about the house.” This is a real chapter book, perfect for young readers who have just learned to read, with a few choice illustrations to keep it moving.
Theme: Friendship; Easy Reader
Best for: 5- 8
This is one of those books that is important not because it is great literature, but because it is possible for children to read it on their own, love it, remember it, imitate it, and feel the magic that comes from learning to read…
by A. A. Milne, first published 1927 “I found a little beetle, so that Beetle was his name, And I called him Alexander and he answered just the same” This second children’s book of poetry by Milne is actually my favorite. If I were to pick one of the two…
by A. A. Milne, first published 1924 “A bear, however hard he tries, Grows tubby without exercise…” At first glance, one might think that this, the very first children’s book by A. A. Milne, would be more appropriate for much younger children. However, one of the criteria for great literature…
by A. A. Milne, First published 1926. “Sing Ho! for the life of a Bear! Sing Ho! for the life of a Bear”Who among us doesn’t know the world of Winnie-the-Pooh? To read it is to be a child again, seeing the world with utter innocence and simplicity.