What We are Reading Wednesday: Early Readers


Ethan reading from one of his favorite series books, Henry and Mudge

Once I thought Ethan was ready to start reading books on his own (he had strong phonics skills and had memorized some high-frequency words) I introduced him to some “early readers.”  He had zero interest.  I just don’t think he had the stamina to read more than a list of words or a few simple sentences at a time.  I knew he had the necessary skills so I did not worry or get discourgaged.  I just waited.  And waited.  And then one day he just started to gobble them up!

What qualifies as an “early reader” or “easy reader,” you ask?  Easy readers are books with not too many words per page that are easily decoded, contain high frequency or sight words, are easy to comprehend and have illustrations that are strong clues to the text.  Easy readers are also often full of action and dialogue and do not have much descriptive language.

An early reader is a good fit for your child if he/she is able to read it independently or with minimal help.  This is something NYC public school teachers call a “just-right” book.  If the level of text is too high, it will only frustrate your child.  Ethan loves to read his easy readers snuggled up with me, out loud to his sister or alone in his bed before bedtime.

It can be hard to find early readers that are actually easy enough for a new reader!  We started with these…

The above books were so great because they are books that a new reader can actually read independently and it will really help to build their confidence!  Some books that you find in the bookstore labeled Level 1 are really much too difficult for a new reader.  Ethan loved the above titles for when he was just getting started!

From there Ethan moved on to some really fun easy reader series books.  First, The Fly Guy series really helped him take off with his reading!  He found them so funny!  Each book in the series follows the same format, which really helped build his confidence and in turn his stamina.

He also loved…

The Narwhal and Jelly series is definitely the supreme favorite in our house!

For those of you in NYC, public school first graders are considered to be meeting the 1st grade reading expectations if they can read books like these by the end of the school year…

Do you have any favorite books for kids on this reading level?  Please share in the comments!