My Favorite Early Readers

This category can be no fun. Your kid is struggling to learn how to read, which is often slow and painful. And many books in this category are boring and badly written. Truly horrible. You, the parent, want to poke your eyes out with a sharp stick! And yet these are the books that are supposed to lure your child into the joys of reading? The more interested and excited your child is about an Early Reader book, the more likely she will push herself read it. And if the story is good enough, even you will enjoy listening to them read and you won't want to poke your eyes out. Finding those magic books is a challenge, but here are some you should try. 

Note: If you want to know what the book is about, click on the cover and it will take you to Amazon where you can read a synopsis and reviews.


Dr. Seuss

Ahhhh, god bless Dr. Seuss. You just can't go wrong with these books. They are silly and fun to read aloud to your child. And once your child is ready to start reading on their own, many of them work great as Early Readers. Here are my Seuss favorites:

Fox In Socks

So, so silly and fun to read. Kids giggle and learn this tongue-twister by heart. I have read it a million times and still love it. That's the sign of a great book.

Green Eggs and Ham

A great read-aloud, a great Early Reader, and a great story about getting out of your comfort zone and trying new things. Will you eat them with a goat? Will you eat them on a boat? Of course you will! 

Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book

A lesser-known Dr. Seuss book, but my absolute favorite. It's like an acid trip for the super tired. And a great way to settle your little one for sleep. That is, if you can get through it yourself without nodding off.

Mercy Watson series

Written by award-winning middle grade author, Kate DiCamillo, these books are never boring. They never patronize to the emerging reader. They are smart and funny as hell. They have challenging vocabulary. But the great illustrations, great characters, and actually interesting story plots suck kids in and get them reading.

Fly Guy series

Boy and fly become best friends. Sounds like a great topic for a best-selling, much loved series. This is one of the fun ones. And boys especially love it.

Elephant & Piggie series

Mo Willems is a genius. Everything he writes and illustrates is brilliant. This is one of the cleverest, funnest beginning readers out there. And you should check out everything else by Mo Willems while you're at it.

Graphic Novels for Beginning Readers

This is a rapidly expanding category of books, for good reason. What better way to get kids excited about reading than by pairing the words with enticing images that help them figure out what's going on. Every kid I know who is learning to read LOVES graphic novels. If you've heard that reading comics or graphic novels isn't "real" reading, ignore those ill-informed adults and check out current research. Today's researchers and educators love graphic novels and are touting their use in the classroom to teach reading. 

Sticky Burr series

Yes, this is a series of books about burrs. The kind that get stuck on your socks during a hike. Part graphic novel, part nature journal, the detailed illustrations encourage kids to explore the world of Burrwood Forrest on each page. 

Binky the Space Cat series

Fat cat. Fat cat has space adventure fantasy. Need I say more? This series about the vast imagination of Binky the Cat is funny as hell. The layouts are also very clever.

Babymouse series

I love Baby Mouse. She's full of spunk and creative energy. Created by a brother-sister team, you can feel that sibling love shining through. If your boy child isn't into them, try their other series Squish. About an amoeba. I kid you not.

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea series

Simple layouts and not a lot of text, but just perfect for the earliest readers. Adorable, funny and very very quirky. Adults will love this series also. Creator Ben Clanton is a genius!