Oh, the joys of earliest reading! Yes, they are reading, and yes, it is magical, but spending 8 and a half minutes painfully decoding “yellow” can also feel like a special kind of torture. When said book is also plot-less, or when there are so many words that it will take a discouragingly long time to complete it, it’s even less fun — for your reader and for you.
So where to turn? Here are some of my favorite books for our earliest emerging readers.
#1: Some Bugs by Angela Diterlizzi and Brendan Wenzel
The repetition and rhyming make the words more accessible, and the artwork by Brendan Wenzel are nothing short of delightful!
#2: Orange, Pear, Apple, Bear by Emily Gravett
With the exception of one use of “there,” only the 4 words in the title form this story. But they are played with in a variety of ways with the help of the illustrations (“orange bear.”).
#3: Freight Train by Donald Crews
A few of the words here get a little trickier (like “freight”), but there are still only a few words per page, making this doable a great shared read with your early reader.
#4: Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins
The illustrations take the lion’s share of the story-telling here, and they do a marvelous job in making kids predict what will happen next to that fox. Pat Hutchins was a master at conveying an engaging story with only a few words per page, which is why I’ve also chosen…
#5: …Titch by Pat Hutchins
Our very youngest readers will relate to the way it seems like only the big kids or adults get to take care of the big and important things. Until Titch is in charge of a very small seed…
#6: Up, Tall, & High by Ethan Long
Hilarious read that gets kids thinking about comparative terms and perspective. They will love lifting the flaps, too!
#7: Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton
Poor turkey just can’t get it together when it comes to getting dressed. And Sandra Boynton never fails to make us laugh!
#8: Sheep in the Jeep by Nancy Shaw and Margot Apple
The classic adventure of these sheep is perfect for young readers as most of the words rhyme with sheep. Not to mention its hilarious plot!
#9: Cat the Cat, Who is That? by Mo Willems
Seems almost too repetitive, until you reach the twist at the end! Mo Willems has created a great series for our earliest readers here. I would recommend Elephant and Piggie next!
#10: The Mole Sisters and the Rainy Day
I’m a sucker for some good onomatopoeia, and the Mole Sisters really sell it in their adventures! Be sure to check out the complete collection!
These books prove that delightful stories can come in minimal packages. When books for our emerging readers are engaging for kids and adults, they build a powerful foundation for a lifetime of reading. I’d love to hear about your favorites in the comments!
featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto