Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Easy Readers I Love

Easy readers are designed with the mission to help children learn to read.  Following that purpose certain restrictions are placed on easy readers for length and vocabulary.  Other ways easy readers differ from picture books; each page has lots of white space surrounding the pictures and text, easy readers are usually 6 x 9 inches for reader comfort, and a large picture dominates the page with only a few sentences of large print text.

Easy readers are usually broken into three levels, these levels vary between publishers which makes finding the right level difficult. Some libraries use an A, B and C system to code reading levels.  In this list I have included what I consider level one and level two books -- few words, big bright pictures that provide clues to the words, and repeated vocabulary.

Some of my favorite easy readers:

The Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems -- hands down one of the best series out there.  My eight year old loves them as much as my 4 year old.  They are funny, witty, and surprising. My kids will read these over and over again-- to themselves, to each other, to me.  And for those Pigeon fans, he's always hidden somewhere in the book.

Cat the Cat by Mo Willems --another very cute and funny series with simple vocabulary.

Big Pig and Little Pig by David McPhail -- a silly tale of two pigs.

Dr. Suess -- any of his early readers: Hop on Pop, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, Go Dog Go, Fox in Socks, Mr. Brown Can Moo Can You?

Big Egg by Molly Coxe -- A chicken tries to figure out where a big egg came from in her nest.  Read an interesting negative review on this book from Amazon, the critic complained that there were so few words for her $3.99.  Easy Readers are best checked out from the library!

Ling and Ting Not Exactly the Same by Grace Lin -- tells the humorous stories of identical twins who have very different personalities.  My kids loved this one.

Bink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo - I must admit I haven't read this one yet, it hasn't come into my library, but since it won the Theordore Suess Giesel Award I thought I should include it!

Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel -- Frog and Toad are best friends who have many wonderful adventures together.  There are several other books in this series. These books were turned into a fabulous Broadway musical with delightful, funny, captivating music.  A wonderful activity: read the books then listen to the musical!

Morris has a Cold by Bernard Wiseman --funny stories about a Morris, a moose and Bori, a bear. Boris attempts to explain life to Morris who takes things too literally. My kids love catching the mistakes that Morris makes and how mad Borris gets. There are several more books in the series, but this is my favorite one.

Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold -- My kids love this series about Fly Guy and his good friend Buzz.  Many more books in the series.

Do you have a favorite easy reader?


  1. Mo Williams was William's hands-down favorite, and not because of his last name. The humor was evident throughout. Great blog, Tara and great idea. I'll send it along to my homeschool loops.

  2. We love the Elephant and Piggie books as well! My seven year old LOVES these books and loves how confident she feels reading them. We're big fans of any and all Mo Willems books!

  3. You've named some good ones! For more humor check out the Minnie & Moo series about 2 "dumb" cows by Cazet.