Friday, October 5, 2012

First Readers-Carefully Selected!

This post is full of my recommendations on the very first books your child can learn to read. I have read literally over a hundred early reader books (just ask my husband) and have read other people's comments on many of the most popular books.

My opinion is that you are only young once, and you have the rest of your life to learn all about pop-culture and the latest fads. First readers should be short, sweet, and simple.

I have read reviews that kids LOVE the BOB Books or thought they were way too boring. In my experience, children begin labeling things boring after hearing the term from adults. Nonetheless, early readers are not supposed to be the most fascinating books on the planet. There are thousands upon thousands of picture books that are crazy fun and imaginative. The purpose of early readers are to TEACH YOU HOW TO READ, and then you can read the FUN books yourself! One last point is that early readers are supposed to be progressive. If your child can read the Biscuit books for example, move on to Level 1 Readers. This will also help them stay interested in reading.

BOB BOOKS Series by Bobby Lynn
This is a progressive reading system used to teach children how to read or to supplement another program. They are very basic and get the job done. You do not necessarily have to purchase all of the sets. Many libraries and their interlibrary loan systems can provide you with a set long enough for your child to master it and move on.

There are a few books that come before the 5 sets.They are My First Bob Books Pre-Reading Skills and Bob Books Alphabet. Then there are Bob Books Sight Words Kindergarten, and Sight Words First Grade. The 5 book sets that help your child start reading are Book Set 1 Beginning Readers, Book Set 2 Advanced Readers, Book Set 3 Word Families, Book Set 4 Complex Words, Book Set 5 Long Vowels.

The Bobbsey Twins Ready-to-Read Pre-Level 1 Series by Laura Lee Hope. This is about as "Dick and Jane" as you can get without ready Dick and Jane (which has been reprinted in many formats and is widely available if you are interested.)
Freddie and Flossie
Freddie and Flossie and Snap
Freddie and Flossie and the Train Ride
Freddie and Flossie and the Leaf Monster
Freddie and Flossie and the Easter Egg Hunt
Freddie and Flossie at the Beach
Freddie and Flossie and the Little Seed

Here is an excerpt from Freddie and Flossie at the beach: "Freddie and Flossie love the beach. They splash in the waves. Snap splashes too."

Carl Series (My Readers) by Alexandra Day is about a dog named Carl. Day has authored numerous picture books about Carl such as Good Dog Carl and Carl's Afternoon in the Park. But the books in the reader series are -
Carl and the Kitten
Carl and the Baby Duck
Carl and the Sick Puppy
Carl and the Puppies

Here is an excerpt from Carl and the Puppies: "Mama Dog is very tired. She needs a nap. Carl will take the puppies for a walk. Mama Dog will rest."

Mittens Series by Lola M. Schaefer
What's that Mittens?
Follow Me, Mittens
Mittens, Where is Max?
Mittens at School
Happy Halloween, Mittens!

Here is an excerpt from What's that Mittens?: "Mittens sits in the grass. He is all alone. He is looking for some fun."

Biscuit (My First I Can Read) Series by
Alyssa Satin Capucilli

Biscuit Goes to School, Biscuit and the Baby, Bathtime for Biscuit, Biscuit's Day at the Farm, Biscuit Wants to Play, Biscuit Finds a Friend, Biscuit and the Little Pup, Biscuit's Big Friend, Biscuit and the Lost Teddy Bear, Biscuit Takes a Walk, Biscuit Visits the Big City, Biscuit's New Trick, Biscuit Wins a Prize, Biscuit Meets the Class Pet.

Here's an excerpt from Bathtime for Biscuit: "Time for a bath, Biscuit! Woof, woof! Biscuit wants to play. Time for a bath, Biscuit! Woof, woof! Biscuit wants to dig. Time for a bath, Biscuit! Woof, woof! Biscuit wants to roll."

Bright and Early Books for Beginning Beginners by Dr. Seuss and others
Here's where the FUN comes in! Keep in mind that some not all of these books, although fun, do not have complete sentences or sentence structures like the other books mentioned in this post. It is fine to read these books but make sure your child practices reading books with one complete sentence after another especially considering the books on the next levels have all complete sentences.

Here is an excerpt from Inside, Outside, Upside Down: "Going in, Inside, Inside a box, Upside down, Inside a box, Upside down, Going out"

Great Day for Up by Dr. Seuss

The Shape of Me and Other Stuff by Dr. Seuss
Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss
The Foot Book by Theodor Geisel and Dr. Seuss
In a People House by Theo LeSieg
The Tooth Book by Theo LeSieg
Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins
The Nose Book by Al Perkins
The Ear Book by Al Perkins
Inside, Outside, Upside Down by Stan and Jan Berenstain
The Eye Book by Theo LeSieg

There are many books I would not recommend, but I am not going to list them here. As I wrote in the beginning, I read over a hundred early reader books, and these are the books I have carefully selected.

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