Beginner Books

All children just beginning to read benefit from using several approaches. The phonics method assigns a sound to each letter; children may also memorize words (called sight words) that cannot be sounded out easily. Some children will also recognize and "read" words by using the illustrations as clues. Also, the content of the story may sometimes lead to the recognition of new words. Another helpful way to make reading easier is to look at a vocabulary list before reading so that when the word appears in the text it may be recognized. For some, this might help to make reading smoother instead of a stop/start-again routine. By using various techniques or a combination of them, most children and their parents will find learning to read a positive and rewarding adventure.

The books on the following lists have limited vocabularies and some have word lists in the back of the book. These books are appropriate for children just beginning to read independently.  Many authors listed have more titles suitable for this reading level. When available the book's Lexile level is given after the title.
Click here for the latest pdf version of all suggested titles.

Phonetic Books | Rebus Books

Antle, Nancy The Good Bad Cat. (BR)
Armstrong, Jennifer The Snowball. (100)
Arnold, Marsha Diane Quick, Quack, Quick! (170)
Arnold, Tedd Hi! Fly Guy! (280)
Baker, Keith Sometimes.
Berenstain, Stan Old Hat, New Hat. (BR)
Blues Clues Hello, Spring! (BR)
Bonsall, Crosby Mine's the Best. (BR)
Brimner, Larry Dane Cats!
Brown, Margaret Wise I Like Bugs. (BR)
Capucilli, Alyssa Satin Biscuit. (190)
Cobb, Annie Wheels! (BR)
Cohen, Caron Lee How Many Fish? (BR)
Copeland, Cynthia L. What Are You Waiting For?
Coxe, Molly Hot Dog. (BR)
Crowley, Ned Ugh! A Bug!
Eastman, P.D. Go, Dog. Go! (BR)
Ghigna, Charles Mice are Nice. (130)
Gill, Janie Spaht Monster Stew. (AD570)
Godwin, Laura Happy and Honey. (BR)
Greene, Carol Snow Joe. (BR)
Gregorich, Barbara The Gum on the Drum.
Hall, Kirsten A Bad, Bad Day. (BR)
Hamsa, Bobbie Fast Draw Freddie.
Haskins, Lori Ducks in Muck. (BR)
Hillert, Margaret The Yellow Boat. (BR)
Hoenecke, Karen Hide and Seek.
Howard, Reginald The Big, Big Wall.
Jensen, Patricia The Mess. (30)
Johnson, Mildred D. Wait! Skates. (BR)
Jordan, Taylor Hiccup.
Kanno, Wendy Holey Moley Cow.
Karlin, Nurit I See, You Saw. (BR)
Keller, Holly What I See.
Knudsen, Michelle Cat Hat.
Koontz, Robin Michal Why a Dog? By A. Cat. (BR)
Krensky, Stephen What a Mess! (BR)
Lascaro, Rita Down on the Farm. (NP)
Levinson, Nancy Smiler Say Cheese!
Lopshire, Robert Put Me in the Zoo. (270)
Lucas, Sally Dancing Dinos.
Maccarone, Grace “What Is That?” Said the Cat. (BR)
MacDonald, Steven Just Clowning Around: Two Stories.
Marx, David F. What is Up When You are Down?
Matthias, Catherine Out the Door.
Mayer, Mercer No One Can Play. (390)
McKissack, Pat Bugs! (BR)
Medearis, Angela Shelf We Play on a Rainy Day. (BR)
Meister, Cari Tiny's Bath. (BR)
Moffatt, Judith Who Stole the Cookies? (BR)
Moncure, Jane Belk Word Bird's No! No! Word Bird.
Moran, Alex Come Here, Tiger. (BR)
Morris, J. E. May I Please Have a Cookie? (250)
Most, Bernard Catch Me If You Can! (AD60)
Packard, Mary The Pet That I Want. (340)
Perkins, Al Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb. (NP)
Petrie, Catherine Joshua James Likes Trucks. (BR)
Rau, Dana Meachen Feet.
Ring, Susan Polar Babies. (70)
Rylant, Cynthia Puppy Mudge Takes a Bath. (420)
Seuss, Dr. Hop on Pop. (BR)
Shebar, Sharon Sigmond Milk: 10 Words.
Thiesing, Lisa All Better.
Thomas, Jan Rhyming Dust Bunnies.
Vinje, Marie Hanna's Butterfly.
We Both Read Lulu’s Lost Shoes. (200)
Wilhelm, Hans I Am Lost! (BR)
Wolcott, Patty Pickle Pickle Pickle Juice. (440)
Young, James The Cows are in the Corn. (290)
Ziefert, Harriet Sleepy Dog. (80)

Phonetic Books

Bob Books Mat.
Carratello, Patty Mice on Ice: Long Vowel I.
Cox, Phil Roxbee Ted in a Red Bed. (BR)
Feldman, Eve Billy & Milly, Short & Silly.
Foster, Kelli C. The Tan Can.
Heling, Kathryn Mouse Makes Words: A Phonics Reader. (310)
Moncure, Jane Belk Word Bird Makes Words with Pig: A Short "i" Adventure.
Real Kids Readers The Big Box.
Redbank, Tennant Rug Bug.
Reese, Bob Slam Dunk: 10 Words.
See It, Say It, Hear It, Read It -Am as in Ham.
Stamper, Judith Bauer The Red Hen. (260)
Weston, Martha Jack and Jill and Big Dog Bill.
Winder, Jack Who’s New at the Zoo? 10 Words.
Wonder Books Cats: The Sound of Short A.

Rebus Books

Backyardigans A Royal Valentine.
Blue’s Clues Meet My Family.
Cocca-Leffler, Maryann Silly Willy. (NP)
Diego Diego Saves the Tree Frogs.
Gelman, Rita Golden Mole in a Hole. (NP)
Herman, Gail Otto the Cat. (NP)
Hooks, William H. The Gruff Brothers. (340)
Inches, Alison Piggley Helps Out.
Klingel, Cynthia Fitterer Leila at the Library and the Letter L.
Piper, Watty The Little Engine That Could and the Birthday Bike. (NP)
Santomero, Angela C. Blue is My Name.
Schecter, Ellen The Boy Who Cried “Wolf”. (510)

New Books for Beginner Readers

Some of these books can be READ BY a beginner reader, others are good for READING ALOUD TO a beginner reader.

Woodpecker Wants a Waffle by Steve Breen

Reading Level: Ages 3 - 9

Woodpecker REALLY wants to try a waffle, but no matter how hard he tries he can't get into the diner, so he has to devise a clever plan.

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More books by Lynne Rae Perkins

Frank and Lucky Get Schooled by Lynne Rae Perkins

Reading Level: Ages 4 - 9

Frank adopts Lucky from the animal shelter when they are both having very bad days. It turns out they have a lot in common, especially their love of science and math.

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I Really Like Slop! by Mo Willems

Reading Level: Ages 4 - 9

Mo Willems has written an Elephant and Piggie answer to Green Eggs and Ham, one with a more realistic ending.

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More books by Mo Willems

Archie the Daredevil Penguin by Andy Rash

Reading Level: Grades PreK - 3

All the other penguins know that Archie is fearless.  He has climbed to the summit of Nosebleed Mountain among other exploits.  But he's hiding a secret; he's afraid to swim and doesn't know how he'll get to Iceberg Nine for the fish fry.  After various attempts to fly there, Archie learns to overcome his fear of the ocean and the creatures that live there.  Rash's hilarious illustrations with sound bubbles will have you clapping for Archie along with his penguin friends!

Meet author/illustrator Andy Rash at the library on January 9th.

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Other books written or illustrated by Andy Rash

First Grade Dropout by Audrey Vernick

Reading Level: Ages 4 - 8

Is there anyone who hasn't done something that is so embarrassing that they don't want to face the witnesses?  In this book the boy's horrible blunder was, "I. Called. My. Teacher. MOMMY!!!"  The class and laughed and now he sees no alternative but to drop out of school.  The illustrations are Jules Feiffer-like.  There's a great one that shows the image of the boy's class as a marching band all shouting "Ha Ha"   and wearing caps that say "MOMMY."  In the end the boy learns a little about laughing off mistakes and laughing at others.

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Other books by Audrey Vernick

Other books written or illustrated by Matthew Cordell

Meet illustrator Matthew Cordell at the library on January 9th.