You probably know how much I love finding GOOD beginning chapter books that will keep kids reading because the stories are really engaging & interesting.
I particularly love both Rabbit & Bear and Fox + Chick for new readers. I predict these will be read and reread many, many times.
New Beginning Chapter Books, Winter 2019
Big Words Small Stories: The Missing Donut by Judith Henderson, illustrated by T L McBeth
Get excited about words! These short, entertaining stories about a boy and his cat contain challenging vocabulary words in context. This isn’t just an easy chapter book of stories but also provides rich vocabulary. I love that! ADDED TO: The Best Books for 7-Year-Olds
Rabbit & Bear: Rabbit’s Bad Habits by Julian Gough & Jim Field
This beginning chapter book is delightfully weird, hilarious, and tender-hearted! Neil Gaiman says this book is “a laugh-out-loud story” and I completely agree. There’s a lot to love about this book including the tidbits of science like gravity and a rabbit’s diet (they eat their poop– but only some of their poop!) I also love the thoughtfully developed character arc of Rabbit who begins by stealing Bear’s food and is a rude, know-it-all but becomes self-reflective, repentant, and kind. ADDED TO: The Best Books for 7-Year-Olds
Arnold and Louise Lost and Found by Erica S. Perl, illustrated by Chris Chatterton
Sometimes even your best friend can annoy you. Arnold collects things — rocks, pinecones, sticks. His best friend, Louise, likes to borrow Arnold’s treasures. And lose them. So Arnold isn’t too keen on lending Louise his newest treasure — a shiny, greenish lens from broken glasses. When Arnold wants it back, Louise sends him on a treasure hunt. And it turns out that Arnold’s treasure becomes a wonderful gift for a nest of baby birds.
Arnold and Louise The Great Lousweezie by Erica S. Perl, illustrated by Chris Chatterton
I like the simple text and illustrations in this easy chapter book series. Even better is the message of friendship. Arnold isn’t too sure that Louise can predict the future but he is kind enough to find a way to make sure Louise knows she’s valued. ADDED TO: The Best Books for 7-Year-Olds
The Quiet Boat Ride and Other Stories (Fox + Chick) by Sergio Ruzzier
EASIEST CHAPTER BOOK
There’s such a sweetness in the playful adventures of two friends who, like Frog and Toad, have distinct personalities yet always support each other. That combined with the delectable comic panel illustrations plus easy text in dialogue bubbles make this book a new favorite. ADDED TO: The Best Books for 6-Year-Olds/Easiest Beginning Chapter Books
Yasmin in Charge by Saadia Faruqi, illustrated by Hatem Aly
Just like the first book, Yasmin shows us that she’s a creative problem solver with a kind heart. I love that her Pakistani culture is embedded within the stories but the stories are all about being a kid at school, in her neighborhood, at the zoo, and at home. Colorful, eye-pleasing illustrations. ADDED TO: The Best Books for 7-Year-Olds
Polly Diamond and the Super Stunning Spectacular School Fair by Alice Kulpers, illustrated by Diana Toledano
Book-loving Polly Diamond has a magic journal. Whatever she writes in it comes true — which she learned the hard way in the first book, can have a way of backfiring. Now Polly’s planning for her school fair. Only maybe she didn’t quite remember what can happen when she writes everything in her magic book. Because this school fair is about to be a magic-carpet-ride, dragon- and fairy-filled event to remember! What’s even worse is that Polly can’t find her book to write everything back to normal.
Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts
Unfortunately, I’m disappointed with this second book. While I love that Ada and her friends ask questions, problem solve, and learn about liquids and gases, the plot leaves something to be desired. First of all, it’s Rosie’s invention that is the problem, not Ada’s. Whose book is this anyway? And second of all, the invention is not even remotely reasonable — he is wearing helium gas pants and is floating over town without a tether. There is only so much disbelief I can suspend in a STEM-themed book. This ridiculous invention makes no sense. Only recommended for how it models inquisitive thinking.