Best Beginning Chapter Books Books – Winter 2012

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Once kids take off in reading, they’re dying to read (beginning) chapter books. The best part about a beginning chapter book is that your kids are reading, and feel successful. The stories are cute and are accompanied by plenty of illustrations to support the reader. Here are some of my recently published favorites.

beginning chapter books

beginning chapter books

Kylie Jean
chapter book series
Written by Marci Peschke and Illustrated by Tuesday Mourning

These are JJ’s favorite books and what’s not to love? They’re pink books – with a main character that loves pink and the illustrations are in black and PINK. Plus, the stories are perfect for girls — Kylie Jean experiences things like getting the part in the ballet, or being the rodeo queen, things that readers can relate to and would want themselves.

beginning chapter books

The Legend of Diamond Lil: A J.J. Tully Mystery (J. J. Tully Mysteries)

written by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Kevin Cornell

J.J., a search-and-rescue dog, doesn’t like that his charges, a chicken and her chicks, want to spend time with the neighbor’s new dog, Diamond Lil. But, soon J.J. starts to like Diamond Lil just as much as the chicks. Then, when a possum tries to steal the chicks, it seems that Diamond Lil is involved. Is everything as it seems?

beginning chapter books

Have Fun, Anna Hibiscus!

written and illustrated by Atinuke

Anna Hibiscus lives in amazing Africa but in this story, she goes by herself to visit her Granny Canada in Canada where it’s snowy and cold. Anna gets to wear warm clothes and eat new foods. She even gets comfortable with Granny Canada’s dog and makes new friends. This is a delightful story of a sweet girl on an exciting new adventure.

beginning chapter books

Ellray Jakes Walks the Plank

written by Sally Warner, illustrated by Jamie Harper

I bet a lot of kids will relate to this story about Ellray and his little sister. Little sister overfeeds Ellray’s class fish and kills it. Ellray takes the blame to protect his sister, after all family is family, and gets to help find a new class pet.

beginning chapter books

The Seals That Wouldn’t Swim, Field Trip Mysteries

written by Steve Brezenoff, illustrated by Marcos Calo

The Field Trip Mysteries beginning chapter books are the field trips of Cat and her classmates. In this particular adventure, they are at the aquarium to see a seal show. But the seal show is cancelled and the kids discover that two of the seals have been drugged. It’s up to them to discover the person behind it.

beginning chapter books
Earwig and the Witch

written by Diana Wynne Jones, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky

Earwig is a spunky young orphaned witch who loves her life and does not want to be adopted. But she is. By a strange couple. Earwig discovers that the woman is a witch and the man is a much worse . . . and she is made a servant, not a daughter. Don’t worry, Earwig isn’t about to suffer in silence. With the help of a talking cat, she schemes to learn about magic, even getting the witch to teach her. Quirky and entertaining!

beginning chapter books

Heidi Heckelbeck Casts a Spell
written by Wanda Coven, illustrated by Priscilla Burris

Eight-year old Heidi Hecklebeck is a witch pretending to be a normal girl. She’s supposed to keep her magic a secret from others. It’s just so hard when Melanie Maplethorpe ruins Heidi’s part in the play. Heidi just can’t resist casting a spell to make Melanie forget her lines. Of course, Heidi won’t feel better about ruining the play, and learns a valuable lesson. (Beginning chapter book series.)

beginning chapter books

Missing! A Cat Called Buster (Rainbow Street Shelter)

written and illustrated by Wendy Orr

Josh always sees the orange cat, Buster, sitting on the porch with his owner, Mr. Larsen. When Mr. Larsen is taken to the hospital, Buster runs away from home. Josh and his family search for Buster everywhere. Will he end up at the Rainbow Street Animal Shelter? And who will he live with now? A sweet beginning chapter book about animal love and family closeness.

beginning chapter books

Fancy Nancy: Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth

written by Jane O’Connor, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser

Fans of Fancy Nancy are growing up, and so is Nancy. Nancy and her best friend, Bree, star in this early chapter book with Preiss-Glasser’s beautiful illustrations. AJ liked the story and read it in under an hour. (A beginning chapter book series.)

beginning chapter books

Zeke Meeks vs the Putrid Puppet Pals

written by D.L. Green

Zeke Meeks is a funny beginning chapter book with lots of entertaining illustrations. Third-grader, Zeke, is annoyed with his classmates who all jump on the latest marketing craze – Puppet Pals – and won’t play basketball with him anymore. Eventually, Zeke is tired of playing by himself so he gets his own Puppet Pals. The story is entertaining and brings to light commercialism and peer pressure.


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  1. The Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo is also amazing! There are six books in the series. It is all about this pig who loves buttered toast and all kinds of trouble that surrounds her.

    Beyond Traditional Math

  2. My youngest has ventured into chapter books too so I’m always on the look out for good ones and it’s so hard to find good ones! Fancy Nancy is now a chapter book, I have to say I’m a tad skeptical. What did you think of it? I loved the picture book series with such great vocabulary, but chapter book?… Curious to hear your thoughts!

    1. I ordered the first Fancy Nancy chapter book for my daughter (1st grade, good reader). She loved it and I thought it was very good. You should give them a try.