Best Easy Reader Books for 5- and 6-Year-Olds

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Discover the best early easy readers for 5- and 6-year-olds in kindergarten and 1st grade including phonics books and easy readers levels 1, 2, and 3 for boys and girls.

Sometimes these books are called easy readers, early readers, emergent readers, or beginning reader books. No matter what you call them, this list of books offers good reading choices with minimal text for beginning readers for kids in kindergarten and first grade.

The research on learning to read and teaching children to read (the Science of Reading) is clear that almost all children need to be taught phonics which basically is teaching the sounds of letters and then combining those sounds into words. I have decodable books on this list but you can see more decodable books here and more about decodable vs. predictable books here.


Best Easy Readers for 5- and 6- Year- Olds (Kindergarten and First Grade)

So if you’re looking for the best easy readers for 5-year-old and 6-year-old boys and girls in kindergarten and first grade, this list will help.

**Go HERE for easy beginning chapter books for 6- and 7-year-old boys and girls.

Table of Contents (Click to Jump to the Section You Want)

  1. Easy Reader Phonics Books
  2. Level 1 Readers
  3. Acron Books
  4. Level 2 Readers
  5. Level 3 Readers

Phonics and Pre-Level 1 Easy Reader Books

I am super picky about recommending easy readers and phonics books. Why? Because so many of them are really terrible. Like mind-numbing, not-a-story, insult your child’s intelligence terrible. The thing is, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can practice phonics and decoding words without killing a child’s interest in reading. There are so many GREAT high-quality, decodable easy readers. Here are my favorite book choices for new readers in kindergarten and first grade.

Easy Readers / Phonics Books / Level 1 Readers for ages 5 and 6
Pig Wig: Flip a Word Books
From Blue Apple Books, these are colorful books focused on learning word families.

I Can Read Box Tug the Pup Set 1 Easy Readers / Phonics Books / Level 1 Readers for ages 5 and 6 kindergartenLearn to Read with TUG THE PUP and Friends Box Set 1 Guided Reading Levels A – C
These are guided reading books but not necessarily decodable books with interesting plots, lovable characters, and engaging illustrations. Each box set contains 11 stories, 1 parent guide, and stickers. 

Bob Books Easy Readers / Phonics Books / Level 1 Readers
DECODABLE Bob Books are true phonics readers with a focus on phonetic rules and skills.
Bob Books Set 1 – Beginning Readers (12 books)
Bob Books Set 2 – Advancing Beginners (12 books)
Bob Books Set 3 – Word Families (10 books)
Bob Books Set 4 – Complex Words (8 books)
Bob Books Set 5 – Long Vowels (8 books)
These easy reader books are short and sweet with black and white line art drawings.

Laugh-a-Lot Phonics
Scholastic mostly offers leveled books, but this is their decodable phonics series with simple short vowel words.

The Yak Pack
Comic book decodable readers!? Yes. Cute and fun, with different sounds for each collection, such as short vowels, diagraphs, and blends.

Best Easy Reader Books for 5- and 6-Year-Olds
In, Over and On the Farm by Ethan Long
Basic text and fun lift-the-flaps teach kids prepositions using the silly antics of farm animals.
Recommended Emergent Reader (Easy Readers) Books for 5 - and 6- Year Olds
See Pip Point by David Milgrim
Pre Level 1 Reader
Pip points at Otto’s balloon. But what happens when Otto shares the balloon? Pip floats away so Otto must help. Easy to read and funny. (See more in the series here.)

Flubby Is Not a Good Pet
by J.E. Morris
This VERY easy reader is about a cat named Flubby who, like most cats, does no tricks or other fun pet things. But in the end, he and his owner, Kami, comfort each other in a loud thunderstorm. Darling!

Fox on a Box
 by Phil Roxbee Cox
This is a great beginning reader phonics story to read again and again. We love these Usborne phonics readers for Kinder and 1st grade reading practice.

Sam Sheep Can’t Sleep
by Jenny Tyler
Another beginning reader book in the Usborne Phonics Readers that we really love.

Let’s Say Hi to Friends Who Fly
 by Mo Willems
We adore this easy reader series because they’re silly and readable with a lot of repetition!

Big Cat Good Books for 5 - 6 Year Old Beginning Readers Easy Readers / Phonics Books / Level 1 Readers
Big Cat
 by Ethan Long
Adorable illustrations pair with simple, repetitive text such as, “Big Cat can hide.” This is a great book for the earliest of readers with only one sentence per page.

Early Reader Books Level 1

Fish and Sun
by Sergio Ruzzier
I Can Read Comics 1
Fish and Sun are two good friends who play all day together but the first day they meet, Fish is worried that Sun will never come back to play. But, the next day Sun returns! Adorable characters and a sweet friendship make this easy reader comic a great choice for beginning readers.

Let’s Go For a Drive
by Mo Willems
Gerald has the great idea of going for a drive! But first (and second and third), Piggie thinks of what they need to bring along. Silly fun about two best friends with big personalities. See ALL the Elephant and Piggie books.

We Are in a Book by Mo Willems
I love this Elephant and Piggie book — but they are all awesome. You’ll notice the first page starts with “Thank you” which you’ll only understand once you read it. It is hilarious! These are the BEST beginning reader books because they’re not dumbed down; they’re hilarious and they’re engaging. See ALL the Elephant and Piggie books.

Pig Makes Art
by Laura Gehl, illustrated by Fred Blunt
A hilarious story about a pig who creates art for an unappreciative cat friend. Soon, Pig creates art ON the sleeping cat– and that inspires a fun chase and a new artist, Cat. Darling.

I’m On It (Elephant & Piggie Like Reading)
by Andrea Tsurumi
Follow along as Goat and Frog try to outdo each other. You’ll laugh at their goofy antics, learn prepositions, and see an important lesson — that it’s okay to say no and stop playing something you don’t like.

It’s a Sign
by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey
New readers will enjoy this clever story about animals who make signs and start a sign-making club. It’s part of the Mo Willems Elephant and Piggie I Like Reading book series.

Goat Wants to Eat
by Laura Gehl, illustrated by Fred Blunt
Ready to Read
Goats eats anything that Cat naps on in this playful and funny story. The predictable text will support beginning readers. “Cat will nap on the seat. // Goat will eat the seat. // Cat will nap on the coat. // Goat will eat the coat.” Darling.

Big Dog and LIttle Dog Wearing Sweaters Easy Readers / Phonics Books / Level 1 Readers
Big Dog and Little Dog Wearing Sweaters
by Dav Pilkey
Green Light Level 1 Readers)
Very simple text tell the story of Little Dog who helps Big Dog get his own sweater . . . vest.  Parents, you’ll like that the last few pages have fun activities — a maze, word search, story sequencing, and sentence to picture matching.

Best Easy Reader Books for 5- and 6-Year-Olds
Little Big Horse Where’s My Bike
 by Dave Horowitz
Scholastic Level 1
Pablo takes Little Big Horse’s bike. And breaks it! But it’s only a flat tire and Little Big Horse knows what to do to fix it. Very simple text, great illustrations, and an engaging story make this a new early reader favorite.

Tiny Goes Back to School
by Cari Meister, illustrated by Rich Daivs 
Penguin Level 1 Reader
This is a great beginning reader with only a few words per page. It’s about a dog who doesn’t know commands such as “sit” and has to go back to doggy school.

That Egg is Mine
by Liz Goulet Dubois
Duck chases and claims the spotty egg that looks like Cluck who thinks the egg is hers. But they both are surprised when a creature emerges that doesn’t belong to either of them! Pay attention to the shadow on the last page — and you’ll figure out what the egg really is. 

Ruby and the Magic Garden (Fairy Hill)
 by Cari Meister, illustrated by Erika Meza
Scholastic Level 1
Ruby and her fairy friends live in Fairy Hill. They love to learn magic and dream of what their big wings will look like when they earn them. In a sweet act of kindness, Ruby helps a lost baby deer find its home.

best easy readers for 5 and 6 year olds
Baby Monkey, Private Eye
by Brian Selznick and David Serlin, illustrated by Brian Selznick
Kids love this delightful, humorous collection of stories about an adorable monkey who solves mysteries. Predictable text helps new readers know what to expect next in the story. Here’s an example: (One sentence per page.)
“Baby monkey looks for clues.
Baby monkey writes notes.
Baby monkey eats a snack.
Baby monkey puts on his pants.” 
Oh, and you know what else kids will love? (Besides the stories?) It’s a BIG, impressive-looking book. Kids like reading big books for street cred, right?

best easy reader books for 5 and 6 year olds
My Toothbrush is Missing
 by Jan Thomas
Dog tells his friends that his toothbrush is missing. Donkey asks Dog to describe it. Which leads to hilarious fun! Because for every description Dog shares (bristles, long handle), Donkey thinks he’s found it — but he finds other things that also fit those descriptions (Fat Cat, a broom, an egg beater, …) Entertaining dialogue, brilliant brightly-colored comic-style illustrations, and a funny, funny ending. Perfection. (Can you tell I love Jan Thomas?)

good easy books for 5 and 6 year old beginning readers Easy Readers / Phonics Books / Level 1 Readers
What Is Chasing Duck?
by Jan Thomas
Bold graphic illustrations capture the humorous worries of the animals who describe something that they are all running away from. Which turns out to be . . . well, you’ll see when you read it. Get ready to giggle!

The Doghouse
by Jan Thomas
The ball goes into the doghouse. Who will get it out? Cow will. But doesn’t come out. Then, Pig goes in and doesn’t come out either. Finally, Duck enters. Yikes! What is going on? What happens to the friends after going into the doghouse? You’ll laugh when you find out what’s really going on.

best early readers
by Alyssa Satin Capucilli, illustrated by Pat Schories
The Biscuit books are classic early readers that give kids successful reading experiences. Biscuit is a cute, playful puppy who lives with his little girl and her family. See ALL the Biscuit books for kids.

books for 5 and 6 year olds (level 1 reader)
LEGO City: All Aboard
(Level 1 Reader)
by Sonia Sander
These are a favorite for any LEGO enthusiast, especially boys! This book about trains is just one of many in this recommended easy level 1 reader series. See ALL the LEGO Easy Readers.

Snow Day
by Candice Ransom, illustrated by Erika Meza
Siblings, brother and sister, watch the flakes falling outside the window. When school is canceled, they’ll get to play outside with their friends. This continues their easy reader book series which also includes Apple Picking Day, Pumpkin Day, and Garden Day.

This Is My Fort (A Monkey & Cake Book)
by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Olivier Tallec
Cake makes a fort but won’t let Monkey play in it. Monkey really loves forts so he turns the tables with a clever twist. I love the lesson of being inclusive and also the dialogue bubbles in different colors showing which character is speaking.

Let’s Make Cake (Bobo and Pup Pup)
by Vikram Madan, illustrated by Nicola Slater
The friends decide to make a cake. Bobo gathers silly things that aren’t part of the recipe (like a hat and a stick). This is a charming, silly story with easy-to-read conversation bubble dialogue and playful comic illustrations!

early readers for 5 and 6 year olds
Baseball Buzz
by CC Joven
Sports Illustrated Kids Level 1 Readers
In this simple story with one sentence per page, Jackson likes baseball. He plays in a game. All is going well until a bee comes along! Cute and fun. Glad to see some diversity in it.

Best Books for 5 and 6 Year Olds Recommended Emergent Reader (Easy Readers) Books for 5 - and 6- Year Olds
We Are Growing
by Laurie Keller
Excitement abounds as the stalks realize that they are growing. But the excitement turns into comparisons (who is the crunchiest & pointiest). Just as they’re brainstorming, a lawn mower arrives and mows them all down. Gasp! Now, what will they do? Funny and sweet!

Hi, Jack!
 (A Jack Book) by Mac Barnett & Greg Pizzoli
I LOVE this amazing early reader story because it’s easy, fun, and MAKES SENSE. Read all about mischievous Jack who lives with Lady. Jack gets into trouble over and over again and it’s hilarious. 🙂

Jack Blasts Off!
(A Jack Book) by Mac Barnett & Greg Pizzoli
Lady sends Jack and his friend Rex on a one-way ticket to space where they crash land on an alien’s spaceship. The alien gets angry so Jack and Rex leave for the dark side of the moon where they encounter a big scary monster! But the alien will save them! It’s a real, suspense-filled adventure in the packaging of an early reader. Impressive!

Little Penguin and the Mysterious Object
by Tadgh Bentley
Penguin welcomes you to the book and shows you the found thing that no one can figure out. What will you think? The penguins love a mystery and there is lots of playful exploration, some deductive reasoning, and a hilarious ending.

Am I a Frog?
by Lizzy Rockwell
Don’t miss this fantastic nonfiction easy reader! The simple text narrates a conversation between a tadpole and the author. The author answers the tadpole’s questions and explains to the tadpole about his characteristics now (gills like a fish, a tail that helps him swim) and the upcoming change into a grog (grow front legs, shorter tail, and jumping out of water).

See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog
by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
Kids who like silly stories will want to read this story again and again! Read the story that the narrator tells then on the opposite page, read Dog’s arguments disagreeing with the narrator’s story. There is no “blue cat in a green dress” argues the dog! But maybe they both are right? The repetition of words and similar short text structure makes this an excellent choice for growing readers.

See the Dog: Three Stories About a Cat
by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
In three hilarious stories, Cat helps out with the story for Dog who is sick. But when the narrator writes that Dog digs a hole, Cat doesn’t want to. And when the narrator writes that Dog fetches a stick in a lake, that doesn’t go well for Cat either. Let’s hope Dog feels better soon!

Friends Do Not Eat Friends (Thunder and Cluck)
by Jill Esbaum, illustrated by Miles Thompson

Ready to Read Graphics 1
100% hilarious fun! When a grumpy and ferocious dinosaur, Thunder, meets a positive, unafraid bird named Cluck, Thunder can NOT believe that Cluck believes they should be friends. But Cluck is determined to help Thunder believe — and before he knows it, the two of them are friends!

Your Friend Parker
by Parker Curry & Jessica Curry, illustrated by Brittany Jackson and Tajae Keith
Parker goes on vacation and writes one big letter (this book) about her trip to her best friend.

Penny and Her Marble by Kevin Henkes
When Penny takes her little sister for a walk, she sees a shiny blue marble on her neighbor’s lawn and puts it in her pocket. But Penny feels bad that she keeps it because it isn’t hers. Penny must make a decision about what to do — keep it or give the marble back.

Nick and Nack Fly a Kite
by Brandon Budzi, illustrated by Adam Record
Highlights Puzzle Readers Level 1
Nick is a boy and Nack is a robot. After a windy day, they pick up sticks and use them to make a kite. But first, they need to find all the supplies. The best part of this story is that as you read, you’ll get to help them find their supplies. Fun, right?

Nick and Nack Build a Birdhouse
by Brandon Budzi, illustrated by Adam Record
Highlights Puzzle Readers Level 1
Clever Nick and Nack eat a lot of ice pops then use their popsicle sticks to build a birdhouse. Help them find the materials they need by searching for hidden objects. I’m impressed with the combination of an interesting story with a diverse main character, the interactive hidden pictures, and the integration to STEM concepts.

Peach and Plum Here We Come!
by Tim McCanna (graphic novel)
Excellent. I like how the rhyming supports the decoding of the text. In this book, two good fruit friends experience tasty adventures such as riding bikes and going to the beach.

What About Worms?
by Ryan T. Higgins
Tiger is big and brave but he’s scared of worms. “Worms ruin everything.” The Worms love the apples and dirt and the books that Tiger leaves behind. They’re so appreciative of his kind gifts, they rush off to give Tiger a big worm hug. Elephant and Piggie fans will laugh at this silly ending and Tiger’s crazy antics.

Early Reader Books for 5 and 6 year old kids Easy Readers / Phonics Books / Level 1 Readers
Gran on a Fan
by Kevin Bolger, illustrated by Ben Hodson
What a fun easy reader book! Each page is like a cartoon with easy-to-read words and easy sentences using those words. Fantastic illustrations.

Recommended Emergent Reader (Easy Readers) Books for 5 - and 6- Year Olds
Lazy Bear, Crazy Bear
by Kevin Bolger, illustrated by Ben Hodson
So many bears! Bear with plates. Bear on skates. And sheep. And mice. Well, you get the picture. For each long vowel sound, there’s another zany adventure with eye-catching cartoons.

I Want to Be a Doctor
by Laura Driscoll, illustrated by Catalina Echeverri
A story filled with helpful information about doctors, this little boy and his family go to the hospital because his brother Jack hurt his foot. They’ll learn about different doctors who can help fix Jack’s foot.

Ice Cream Soup
by Ann Ingalls
A little boy makes an ice cream cake that turns into soup because of everything he adds. I like the rhyming text because it helps cue early readers.

best early readers
May I Please Have a Cookie? by Jennifer Morris
Alfie really wants to eat the cookies but his first attempts to get a cookie aren’t very polite. His mom helps him figure out that he should ask nicely.

Best Books for 5 and 6 Year Olds
LEGO Star Wars: A New Hope by Emma Grange
Read the exciting story of the original Star War (Episode IV ) movie retold using mini-figures and sets. (These DK readers are a favorite at my school library!)

Steve & Wessley Ice Cream Shop
Steve & Wessley in The Ice Cream Shop by J.E. Morris 
Scholastic Level 1 Reader
Steve cannot get into that Ice Cream Shop. He pushes and pushes the door but it doesn’t work. You’ll laugh when you realize Steve’s mistake. These simple stories are funny and perfect for beginning readers.

Nonfiction Early Readers 
Caterpillar to Butterfly by Laura Marsh
I love the informational but simple text matching each beautiful photograph. These books are bright, colorful, and factual — just perfect for any beginning reader.

 Easy Readers / Phonics Books / Level 1 Readers  
Jungle Animals by Camilla Gersh
In a word, perfect. This little book packs a big punch with the perfect balance of colorful visuals (photographs) and leveled informational text. Fantastic!

early readers for 5 and 6 year olds
Ninja on the Farm (Moby Shinobi)
by Luke Flowers
Scholastic Level 1 Reader
Ninja wants to help out on the farm. But his kicks, swipes, and flips turn out disastrous with every chore which, of course, is hilarious. Just when he’s about to give up on helping the farmer, he finds his perfect job . . . A very fun rhyming story.

Rat Attack review
Rat Attack
 by Molly Coxe
The rats try to steal Gram’s jam but Ann, Fran, and Stan have a plan. The story practices the short “a” sound but even better, there is an actual story. Plus, the photos of the stuffed animal characters and settings are fantastic. (Not all of the stories in this series are as good as this one due to the overlay of dark text on busy photos — you just can’t see all the words.)

Acorn Books

Princess Truly I Can Build It!
by Kelly Greenawalt, illustrated by Amariah Rauscher
In this positive, diverse, girl-powered, STEM story, inventor Princess Truly loves to build. So when her dog Sir Noodles tells her that the animal shelter is out of treats, Princess Truly decides to invent a snack machine for the shelter.

Don’t Worry, BEE Happy
by Ross Burach
Sure to give readers the giggles, this cute story in cartoon format is about two bees named Bumble and Bee and their grumpy frog friend and everything that happens in their day…told in short stories. From picture day to hiccups to a dance party, you’ll love their unlikely friendship and entertaining antics.

Frog Meets Dog
by Janee Trasler
While this is not a phonics book but possibly controlled text, it’s simple and cute. You’ll find it reminiscent of Dick and Jane with very short word sentences like, “Frogs jump. Can dog jump too?

The Great Bunk Bed Battle
(An Acorn Book) by Tina Kugler
When fox siblings Fritz and Franny go to bed, they don’t actually go to sleep. They compare which bunk bed is best and imagine adventures through a forest with a castle, a moat and a boat, a submarine, and a volcano on their beds. Simple text in speech bubbles and a relatable topic makes this a sure-fire hit with new readers.

Surf’s Up (Moby Shinobi and Toby Too!)
by Luke Flowers
Moby the ninja and his dog go to the beach. In these short stories, they discover that no matter what they do like building a sandcastle, it’s always better if they work together. Rhyming, easy-to-read text, adorable characters, and fun stories make this a new must-read for beginning readers.

A Magic Spark
(An Acorn Book) by Jessica Young, illustrated by Marie Vanderbemden
Readers who love magic and fairies will love these short stories about three fairies who become friends on the first day of fairy school. The new friends take a field trip to Crystal Pool to see what kind of magic they each have. After they discover their special talents, they have more magic-filled adventures like baking a cake and planning a party.

Do You Like My Bike? (Hello, Hedgehog!)
 by Norm Feuti
Not only is this written in comic panels but the dialogue is in bubbles in colors unique to the character speaking making this a supportive first graphic novel experience. Hedgehog can’t wait to show his friend Harry his new bike. Darling stories of friendship and bike riding.

Sparkly New Friends (Unicorn and Yeti)
by Heather Ayris Burnell, illustrated by Hazel Quintanilla
Unicorn helps Yeti be grateful and confident about who he is and where he lives. Then Yeti helps Unicorn try new things like a snowball fight. Short stories of friendship between two mythical creatures, what could be better!?


2) Easy Readers/ Level 2 Readers

Moving on to Level 2 readers or books that seem like this reading level to me…Remember that every publishing company has different criteria for what makes a level 2 book. These are just generally a step up from Level 1 books with a few more words and sentences on a page.

Fly Guy
by Tedd Arnold
Fly and the boy meet in this first book of a super hilarious series. Fly becomes the boy’s pet and friend. In this story, the boy enters his fly in an amazing pet contest, dazzling the judges, and winning the show. This series is EXCELLENT!

The Lost Kitten (Katie Fry, Private Eye)
by Katherine Cox, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton
It’s a good thing that Katie Fry solves mysteries because she needs to use her detective skills to help a lost kitty (whom she names Sherlock) find his home. A darling, entertaining, and diverse book series for early readers.

Frank and Bean
by Jamie Michalak, illustrated by Bob Kokar
What a weird and funny yet relatable book of stories! Solitary Frank can’t help but be friends with Bean even though he doesn’t want to at first. Bean is just such a lovable, loud, and exuberant character, Frank can’t help but be friends with him.

This Is My Fort (A Monkey & Cake Book) 
by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Olivier Tallec
Cake makes a fort but won’t let Monkey play in it. Monkey really loves forts so he turns the tables with a clever twist. I love the lesson of being inclusive and also the dialogue bubbles in different colors showing which character is speaking.

A Backyard Pet
by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Stephen Gilpin
Sugar wants to play with her siblings, but each sibling is busy playing with their pets. Poppy’s playing with her pet flowers. Dirt is playing with worms. And Sweetie is playing with a butterfly. Sweetie lies down on the ground and looks up at the clouds…her own special pets.

A Giant Mess (I Like to Read Comics)
by Jeffrey Ebbeler
I Like to Read Comics
In this ironic and funny early comic reader, Molly does NOT want to pick up her messy room. Roles are reversed with a giant toddler picks her up and messes up the entire town with his messy play– and doesn’t want to pick up his mess either.

What Ollie Saw
by Joukje Akvelo, illustrated by Sieb Posthuma
Ollie is seeing weird things. When his sister sees cows, Ollie sees water buffalos. When his sister sees cars, Ollie sees a circus parade with acrobats and a sea lion. Eventually, Ollie gets glasses — which he only needs some of the time. Playful illustrations and an imaginative, lovable main character make this a darling easy reader story about an important topic — getting glasses.

Kendall’s Snow Fort
by Meredith Rusu
The WellieWishers are worried about the animals getting cold in the snow. They decide to make a fort out of snow. When they start, Kendall gets distracted by all the other fun snow activities. Friendship and teamwork help the friends get the job done.

easy reader for ages 5 and 6
Henry and Mudge
by Cynthia Rylant, illustrations by Sucie Stevenson
Henry is lonely so his parents allow him to get a dog. He picks a puppy named Mudge who becomes his best friend. Kids love reading the short, heartwarming mini-stories in each chapter that always have helpful picture clues.

Unlimited Squirrels in I Lost My Tooth!
by Mo Willems
Fans of Elephant and Piggie will recognize the familiar dialogue bubbles and quirky humor as well as the many hilarious double meanings in this new, longer book about Zip Squirrel who has lost his tooth. Luckily his squirrel friends are there to help. Misunderstandings make this dramatic toothy adventure totally hilarious. 

Even Robots Can Be Thankful!
by Jan Thomas
Comic-book format, you will love the lovable stories of Blue Robot and Red Robot who, like people, have big feelings like fear of robot-eating monsters and love for bolts. Together they spend time at home talking, sorting bolts, and planning for a trip–among other activities.

Reina Ramos Works it Out
by Emma Otheguy, illustrated by Andres Landazabal
Reina can’t wait to be Frida Kahlo for her school’s wax museum, but her friend Nora picks Frida first. Reina feels upset but works things out with Nora and chooses to be Celia Cruz instead. A story of kindness and Latinx heroes.

Kit and Kaboodle Take the Train
by Michelle Portice, illustrated by Mitch Mortimer
Highlights Puzzle Readers Level 2 Let’s Read
Kids will love this interactive reading experience. Perfect for beginning readers, read the story of two good friends taking a very fun train ride to Sillyville. As you read the story, look for the hidden pictures on many of the two-page spreads.

Kit and Kaboodle Go Camping
by Michelle Portice, illustrated by Mitch Mortimer
Highlights Puzzle Readers Level 2 Let’s Read
These two friends pack for a camping trip then set off on a hike into the forest. They play games, eat snacks, look at clouds, and set up their camp. Help them find what they need in their backpacks by searching for the hidden pictures. What a fun book!

best easy readers for new readers
Curious George in Follow That Hat!
by H.A. and Margret Rey
I really like this Curious George adventure told in dialogue bubbles and charming illustrations about a day in the park. While playing catch, George and Sam notice the yellow hat moving on its own. What is happening? Sam and George follow the hat, chasing it all the way up a tree, where they discover that a squirrel was underneath.  

Petal and Poppy Best Books for 5- and 6-Year-Olds
Petal and Poppy
by Lisa Clough and Ed Briant (series)
Petal and Poppy are best friends that live together in a lighthouse. When they have trouble getting along at first, it all works out in the end with lots of hilarious hijinks and silliness to get there. 

Pass the Ball, Mo!
 by David A. Adler, illustrated by Sam Ricks
In a favorite early reader series about a boy who likes to try new sports, in this story, Mo is obsessed with basketball. Unfortunately, everyone on his team is taller and he’s having trouble passing the ball high enough. His dad helps him practice passing higher and higher. Their practice pays off during the next basketball game.

good books for 5 and 6 year old beginning readers
We Dig Worms!
 by Kevin McCloskey
I love, love, love this early reader book with eye-popping illustrations and one sentence of text per page that explains something about the worm — sometimes he has kids asking questions which the worm answers. McCloskey painted on recycled grocery bags which makes for a gorgeous, earthy feeling throughout. I just can’t say enough good things about this short little book! 

Monkey and Elephant Get Better
by Carole Lexa Schaefer, illustrated by Galia Bernstein
Hooray, another early reader that doesn’t stink! Clever adventures of friends, monkey and elephant, with bright, bold illustrations.

Guinness World Records Daring Dogs by Cari Meister
I Can Read 2
Impressive dogs and their feats will grab animal lovers’ attention and keep them reading in this engaging early reader book.

Best Books for 5 and 6 Year Olds
Slow, Slow Sloths
by Bonnie Bader
Level 2 Penguin Young Reader
I LOVE the photographs in this informational beginning reader. They make the nonfiction text pop so your child will learn while he or she is reading and viewing the photos. Even I learned a lot about sloths from this little book! Highly recommended.

Emerson Is Mighty Girl!
by Meredith Rusu
Emerson and her WellieWisher friends are playing pretend in the garden, searching for The Wicked Wellie of the West. Emerson enthusiastically catches the Witch but her behavior ruins their fun. She’ll need to figure out a way to fix things with her friends but she’s up to the task.

Best Books for 5- and 6-Year-Olds
Fly Guy Presents Sharks by Ted Arnold (series)
Visit the aquarium with Buzz and Fly Guy to learn about sharks in this terrific easy non-fiction reader. I LOVE how Arnold combines cartoons with photographs!

Good Easy Readers for 5- and 6- year olds
Ed and Ted and Ted’s Dog Fred
by Andy Griffiths, illustrated by Terry Denton
Easy Reader Level 2
Kids will love this silly caper written in rhyme with simple words about Ed, Ted, a dog called Fred, and a whale named Ned — well done!

good books for 6 year olds first grade
Mr. Putter & Tabby Drop the Ball by Cynthia Rylant and Arthur Howard (series)
Would your 5- and 6- year olds enjoy this book? So many kids love these sweet stories about Mr. Putter and his “fine” cat named Tabby.

 best easy readers for 5 and 6 year olds
The Party and Other Stories (Fox and Chick)
 by Sergio Ruzzier
Charming watercolor illustrations in comic panels accompany three stories of friendship that are filled with dry humor. I love how Ruzzier’s artwork captures nuances of emotion and personality which accompany the stories. Brilliant. Sure to be a favorite easy reader book for 5- and 6-year-olds.

good books for 6 year old readers in first grade
Scribbles and Ink Out of the Box
 by Ethan Long
In this easy adventure, Scribbles and Ink (a cat and mouse) find that a box is a really cool thing to play with — it can become so many things (a race car, a mask, overalls). Unfortunately, the duo begins arguing about who gets the box and the box rips in half. After working out their differences, they think of a boxtastic solution.

Aggie the Brave
by Lori Ries, illustrated by Frank Dormer
Colorful illustrations match the basic sentences which tell the story of Aggie the dog who must go to the vet to get spayed, stay overnight, and heal at home.  The story teaches about the process at the vet as well as what to expect – like the stitches and cone she must wear post-surgery. I love the way the little boy owner imagines that Aggie is not a cone-head but a LION.

Days with Frog and Toad
Days with Frog and Toad
by Arnold Lobel (series)
Giggle and share in the daily life of two best but very different friends. An enchanting and a first-grade favorite!

Elephant Joe
Elephant Joe, Brave Firefighter
by David Wojtowycz
Step into Reading Comic Reader 2
Dragon gets stuck in a tree but his friend, Elephant Joe saves him. This is a decent story with unique paper cutting and cartoon dialogue bubbles.

Books for 5 and 6 year olds kindergarten and first grade
Lunch, or WHAT’S THAT? Freckleface Strawberry
by Julianne Moore, illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Kids will easily relate to this book about the curious (gross, terrifying) foods served in the school cafeteria. I’m impressed with this funny story.

best easy readers for 5 and 6 year olds
Snails Are Just My Speed!
 by Kevin McCloskey
McCloskey begins this book with one large sentence of factual information per two page spread “With mucus, they can travel on any surface.” Then, the cartoon illustrations have dialogue bubbles of speech with more details. “My mucus can be like oil…” and “or like glue!” Later pages in the book are set up a bit differently with a bit more text. If you’re looking for a high-quality nonfiction easy reader, this is an excellent choice.

Easy Readers Level 3+

Level 3 easy readers give readers paragraphs to read, sometimes 2 or more, on each page. Again, like the other levels of early readers for kindergartners, 1st graders, and 2nd graders, the level 3 difficulty varies by publishing company.

CeCe Loves Science: Push and Pull
by Kimberly Derting and Shelli R. Johannes, illustrated by Vashti Harrison
Cece’s teacher, Miss Curie, explains to the class about the opposing forces of push and pull. She divides the class into two teams. The teams are tasked with making a dog treat dispenser using either pushing or pulling forces. Readers will appreciate the diversity, the STEM themes, and the growth mindset.

best easy readers for 5 and 6 year olds
Snowball Run
by Lisa Harkrader, illustrated by Lynne Avril
It’s a snow day so Emmie, her little brother Owen, and Booker are sledding at Booker Hill. But Owen easily tires of climbing back up the steep hill and he’s too heavy for Emmie and Booker to pull him up more than once.

The Outside Dog
by Charlotte Pomerantz, illustrated by Jennifer Plecas
Marisol lives a quiet life with her grandfather in Puerto Rico. One day, she finds a stray dog near her house and names it Pancho. Like the other stray dogs she sees, Marisol wants to keep Pancho. However, her Grandfather worries about fleas and ticks. 

Gigi and Ojiji
by Melissa Iwai (Level 3)
Gigi is excited to play with her grandfather Ojiisan who is visiting from Japan. Onc they meet, she feels concerned that he’s too old to play tag and feels hurt that he was laughing at her. Gigi’s mom helps her understand their cultural differences, and they find a way to connect.

Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same
by Grace Lin
Six short stories about twins, Ling and Ting, show their unique personalities, even though they look identical. From getting their hair cut or making dumplings, kids will find their daily adventures to be funny, sweet, and relatable. This diverse easy readers series is a favorite with many kindergarten and 1st-grade students.

best easy readers for 5 and 6 year olds
Rafi and Rosi Pirates!
by Lulu Delacre (level 3, early fluent)
Set in Puerto Rico with Spanish words mixed into the text, tree frogs and siblings Rafi and Rosi with big imaginations. These three stories take place at Morro Fort in San Juan. The children explore and play — pretending to be pirates, finding real gold coins, and imagining a sea monster attack. 

Twinky: The Dinky Dog
by Kate Klimo, illustrated by Michael Fleming
A darling rhyming story about Twinky, a dog who dislikes that his owner carries him around in a purse and dresses him up. How will Twinky show his owner (and the world) that he’s really a big, brave dog?

Yin-Yang Sisters and the Dragon Frightful
by Nancy Tupper Ling, illustrated by Andrea Offermann
Destined to fight the dragon, twins Mei and Wei each have their own ideas of how to thwart the dragon when he attacks. Nothing works until they learn to work together…and that kindness wins.

Hamster Chase
by Anastasia Suen, illustrated by Allan Elzen
Oh, no! Peter takes the class hamster out of the cage and it scurries away. He and his friends try to capture it but every time they get close, it escapes again. Will they ever get it back in its cage?

Bling! 100 Fun Facts About Rocks and Gems

National Geographic Level 3
The writers pick interesting, readable information about rocks and gems that will fascinate readers along with the full-color photos and appealing graphic design.

Mythical Beasts: 100 Fun Facts About Real Animals and the Myths They Inspire
by Stephanie Warren Drimmer
Learn about unique real creatures like giant squids who were mistaken for mythical creatures, such as a kracken. Fascinating facts and photographs plus imaginative stories and illustrations will keep readers enthralled.

Also Read:

Gifts for 5 Year Old Girls

Gifts for 5 Year Old Boys

Beginning Chapter Books for 1st Grade 6 Year Olds

Good Books for Kids Who Like Dog Man

Word Attack Strategies (Beyond Sound It Out)

Good Coloring Books for Kids

Literati Book Subscription Box for Kids

More Book Lists By Age:
Books for 7-year olds
Books for 8-year olds
Books for 9-year olds
Books for 10-year olds
Books for 11-year olds
Books for 12-year olds
YA Books

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  1. Hi,
    Is there a PDF of this list? I cannot seem to find it.
    Thanks! ellen

  2. I worked in a very busy children’s dept. in a large diverse library. This selection of kindergarten age books are excellent. In the past nine years I’ve read most of the books you’ve listed, to the children during a storytime program or for my own enjoyment. Well done!

  3. Hi Melissa, I was really impressed to see these fabulous books for five to six years old kids. It helps to build their literacy foundations and keep them engaged with reading. I really appreciate bob books. My First Bob Books: Pre-Reading Skills are fun and simple books you read to your child. Each story contains important foundation skills as part of the plot. Inside the front cover you ll discover games to play with your child, discussion ideas and other simple ways to enjoy each story. As always, signature Bob Books quirky humour and silly illustrations mean fun for all. My best wishes for fun, joy and success as your family enter the wonderful world of reading.

  4. My daughter and I love the Mr. Putter and Tabby series, especially the ones with their wacky neighbor. Very sweet stories; not for kids who need action-packed books, but enjoyable.

    1. If she likes Mr. Putter, she may also like all the Henry and Mudge books by Cynthia Rylant, the same author as the Mr. Putter books. Children love series, because they get to know the characters. 🙂 Happy reading.