Skill-Building Easy Readers with Excellent Stories
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Are your kids learning to read? Then you need good easy readers to get them excited to practice their burgeoning skills. I have a big list of easy reader recommendations HERE which will also include today’s list of newly published books. What will you find on the list today? Well, Mo Willems has a new book filled with squirrel humor, Jan Thomas has two new silly stories with surprise endings, and Maud the Koala’s new stories address big feelings in a relatable way. Learn more about them below.
Also, it’s important to me that easy readers I recommend your kids be interesting and entertaining. It only takes a few terrible phonics stories that lack a sensible story to disinterest readers. Early readers don’t need to be dumbed down to be easy, decodable, or skill-building. The books on this list ALL have excellent stories. Something that is important when we’re sharing books with readers.
If you’re concerned about levels, you can look on the Scholastic site here. But, remember that kids can read books that stretch them, especially when they’re motivated by a great story!
Skill-Building Easy Readers with Excellent Stories
Unlimited Squirrels in I Lost My Tooth! by Mo Willems
He’s baaak… This new Mo Willems book is so fantastically entertaining that even my 16-year-old LOVED it. That’s saying something, right? Although it is technically an early reader book meant especially for new readers practicing their decoding and comprehension skills, I’d say it’s also a great choice for children of any age. 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. (Keep in mind, there are two meanings to lost your tooth — lost it as in it fell out of your mouth, lost it as in misplaced.) Luckily his squirrel friends are there to help him. Misunderstandings make this dramatic toothy adventure totally hilarious. Look for the “emote-acorns” on the pages when the squirrels have BIG feelings. Peppered throughout the story are three “Acorn-y” jokes (get it? corny?)– ha, ha! You’ll also read informational text in the back sharing fun facts about both human teeth and squirrel teeth.
A Birthday for Cow! by Jan Thomas
Colorful cartoon-like illustrations plus a funny easy-to-read story with a twist make this another fantastic Jan Thomas early reader in The Giggle Gang series. “Pig and Mouse are going to make Cow the best birthday cake EVER!” Duck knows just what to add — a turnip! A turnip? In fact, Duck suggests a turnip not just for the ingredients but to stir and to put on top of the cake. Pig and Mouse say no. What will cow say when he sees the cake? He’ll think the turnip is the best birthday gift ever!
The Doghouse by Jan Thomas
The ball went into the doghouse. Who will get it out? “Cow will! Cow is BIG. Cow is BRAVE. // MOO? // Cow goes into THE DOGHOUSE. But cow does not come out.” Next, Pig goes in and doesn’t come out. Then Duck. What is going on? What happens to the friends after going into the doghouse? It seems scary but you’ll laugh when you find out what’s really going on! I LOVE this series of books. If you have children who are learning to read, these are must-own books.
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.
Fish Are Not Afraid of Doctors (Maud the Koala) by J.E. Morris
Maud is nervous about seeing the doctor. She wishes she were a fish then imagines it — that she has two floppy fins and a swooshy tail. Soon, she’s swimming in the deep blue sea in her daydream. Before she knows it, the appointment is over. When her mom compliments Maud on her bravery, she replies, “…fish are not afraid of doctors.” Appealing comic-style panels invite readers into this relatable childhood experience and hopefully will help kids with a strategy for nerves at the doctor’s office. I think it’s a great topic, don’t you!?
Much Too Much Birthday (Maud the Koala) by J.E. Morris
Maud invites 56 people to her birthday party. Only to realize that it’s way too many for her comfort. So she slips away behind some bushes. There, she finds Eleanor. The two friends later enjoy a tiny birthday party later on just with themselves which is much more fun. It’s a charming story that will show introverts and shy kids that there are other children who feel just like they do.
What a great list of easy-reader books! For many picture books, emerging readers can go on a “picture walk” before reading to get an idea of what will happen in the story and make predictions. Picture Walks are great ways to enable comprehension development, especially when your child is just starting to sound out unfamiliar words.
so true — it’s a great strategy!
I’m torn about promoting a Mo Willems book after he was accused of sexual misconduct: https://www.pragmaticmom.com/2018/07/sexual-misconduct-in-childrens-book-publishing-metoo-timesup/
This is a good point, Mia. I am deeply concerned about the horrible things that happen to women and believe we should support each other in healing, compassion, and kindness. I would never promote abusers. Ever. However, I also want to consider that people have a right to be innocent until proven guilty. I feel very conflicted about being the judge and jury.
Do you have any thoughts about this?