Playful Early Reader Books

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Beginning readers need lots of books to practice those new reading skills. So, I’m always excited to discover new early reader books and new early reader book series — like these! See what you think and then for all my easy reader reviews, go to my best books for 5- and 6-year olds page.

Playful Early Reader Books

Gran on a Fan easy reader review
Gran on a Fan
by Kevin Bolger, illustrated by Ben Hodson (silly short vowels)
What a fun book! Each page is like a cartoon with easy to read words and easy sentences using those words. Fantastic illustrations!

lazy bear crazy bear early reader review
Lazy Bear, Crazy Bear
by Kevin Bolger, illustrated by Ben Hodson (loony long vowels)
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.

What This Story Needs is a Pig In a Wig book review
What This Story Needs Is a Pig in a Wig
by Emma J. Virjan
Look at all the animals that join the pig in a wig on a boat! But it’s getting crowded. What will they do? I love both the story and illustrations in this first of a new easy reader series for silly readers.

Ballet Cat early reader book review
Ballet Cat The Totally Secret Secret
by Bob Shea
Sparkles, the horse and Ballet Cat try to decide what to do–but Sparkles isn’t having fun, and he’s worried Ballet Cat won’t like it if he tells her he doesn’t want to play ballet. As it turns out, he has nothing to worry about because his friend, Ballet Cat, just wants to play with him. I would have liked a bit more humor, not so much predictability. However, I love the illustrations and comic-style dialogue bubbles.

Big Dog and LIttle Dog Wearing Sweaters book review
Big Dog and Little Dog Wearing Sweaters
by Dav Pilkey (Green Light Readers 1)
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.

Rat Attack review
Rat Attack
by Molly Coxe (BraveMouse Readers a)
The rats try to steal Gram’s jam but Ann, Fran, and Stan have a plan. The story practices the short “a” sound. I love that there is an actual story. Plus, the photos of the stuffed animal characters and settings are fantastic!

Princess Pig review
Princess Pig
by Molly Coxe (BraveMouse Readers)
Princess Pig and Twig, her mouse friend, play wishes but Princess won’t let Twig make wishes. How will they work it out? What a great theme for an early reader — it’s so relatable to what children go through often with their friends. This is a darling story to practice the short “i” vowel sound.

Let's Go Fishing book review
Let’s Go Fishing!
by Erica Silverman, illustrated by Jess Golden (Green Light Readers 2)
This is a fun story about a little girl who uses her big imagination to go fishing in her room with paper fish, a fishing pole, and a blue carpet. Soon her entire family joins her. I really like that the main character is a girl who likes fishing.

Buster the Very Shy Dog easy reader
Buster the Very Shy Dog
by Lise Bechtold (Green Light Readers 3)
Buster is a shy dog. In the fist story of two, Buster’s owner has a birthday party and Buster hides out. When he sees a little girl crying, Buster bravely approaches her. Soon she and Buster become friends and share birthday treats. Later, we see Buster learn to appreciate himself in the second story. I think this is great book, very relatable.

In! Over! On! the Farm early reader
In, Over and On the Farm by Ethan Long
Simple text and fun lift-the-flaps teach kids these prepositions using the silly antics of farm animals.

Celebrating New Jersey
Celebrating New Jersey (50 States to Celebrate)
by Jane Kurtz, illustrated by C. B. Canga (Green Light Readers 3)
Surprisingly, this is a fantastic book! (Normally, these kind of books totally bore me.) But, in this case, Kurtz does a fabulous job of telling a story and providing interesting information. Narrated by Mr. Geo, we take a tour of the highlights of the state of New Jersey.

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.

Monkey and Elephant and a Secret Birthday Surprise review
Monkey and Elephant and a Secret Birthday Surprise
by Carole Lexa Schaefer, illustrated by Galia Bernstein
Monkey doesn’t like birthdays but his friend, Elephant, wants to do something for Monkey. So, Elephant and other friends plan an it’s-not-my-birthday party for Monkey. Monkey decides he maybe does like this birthday. This book is on the harder side of early readers with chapters and paragraphs.

playful new early reader books for beginning readers (that they'll love!)

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  • WELCOME

    Hi! I’m Melissa Taylor, mom, writer, & former elementary teacher & literacy trainer. I love sharing good books & fun learning resources.

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