Books for early readers

I think I promised in an earlier post that I would write some more about children’s books. So here is some more:

Below is a list of books that are supportive of early readers  (or “emergent readers” as they are sometimes called in the literature). They are all books that my children and I have loved, and it goes without saying that they are all real books written by real writers for real readers. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I welcome your comments and feedback.

These are in no particular order, other than the one that made them stack into a semi-stable pile on my desk. No, cancel that. I can’t do it. They’re in alphabetical order by author’s surname. I’ve had too many years of having to meet stringent rules for reference lists!

  • Ahlberg, Janet & Allan (1978). Each peach pear plum. London: Puffin Books. Beautifully illustrated with lots of familiar characters from well-known nursery rhymes. This book is often recited in our house. (Highly predictable: rhythm, rhyme, pictures support text. Children will probably already be familiar with many of the characters who appear in this beautiful rhyme.)
  • Ahlberg, Janet & Allan (1981). Peepo! London: Viking. Beautifully illustrated with such detail! Pictures depict life in England, probably about 1940s. (Rhythm, rhyme, repetition, pictures support text.)
  • Anholt, Catherine (2000)  Baby’s things. London: Walker Books. This one is really for babies. One picture, one word per page. (Picture supports text. Pictures of things with are familiar to many babies.)
  • Boynton, Sandra (sorry… store has put sticker over top of publishing info!). Moo, baa, la la la! A lot of silly fun, this one! (Rhyme, rhythm, pictures support text.)
  • Campbell, Rod. (1997) Dear Zoo. South Melbourne: Lothian. Lots of fun lifting flaps and discovering what animal the zoo has sent! (Repetition, pictures support text.)
  • Carle, Eric (1969) The very hungry caterpillar. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Hamish Hamilton/Penguin. A fabulous book. My two-year-old recites this one while we’re driving around. The fact that it has been in (I think) constant publication for the past 40 years says it all. (pictures support text, repeated form and therefore highly predictable text at least for part of the book.)
  • Fox, Mem & Dyer, Jane (1993). Time for bed. Malvern, SA: Omnibus Books. A great bedtime book, this one! (rhythm, rhyme, repetition.)
  • Fox, Mem & Horacek, Judy. (2004). Where is the green sheep? Camberwell, Vic.: Viking/Penguin. Beautiful illustrations, full of colour and fun. Another one that is oft recited in our house. (Strong rhythm and rhyme. Pictures highly supportive of text. Therefore a highly predictable book.)
  • Fox, Mem & Miller, David. (1996). Boo to a goose. Rydalmere, NSW: Hodder Headline. Wonderful 3D paper illustrations. Lots of fun. (Rhythm, rhyme, pictures closely linked to text.)
  • Thompson, Lauren & Andersen, Derek (2004) Little Quack’s bedtime. London: Simon & Schuster. This is a lullaby, a story and a counting book all rolled into one. Another great bedtime story. (Repetition, illustrations that support text.)
  • Wilson, Sarah & Sweet, Melissa (1999). Love and kisses. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press. Beautiful illustrations and a lovely story about giving love away, and a little bit of silliness. (Rhyme, rhythm, pictures support text.)

That’s it for now. By no means all the great books we have read, but that’s all I can get through at the moment. Time to play with the kids! Please feel free to leave comments with books you love to read with your kids. And remember to drop by Pascale’s blog to see her list.

I’ll try to get another post done sometime with some books for slightly older kids.

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