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My daughter is one of the youngest kids in her class, so I have always looked for ways to encourage her to read. When she first started reading chapter books, we found some that she really enjoyed. The key seems to be finding books that have some pictures mixed in, short chapters, and fun topics that keep kids engaged. It also helps when the book comes as a series, so if your child really likes a book, they can stay on a roll with reading more books from the series.
This is a sample page from Owl Diaries (check out the whole excerpt at Scholastic.com). This was one of the first chapter books my daughter read entirely on her own, and you can see how simple the pages are, with lots of colorful images to keep kids engaged.
Not all of the books are this simple, and I would say Owl Diaries is the easiest one on the list below. The great thing about Amazon.com is you can usually “look inside” the book right on their website to get an idea of what the pages are actually like, before you decide if you want to purchase it.
Every child is different, but these are some easy chapter books that both my kids have enjoyed over the years.
Our favorite beginner chapter books:
~ Owl Diaries ~
This is such a cute series, without a ton of text on each page. These are really among our first beginner reader books, because it only has a few sentences on each page and there also are tons of colorful illustrations on every page.
Another book that has lots of great illustrations. Peter Raymundo is both author and illustrator, and brings this story to life with lots of cool drawings. There is also sequel (Third Grade Mermaid and the Narwhals) on the way (Feb 2018).
~ Heidi Heckelbeck ~
Heidi goes to elementary school, and with lots of fun images, kids can have fun relating to her childhood adventures.
~ Sophie Mouse ~
This is such a cute series, as Sophie the Mouse goes on adventures with her woodland friends.
~ Dr. Kittycat ~
My kids are animal lovers, and they adore these books. The stories are cute and the images are just downright adorable! My kids were so excited to find out there was a book in the series featuring a guinea pig – and even more excited to find out the guinea pig has the same name as my daughter’s guinea pig (Nutmeg)!
~ Ivy and Bean ~
A good series about friends. We have had these books for a couple years now, and my older daughter read all the books in the series first, and her little sister just finished the series too.
~ Magic Treehouse ~
This series has been around for a while now, and there are quite a few books in the series. Each book sends the children in the book on a different adventure, and my kids loved following along. Not only are they reading, but learning about a variety of topics too, from dinosaurs to ocean life.
This series has become very popular because of the movie, and a great way to get kids interested in reading. Lots of funny pictures and wacky things in the storyline to keep kids entertained.
~ Dork Diaries ~
This is a fun series with a lot of books to choose from. It has a fun diary format, with doodles and lots of quirky things. Plus, if your kids are into the series, there are a few books that are designed for kids to write and create their own diaries and stories.
These books are a fun way to mix things up with some non-fiction reading that is very interesting, usually about animals, but other topics too. This isn’t exactly a chapter book, but it does have lots of interesting things to read. There are so many to choose from, including non-fiction about animals, books of random facts, and much more.
These all sound like great choices for kids. I love to read and believe children should be encouraged to do it, it’s a great way to escape while using your intelligence and imagination.