Summer is almost here but that shouldn’t stop the progress of youngsters on the road to reading. Here is a list of the newest and best new readers beginning with emergent readers and then progressing to level 2 and 3 books with more words. Next week I’ll end this 2 part review with beginning chapter books. (Remember to have few words that beginning readers can easily identify. It’s most important that this is a fun experience so that they discover reading is a fun experience. And then progress with books with more words and eventually less pictures.)
Emergent and level 1 readers: Scholastic Publishing has two new sets of books that are packaged in small boxes. Bob Books: Sight Words Kindergarten and Bob Books: Sight Words First Grade are written by Lynn Maslen Kertell, and illustrated by Sue Hendra.
The award winner, Mo Willems, has several new books that young kids love to read and these don’t disappoint. Can I Play Too?, What’s Your Sound Hound the Hound?, Time to Sleep Sheep the Sheep!, I broke My Trunk!, and We Are in a Book! are all delightful and have Mr. Willems’ signature drawings that seem to draw kids into the fun of reading!
Disney’s “Handy Manny” has a new set of books, Toolbox of Books, which features five small booklets and stickers too.
Candlewick Press has a new “Brand New Readers” series featuring Sesame Street. Big Bird At Home and Elmo and His Friends have four stories in each book.
Clifford remains a favorite for new readers. Here are the latest publications: Clifford is a Star, Clifford and the Big Parade, Clifford’s Class Trip, Clifford Makes the Team, Clifford Goes to the Doctor, and Clifford’s First Sleepover.
Here’s a new idea for beginning readers: comics. The panels are large and simple with bright colors and few words in the bubbles. Jack and the Box is by Art Speigelman, Little Mouse Gets Ready by Jeff Smith, Silly Lilly and The Four Seasons and Silly Lilly in What Will I be Today? both by Agnes Rosenstiehl.
For level two books, look for more words and a bit smaller font. You can find good introductions to non-fiction in these levels. “Annie and Snowball” is a fun series with stories children can relate to.
The newest books, The Shining Star, The Magical House, The Wintry Freeze and The Book Bugs Club are all by Cynthia Rylant, and are illustrated by Sucie Stevenson.
Random House recently published several Dr. Seuss books that are at a level 2 reading level. The Big Green Book of Beginner Books has six of his stories which includes Wacky Wednesday and Great Day for Up. (This would be an ideal book for travel.)
The Rainbow Magic series has three new books, Best Friends in Fairyland, A Fairy Ballet and The Fairies Birthday Surprise. All three are by Daisy Meadows.
Here are more of the new comic readers but at a level 2 ability. There are three books in the “Benny and Penny” series: The Toy Breaker, The Big No-No! and Just Pretend, all by Geoffrey Hayes. Luke on the Loose, by Harry Bliss, and Otto’s Orange Day, by Jay Lynch and Frank Cammuso, are just a few more of what’s being published.
You can begin to find non-fiction books at this level. Here are a few: Teeny Tiny Animals by Lexi Ryals, Butterflies by Nic Bishop and Junior Buddy, told by Juliana Isabella and Craig Hatkoff. Level 3 books have more words, smaller font and more complicated and enlightening stories.
Melvin and Gilda Berger have a great True or False series of non-fiction books that’s sure to inform and enrich the reader. Some of these include Rocks & Minerals, Planets and Mammals. Pet Heroes by Nicole Corse and Lonesome George finds His Friends by Tori Kosara are interesting stories that are amazingly true.
You’ll find the beginnings of mysteries at this level. “Pony Mysteries” by Jeanne Betancourt, and illustrated by Kelle Riley, has a new book in this series called Penny and Pepper. And the newest book in the “Young Cam Jansen” series is The Speedy Car Mystery by David A. Adler and illustrated by Susanna Natti.