To sign up for Meridian’s Free Newsletter, please CLICK HERE

One of the most important times for learning to appreciate reading is when children are emerging into reading. The following books will help youngsters progress from the easiest, most simple books, to early chapter books. Many books are part of new series which provide more success as children become familiar with the characters or the storyline. A helpful hint while helping your new reader is to always be at their side and point to each word showing them the left-right direction of reading. This also demonstrates the grouping of letters and spaces in-between to form words. Your support and encouragement is also critical for success, as well as helping sound out words when your child struggles. For emergent books, look for few words, large font and repetition. The last two listed books are great read-out-loud books that will keep young listeners engaged.

 ottoThe Adventures of Otto: Go, Otto, Go, by David Milgrim, is clever story with very few words about a robot from another planet but who wants to return home. His new animal friends also desire for his return to his planet. But, alas, his attempts fail and lucky for the reader as more adventures await.

Duck, Duck, Porcupine, by Salina Yoon, is one of the brightest, most colorful new readers I’ve seen! This new series centers on the title characters. Little Duck doesn’t talk yet, but through his adorable expressions, it’s easy to understand the situation.

We Are Growing, by Laurie Keller, is a brand new series that hits stores later this month. This is an “Elephant & Piggie Like Reading” book so it’s packed with humor and delight. Amusing-looking plants are growing and each brags about its unique features. But one plant has yet to discover what makes him special. The reader will find out his specialness at the end and will beg to read this book again and again.

When Andy Met Sandy (An Andy & Sandy Book), by Tomie dePaola, is illustrated in the tradition of the author’s wonderful artwork. The story is about how opposites can become fast friends. Andy is short and Sandy is tall. Andy is very quiet and Sandy is quite loud. But once they meet on the playground, they always want to be together. 

Snail & Worm: Three Stories about Two Friends, by Tina Kugler, are three easy stories about these two best friends. The adventures they go on are silly and fun and the acrylic illustrations are simple and colorful.

Icky Sticky Readers: Super Sharks, by Laaren Brown, is a perfect introduction to non-fiction for youngsters. This book is full of vivid photos and descriptions of many different types of sharks. However, the descriptions are still limited for newer readers. There are even 50 shark stickers found at the back of the book where your reader can match them up with pictures on every page.

trex Who Would Win?, by Jerry Pallotta, and illustrated by Rob Bolster, is a new exciting series kids can actively participate in. Each book features two different threatening and dangerous animals. Some of the titles include “Lion vs. Tiger”, “Killer Whale vs. Great White Shark” and Tyrannosaurus vs. Velociraptor”. There’s even a checklist at the back to rank each to see which animal has the advantage.

Zach and Lucy: and the Museum of Natural Wonders, by the Pifferson sisters, and illustrated by Mark Chambers, introduces these highly imaginative siblings as they decide to create a museum in their own small apartment. They live in a big city but that doesn’t stop them from collecting interesting objects.

Curious George Discovers: The Seasons, adapted by Cynthia Platt, is one is a series of exceptional educational books that include “The Stars”, “The Senses”, “The Ocean” and “Plants”. Each book opens a curious mind with interesting facts and illustrations on the subject. There’s even a page to explore the facts learned by doing one or more experiments.

Scholastic has a series of beginning chapter books, Branches, that will be of high interest to new readers. “Haggis and Tank Unleashed” and “Olive & Beatrix” are the newest in this outstanding series. In the first book, the Haggis and Tank series, two dogs go on many exciting adventures. In the second book, the Olive and Beatrix series, twin sisters become involved in magic. princessblack

The Princess in Black, by Shannon and Dean Hale, and brightly illustrated by LeUyen Pham, is a delightful series about a princess who decides to change out of her ornate princess dresses and adorn in black to save the helpless and protect all in need. The newest books are The Perfect Princess Party” and “The Hungry Bunny Horde”.

The Data Set, by Ada Hopper, and illustrated by Sam Ricks, is a wonderful new series that emphasizes science. Three friends, who are all exceptionally smart, bring their unique gifts to the friendship as they all love science. They incorporate their abilities to solve mysteries throughout their lively adventures.

The Oodlethunks, by Adele Griffin, and illustrated by Mike Wu, is a new series about a prehistoric family and featuring a young girl, Oona, along with her little brother, Thunk. The first book, “Oona Finds an Egg”, has Oona discovering a large egg and she can’t wait for it to hatch to find out what’s inside. The only problem is Thunlibbyk and everyone else wants the over-sized egg as well.

The Lighthouse Family, by Cynthia Rylant, and with wonderfully drawn pictures by Preston McDaniels, is a set of six books that was originally published in 2003. “The Storm” is the first book in this collection where all the books have to do with living near a lighthouse. Each book centers on a different animal from this family and the troubles and challenges each faces. Other books include The Whale”, “The Eagle” and The Otter”.

Libby of High Hopes: Project Blue Ribbon, by Elise Primavera, is the second book in a series. The first book by the author about Libby is another excellent read aloud. Libby loves horses and has set a goal of winning at horse shows in order to save the stable. This wonderful book showcases excellent life lessons and the value of working hard to achieve desired goals.