Books for Beginning Readers
(1) Phonetic or Decodable Readers
These readers contain no or very few sight words. Most of the words in the text can be sounded out.
Bob Books (available at any bookstore)
Little Books and Little Owl Bowls (ABeka.com)
Modern Curriculum Press Phonics Practice Readers (Pearson Learning Group pearsonlearning.com)
Books to Remember series (Flyleaf Publishing—flyleafpublishing.com)
J & J Language Readers, Levels 1, 2, & 3. (Sopris West, sopriswest.com.)
(2) “Partly phonetic” easy readers
These have lots of repetition and only a few words on a page. Some of these use non-phonetic sight words repeatedly. (The Carrot Seed—“It won’t come up.” and Fox Trot—“What’s that?”)
(3) “Easy Readers”
This category is confusing because most of these books are geared to whole language teaching and not to phonetic instruction.
They have just a few words on the page, but a beginning reader cannot read some of these books unless they memorize whole words. If there are many sight words or words the child has not yet encountered in his phonics instruction, I suggest you either read these books TO your child, pointing to the pictures OR wait until the child has been taught to read phonetically.
Some of these series are:
Road to Reading. Mile 1, Mile 2, etc. (Golden Books)
Early Step into Reading (Random House)
Dr. Seuss and P. D. Eastman books
Hello Reader. Level 1, Level 2, etc. (Scholastic)
An I Can Read Book. Level 1, Level 2, etc. (Harper Trophy division of Harper Collins)
You will notice that many of these “early-reading” library books use non-phonetic sight words to make the story line flow. After your child has the habit of sounding out phonetically regular words, you can point out to your child which words to sound out and which words just have to be known by sight. When you are reading together, just tell the child the sight words, and then have him continue reading the story sounding out the phonetically regular words.
(4) Books that are not too difficult for the student who has finished a phonics program.
I’ll put up a list of some of these books at the end of my speech.
(From Straight Talk About Reading by Louisa Moats)
First Stage-Beginning Reader
Rex and Lilly
Go, Dog Go!
Harry Goes to Fun Land
A New House for Mole and Mouse
Second Stage-Beginning Reader
Who’s Afraid of the Dark?
Five Silly Fishermen
What a Hungry Puppy
Danny and the Dinosaur
Sammy and the Seal
Be Ready at Eight
The Cat in the Hat
Green Eggs and Ham
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
The Sunset Pond
Frank the Fish Gets His Wish
Third Stage-Beginning Reader
The Case of the Hungry Stranger
The Toady and Dr. Miracle
Bedtime for Frances
Down on the Funny Farm
Nate the Great
Harry and the Lady Next Door
Miss Nelson is Missing
The Doorbell Rang
Sheep in a Jeep (all of the Sheep books)
Ira Sleeps Over
(These suggestions from Reading Reflex)
Kipling’s Just So Stories
American Tall Tales