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The BEST Books for Beginning Readers

Do you have a budding reader in your home?  Then you’ll want our best books for beginning readers ASAP!

These books are designed with early readers in mind.  They help kids to gain both skill and confidence as they master the art of reading. With these books in hand, there are many ways to work on reading fluency!

As you know, reading doesn’t happen at the same time for everyone – and that can be really frustrating for young students.  So, one of the best ways we can help as parents is to offer them plenty of reading time at home.

Let your child practice reading. Be a model.  Show them texts they can master from the beginning.  Before you know it, you’ll have an exemplary reader on your hands!

How We Built the List of the Best Books for Beginning Readers

Full disclosure, I have two little ones at home.  My oldest is 6-years-old and just recently jumped through the hoops of learning how to read.  (Of course, she has many steps to go, but we feel confident she has had her “aha!” moment.)

But my son is 3-years-old and just now starting to understand that each letter has an accompanying sound.  So?  We are always adjusting our previous strategy to accommodate his learning needs.

There are some non-negotiable books on our list for beginning readers (as far as I’m concerned).  No matter what your child thinks, these books are a fantastic option to get the process started. 

Then, once they’re feeling a bit more confident, let your child take the reins.  After those initial steps, you’ll want to make sure your child is interestedin the books you’ve chosen.  Try to find texts that they’ll enjoy right from the cover.  Maybe there’s a silly illustration or a favorite cartoon character.  I’d recommend letting them shop with you for some of their starter books!

Our list of the best books for beginning readers is a combination of what worked for my daughter; what we plan to use for my son; and what I highly recommend from working as an elementary school teacher.

The Non-Negotiable Books for Beginning Readers

For us, the few options below from the best books for beginning readers are non-negotiables when it comes to starting off.  We just love the simplicity of the stories and their focus on the Consonant-Vowel-Consonant (CVC) words.  This is an important strategy for young children to practice decoding similar words.

Bob Books Set 1: Beginning Readers

Bob Books for Beginning Readers

Absolutely #1 on our list!  The Bob Books were the tool that allowed my daughter to shine with her reading.  She knew all of the letter sounds and how sight words came into play, but once she started practicing with her Bob Books, she realized she could decode words on a page.  And that is the biggest goal when learning to read!

There are many other Bob Books sets to choose from:

Other Fantastic Options for Developing Readers

We purchased each of the following sets to help supplement our daughter’s (very early) library. While we found the Bob books to be the most helpful in building her reading skill, we did enjoy the variety of these collections, as well!

First Little Readers: This set includes 25 little books – and, if you love them, there are bunches of options to purchase after your first set is completed!

First Little Readers for Beginning Readers

Meet the Sight Words: These books help your child to practice recognizing their sight words within context. We loved this series when our daughter was a baby and the sight words set was part of the larger kit.

Meet the Sight Words Level 1:  Best Books for Beginning Readers

Fun with Dick and Jane: An absolute classic, but truly a great option for those young readers! The repetitive word choice helps to show the children that they can READ text from a page by recognizing words!

DIck and Jane 12 Book Set for Beginning Readers

Usborne Phonics Readers: My favorite part of this set is that the books are leveled from start to finish. The first few books include a lot of partner reading where Mom or Dad read the smaller text pages, and the child helps out with the larger text. This partnership slows down as the child advances.

Usborne Phonics Beginning Readers

Early Reader Sets

Once your child has confidence with their CVC words and they’re starting to recognize sight words throughout the text, you can happily move onto a variety of early reader book sets.  There is a large variety of sets, but they all have a place on our best books for beginning readers’ list. This is when your child can begin to take part in the book shopping task, because there are tons of options available!  Consider their favorite character or hobby and you are sure to find wonderful book sets to suit their needs.

Fly Guy Phonics Boxed Set

Fly Guy Phonics:  Best Books for Beginning Readers

Pete the Cat Phonics Box

Pinkalicious Phonics Box Set

First Little Comics: Levels A & B

First Little Comics A & B for Beginning Readers

Biscuit Phonics Fun

My Little Pony: Phonics Box

My Little Pony Phonics Box for Beginning Readers

Paw Patrol Phonics Box Set

Phonics Power!

Phonics Power for Beginning Readers

Peppa Phonics Boxed Set

Peppa Phonics Boxed Set for Beginning Readers

Meet the Superheroes

Guided Science Readers Level A

Guided Science Readers Level A for Beginning Readers

Curious George Curious About Phonics

Little Critter Phonics Fun

Little Critter Phonics Fun for Beginning Readers

Fun Recommendations for Beginning Readers

Finally, when your child has mastered their early reader sets, they are ready for independent beginning readers.  These books are the most fun, because they are one-off stories ready to be explored.  Often very well-priced, these options vary greatly in subject matter.  Your child can have lots of fun picking and choosing the topics they love – and all the while, they’ll be improving their reading skill!

Ice Cream Soup

The Big Blue Book of Beginner Books

Get the Giggles

Get the Giggles

Big Shark, Little Shark

Drop It, Rocket

An Elephant and Piggie Biggie

An Elephant & Piggie Biggie!

Silly Milly

Splat the Cat

Star Wars

Star Wars Level 1

Moby Shinobi

Pete the Cat

World of Reading Disney Classic

Disney Classics

Clark the Shark

Bake, Mice, Bake

Barbie, I Can Be a Pet Vet

Barbie I Can be a Pet Vet

Fancy Nancy Time for Puppy School

Go, Go Trucks

Dancing Dinos Go to School

Dancing Dinos Go to School

The Amazing Planet Earth

The Berenstain Bears We Love Soccer!

I Want to Be a Doctor

I Want to Be a Doctor

Amelia Bedelia Makes a Friend

Have Fun Reading!

No matter what you choose, as long as you’re reading, you just can’t lose!  (Did you catch that rhyme there?!) 

Truly, when you spend time exploring the literary world with your child, you are helping them to become a better reader.  Let them take the lead and you won’t be disappointed!


Suggested Reads:


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The Best Book List for Beginning Readers

About the Author

Author of the Merry Kate

Katie Johansen is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with her M.A.Ed in Children’s Literature.  She spent 6 years as an elementary school teacher in South Florida before transitioning to stay-at-home #momlife.  Now, it’s all things PB&J – with an extra large cup of coffee on the side.

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The BEST Book List for Beginning Readers

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