Best Books for Kids Learning to Read

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carl, Go, Dog, Go! by P. D. Eastman, Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss, Freight Train, Circus Train, 101 First Animals, First 100 Animals books for kids learning to read

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Putting Letters and Sounds Together

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carl, Go, Dog, Go! by P. D. Eastman, Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss, Freight Train, Circus Train, 101 First Animals,
  • What: Best books for kids learning to read
  • When: 3 to 7 years
  • Why: Build confidence, develop literacy skills
  • Where: At home

Has your child mastered the alphabet and wants to put sounds together? Got a burgeoning reader on your hands and not sure where to go after board books and reading out loud? Perhaps you need book recommendations that give young kids lots of practice sounding out words. This list includes books to build their reading confidence, with minimal word counts and text per page. They get all the joy of learning to read with less frustration.

First 100 animals big board book by Roger Priddy bright baby

First 100 Animals: This book pairs one word with each animal, helping kids match words with objects. From simple three letter words to multiple syllables, the brightly colored photos guide kids to sounding out letters. 

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr illustrated by Eric Carle and Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?

Brown Bear, Brown Bear: The repetition of the same words makes this book a great place to start. As an added bonus, many kids have already heard the tale before. If you want to expand their practice, you can get any one of the titles with a similar format to help them build vocabulary and confidence. Most pages include only one new word, building on the previous page. Spoiler alert: kids can peek ahead at the previous page to get clues for the newest word.

101 First Animals big board book from Make Believe Books

101 First Animals: Another great animal-infused book, this oversized board book has plenty of options. Beginners can work on matching the word to each animal, with plenty of opportunities per page. Kids who want more of a challenge can try putting words together to read the questions posed on each page. Either way, they can work on their skills at their own level.

Train series by Stone Arch Readers Level one Big City Freight Circus Train titles

Train Books: These simple books keep the word counts low. Bright pictures help kids decode the words on each page. Choose from any one of the four titles to help your child get started recognizing words and putting sounds together. A helpful list on the last page will list all the words for kids to recognize.

Work, Dogs, Work: A Highway Tail kids book by James Horvath

Work, Dog, Work!: This lightweight paperback picture book makes for excellent word practice. The short words and fun text keep kids turning the pages. It includes plenty of sight words for kids to memorize or sound out, while building to the fun at the end.

Where Is the Green Sheep?: Let kids loose with this hunt for an errant sheep. Each page features brightly colored sheep who give clues to the text with their activities. But only the readers who reach the last page will learn what happened to the green sheep.

Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman edited by Dr. Seuss book

Go, Dog. Go!: Another classic story, this longer book gives young kids lots of word practice once they get ready to try reading sentences. From the cartoon drawings featuring all sorts of dogs, to the large text, kids can enjoy expanding their word count with this book.

The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, Fox in Socks. and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss Theodor Giesel

Dr. Seuss: The rhyming fun with Dr. Seuss gives kids a bit more challenge without overwhelming new readers. With lots of words on repeat, kids can practice over and over again. These classics work great both for reading out loud together and letting kids guess at as many or as few words as they feel ready to handle.

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