Easy Books for Emerging Readers

If you’re looking for easy-to read beginner books for a young, emerging reader, look no further! I’ve compiled a list of over 30 of my favorite easy readers that are perfect for pre-k, kindergarten, and first grade. All of the books on this list have large text with plenty of white space, lots of repetition, and words that are easy for children to sound out.

Some of the beginner books on this list focus more on learning sight words, while others help children practice phonics and sounding out new words, but all of them are entertaining reads that will help your new reader to build confidence. Before you go, be sure to check out my list of 20 picture books for kindergarteners, which features some of my favorite read-aloud books to share with a 4-6 year old.

Flip-A-Word

These colorfully illustrated short books focus on a single word family. In PIG WIG readers will flip the pages to reveal various -ig words like pig, dig, and jig, and even short phrases like “pig jig” which features an accompanying illustration that is sure to incite giggles. This style of book helps very new readers to build confidence and recognize patterns. Other titles in this series include WET PET, FROG JOG, ICE MICE, and CRAB CAB.

Cat the Cat, Who Is That?

An energetic cat happily greets her friends, while an unseen narrator tells the reader their names. The very simple story, printed in bold block letters, is full of pattern and repetition, making it a fine choice for brand new readers. This book is followed by What’s Your Sound, Hound the Hound? and Time to Sleep, Sheep the Sheep!

Big Shark, Little Shark

Big Shark has big teeth and Little Shark has little teeth, but both of them are hungry! Can either of them succeed in catching a tasty snack? This funny book of opposites has rhythmic, repetitive text and plenty of picture clues help children decode the story.

I Want to Be a Veterinarian

When a boy and his father take their dog for a checkup, the boy learns a lot about what it takes to be a vet. This book is part of a new I Can Read series that introduces young readers to important community helpers. The series also includes I Want to Be a Doctor and I Want to Be a Police Officer.

Go, Go, Trucks!

On a family outing, a young brother and sister encounter many different kinds of trucks. The children observe that trucks come in many colors and sizes and serve many different functions. Vehicle enthusiasts will love building their reading confidence with this easy beginner book.

Pete the Cat’s Groovy Bake Sale

Pete the Cat wants to bake a treat for the school bake sale, but things keep going wrong. He ends up with burned cookies, ice cream soup, and a huge MESS. Down, but not out, Pete uses the leftover ingredients from his failed attempts to create a new dessert recipe that delights his friends. This book had a genuinely entertaining story that both of my children enjoyed. For more Pete the Cat beginning readers, check out Pete the Cat and the Cool Caterpillar and Pete the Cat Goes Camping.

Otter: What Pet is Best?

Otter wants a pet, so she reads a book about animals to get ideas. As Otter imagines herself with a variety of outlandish animals, including a lion, an elephant, and even a skunk, she isn’t getting any closer to finding the right pet for her. Fortunately, Otter’s human has a surprise in store for her. Read about more of Otter’s adventures in Let’s Go Swimming and I Love Books.

Little Critter

If you’re a child of the 80s or 90s, you’re likely familiar with Mercer Mayer’s classic Little Critter series. Newer additions to the series are now written as I Can Read books.

Tooth Fairy’s Night

Readers will delight in following a young, sneaker-clad tooth fairy on her nightly rounds. This fun and exciting story will definitely appeal to any child who has recently lost a tooth. The illustrations are colorful and full of thoughtful details, like the fairy’s bedroom, which has a toadstool bedside table and a flower petal lamp.

Bob Books

These little books have been modern classics for several decades, and for good reason. Bob books are short-form books with simple stories that help children practice sight words and phonics and build their confidence as readers.

Pete the Cat Phonics Fun

This boxed set contains 12 full-color short books. Each book has been reviewed by a phonics expert and features repeated examples of short and long vowel sounds alongside common sight words. The first five books cover the short vowel sounds, followed by a review book. This sequence then repeats with the long vowels. Although the books are designed to be read in this order, each story is a standalone.

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