One of the most wonderful, frustrating, difficult and rewarding challenges in life is learning to read. Being able to read books independently opens readers to new worlds of ideas. However, it takes time and hard work to get from singing the alphabet song to sounding out words in sentences.
What can you do to help your child as they begin their independent reading journey?
Pick books that are exciting and engaging. Yes, it’s important to pick a book at the right level for your child, but it’s equally important to pick books with stories or topics that motivate them to read. Here are a few books with especially exciting elements:
- Fox is Late by Corey R. Tabor (level 1)
- I Will Race You Through This Book! by Jonathan Fenske (level 2)
- Beneath the Bed and Other Scary Stories by Max Brallier (level 3)
Repetition, repetition, repetition. Look for books that repeat words, especially new or long ones, throughout the story. Reinforcing a new word multiple times in a story allows readers to practice and gain confidence. These books have wonderful and clever word repetition:
- Go, Otto, Go! by David Milgrim (level 1)
- Let's Have a Sleepover! by Norm Feuti (level 2)
- King & Kayla and the Case of the Mysterious Mouse by Dori Hillestad Butler (level 3)
The space around words is important. When kids are learning to read they are training their eyes to focus on words. This is hard work at first. To make it easier for the eye and brain to do this vital work, look for books with lots of white space around the text, as well as between lines of text. The more white space the less distracting and easier it is to focus on the words. Try one of these books with ample white space:
- See Me Play by Paul Meisel (level 1)
- Kick It, Mo! by David A. Adler (level 2)
- Charlie & Mouse by Laurel Snyder (level 3)
Looking for books that match your child’s reading level? Confused by all the options and leveling systems? Check out our Reading Level Resources.
Need more recommendations? The librarians at Denver Public Library specialize in finding the perfect book for each child. Request a Personal Reading List to find a book your child will love to read.