I'm going to shock everyone when I say this, but it's the truth so here goes....I can't stand most Dr. Seuss books. There I said it. As a child his books always bothered me, they were too full of nonsense. As an adult I still find that there are very few Seuss books that I actually enjoy reading. I find that most "easy readers" are pointless. What child wants a pointless story?
I firmly believe that if we want to instill a love for learning and reading we must also give our children books that are good for growth in reading, and in their character development. While things like BOB books and Seuss may be great for repetition or short sentence structure. I prefer books that actually tell a story. That have character development, a plot, things that make literature good. I realize that for young children just learning to read we also want them to feel successful and not overwhelmed by too many words on a page. My favorite easy readers are Zondervan Kids I Can Read books. We have many different titles and authors that are a part of these books. My son enjoys Frank and Beans series. They tell a story of a boy and his dog. Each book is short and has easy enough words for him to read independently, yet they have good fun stories. My son also likes Barnabas Bear. Another favorite is A Horse Named Bob series. Again these are easy reads that all of my kids enjoy. We especially love Mr. Rosey Posey series. The Fine China Plate is one of our favorites. It deals with the idea of being set apart to be used by God. It is beautifully done and is based on the true story of Robin Jones Gunn and her friends daughter Natalie. We used this story to talk to our children in a very simply way about keeping our minds and bodies set apart for God. We then made plates for each of our kids with their names on the front and the verse on the back. Her books are heart warming about things like forgiveness, real treasure, and God's love for us. Yet all of her books my kindergartner can read alone.
I love having lots of books that are just right for my younger readers that build their fluency, and I like knowing I can trust the Zondervan Kids, I Can Read series to not be mindless or inappropriate. I know when my kids pick up one of these books they will get a level appropriate reader, that boosts their character. What early readers do you turn to?