Beginning Chapter Books

Sometimes we forget how difficult it is to learn to read. As children begin to master the art of sounding out words, it’s helpful to find books that will not be too overwhelming for them. Fortunately, there are lots of books published for this developmental stage. The library has a special section at each branch that we call “Beginning Chapter Books”. The easiest of these books may have only around 40 pages. The books usually have pictures on many of the pages and often the text is more spaced out on the page. Little eyes get tired as they read, and it is helpful to have some white space on the pages. The white space also makes it easier for kids to keep track of their place on the page. Short chapters provide a convenient stopping place when your little reader gets tired. Here are some suggestions of both classics and new books to help you get started in this area.

Many of you may have grown up reading the Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel. These are just perfect for children who are moving into chapter books.

frog and toad

Cynthia Rylant has lots of books for this group of readers. Finding a series that your child enjoys is wonderful. As your child reads each book, there will be familiar words, allowing the child to gain confidence in their reading ability. The Henry and Mudge and Poppleton series are a good place to begin. Later, you can step up into the The Cobble Street Cousins series.

h and m     poppleton

Some of our newer series are The Chicken Squad by Doreen Cronin and the Owl Diaries by Rebecca Elliott.

chicken     owl diaries

Two series that began as picture books and have expanded into Beginning Chapter Books are Bad Kitty by Mick Bruel and the Black Lagoon Adventures by Mike Thaler.

bad kitty     black lagoon

As kids progress in reading ability, they can move into other series like the Nate the Great and Olivia Sharp detective stories by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat. Once this level of book is mastered, your children will be more than ready to tackle the books in our juvenile fiction area.

nate the great     olivia

As always, make sure you ask if you need help finding just the right book for your child.