Easy Readers

So, Selam is supposed to read 20 minutes a night, but we don’t have more than one or two books that she CAN read in the house.  An hour in the library returned just two books that she can read.  Last year, the teacher sent home books from the school’s collection–a different book every day. Apparently not this year. So I’m going to need to come up with something.  I looked on Am//on at the various options for easy readers but I cannot decipher what level is what. It seems like every company has its own ranking level, which we discovered by checking out a dozen “level one” readers from the library that Selam can’t begin to pick out more than one word a page from.  Does anyone have a group of readers that they liked? And know what the ranking levels mean?  I hate wasting money on this but I also hate crying, so you choose your battles.

And yes, reading the Am**on user evals of the products makes me want to cry or throw up.  “My 18 month old finished level two quickly but seems stumped by level three.” Seriously? seriously?


14 thoughts on “Easy Readers

  1. Are you familiar with ARBookfind.com? Their rankings are based on grade level and month. So 1.4 would be first grade, month 4.

    Don’t worry about matching up Selam’s reading level with her actual grade level because that’s so different kid to kid. But what you can do is plug in books that she has had success with, see what level they are, and then search for other books that are around the same level.

    You want to look at the BL number. The IL is interest level. An elementary age reader might be reading at a 6th grade level, for example, but ought to look for books that are MG (appropriate content for middle grades).

    Another approach is the “just right” book system. In the library or book store, look at the first page of a book with Selam. Have her read it and count on her hand every time she comes to a word she doesn’t know. If she gets to five on a single page, it’s too advanced for her. If there aren’t any she doesn’t know, it might be too easy (unless you are still trying to build confidence). Anything in between is likely to be a “just right” book.

    Sorry if this is more than you need. I know it can be very hard to find the right books.

  2. My daughter also just started first grade and can’t read yet. I bought the first set of the Bob books and we’ve started reading those.


    I think by now she has memorized the the first three books, but I’ve read that even if a child has memorized some of the book it is still good for their confidence to feel they are reading.

    • We did the Bob books last year. She hasn’t really progressed beyond that level, but wants to feel that she has, so she’s rejected those as something she’s “done” with. Maybe I can work a trick on them, though, reading to the cat (if he’ll cooperate) to make it new. Thanks for reminding me of those.

  3. i used the Bob books for my boys, too. I have a TON of the copied 1st grade reader books from the 1st grade if you want me to send them to you. I read to my girls in the 1st grade, They are reading to ME in the 2nd grade.

  4. Also, try Dr Suess “Hop on Pop” is a good one. Level one is beginning reading. My girls are still at just level 2 and barely approaching level 3 in the 2nd grade.

    • We worked on one fish, two fish last night. I should see if I can find some new Dr. Seuss’s. She’s memorized several of them from me reading them to her so many times, but I know there are tons that we don’t even have. I’ll look for those. Thanks.

  5. I don’t understand why people need to teach 18 mos olds to read at all…they have other developmental tasks to work on. And in the long run (at least when I was up on the literature) there was no correlation between early reading and later performance. As long as she gets it down by grade 3 your’re good to go.

  6. I interpret the you-should-read HW as family reading time. The point really should be happy literacy experiences. CG is really not an independent reader yet (at 10)–she CAN read on her own, but doesn’t. So for her reading HW, we have always done it together.

    Also, sometimes we don’t read as long as she is supposed to.

    And, as long as I am offering not-quite-solicited advice: don’t give up on picture books. There are a lot of literacy lessons involved in reading picture books, and even having some of those in circulation (like Good Night Gorilla, which has hardly any words, or other picture books that have limited words on the page that you’re reading) can help balance some other books that she is trying to read on more of herself.

  7. I know this post was over a month ago– somehow i missed it or i would’ve been all over the comments with recommendations. Mainly echoing what Susan said, but also: Mo Willems! Cat the Cat series and Elephant and Piggie series. E&P is written in speech bubbles like a very, very easy graphic novel– perfect for tandem reading with each of you taking one part. And funny enough to read over and over, until Selam knows it so well she can either read the words or reel them off from memory (or a combination), and still enjoy it. He’s churning out volumes in both series like anything, so the library should have tons of them.

    Also, don’t write off cheesy TV-tie-in books. The first book that my S read all by herself– I still remember how thrilled we both were– was DIEGO SAVES THE TREE FROGS. I don’t even remember who wrote it, but I’m forever grateful to him/her. It was written so that part of it was in rebus form, with pictures instead of words, and that seemed to give my girl the boost she needed. That was a good few months into first grade.

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