Monday, June 22, 2009

Beginning to read? try "Now I'm Reading!" by Nora Gaydos

Our five year old is starting to show interest in reading. But regular picture books have too many different types of words for her to tackle, so they end up frustrating her. What should you look for in a book for beginning readers? It should have words that are simple to sound out, but they should also be funny so kids want to keep reading. Here's a series that we love: Now I'm Reading! Playful Pals, Level 1. It's fun but also easy for beginning readers to read successfully.
Now I'm Reading! Playful Pals, Level 1
Written by Nora Gaydos
Illustrated by BB Sams
innovativeKids, c) 2003
ages 4 - 6

Now I'm Reading! books are little CD sized binders with 10 very short stories each. Each story focuses on a different sound: Rat Naps for the short a, Pig Sits for the short i sound, and Bug on a Rug for the short u sound. They also introduce common sight words like on, is & and. These are the building blocks your child needs to be able to read more varied picture books. After reading one story, your child can put a sticker on that story - a very exciting moment. Emily is so excited that she can read the first story that she almost leaps at any adult walking in the door asking if she can read them a story.

The best thing about these stories is that the illustrations and stories are funny, without being cutesy. They'll appeal to boys and girls, and they'll also appeal to older kids who are working to learn phonics. They have clear story lines (a beginning, middle and end) - so kids read to understand the silly story, not just hear the words.

If you like these stories, check out the others in the series: Animal Antics is another Level 1, Amazing Animals is Level 2, Snack Attack is Level 2, and On the Go is Level 3.

What I really want to get for summer fun: Rhyming War! (Now I'm Reading! Games) It's new last summer and doesn't have any reviews on Amazon yet. But we love playing games, and rhyming skills are so important to early reading.

These are really books to have at home, so you can put your own stickers in them. Find them at your local independent bookstore or Amazon.

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