Monday, June 13, 2011

"I Can Read" - top books for new readers at our school (ages 4 - 8)

I love watching children learning to read, finding books that make them laugh and want to read more. Our section of "Early Readers" has been growing and growing. As I look back on the end of the year, I'd like to highlight the top circulating "Early Reader" books in our collection. Some are old favorites, some are favorite series, and some are new to us.

I've been inspired by Mr. Schu's Watch. Read. Connect. blog, and his list of top books. What books do your new readers love? Leave a comment below and share your favorites.

Here are the top 10 circulating Early Reader books at Emerson School for 2010-2011 (drum roll, please):

Funny Lunch (Max Spaniel)10. Max Spaniel: Funny Lunch
by David Catrow
NY: Orchard Books, 2010
available on Amazon or at your local library

I was so happy to see this silly book make our top 10 list. Funny Lunch is the sequel to Cybils finalist Max Spaniel Dinosaur Hunt, and it really appeals to kids wanting busy, goofy humor. Max Spaniel is definitely a dog with a nose for trouble!

Superman Classic: I Am Superman (I Can Read Book 2)9. Superman: I Am Superman
by Michael Teitelbaum
NY: Harper Collins, 2010
available on Amazon or at your local library

Superheroes are all the rage, and this series of early readers is especially popular. As one librarian explained it to me, our 5 year olds have just left preschool where they were the big guys on campus and now they're tiny, swimming in a sea of huge 5th graders. They love the power and size of superheroes, and the way these superheroes stand up for all that's right.

Time to Sleep, Sheep the Sheep! (Cat the Cat)8. Time to Sleep, Sheep the Sheep
by Mo Willems
NY: Balzer and Bray, 2010
available on Amazon or at your local library

Our first graders love, love, love Mo Willems and were thrilled to discover this wonderful series for very new readers. In this sweet book, Cat the Cat has a slumber party with all her animal friends - what could be better?

Ready, Set, Podrace! (DK READERS)7. Star Wars: Ready, Set, Podrace!
by Simon Beecroft
NY: D.K. Publishers, 2007
available on Amazon or at your local library

Yes, Star Wars is even more popular than superheroes, so the DK Readers with Star Wars characters are a huge hit with our new readers. In this book, nine-year-old Anakin flies the podracer he built all by himself. Three other Star Wars DK Readers make our top 20 list.

Green Eggs and Ham (I Can Read It All by Myself Beginner Books)6. Green Eggs and Ham
by Dr. Seuss
NY: Random House, 1960
available on Amazon or at your local library

This timeless Dr. Seuss classic still brings laughter and delight to new readers. Sam-I-Am is determined to coax his new friend to try green eggs and ham, just the way parents try to coax their little ones to eat their peas. In a house, with a mouse, in a box, with a fox - nothing will work. Until that moment, when maybe, just maybe...

Go, Dog. Go! (I Can Read It All By Myself Beginner Books)5. Go, Dog, Go!
by P.D. Eastman
NY: Random House, 1961
available on Amazon or at your local library

Another classic reader from the 1960s, Go, Dog, Go! is still popular with young readers. With its rhythmic repetition and simple words, funny pictures and little details to look for, this book has it all and yet never overwhelms. Utterly perfect.

I Am Invited to a Party! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)4. I Am Invited to a Party!
by Mo Willems
NY: Hyperion, 2007
available on Amazon or at your local library

We adore Elephant and Piggie, and this is my personal favorite. Piggie is invited to her first party - yipee! But she doesn't know what to wear. Gerald, her best friend, is full of advice. Wacky advice? Of course. But with such sincerity that kids will be rolling in the aisle. Willems conveys such emotion and humor in so few words, I'm astounded each time I read it.

I Will Surprise My Friend! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)3. I Will Surprise My Friend!
by Mo Willems
NY: Hyperion, 2008
available on Amazon or at your local library

Kids love this pair of friends and the silliness they get into. Here, Gerald and Piggie try to surprise each other, with unexpected results. Children can relate to the exaggerated emotions and the difficulties friends have explaining difficult situations. Our students will be thrilled to learn that a new Elephant and Piggie book is being released this week: Should I Share My Ice Cream? It's bound to be another hit in our library.

Hi! Fly Guy (Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book (Awards))2. Hi! Fly Guy!
by Tedd Arnold
NY: Cartwheel Books, 2005
available on Amazon or at your local library

Another pair of friends that our new readers love is Fly Guy and Buzz Boy. When Buzz captures a fly to enter in The Amazing Pet Show, his parents and the judges tell him that a fly cannot be a pet, but Fly Guy proves them wrong. Tedd Arnold pulls in the boys with his puns, slapstick, silly drawings and simple text. This is the first in the popular series.

Mercy Watson: Princess in Disguise1. Mercy Watson: Princess in Disguise
by Kate DiCamillo
MA: Candlewick, 2005
available on Amazon or at your local library

Mercy Watson is truly a porcine wonder at our school. Our students, from kindergarten through 3rd grade, adore her earnest search for buttery treats. In this book, Mr. and Mrs. Watson persuade Mercy to dress up for Halloween by promising her treats galore. This series is absolutely over the top and a joy to read.

If you are looking for new books for your beginning readers, keep an eye out for the I Can Read Carnival next week at Secrets and Sharing Soda. I'm looking forward to seeing other people's favorites. In the meantime, let us know what books your new readers love to read again and again!

Review ©2011 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books.


  1. I didn't know there were DK readers! I might have to check into those for my nephews. I love the DK non-fiction titles.

  2. I love Mo Williams' I Will Surprise my friend. Such a sweet book.

  3. Both my kids love Fly Guy. Such a fun series.