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Build a Stronger Reader with These Book Recommendations

These books and authors, organized by reading level, are some favorites of Tyler Choate, M.S., CCC-SLP. Reading can be a great activity to bring you and your child together so don’t put too much pressure on your child to read aloud or respond to questions – enjoy this time!

Emerging readers (typically ages 3+) will likely find a connection with stories that have a strong repetitive structure and ideas that slowly and progressively build over the course of the book.  You may also look for books with simple rhymes schemes and repeated phrases; they bring a certain musicality to reading that makes comprehension easier. A word to the wise: Dr. Seuss books do NOT fall into this category – those whacky rhymes and nonsense words can be confusing to early readers. Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin or The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle are perfect for this group. Or any of the books by Audrey and Don Wood.

For readers with a little more experience/exposure (typically ages 4-5), books that have a flexible structure are great. These kiddos can manage a few more complex ideas, but a bit of structure and repetition helps with comprehension and the emergence of decoding skills. Tyler’s go-to author for these readers is Robert Munsch. He’s quirky and funny and kids love his stories.

 Readers who can tell very simple stories and understand stories with a few more characters and a deeper plot line (typically ages 5-6) are ready for longer, more complex books. Your little bookworm may enjoy the Berenstain Bears, Clifford the Dog, and the Little Critter series. Kevin Henkes‘ books are very popular in kindergarten and first grade. His stories tend to have some more complex/emotional themes and a strong structure like those first listed in this paragraph.

For more experienced readers (age 7+), it may be time to tackle chapter books with more complex story lines and characters. Roald Dahl’s books, the Magic Tree House series, the Flat Stanley books, and the Time Warp Trio series are all wonderful. For a child that’s not quite there as an independent reader, feel free to read these books aloud.

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