Easy Reader Books

November 8th-12th is National Young Readers Week. National Young Readers Week was started in 1989 by the Pizza Hut Book It program and the Library of Congress’ Center for the Book. This week is meant to encourage children to read, and the Book It program recommends schools invite local celebrities to act as role models and read to students. For more information on National Young Readers Week, visit the Book It programwebsite.

Easy reader books, also sometimes called beginning reader books, can help transition children from having picture books read to them, to reading chapter books on their own. Easy readers are great for building basic vocabularies and providing context for new words to help encourage children as they learn to read. Many publishers have easy reader series with the reading level noted, and oftentimes there will be multiple reading levels for easy readers. Parents and teachers can then easily distinguish appropriate books based on the level at which the child is reading.

One method to finding easy readers in the online library catalog is to search for the subject “Readers (Primary).” Another method is to search for easy reader series. To search by series, put the series name in quotations when you are searching. To figure out what reading levels mean, visit the publishers’ websites or check inside the books. The following are some easy reader series:
I Can Read book
Step Into Reading
Green Light Reader
Hello Reader!

Another great resource for easy reader books is this reference book:

Beyond Picture Books: A Guide to First Readers. 2007.
This book profiles 3,600 books for emerging readers. Entries cover titles published mostly within the past decade, with a few classic and benchmark titles included as well. Each entry offers bibliographic information, a brief plot summary, information on lexile level, and a description of illustrations and other features. A list of outstanding books, chosen for their exceptional language and treatment of subject, is included.
[Education Juvenile Reference S.011.62 B28b2007]

You can also check the list of Gryphon Award winners. This award is given to books for children in kindergarten through grade 4 that best exemplify the transition from read aloud books to books for practiced readers. To determine the reading level of these and any other easy readers, check in the Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database (a licensed service available only to UIUC students, faculty and staff).

Easy Readers

Berenstain, Stan and Jan Berenstain.
The Berenstain Bears: Big Bear, Small Bear. 1998.
Papa and Brother Bear demonstrate the difference between big and small with a variety of objects from hats and heads to suits of clothes.
[Education Storage SE. B452bsb]

Capucilli, Alyssa Satin.
Biscuit Takes a Walk. 2009.
A playful puppy wants to see everything on a walk to Grandpa’s house.
[Education S Collection SE. C175bt]

Cobb, Annie.
Wheels! 1996.
In a rhythmic way, displays the various kinds of wheels on all kinds of vehicles.
[Education Storage SE.C633W]

Fun with Dick and Jane. 2004.
A collection of reissued stories with simple vocabulary featuring Dick, Jane, and other familiar characters.
[Education S Collection SE. F962]

Hill, Susan.
Marley’s Big Adventure. 2009.
When Marley gets in trouble he runs away but then he learns that his family always loves him.
[Education S Collection S. H555m]

Hoff, Syd.
Danny and the Dinosaur. 1993.
A little boy is surprised and pleased when one of the dinosaurs from the museum agrees to play with him.
[Education S Collection SE.H674D1993]

Hoff, Syd.
The Littlest Leaguer. 2008.
Littlest of all the little leaguers, Harold has a hard time finding some way to really help his team.
[Education Storage SE. H6731l]

Hopkins, Lee Bennett (ed).
Hamsters, Shells, and Spelling Bees: School Poems. 2008.
Twenty poems about school from writers such as Jane Yolen, Alioce Schertle, and J. Patrick Lewis.
[Education S Collection S.811 H189]

Lobel, Arnold.
Frog and Toad Together. 1972.
Five further adventures of two best friends as they share cookies, plant a garden, and test their bravery.
[Education S Collection SE.L783FT1979]

Mayer, Mercer.
The Fall Festival. 2009.
Join Little Critter and his family on their exciting road trip to the Fall Festival. From apple picking to hayrides, discover how fun the harvest season can be.
[Education S Collection SE. M452f]

Mayfield, Sue and Rochelle Padua.
I Can, You Can, Toucan! 2006.
Best friends Toucan, Giraffe, and Penguin each dislikes something about him- or herself, but when one of them is in trouble, it is their differences that allow them to help one another.
[Education S Collection SE. M453i]

Morpurgo, Michael.
Mairi’s Mermaid. 2006.
Robbie says swimming is easy. You just have to pretend you’re a mermaid. But that doesn’t help Mairi. She isn’t even sure that mermaids are real. Simple speech bubbles for shared reading.
[Education S Collection SE. M829m]

Parish, Herman.
Amelia Bedelia Talks Turkey. 2008.
When Amelia Bedelia volunteers to fill in as director of a third-grade Thanksgiving play, she misunderstands everything from one girl’s desire to play a big role to an opening night wish that she “break a leg,” but all is well in the end.
[Education S Collection SE. P2192att]

Prelutsky, Jack.
My Parents Think I’m Sleeping. 2007.
For the first time, this classic collection by bestselling children’s poet Prelutsky is available in full color. These 16 rollicking rhymes show young readers that a child’s life begins at bedtime.
[Education S Collection 2007]

Rylant, Cynthia.
Henry and Mudge and the Big Sleepover. 2006.
Henry and his dog Mudge are invited to a sleepover in Patrick’s attic, where they watch monster movies, eat pizza, and enjoy a contest to determine whose dog is the best popcorn catcher.
[Education S Collection SE. R983hb]

Thomson, Sarah L.
Amazing Snakes! 2006.
Simple text discusses the physical characteristics and typical behaviors of snakes as well as their place in the world.
[Education S Collection S.597.96 T386a]

Weiss, Ellen and Mel Friedman.
Porky and Bess. 2010.
Despite their differences, Porky the messy pig and Bess the fussy cat are best friends and support each other in all their endeavors, from poetry writing to cake baking.
[Education S Collection SE. W436po]