Books for Beginning Readers

It is hard to find phonetic, leveled readers for a young child who is learning to read! I found sets of "Early Readers" that had no natural progression and were not appropriate for a child who is just learning consonant-vowel-consonant words. After many searches at the library, I found some that worked! Here is the list for those very early stages of reading - Controlled Vocabulary, Leveled Phonics Readers - these sets of books start out at the very beginning with the C-V-C combinations and progressively get more difficult as more sounds are introduced

  1. Bob Books by Bobby Lynn Maslen
  2. Now I'm Reading series by Nora Gaydos
  3. Itty Bitty Phonics Readers from Creative Teaching Press
  4. Phonics Practice Readers from Modern Curriculum Press

First Books - After a bit of time your child will be asking for "real" books and these are the best books to give him. These books focus on the C-V-C combinations, short vowel sounds, consonant blends and digraphs, and some sight words. There will be some words here and there that you will have to help your child with, but on the whole, these are good books for a beginning reader.

  • Early Step into Reading, Level 1 (many of the books in this series are not phonetic and will introduce many sight words or other vowel combinations. The books listed below are the few that I found at my local library that would be useful for a child that is just learning to read. Be sure to check your library for other books that might fit in this category.)
  1. 6 Sticks
  2. Big Egg
  3. Cat Traps
  4. Ducks in Muck
  5. Hot Dog
  6. I Like Bugs
  7. I Like Stars
  8. Jack and Jill and Big Dog Bill
  9. See the Yak Yak
  10. The Berenstain Bears Big Bear, Small Bear
  11. The Berenstain Bears go In and Out
  12. The Berenstain Bears go Up and Down
  • Real Kids Readers, Level 1 (These books are great! They have controlled vocabulary and only use those sounds that are appropriate for this level. Be sure to check your local library for more books in these series.)
  1. Big Ben
  2. Dress Up
  3. Hop, Skip, Run
  4. I am Mad!
  5. I Like Mess
  6. I Like to Win!
  7. Mud!
  8. My Pal Al
  9. No New Pants!
  10. Spots
  11. The Big Box
  12. The New Kid
  13. The Pet Vet
  14. Wash Day
  • Green Light Readers, Level 1
  1. Dot and Bob
  2. Rick is Sick
  3. Sam and Jack
  4. Jack and Rick
  5. A New Home
  6. Jan has a Doll
  7. Down on the Farm
  8. The Van
  9. Just Clowning Around
  10. What I See
  11. Popcorn
  12. Todd's Box
  13. Get up, Rick!
  • Other Books (More books that a beginning reader would enjoy. These will have some words that you will have to help your child with but they are still enjoyable for a young reader.)
  1. Hop on Pop
  2. Go, Dog, Go
  3. The Foot Book
  4. Old Hat, New Hat

Have fun with your new reader! Encourage them with a good book 

After a child has conquered the basic CVC words and is mastering consonant blends and digraphs you can add in simple vowel combinations. The books listed below are still short enough that a beginning reader will feel successful but they also introduce more vowel sounds. Please note that these lists aren't exhaustive - check your local library for other books in these series.

  • My First I Can Read Book
  1. Bathtime for Biscuit
  2. Biscuit
  3. Biscuit and the Baby
  4. Biscuit and the Little Pup
  5. Biscuit finds a Friend
  6. Biscuit goes to School
  7. Biscuit wants to play
  8. Biscuit wins a prize
  9. Biscuit’s Big Friend
  10. Biscuit’s day at the Farm
  11. Biscuit’s New Trick
  12. Chicken said, “Cluck!”
  13. Go away, Dog
  14. How Many Fish?
  15. I See, You Saw
  16. Loose Tooth
  17. Oh, Cats!
  18. Pedro’s Burro
  19. Ruby bakes a Cake
  20. Sid and Sam
  21. Splish, Spash!
  22. The Day I had to play with my Sister
  23. Thump and Plunk
  24. What’s that, Mittens?
  25. Whose Hat is it?
  • Green Light Readers, Level 1
  1. Rip’s Secret
  2. Spot
  3. Sometimes
  4. Come Here, Tiger!
  5. The Tapping Tale
  6. The Big, Big Wall
  7. Best Friends
  8. What day is it?
  9. Lost!
  10. Big Pig and Little Pig
  11. Cloudy Day
  12. Sunny Day
  13. Six Silly Foxes
  14. Daniel’s Pet
  15. Big Brown Bear
  16. Rabbit and Turtle go to School
  • Step into Reading, Level 1
  1. Boats!
  2. Mouse Makes Words
  3. Wheels!
  4. The Pup Speaks Up
  5. Elmo says Achoo!
  6. Too Many Dogs
  7. The Snowball
  8. Sunshine, Moonshine
  9. Babe the Sheep Pig
  10. Oops, Pig!
  11. Watch your step, Mr. Rabbit!
  12. There is a Town

The next list is the largest yet - those books that fit that in-between category where a child has learned many vowel combinations but isn't quite ready to delve into the world of beginning chapter books. Some books still have just a few sentences per page and others have paragraphs or are longer books. There is so much variation in this group of books you'll have to find the books that are on target for your child's ability. For more books that fall into this reading category, take a trip to your local library.

  • Step into Reading, Level 2
  1. Bookstore Cat
  2. Two Fine Ladies have a Tiff
  3. I can do it!
  4. Pizza Pat
  5. Quick, Quack, Quick!
  6. Bones
  7. Smarty Sara
  8. The Berenstain Bears Catch the Bus
  9. Counting Sheep
  10. Pie Rats Ahoy!
  11. Wake up, Sun!
  12. Sir Small and the Dragonfly
  13. Bears are Curious
  14. Richard Scarry’s the Early Bird
  15. My New Boy
  16. David and the Giant
  17. Mole in a Hole
  18. Noah’s Ark
  19. P. J. Funnybunny Camps Out
  • Bright & Early Books
  1. Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb
  2. Hooper Humperdink - ? Not Him!
  3. Bears on Wheels
  4. There’s a wocket in my pocket!
  5. Great Day for UP!
  6. The Tooth Book
  7. The Eye Book
  8. Wings on Things
  9. The Nose Book
  10. The Ear Book
  11. He Bear, She Bear
  12. Inside, Outside, Upside Down
  13. Mr. Brown can Moo! Can you?
  14. The Knee Book
  • Real Kids Readers, Level 2
  1. Did you hear about Jake?
  2. I’ll do it later
  3. Let me help!
  4. My Brother, the Pest
  5. Rainy day grump
  6. Shoes, Shoes, Shoes
  7. Show and Tell
  8. Surprise!
  9. That Cat!
  10. That’s hard, that’s easy
  11. The best pet yet
  12. The Big Sale
  13. The Lunch Bunch
  14. Time for Bed?
  15. What’s Going On?
  • Ready-to-Read, Level 1
  1. A Tooth Story
  2. Brave Norman
  3. Clouds
  4. Happy Christmas, Honey
  5. Lucky Duck
  6. Mount Rushmore
  7. Niagara Falls
  8. Picnic!
  9. Puppy Mudge wants to Play
  10. Rain
  11. Snow
  12. The Grand Canyon
  13. The Mighty Mississippi
  14. The Pumpkin Patch
  15. The Rocky Mountains
  16. The Sky is Falling
  17. The Statue of Liberty
  18. The Three Little Pigs
  19. The Tortoise and the Hare
  20. Wind
  • I can Read it all by Myself
  1. A Fish out of Water
  2. A Fly Went By
  3. Are you my Mother?
  4. Big Dog . . . Little Dog
  5. Green Eggs and Ham
  6. I want to be Somebody New!
  7. I wish that I had Duck Feet
  8. Put Me in the Zoo
  9. Ten Apples up on Top!
  10. The Best Nest
  11. The Cat in the Hat
  12. The Cat in the Hat Comes Back

I'm adding more books to the reading list! For those kids that haven't quite made the leap to full chapter books yet; or if they still prefer books with lots of pictures and larger text. The "I Can Read!" series are perfect for this stage of reading. The books are longer and some of them are divided into smaller 'chapters' but they still contain large print and many colorful pictures.

"I Can Read" Books, Level 1

  • A Kiss for Little Bear
  • A Picture for Harold’s Room
  • And I mean it, Stanley
  • Baa-Choo!
  • Barkley
  • Barney’s Horse
  • Captain Cat
  • Chester
  • Crocodile and Hen
  • Danny and the Dinosaur
  • Danny and the Dinosaur go to Camp
  • Drip, Drop
  • Father Bear comes Home
  • Grizzwold
  • Happy Birthday, Danny and the Dinosaur
  • Harry and the Lady Next Door
  • Joe and Betsy the Dinosaur
  • Johnny Lion’s Book
  • Julius
  • Little Bear
  • Little Bear’s Friend
  • Little Bear’s Visit
  • Morris and Boris at the Circus
  • Morris goes to School
  • Morris the Moose
  • Mrs. Brice’s Mice
  • No more Monsters for Me!
  • Oliver
  • Oscar Otter
  • Ruby Paints a Picture
  • Ruby’s Perfect Day
  • Sammy the Seal
  • Silly Tilly and the Easter Bunny
  • Silly Tilly’s Valentine
  • Stanley
  • The Berenstain Bears and the Baby Chipmunk
  • The Berenstain Bears and the Wishing Star
  • The Berenstain Bears Clean House
  • The Berenstain Bears Down on the Farm
  • The Berenstain Bears’ New Kitten
  • The Berenstain Bears’ New Pup
  • The Fire Cat
  • The Horse in Harry’s Room
  • The Littlest Leaguer

"I Can Read" Books, Level 2

  • A Bargain for Frances
  • Addie’s Bad Day
  • Amazing Dolphins!
  • Amelia Bedelia
  • Amelia Bedelia and the Baby
  • Amelia Bedelia and the Surprise Shower
  • Amelia Bedelia Helps Out
  • Arthur’s Birthday Party
  • Arthur’s Camp-Out
  • Arthur’s Christmas Cookies
  • Arthur’s Funny Money
  • Arthur’s Honey Bear
  • Arthur’s Loose Tooth
  • Bread and Jam for Frances
  • Custard Surprise
  • Days with Frog and Toad
  • Frog and Toad all Year
  • Frog and Toad are Friends
  • Frog and Toad Together
  • Good Work, Amelia Bedelia
  • Goose and Duck
  • Grandmas at Bat
  • Mildred and Sam
  • Mouse Soup
  • Mouse Tales
  • Owl at Home
  • Scruffy
  • The Case of the Cat’s Meow
  • The Case of the Double Cross
  • The Case of the Hungry Stranger
  • Who’s a Pest?


Tonia L

Hey! I'm the owner of Happy Homeschool Nest - a website devoted to helping homeschool moms balance the needs of homeschooling with managing a healthy and happy home.