7 Best Children's Books for Beginner Readers
Children's book authors love these simple stories full of memorable rhymes, characters, and illustrations for young kids just falling in love with reading.
“My daughter, Mattie, never got tired of Wacky Wednesday, by Dr. Seuss (ages 3 to 7). You have to count all the things that are ‘wrong’ in the pictures, so she would laugh while counting. It’s one of our favorite memories.”
—Melissa de la Cruz, author of the Descendants series
Frog and Toad
“My 5-year-old daughter is just figuring out how to read, and the book she’s learning with is Frog and Toad, by Arnold Lobel (ages 4 to 8). The language is simple, but the stories are fun and often profound. I love them as much as she does.”
—Matt de la Peña, author of Last Stop on Market Street
Go, Dog. Go!
“My mother did something clever when I was 4 years old. Every day, she wrote a word on an index card for me to learn. Big, Little, Dog, Hat. After a month, she handed me Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman (ages 3 to 7), and told me to read it to her. I remember holding it in my hands and saying, ‘I can’t read this.’ But it turned out she had taught me every word inside. It was a proud moment in my life, and to this day I long to party inside a tree.”
—Nick Bruel, author of the Bad Kitty series
Elephant & Piggie
“Each story in the Elephant & Piggie books, by Mo Willems (ages 4 to 8), is a fast-moving drama, and the characters have distinct personalities: Elephant, the sky-is-falling worrier; Piggie, the glass-half-full optimist. I read aloud the part of Elephant, my wife reads the part of Piggie, and my daughter loves watching us act it out in scenery-chewing, ham-it-up fashion.”
—Ransom Riggs, author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
“As a little girl, I would giggle at how Amelia from the Amelia Bedelia series, by Peggy Parish (ages 4 to 8), would take her chores literally. To this day, I think about what a clever device it was to illustrate how language can be misunderstood.”
—CBS Evening News journalist Norah O’Donnell, coauthor of Baby Love
Hop on Pop
“Our son, Liam, has started to get excited about the idea of stringing sounds together to make words. Hop on Pop, by Dr. Seuss (ages 2 to 5), has been the most helpful. The storytelling is silly, and it contains many two- and three-letter words that are easy to sound out.”
—Designer Lauren Conrad, author of the L.A. Candy series
“Everything about Little Bear, by Else Holmelund Minarik (ages to 4 to 8), was perfect to me—the shape, the way it felt in my hands, the magical simple cover. Add to that the gentle rhythm of Minarik’s writing, the evocative Maurice Sendak drawings, the perfect relationship of mother and child.”
—Sandra Boynton, author of Barnyard Dance!