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Learning to Read? Not Sure Where to Start?

If you are looking for suggestions for a not-yet-reader who has just begun their reading journey, browse this list for some ideas to get them started. Don't forget to keep reading together to continue building their vocabulary and reading positivity. Take a look at our Early Literacy databases for additional resources.

I can run by Murray Head

The I Like to Read series is a great place to start. Featuring simple storylines and simple sentences, a variety of authors and illustrators and topics give readers an abundance of choice. The newer editions have Guided Reading levels clearly printed on the cover.

Today I will fly! by Mo Willems

Gerald and Piggie team up to deliver a fun, thoughtful introduction to reading. Entirely made up of dialogue, highly relevant plotlines, and a lot of repetition, the Elephant and Piggie series is delightful to read aloud, and is a fantastic way to keep reading from becoming a chore.

Pig wig by Harriet Ziefert

The Flip-a-Word series introduces a variety of rhyming words. Very short on plot, but the colorful and bold illustrations help make a link between words and their meanings.

See Pip flap by David Milgrim

David Milgrim has a number of very simple books about Otto the Robot and other characters. Superb comedic timing and a robot with a big heart combine for a great first reading experience.

Sea sheep by Eric Seltzer

Eric Seltzer's early readers offer a very limited vocabulary with a strong side of the ridiculous. Worth checking out for those just beginning.

Aa by Bela Davis

This Letters series features one letter at a time. Each page has a sentence with the specific letter highlighted, to show the letter's language usage.

Also available in: e-audiobook

The Pig in a Wig series pulls in a good amount of Dr. Seuss nonsense, but with a lot of easy, rhyming words. Each book features a different rhyme ending. Electronic formats are available for some titles.

Rhyming nonsense helps readers see patterns between words in the Sounds Like Reading series.

My "a" sound box by Jane Belk Moncure

The Sound Box series focuses on one sound at a time, using rebus-style text. Not the simplest stories, but the rebus-style is a useful tool to have available for readers putting all the pieces together.

Bob books : first stories by Lynn Maslen Kertell
Also available in: e-book

In typical Bob Books style, this bound set of mini-books has lots of repetition and extremely plain illustrations. Electronic formats are available for many of the Bob Books. More print copies can be found at J READER BOB.

Other bound phonics sets are also available.