Beginning Readers for Kindergarten to Grade 3 February 2016 Picks
February 2016 Beginning Reader Book Picks

Intro

This month’s list of beginning reader books includes a bunch of humorous stories. I figure, if you’re doing something hard – like, say… learning to read… laughing while you do it is the way to go. Not all kids struggle to learn how to read, but for those that do -- a good laugh can really break the tension of a moment for the kiddo and adults who are there during practice time.

For the very beginning readers – late Kindergarten to first grade, A Pig, A Fox, and A Box, I Will Take a Nap and In, On, and Over the Farm are all comical. I don’t normally read beginning reader books to my son (who is almost a preschooler now!), because picture books are more meant for his age range and will do a better job of building his vocabulary, BUT he walked into the room while I was reading I Will Take a Nap and we both laughed out loud while reading the story. I love the Elephant and Piggie series. A Pig, A Fox, and A Box and In, On, and Over the Farm are funny as well.

For second graders, What this Story Needs is a Pig in a Wig is also super funny. Again, I don’t normally read early reader books to my little guy, but he brought this one to me. And he brought it again and again. Actually, the way that the story is told in verse works for great for toddlers. Rhyming boosts early language skills. Rhyming works great for a beginning reader too, as it introduces a word, then varies that word by a letter or two and poof; that learning reader has a whole new word. This book would be great to buy for a toddler, and then hang onto for learning to read later.

A not-so-funny but AWESOME book on this list? Written and Drawn by Henrietta. It’s is a graphic novel (almost like a comic strip, but book length) about a girl who gets a set of colored pencils and decides to create a story. As she ventures into this tale, she’s narrating her writing process to her cat, both the frightening plot twists and her literary technique. It’s one of those stories that so authentically speaks from the viewpoint of a child that it rings true with kids and reminds adults of the magic of childhood.

Also, do not miss The Story of Diva and Flea from Mo Willems! It’s a wonderful story of facing fears and about the power of friendship. The book has gorgeous illustrations that, along with the inclusion of some French words, provide the reader with a sense of being transported to Paris. Truly outstanding.

 Seeing stars?  Professional book reviewers only award a star to exceptional books.  More than one star means experts from multiple organizations felt the book was outstanding. 

The Story of Diva and Flea Book Cover
The Story of Diva and Flea
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 3
by Mo Willems
illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi
published October 13, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal

Diva, a small yet brave dog, and Flea, a curious streetwise cat, develop an unexpected friendship in this unforgettable tale of discovery.

For as long as she could remember, Diva lived at 11 avenue Le Play in Paris, France. For as long as he could remember, Flea also lived...READ MORE

I Will Take A Nap!
Approximate Reading Level: Kindergarten,
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 1
by Mo Willems
published June 2, 2015

Gerald is careful. Piggie is not.
...READ MORE

Second Grade Beginning Reader - Written and Drawn By Henrietta Book Cover
Written and Drawn by Henrietta: TOON Level 3 (Toon Books)
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 2
by Liniers
published September 29, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Booklist Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publisher's Weekly Star ImageHorn Book

When Henrietta's mother gives her a box of colored pencils, she sets out to draw a terrifying and fantastic adventure.READ MORE

Second Grade Beginning Reader - Piper Green and the Fairy Tree Book Cover
Piper Green and the Fairy Tree
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 3
by Ellen Potter
illustrated by Qin Leng
published August 4, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Publisher's Weekly  

From award-winning author Ellen Potter comes a charming new chapter book series where kids, lobster boats, and a hint of magic are part of everyday life.
...READ MORE

Don't Throw It to Mo!
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 2
by David A. Adler
illustrated by Sam Ricks
published May 5, 2015

Winner of the 2016 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award

Mo Jackson is a little boy with a big passion for sports. He may not be the biggest, the strongest, or the fastest player, but he won't let that stop
...READ MORE

Second Grade Beginning Reader - What This Story Needs is a Pig in a Wig Book Cover
What This Story Needs Is a Pig in a Wig (A Pig in a Wig Book)
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 2
by Emma J. Virjan
published May 12, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Publisher's Weekly

What this story needs is a pig in a wig, on a boat in a moat with a frog, a dog, and a goat on a log. . . .

...READ MORE

First Grade Beginning Reader - A Pig, a Fox, and a Box Book Cover
A Pig, a Fox, and a Box (Penguin Young Readers, Level 2)
Approximate Reading Level: Kindergarten,
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 1
by Jonathan Fenske
published June 16, 2015

In the style of Mo Willems, Jonathan Fenske tells three humorous stories of two friends, Pig and Fox, and their shenanigans with a cardboard box (all of which involved Pig accidentally crushing Fox in the box). With comic art...READ MORE

Third Grade Beginning Reader - Big Bad Detective Agency Book Cover
Big Bad Detective Agency
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 3
by Bruce Hale
published January 27, 2015

From the comic genius behind CHET GECKO comes a new kind of fairy tale hero -- and a big, bad, crime-solving adventure!

...READ MORE

First Grade Beginning Reader - In, Over, and On the Farm Book Cover
In, Over and On the Farm
Approximate Reading Level: Kindergarten,
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 1
by Ethan Long
published August 18, 2015

It’s time for fun on the farm with the Geisel Award-winning author of Up, Tall, and High!

...READ MORE

Grade 3 Beginning Reader - Digby O'Day and the Great Diamond Mystery Book Cover
Digby O'Day and the Great Diamond Robbery
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 3
by Shirley Hughes
illustrated by Clara Vulliamy
published August 25, 2015

Put on your detective hat for the second adventure from a dynamic mother-daughter team: beloved author Shirley Hughes and talented illustrator Clara Vulliamy.

...READ MORE

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Hi!  I'm Sarah.  I'm a former librarian and mother of two -- a teen daughter and a preschooler son.  We love to play outdoors... and read.  :)

This site is all about discovering great books to share with kids and teens. ...Read more

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