Beginning Readers for Kindergarten to Grade 3 March 2016 Picks
Best Early Readers for Kindergarten to Grade 3 March 2016 Picks

Intro

Of these great beginning readers, one of the books I’m  eager to read is Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France.  Definitely check out the book summary.  Often these introductions don’t do books justice, but one glance at this summary and I was totally in.  A noteworthy charlatan, a sensible Ben Franklin, and the demise of a deception through science?  Count me in.

This book isn’t a traditional beginning reader book, but that’s not a bad thing in my mind.  The illustrations and the period circus-esque font will beg a reader to investigate the text.  The text itself may challenge a mid-year third grader (this varies by kiddo, of course), but interest will surely compel readers forward.

After reading this highly acclaimed book with your kiddo, it might be fun to investigate the real lives of the characters in this story.  It’s always exciting to let curiosity lead you to new discoveries.  Also, because it seems that the characters in this book are revealed with such contrast – the down to earth, honest Franklin compared to the frilly, false Franz Mesmer, I think this would be a great book to look at from a sort of critical viewpoint.   Why was Ben Franklin so trusted as a scientist in his day?  What kind of scientist was he?  Do you and your kiddo think that this story represented Dr. Mesmer as the person he was in real life?  Did his work contribute anything positive to the scientific community?  Why did the author emphasize certain of Franklin and Mesmer’s qualities more than others?  Do you notice anything different about the cultures portrayed in this book?  Do those differences seem good or bad, fair or unfair?  With such fascinating historical figures to investigate, this book could really lead to some great discoveries and conversation.

A book on the other end of the beginning reader spectrum (third grade is when early reader kiddos are really starting to cruise versus super-beginners in Kindergarten) is Treat.  I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of this book.  The sheer energy popping off the pages keys readers in to the main character’s vigorous obsession.

There is but one word in this book... "treat."  So, why would this be amongst the early reader books, you might be wondering…  Well, the style of this book, what I'll call an extremely expressive graphic novel, enables a beginning reader to read the book independently.  That one word read again and again, along with the hilarious illustrations will tell an entire story and, therefore, boost a beginning reader's confidence.   Confidence is good.   And important.  We like confidence a lot.  There’s also good practice with sequencing.  Valuable.  And puppies.  Cute, cute puppies.  :D

A couple of sequels that are bound to bring happiness and squeals of delight from fans… The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde came out in February and Hamster Princess: of Mice and Magic will be released in about a week.  Both books are follow-ups to super popular and highly praised books, and are already getting love from readers and critics.

 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. 

Treat Book Cover
Treat
Approximate Reading Level: Kindergarten
by Mary Sullivan
published March 1, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publishers Weekly

As the old saying goes, “Give a dog a ball, and he'll beg to play for days. But give a dog a treat, and he’ll never stop begging.” 

In this companion to Mary Sullivan's Geisel Award-winning Ball, there's a new dog in town and he is focused on finding a treat,...READ MORE

The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde Book Cover
The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 2
by Shannon Hale,
by Dean Hale
illustrated by LeUyen Pham
published February 9, 2016

Princess Magnolia and her unicorn, Frimplepants, are on their way to have brunch with Princess Sneezewort, an occasion Frimplepants enjoys more than anything in the world. But just when he can smell the freshly baked bread and the heaping platters of sugar-dusted doughnuts, Princess Magnolia’s glitter-stone ring rings. The monster...READ MORE

Pig Is Big on Books (I Like to Read) Book Cover
Pig Is Big on Books (I Like to Read)
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 1
by Douglas Florian
published August 10, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Kirkus Reviews

Pig loves to read. He s never without a big stack of books! He reads them one after another. His friends know they ll find him with his snout in a book, whether he s at home, on the bus or even at the beach. But one day, Pig has...READ MORE

All Paws on Deck Book Cover
All Paws on Deck: A Branches Book (Haggis and Tank Unleashed #1)
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 2
by Jessica Young
illustrated by James Burks
published January 5, 2016

This series is part of Scholastic's early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

Tank is a clumsy, outgoing...READ MORE

Mouse Scouts Book Cover
Mouse Scouts
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 3
by Sarah Dillard
published January 5, 2016

For fans of Ivy and Bean and Junie B. Jones comes a brand-new chapter book series: Mouse Scouts!
 
Meet Violet, Tigerlily, Hyacinth, Petunia, Junebug, and Cricket, six new Mouse Scouts who are trustworthy and strong, thrifty and brave . . . and destined to be friends to the end! Best...READ MORE

Dino Files A Mysterious Egg Book Cover
The Dino Files #1: A Mysterious Egg (A Stepping Stone Book(TM))
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 2
by Stacy McAnulty
illustrated by Mike Boldt
published January 19, 2016

Frank’s grandma is a famous paleontologist (that’s a dinosaur scientist). But she’s also an adult who makes up rules. Rules like: no digging for dinosaur bones when you have a sunburn. That means Frank is stuck playing inside with his annoying cousin, Samantha. But then Grandma finds a fossil of...READ MORE

Spring Cleaning (Cork and Fuzz) Book Cover
Spring Cleaning (Cork and Fuzz)
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 2
by Dori Chaconas
illustrated by Lisa McCue
published March 22, 2016

ork is a short muskrat who likes to clean. Fuzz is a tall possum who would rather play than tidy. When Cork tells Fuzz to help with chores, Fuzz says, “You are not the boss of me!” Can the two friends find a way to have fun and clean up?
 
The...READ MORE

Mesmerized Book Cover
Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 3
by Mara Rockliff
illustrated by Iacopo Bruno
published March 10, 2015
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Booklist Star Image Publishers Weekly

Discover how Benjamin Franklin’s scientific method challenged a certain Dr. Mesmer’s mysterious powers in a whimsical look at a true moment in history.

The day Ben Franklin first set foot in Paris, France, he found the city all abuzz. Everyone was talking about something new—remarkable, thrilling, and strange. Something called . ....READ MORE

Hamster Princess: Of Mice and Magic Book Cover
Hamster Princess: Of Mice and Magic
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 3
by Ursula Vernon
published March 15, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Kirkus Reviews

Princess Harriet is nobody’s hamster damsel in distress! Book two of this series for Babymouse and Princess in Black fans is filled with even more action and twisted fairy tale fun

Princess Harriet has absolutely no interest in brushing her hair, singing duets with woodland animals, or any other typical princess activities....READ MORE

Pinkalicious and Planet Pink (I Can Read Level 1) Book Cover
Pinkalicious and Planet Pink (I Can Read Level 1)
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 1,
Approximate Reading Level: Grade 2
by Victoria Kann
published March 8, 2016

When Pinkalicious learns about Planet Pink, she has fun imagining life as a Pinktonian alien living on the pinkest planet in the universe! But what would happen if the Pinktonians paid her a visit?

Beginning readers will love the close encounters in this space-themed Pinkalicious I Can Read adventure!

This...READ MORE

Comments

Fantastic list! So glad I found you on Homeschool Nook; will be checking out your other recommends (my 2nd grader has turned the corner and made her way into longer chapter books since the beginning of the year and I'm always on the lookout for her!) Thanks!

Wonderful! I'm so happy that you like the list. And congrats to your second grader moving up to longer chapter books! That's such a huge step. :) And there are so many delightful books available when kiddos round that corner! :D

I have been looking for some new beginning reader books, I feel like I have exhausted my own list but we're still not quite ready to move on to more advanced books just yet. Thank you!

Hello! I'm so glad you found some ideas in this list. Keeping new readers entertained as they work on building those reading skills can be such a challenge. Your kiddos are lucky that you're on the lookout for books to keep up their interest. Way to go Mother of 3! :D

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Hello there!

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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