Suggested General Books for Early Readers
Reading is an essential academic skill that can grow into a joyful hobby for a lifetime. Some children develop reading skills early—even before they officially begin school. No matter what level your child has achieved in terms of reading, understanding how to encourage a healthy, fun, and supportive approach to literacy is important for their sustained enjoyment of this activity in the future.
Here are some suggested general book ideas for early readers and those who aren’t quite ready to read on their own just yet as well.
Value of Reading
Of course, having access to interesting, age-appropriate books is a large part of supporting early readers. However, in addition to providing your children with various reading materials, it’s equally important to instill in them the value of reading.
Here are some ideas for parents to demonstrate and reinforce the value of reading for their children:
- Take frequent trips to the library and check out a variety of books
- Read to your children as often as possible (perhaps as part of a bedtime routine)
- Encourage your children to explore books on their own to look at words and pictures
- Model reading for your children (if you don’t enjoy books, take time to read magazines, newspapers, etc.)
By prioritizing reading as a family, children will grow up understanding its value. This will enhance their enjoyment of reading as an activity, which can lead to a lifetime of learning, imagining, and being exposed to new ideas.
Family Favorites and Classics
Both classic and contemporary children’s literature consist of some of the greatest authors and writing in the history of storytelling. Remembering what you loved to read as a child and sharing it with your kids is an excellent way to connect with your early readers. If you weren’t much of a childhood reader, then reading children’s literature with your child now is a great way to broaden your own horizons and recapture your imagination.
Here is a list of beloved children’s authors whose works are sure to be enjoyed by the whole family:
- Eric Carle
- Mo Willems
- Kate DiCamillo
- Marc Brown
- Connie Schofield-Morrison
- Tedd Arnold
- Margaret Wise Brown
- Kevin Henkes
- Juana Medina
- Debbi Michiko Florence
- Lois Lowry
- Louis Sachar
- Don Freeman
- Richard Scarry
- Jon Scieszka
Other timeless classics to enjoy with your young readers include folk tales, fairy tales, and non-fiction works for children. These books provide information about animals, geography, history, occupations, different cultures, and other topics of interest.
Be sure to pay attention to the type of books and stories that your child enjoys, even if they don’t appeal to you. For early readers, the experience should be joyful and give them a sense of wonder. So if your child wants to read books that feature their favorite cartoon character or silly plots, then indulge them. You can balance out less literary books with more sophisticated choices across time.
Love of Language
Another suggestion for early readers and kids who love listening to books is children’s poetry. Works by writers such as Dr. Seuss, Sandra Boynton, Shel Silverstein, Mother Goose, and Jack Prelutsky explore the creative use of words, especially in rhymes.
This inspires a love of language for children through poetic structure and word use in addition to expanding their vocabulary and imagination. Exposure to rhyme and rhythm in children’s poetry allows children a deeper understanding of the sounds and syllables of words, which is important in the development of literacy skills and language acquisition.
Almost all children enjoy when someone reads to them. However, some children may be reluctant to read on their own, especially if they aren’t yet in school. Parents may feel frustrated by what they see as hesitation, indifference, or even outright refusal on their child’s behalf to read.
It’s essential for parents to understand that pushing children to read before they are ready is a counterproductive strategy. Any outside pressure that a child feels to read on their own, whether overt or unintentional, is likely to lead to resistance, discouragement, and feelings of self-defeat. Parents must also be aware that indicating to their child, even subtly, that they are “behind” in their literacy will set a precedent of worry, uncertainty, and low confidence in their ability to master reading skills in the future.
Of course, parents want to know that their children are on track in their learning development. The truth is that all children learn at different rates, and early “reading readiness” among young children does not determine future academic success. Ultimately, it’s better to support your reluctant reader and allow them the time and freedom to discover the joy of reading without pressure or judgment.
Keep Screen Reading to a Minimum
There are many electronic devices and online programs that claim to promote reading skills or early literacy among children. Parents may consider these options to be beneficial and even educational. However, these digital programs are more likely to “teach” your child how to navigate the game and choose the right answer rather than any legitimate reading skills.
In addition, the harm due to increased screen time outweighs any potential benefits gained through such electronic reading programs. Screen use among young children can lead to significant problems with eyesight, emotional stability, and cognitive function. Therefore, it’s best to keep screen reading to an absolute minimum.
One of the best ways to help your child learn healthy reading skills and become a lifetime reader is to fill their environment with imaginative activities and access to a variety of reading options. At Cognisprings, we support parents looking for educational toys and materials that inspire children to explore who they are and their interests through stories, knowledge, and critical thinking. That’s why we provide books, puzzles, games, and toys that are thoughtfully designed for creativity, curiosity, and inspiration.
In addition, Cognisprings prioritizes fun and educational activities that are screen-free, promote healthy cognitive development, and encourage personal growth through independent play and learning. Family togetherness, such as playing games and reading stories, is important for creating lasting memories as well, at any age.