Summertime is the perfect time for new readers to practice their reading skills. To encourage my reluctant readers to read, we would head to the library on hot summer days and stock up on some colorful and fun book series to take along with us on picnics and for evening reading time on the porch. Each child and I would take turns reading parts of the stories so that they would not get too frustrated reading the entire book out loud and to motivate them to continue reading the story to find out what happened. For us this worked well. My children loved stories that featured animals as the main characters and some of our series favorites for young readers were:
Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel – (for grades PreK-2) This collection whose main characters are, you guessed it, a frog and a toad, includes 4 award-winning books each of which have 5 stories that teach children about friendship and individuality.
The Berenstain Bears by Stan and Jan Berenstain – (for grades K-5) There are hundreds of books in this series about a family of bears with human traits who live in a tree house and learn lessons about safety and living life honorably.
Busytown books and others by Richard Scarry – (for grades PreK-3) Not sure if these books are an actual series but I have loved the characters that Richard Scarry created since my own childhood with the Best Word Book Ever and Busy, Busy World being my absolute favorites. While some of his books are not exactly "easy-readers" they are still a lot of fun to look at and enjoy with young children.
Tales of Peter Rabbit and other tales by Beatrix Potter – (for grades K-4) These timeless classics were my daughter's favorite. The reading levels varies from book to book, but the images and stories are ageless.
Little Critter by Mercer Mayer – (for grades K-2) This is another large collection with over 100 books that teaches children about family and life. We were never sure what type of animal Little Critter characters were – looks like a mix of hamster, hedgehog and guinea pig – but we loved the fun stories. On a personal note, these books were so beloved of my oldest son that after he was married and learned that he was going to be a father, he bought a hardbound anthology of some of these books and presented to me with an inscription inside announcing that I was going to be a grandmother and that this book was for me to read to his son.
We all have our favorites, so what children's series of books for young readers are yours?