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Best Books For First Readers

The best books for first readers are books budding bookworms enjoy reading. You can’t force a reading passion. But give young kids books that make them giggle, dream, and discover, and they’ll naturally become eager readers. Your goal is to introduce early readers to various books written for their level (first readers are considered anyone in Reception Year to Year 3).

We’ve got 9 guidelines (plus, 9 must-read suggestions) to help you pick the best books to bring out the booklover in every first reader.

#1 Best Books For First Readers Are About Familiar Things

Young children like reading about things from their everyday life. They enjoy stories about experiences they can relate to, like the first day of school, shopping trips, or getting ready for bed.

A Must-Read About A Familiar Experience

Little ones are sure to enjoy books that show how imagination can make the ordinary extraordinary.

Max Explains Everything: Grocery Store Expert By Stacy McAnulty

In this delightful story, “kid-expert” Max, a regular at the grocery store, shares humorous how-to advice for leaving the shops with anything from yummy sweeties to a puppy. His tips and tricks will make your kid giggle (and possibly get ideas for your next shopping trip together!)

Buy on Amazon.

#2: Best Books For First Readers Have Imaginative Storylines

Introduce young children to books about magical worlds where anything’s possible, and expect them to become instant reading fans.

Fantasy books are so popular that you won’t struggle to find one your child will want to read again and again.

A Must-Read With An Imaginative Storyline

Young readers find stories about everyday objects coming to life particularly intriguing.

The Day the Crayons Quit By Drew Daywalt

(Note: Grammarly flagged this book title as plagiarism.)

This book gives a peek inside crayons’ minds (if crayons had minds, that is!). Kids are let into what crayons (each colour with a different personality) might be thinking as they scribble, draw, and colour in.

Buy on Amazon.

#3: Best Books For First Readers Have Rhyme & Repetition

Stories filled with rhyme and repetition help children connect letters with their sounds (phonics) and recognise word patterns (making spelling easier).

Rhyme also encourages kids to predict which words will come next while reading – an important skill. Plus, rhyming words are fun to say and hear!

A Must-Read With Rhyme & Repetition

Julia Donaldson is the queen of rhyming stories that mesmerise youngsters. Start with her top-seller, The Gruffalo (if you don’t already have it on your bookshelf!).

The Gruffalo By Julia Donaldson

A modern classic, this book has sold more than 17 million copies worldwide. It tells the story of a little mouse that outsmarts several fierce creatures wanting to gobble him up, showing that the little guy (or gal) does win!

Buy on Amazon.

#4: Best Books For First Readers Have Lots Of Dialogue

When kids first learn to read, they can focus so intensely on saying words right that they sound like robots. Accuracy is important, but so is reading with expression at a natural pace.

Books with just a few words on each page, tons of dialogue, and supportive pictures help kids read smoothly and with an animated tone.

A Must-Read With Lots Of Dialogue

The Elephant & Piggy collection has 25 books written entirely in speech bubbles. These all-dialogue books are perfect for practising expressive reading.

Today, I Will Fly! (An Elephant & Piggie Book) By Mo Willems

(Note: Grammarly flagged this book title as plagiarism.)

In this book, kids get to know best friends Gerald (the elephant) and Piggy. Carefree Piggy decides she’s going to fly, much to anxious Gerald’s dismay.

Buy on Amazon.

#5: Best Books For First Readers Teach About The Real World

Nonfiction books might not captivate young readers the same way fantastical stories do. But find one that tackles a favourite topic in a kid-friendly way, and you’ll have youngsters lapping up every word, eager to learn more about our incredible world.

Young children are ever-curious, so nonfiction books are essential to every first reader’s library. The best topics for nonfiction books are related to children’s interests. Popular topics include animals, outer space, and under the sea.

A Must-Read That Teaches About The Real World

A story that’s likely to spark a love for history is about the real bear behind the Winnie-the-Pooh book.

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick

First, allow your child to fall in love with Pooh and his friends, and then introduce them to this book, which tells the true tale of the real bear that inspired Winnie-the-Pooh.

Buy on Amazon.

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#6: Best Books For First Readers Are Classic Bedtime Stories

All the fairy tales, folk stories, and fables you read to your kids when they were toddlers (and which were read to you when you were little) are linked with happy, cosy memories.

These books are perfect for budding readers, as the familiar characters and storylines build reading confidence.

A Must-Read Collection Of Classic Bedtime Stories

You probably have well-read, dog-eared copies of your kid’s treasured bedtime stories scattered around your home. Why not invest in a collection of these stories for your child to dip into on their own?

Fairy Tales: A Beautiful Collection of Favorite Fairy Tales By Parragon Books

(Note: Grammarly flagged this book title as plagiarism.)

This book features eight of the most well-known fairy tales, including The Gingerbread Man, The Three Little Pigs, and Snow White, all illustrated to make the stories extra special.

Buy on Amazon.

#7: Best Books For First Readers Are About Favourite Topics

Young kids go wild for books about things they’re interested in, like friendship, pets, holidays, fun outings, and magic.

A Must-Read About Favourite Topics

Books about friendships (especially unusual ones) tend to get children keen to read.

Frank And Bean by Jamie Michalak

Young readers will chuckle as they (enthusiastically) work through this beginner chapter book about an unlikely friendship between introverted Frank and life-of-the-party Bean.

Buy on Amazon.

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#8: Best Books For First Readers Have Sight Words

Books just right for beginner readers have plenty of words that can be read at a glance without having to be decoded first. These are called sight words.

When kids read books filled with words they know, their fluency improves and reading confidence grows, motivating them to keep going!

A Must-Read With Sight Words

Here’s a book that proves memorising and practising sight words can be entertaining.

I’ll Teach My Dog 100 Words By Michael Frith

Kids will get a thrill when they recognise words in this humorous story – and learn new ones along with a very obedient (and intelligent) pooch.

Buy on Amazon.

#9: Best Books For First Readers Teach Life Skills

Young children need to feel safe, accepted, and understood for tip-top mental well-being. Children will be hooked on reading for life after discovering how books can comfort, encourage, uplift, and inspire.

A Must-Read To Teach Life Skills

This book will strengthen your child’s reading skills and self-esteem. 

Be Who You Are By Todd Parr

After reading this light-hearted book, children will see their differences as things to celebrate, not hide. This empowering read echoes Dr Seuss’s strong message: “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”

Buy on Amazon.






I have been a teacher of English for over 15 years, in that time i made hundreds and thousands of resources and learnt so much i think its worth sharing. Hopefully to help teachers and parents around the world.

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