Last week, when I confessed my opinions of those POPULAR emergent readers that we all see gracing the shelves of the library and the bookstore, I think I hit a raw nerve with so many mommas. (This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details.)
...we've all been asking ourselves while scratching our heads in confusion.
Those popular trade-show readers written and produced by the BIG-NAME authors and publishers are no more appropriate for a true emergent reader as the Lynn Austin novel currently flopped on my couch. With their captivating pictures and intriguing plots, they ARE great books and SHOULD BE read, but not by emergent readers just embarking on the learning-to-read journey. (In case you've forgotten, here's why...)
So, what's a momma to do when her eager learner wants to hold a story in his very own hands...a story that he can read ALL.BY.HIMSELF?
Here's the Best of the Best in Emergent Readers
(While several of these sets are currently out of print, I'd highly recommend searching out used-versions of each. I have dozens of sets all bought used at garage sales, used book sales, and on-line used curriculum sites. They are well-worth the investment, especially if you have other soon-to-be-readers coming up the line. If money is tight, and if your library does not have these titles, that you suggest that your librarian purchase them. My librarian has NEVER not purchased a book I've requested.)
- Bob Books
- Phonics First Steps
- All About Reading Readers
- Now I'm Reading Readers
- Little Books
- Animal Friend Books
- Basic Phonics Readers
- Reading For Fun Enrichment Library
- Targeted Phonics Readers
- Starfall Learn to Read
- Hooked on Phonics Readers
- Scholastic Phonics Ready Readers- ONLY the old ones. (The new ones are based on the whole-language method of reading.)
All of these sets start with books that contain one or two one-vowel-words on a page. They are leveled which means that the content will increase in difficulty within each set and from set to set. Most sets contain around 10 little paperback books.
While I enjoy and find value in all of them, my children's favorite sets have always been the ABeka sets (because they have full-color pages) and the Now I'm Reading Readers (because the stories are the most captivating).
That's my list. What's on yours?