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100 Easy but NOT Boring Readers for Young Kids

100 Easy but NOT Boring Readers for Young Kids-separated by reading level

The practicing-to-read phase is a tricky one. It comes right after the learning-to-read phase which is usually pure bliss. Most kids in the "learning" phase are so thrilled to be finally crossing over the great divide between those who CAN read and those who CAN'T, that they eagerly gobble up as many emergent readers as you can throw at them. But then comes the practicing-to-read phase and things begin to get a little dicey...sometimes even tragic. 

On the one hand, a child has to READ in order to practice the skills necessary for learning to read with fluency. But on the other hand, if he's still learning to read, his book choices are limited because he's graduated past emergent readers, but isn't quite smooth enough for "regular" books yet. For a while, practicing the skill of reading is a catch-22. 

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What makes matters worse is that so many easy reader style books are just plain b.o.r.i.n.g. The story lines are dry, the characters are not relatable, and the overall tones are repetitive and condescending leaving the child uninspired.

Except for these ones. I've gathered a list of 100 EASY but NOT BORING books for all those practicing-to-read kiddos. And here they are.

(Please note: the "levels" are publisher designations and do not always reflect an accurate reading level, in my humble opinion.)

Fiction titles

Level 1

Cat Traps by Molly Coxe
Charlie the Ranch Dog series by Ree Drummond
Don't Cut My Hair! by Hans Wilhelm

Hot Dog by Molly Coxe
Little Bear Collection by Else Holmelund Minarik
Mac and Cheese by Sarah Weeks

Red Fox and His Canoe by Nathaniel Benchley
The Best Breakfast by Mona Hodgson
The Biggest Snowball Fight by Angela Shelf

The Fire Cat by Esther Averill
The Horse in Harry's Room by Syd Hoff
The Lion and the Mouse by Gail Herman

The Pup Speaks Up by Anna Jane Hays
The Shy Scarecrow by Mary Packard
Too Many Dogs by Lori Haskins

Level 2

Big Max The World's Greatest Detective by Kin Platt
Frog and Toad Collection by Arnold Lobel
Henry and Mudge Collection by Cynthia Rylant

Here Comes the Strikeout by Leonard Kessler
Mouse Soup by Arnold Lobel
Owl at Home by Arnold Lobel

Pal and Sal by R.A. Herman
Shampoodle by Joan Holub
The Chick That Wouldn't Hatch by Claire Daniel

Zack's Alligator by Shirley Mozelle

Level 3

Daniel's Duck by Clyde Robert Bulla
Deputy Dan Gets His Man by Joseph Rosenbloom
Fox and Crow Are Not Friends by Melissa Wiley

Little Lucy by Ilene Cooper
Paddywack by Stephanie Spinner
Sleeping Bootsie by Maribeth Boelts

Snowshoe Thompson by Nancy Smiler Levinson
The Stinky Giant by Ellen Weiss

Historically-themed titles

Level 1

Level 2

Abraham Lincoln by Caroline Gilpin
Alexander Graham Bell by Barbara Kramer
George Washington by Caroline Gilpin

Little Runner of the Longhouse by Betty Baker
Thomas Edison by Barbara Kramer

Level 3

Abe Lincoln's Hat by Martha Brenner
Amazing Rescues by George Shea
Babe Ruth Saves Baseball! by Frank Murphy

George the Drummer Boy by Nathaniel Benchley
George Washington and the General's Dog by Frank Murphy

Hill of Fire by Thomas P. Lewis
Sam the Minuteman by Nathaniel Benchley
Take a Hike Teddy Roosevelt by Frank Murphy

The Long Way to a New Land by Joan Sandin

The First Thanksgiving by Linda Hayward
The True Story of Pocahontas by Lucille Penner
Wagon Wheels by Barbara Brenner

Level 4

Science-themed titles

Level 1

Bones by Stephen Krensky
Follow the Polar Bears by Sonia Black
Footprints in the Snow by Cynthia Benjamin

Hello Science Readers: I Am... by Jean Marzollo
I Like Bugs by Maragaret Wise Brown
Weather Ready-to-Read Series by Marion Bauer and John Wallace

Level 2

Ham, Ham, Hamsters and others in the series by Bonnie Bader
Hibernation by Tori Kosara
Turtles by Jodi Huelin

Twisters! by Kate Hayden
Wildlife Conservation Society Amazing Animal Series by Sarah L. Thomson

Level 3

Dive! by Mel Berger
Dolphin by Robert A. Morris
Fake Out: Animals that Play Tricks by Ginjer CLark

Make Way for Tooth Decay by Bobbi Katz
Stingrays! Underwater Fliers by Carole Gerber
Tentacles: Tales of the Giant Squid by Shirley Redmond

Vintage titles

Baltimore Orioles by Barbara Brenner
I Know a Story by Miriam Huber, Frank Salisbury, & Mabel O'Donnell
Little Popcorn by Sara Asheron

Mr. Pig and Sonny Too by Lillian Hoban 
Plenty of Fish by Millicent Selsam
Red Tag Comes Back by Fred Phleger

Terry and the Caterpillars by Millicent E. Selsam
The Pig War by Betty Baker

The Secret Three by Mildred Myrick
Tillie and Mert by Ida Luttrell

Walpole by Syd Hoff

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  1. That is a useful list - thank you. Have you seen the Usborne beginners? We have enjoyed their science and history books for early readers.

    1. Yes. I like those ones too. They're just sometimes hard to get a hold of here in the states.

  2. Great List! I would also include the series; Annie and Snowball, Cork and Fuzz, Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa, Katie Woo, Mr. Putter and Tabby, Pony Scouts, Blastoff Readers (nonfiction level 2 and up), and Mr. Bumba (vintage).

    1. Yes! Love all those...although I'm not familiar with Blastoff Readers. Thanks for the suggestions!

  3. I would include ALL of the Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems. They don't have a number, but I would say they are between 1 + 2. My daughter couldn't get into any readers before we found these books, and afterwards she really started to like reading!

  4. Thanks so much for this list! I have bookmarked it to use. :)

  5. This is very, very helpful! I really appreciate it!
    Do you have a similar list for older children?