Reading Options for Beginning Readers

It really is a great problem to have—not enough books for a voracious reader. But, the problem isn’t easy to solve. That’s why, when I noticed my son only had two more books left in his kindergarten curriculum, my heart skipped a beat and I panicked for just a second. Then I remembered some of the great reading books I have around the house that I’ll be able to use.

But I got to thinking that I’m probably not the only one encountering this problem. So I thought I’d share a few suggestions for your beginning readers.

  • First, though it seems very obvious, check your own home library. You might be surprised what your little reader will be able to pick up and read. My son constantly surprises me with the sight words and advanced phonics sounds that he can pick up simply from the context of the story and pictures. For instance, with very little help, he tackled Are You My Mother? the other day. I was in shock. So definitely check what you have before buying something new.
  • Next, I love the A Beka little readers. They are very reasonably priced and the perfect starter readers. For K4, purchase Little Books 1-10 and Little Owl Books set of 8.  For K5, the Basic Phonics Readers set is available.
  • Another awesome set of readers is the Reading for Fun Enrichment Library of over 55 little books. Look for it used. I was blessed to have inherited the set from my mom, the same set I used as a child. Talk about a valuable investment!
  • I’ve also read of a number of homeschoolers who have used the Bob Books and loved them, though I have not seen them personally. You might also check to see if your local library carries these titles.

My last suggestions are actually some books that I just found through Usborne Books. When the Very First Reading Series arrived at our house, you would have thought it was Christmas.

My son doing a "happy" dance

These readers are extremely cool. The whole concept is that the parent and child share the reading experience. Here’s how…

Sample spread from Book 1 of the Usborne Very First Reading Series - Pirate Pat


The series includes 15 hardback books that progressively become more difficult and have the child reading a little more in each book. By the end of the series, the child is reading the whole story. The set comes with a separate parent’s guide, as well as instruction and comprehension games within each book. The Very First Reading website also includes additional parent resources.

The one down-side is that the books are not sold individually, which means that this set is an investment.

But another great option for kindergarten/first grade readers are the Easy Readers from Usborne. I’ve gotten a couple of these for my kids, and they have been a huge hit. The books are paperback with fun illustrations and even fold out pages. And what excites my son the most is the feeling that he is reading a real book all by himself.

I’d also love to know what books you use with your little reader, as my son might be reading us out of house and homeschool very soon!

Note: I am an Usborne consultant, because I just loved the books too much to afford them any other way! The links to Usborne books will link you to my sales site.

Published by Tracy
Our life is creative chaos, and our homeschool is loud and busy and distracted and challenging and lovely. My name is Tracy, and I homeschool my crew of three kids with ADHD/dyslexia, finding creative ways to use their strengths to teach their weaknesses. As a homeschooled homeschooler, I love customizing curriculum and making adjustments to incorporate fun, hands-on projects for out-of-the-box learners. Stop by to find grace for the messes and mistakes, and knowledge to pick up the pieces and make something special. Let’s grow together!

2 thoughts on “Reading Options for Beginning Readers

  1. Great list, Tracy! I also like the Starfall books. You can download black and white copies for free ( Hubbard’s Cupboard ( also has some cute, free downloadable books. With both types of books, I glue them onto construction paper and laminate the covers before stapling them so that they look nicer.

    • Post Author Tracy

      I didn’t realize you could print off the books at My son loves to read those little stories. What a great idea! And I’ll have to check out the other website. Thanks for the ideas!

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