Popular movie and storybook characters often have beginning reader series. These very slim paperback books have full color pictures and sometimes even short chapters. But are they good material for teaching kids to read?
That depends on how they are used! Some of these “readers” use very high level vocabulary and not enough repetition to reinforce the words. Most children cannot overcome these stumbling blocks alone. But the fun characters make them appealing for parents to read along side the child. Fancy Nancy and the Mean Girl by Jane O’Connor is part of a Fancy Nancy reader series. Five Fast Tales features stories that tie-in with the new Pixar film Cars 2 coming out this summer.
The best books for beginning readers use very simple words and use them again and again. Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss, as well as other classics by P.D. Eastman, are still as fun and engaging today as in the past. Or meet Elephant and Piggie, two hilariously different best friends in their own book series by Mo Willems.