It's one thing to raise your little one to love books, but it's another to help turn their love into a serious skill. I can't wait for my little girl's love of books to manifest itself into a skill, and I know I'm not the only one. It's cute to watch your kid flip through board books and marvel at the illustrations, but I know you want to fill their room with books to make your kid a better reader.
I can't remember learning to read, but I do remember gobbling up books like they were the only thing I'd ever loved. I'd take as many as I could in the car on a Saturday while we ran errands, and I was usually reading a few at a time. But the books I chose were all over the place. One day I was trying to tackle Gone With the Wind, and the next day I was reading three Baby-Sitters Club books at once. I still had classics from when I was a kindergartner on my shelf, even when I was heading into middle school, because I couldn't get enough of those stories. I think having such a wide variety of literature options is what eventually turned me into a skillful reader, and I can't wait to help my daughter's love of reading grow with these 15 books to turn her into a better reader. Plenty of options means there's something for every kid, even the less-engaged or reluctant ones.
1. 'Fox In Socks' by Dr. Seuss
Have you ever read Fox in Socks? Full of fun rhymes and a few tongue twisting verses, this is great for any child wanting to enhance their reading skills. Plus, it's silly and fun, so they'll be excited to tackle the words.
2. 'A Giraffe Goes To Paris' by Mary Tavener Holmes & John Harris
Give your little one a break from the sight words with A Giraffe Goes to Paris, the true story of the giraffe Belle, who was gifted from the pasha of Egypt to the King of France in 1827. The prose is not only beautiful, but it can really help your child gain some reading prowess with the pronunciation guide for the more exotic words.
3. 'Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs' by Judi Barrett
Not only is Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs a classic, but the way the story is written is perfect for young readers. With short, easy sentences and lots of fun new adjectives like "marvelous" and verbs like "squashed," it definitely opens up your kid's vocabulary and introduces them to new phrases.
4. 'Last Stop On Market Street' by Matt De La Peña
Full of more than just beautiful illustrations, Last Stop on Market Street shows the relationship between a grandchild and grandmother beautifully, as she helps her little grandson see the beauty in their world instead of comparing it to others'. But the book is also exception for a reader, as there's plenty of dialogue for your children to practice, and the words are written in an urban dialect to introduce them to new vocabulary.
5. 'Charlotte's Web' by E.B. White
When your kid's old enough to handle a chapter book, Charlotte's Web is a wonderful choice. Obviously the story is perfection, but the vocabulary is great, too. Words like humble, radiant, and terrific will make their way into your child's vernacular and turn them into an exceptional reader.
6. 'Voice Of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer' by Carole Boston Weatherford
The best thing about finding a great book is joining in on an adventure with the author, which is why your children will love Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer. The story is mesmerizing as it tells the tale of Fannie Lou Hamer, a civil rights activist and leader. But in terms of helping your child become a better reader, the story is told from the perspective of Fannie, so the words are full of lyrical text and literally boom right off the page.
7. 'Charlie And The Chocolate Factory' by Roald Dahl
There are few things better than the perfect fantasy story, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory hits all the marks. With lots of whimsical words and a great story to follow, your kiddo will gobble this up faster than Augustus Gloop and the chocolate river.
8. 'Snappsy The Alligator (Did Not Ask To Be In This Book)' by Julie Falatko
Another fun book to read aloud, Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book) breaks the "fourth wall" with Snappsy questioning the narrator as the story progresses. There are also lots of new adjectives and words for your little one to soak up as they read.
9. 'The 50 States' by Gabrielle Balkan
For a non-traditional read, get your kids The 50 States, an incredible exploratory-type of book. Full of maps with facts on each state, it's not intimidating to kids struggling to read, and gives them the chance to jump around on the page and read the way they prefer. It's also full of fun anecdotes on the states which will impress your kids, and make them want to read so they can continue to learn.
10. 'When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems For All Seasons' by Julie Fogliano
Learning to read requires a lot more skill than simply following along with sentences. You can encourage your child's reading with When Green Becomes Tomatoes, a book filled with poems on the seasons. They'll love enjoying a new type of prose, and can tackle some bigger words and rhythm.
11. 'Little House On The Prairie' by Laura Ingalls Wilder
There's no better adventure story than Little House on the Prairie, and the easy-to-follow text is perfect for readers who may be intimidated by chapter books. But there's a lot of description and dialogue as well to help your child's reading skills.
12. 'The Sandwich Thief' by André Marois
Reading like a graphic novel, The Sandwich Thief is a funny story about a young boy trying to figure out who keeps stealing the sandwiches his parents make him for school. Because it's a lot like a comic book, the book is fun to read and illustrates the dialogue into word bubbles coming from characters rather than blocks of text.
13. 'Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone' by J.K. Rowling
Starting your child with the first book of an epic series is an easy way to turn them into a voracious reader, but Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone has other benefits, too. With lots of fun words to learn, like wingardium leviosa and alohomora, your child will love being introduced to Rowling's writing, especially as they learn the Latin roots for some of her words. Plus, with so many characters and things to follow in the story, it helps your child learn to focus with a book.
14. 'The Stinky Cheese Man & Other Fairly Stupid Tales' by Jon Scieszka
If you want both a heavy dose of nostalgia and a great book for your reader, you need to pick up The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. With no regards to traditional books and stories, this classic focuses on simply reading for the sake of reading.
15. 'Atlas Of Adventures' by Rachel Williams
Reading can be boring and tedious for little ones, so if you're hoping to make them into a better reader, Atlas of Adventures is a great start. Full of beautiful illustrations, the words in this book are written to celebrate the adventures and cultures of the world. Your child will love finding the facts on each page and reading in a non-traditional way to keep them engaged and excited.