I am concluding my three part article on beginning readers with chapter books. Beginning chapter books are appropriate for children who can handle longer stories, with longer paragraphs. The font should be fairly large and the illustrations will decrease and ultimately not be found on every page. I’ve grouped the following chapter books by publisher, and I begin each list with the emergent chapter books and end with lengthier chapter books with few pictures found throughout.
I’ll begin with Scholastic. Diamond, by Suzanne Weyn, and illustrated by Elizabeth Alba, is the latest horse book in the “Breyer Stablemates” series. “Appleville Elementary” is another series with the newest edition, Fooled You!, by Nancy Krulik. The illustrations are simple pencil drawings. “Dinosaur Cove”, by Rex Stone, is a series that boys seem to enjoy. Swimming with the Plesiosaur is the latest book in the series, with detailed drawings by Mike Spoor. Pam Munoz Ryan has a new series about young Cornelia. Cornelia and the Show-and-Tell Showdown has Cornelia bringing a unique item to class. The illustrations are colorful throughout. “Magic Pickle”, by Scott Morse, is a great series to introduce humor in books. The latest book in the series, Magic Pickle and the Creature From the Back Legume, has the Jo Jo’s magic pickle falling into his backpack on the way to a peanut factory. “Perfectly Princess”, by Alyssa Crowned, is a new series geared for girls with Green Princess Saves the Day as the most recent edition. A nice introduction to non-fiction is the “True or False” series, by Melvin and Gilda Berger (who are some of the best children’s non-fiction authors). Dangerous Animals is their newest. Fangs, by Heather Dakota, and Tami Susano, is one in a series that features a lenticular picture on the cover highlighting 3 different frightening animals. With 3-D movies currently being so popular, “3-D Thrillers” is a new series. Sharks and the World’s Scariest Sea Monsters is an exciting book with 3-D glasses included. Sophie is an imaginative 3rd grader and her first book in a new series is Sophie the Awesome, by Laura Tallardy.
Candlewick Press has a cute new series with the first book being about two lively friends: Joe and Sparky Get New Wheels, by Jaie Michalak, and bright illustrations by Frank Remkiewicz. At the same emergent chapter book level is the “Zelda and Ivy” series with Keeping Secrets, by Laura Mcgee Kvasnosky. “Houndsley and Catina” is another series at the same level with Plink and Plunk, by James Howe, and colorful illustrations by Marie-Louise Gay. “Mercy Watson” is a favorite series for many beginning chapter book readers because the stories are so enjoyable. Something Wonky This Way Comes, by Kate DiCamillo, and wonderfully illustrated by Chris Van Dusen, is the newest book. “The Cool Crazy Crickets” is a brand new series featuring four lively friends. Club and To the Rescue!, both by David Elliott, and illustrated by Paul Meisel, are the first two books in this series. “Stink”, the little brother to the Judy Moody books, is a popular series, by Megan McDonald, and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. Solar System Superhero is another hit! The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt, by the same author and illustrator, features both Judy Moody and her little brother, Stink. This book is a fun mystery waiting to be unraveled. “Daisy Dawson”, by Steve Voake, and illustrated with wonderful black and white etchings by Jessica Meserve, is a series about a sweet little girl with the kindest nature. The Secret Pond is the newest book in this series. “Max Disaster”, by Marissa Moss, is another new series with two new books in this series. Alien Eraser to the Rescue and Alien Eraser Unravels the Mystery of the Pyramids are both full of inventive drawings and a clever storyline that will surely captivate your young reader all the way to the end.
I love this new book by Hyperion. If you have a child (especially boys) who hasn’t discovered the joy in reading, look no further. Super Chicken Nugget Boy, by Josh Lewis, and illustrated by Douglas Holgate, has just a few pictures sprinkled throughout and the font is smaller and the story is more complex, but it showcases a boy who is bullied in class by the mean kid, Bert, but becomes a superhero when he stands up against the bully. There will more books about this hero.
Little, Brown publishers has a delightful series about “Rumblewick’s Diary”, by Hiawyn Oram, and wonderfully illustrated by Sarah Warburton.
The level of reading ability is about the same as the previous book mentioned with My Unwilling Witch Gets a Makeover being number 4 in this series. Rumblewick is the witch’s cat and he’s about to help his mistress make some important decisions. This series is hilarious.
Lastly, Houghton Mifflin has The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends: George and Martha, by James Marshall. This large, over-sized book, with over 350 pages has the 35 well-known episodes about these two friends with an emergent chapter book level and colorful pictures throughout. The meaning of friendship is well explored in this book.