So…what book do I read next?
That’s a wonderful question to hear, isn’t it? But, let’s face it, it can be a scary and bewildering question, too!
There are so many books out there! So many incredible books! Some that your kids might not be ready for yet… And even some you would prefer they stay away from altogether.
So what do you do? Which ones do you choose?
If only there was a one-size-fits-all list to be had! But there just isn’t!
Now, on one hand this is a fantastic problem to have. Because there are so many good books out there, your child can find ones that they will like and enjoy. But on the other hand, it’s challenging to know where to start to guide them on the right path, isn’t it?
For the next few weeks on the blog, I decided to sit down with my kids one by one and see what their favorite books are. But not only that, together we created a list to help you in your quest for good books for your kids!
Now, I don’t expect that every 5-year-old will love every book on this list created my by 5-year-old, Melody* (remember that one-size-fits-all thing?). But I’m hopeful that you’ll find some new books on this list that you can enjoy together – or challenge your child to read all on their own!
So without further ado, here it is: A list of my 5-year-old daughter’s favorite books:
Books I Like to Read on My Own…
These books may look small and super simple, but they are an incredibly brilliant tool! When you take this series from start to finish, it will guide you through teaching your child to learn how to read phonetically, starting with just 4 letters of the alphabet in the first book and building on that knowledge until you’ve covered all the letters, short and long vowels, and many letter combinations.
This series is set up in a unique way, too. It consists of 5 boxes of books. And inside each box are 8-12 tiny paperback books. It’s set up to cover a specific set of reading skills throughout the box, but along the way, it allows your child to read a whole book – multiple times over!
Now that we’re most of the way through this box series, Melody loves reading these books from cover to cover in one sitting instead of only reading a few pages in one of the books. Her reading confidence has grown exponentially as we’ve worked through this book series as well as the fact that she enjoys the stories – sometimes silly, but always entertaining! – in this delightful set.
Go, Dog. Go!
By P.D Eastman
What could be better than a book about dogs that are having fun having picnics, driving cars, and climbing trees? Oh, it’s common knowledge that dogs can’t do these things in real life, but then again, dogs don’t usually have green, blue, and even orange fur like they do in this delightfully silly book.
Written for beginning readers who are gaining confidence in their skills, this book reinforces many different skills while at the same time delighting your child with the silly antics of these playful puppies.
Sandra Boynton Books
There is only one word to describe Sandra Boynton’s books: FUN! These books are written to be read aloud to children as young as infants, but they’re also simple enough that beginning readers will love trying them out.
On top of all this, Sandra Boynton writes with such style, cadence, and rhyme that without even realizing it, your child will be learning which words rhyme with others and just how silly those bunny rabbits can be when they put on a show!
Some of our favorite titles by Sandra Boynton are:
- Moo, Baa, La, La, La
- Barnyard Dance
- Are You A Cow?
- The Bunny Rabbit Show
- Oh my, Oh my, Oh Dinosaurs!
- But Not the Hippopotamus
Biscuit the Pup Easy Readers…or any easy readers!
Easy reader books are a secret weapon in finding books for your child to read! And the best part about this series is that you can find easy reader stories starring so many different storybook characters! Some of our favorites are Biscuit the Pup, Fancy Nancy, and Amelia Bedelia.
There is one thing about the easy readers, though. Even though they are written for children just learning to read, there is no strategy behind the words chosen in these books. In other words, just because they are easy readers doesn’t mean that one book will focus on one concept. You would do well to read these books alongside your child in case they hit a few words that they can’t understand or sound out!
And if Biscuit the Pup or Fancy Nancy isn’t your child’s favorite, don’t worry! Easy Reader books cover a wide range of subjects from cars and dinosaurs to princesses and fairy tales to animals and nature. There’s sure to be something to delight your child!
Dr Seuss Books
Some people are scared to create something new. Some people are afraid to play around with language and words and see where it takes them. Some people do not have the courage to begin…
Dr Seuss stands up in this midst of all this indecision and loudly declares in each of his books that he loves to play with language! Truly, who else but a man who is unafraid to play with words could come up with such memorable characters as a “Zans who opens cans” or a “Zelf on the shelf” or a “Nook Gase in my book case”?
There is something about a book with rhythm and rhyme that captures your attention, that draws you in, that imprints itself indelibly on your mind to the point where you want to keep coming back to it over and over again.
Dr Seuss is a master of rhyming words and exploring word families. You can almost hear him having fun as he plays with the different words to find the right pair that will tell the story in an engaging way.
And the best part of all? Dr Seuss’ books are downright fun to read and will have you coming back to them over and over again!
ONES I TRY ON MY OWN…BUT STILL LIKE HELP!
Fancy Nancy Book Series
By Jane O’Connor
What do you get when you take gorgeous dress up clothes and glamorous jewels, add in some fabulous French flair, and a good dose of imagination alongside everyday events? Why, Fancy Nancy, of course!
You see, Nancy is a young girl with a big imagination. There is something about big imaginations that endears readers to characters, that draws you in and creates a love for the character. They have this way of working their way into your heart and making themselves unforgettable.
Fancy Nancy is a young girl who has risen to take her rightful place in the halls of imagination alongside these wonderful characters. Nancy has a knack for taking something simple and, with the help of some extravagant dress up clothes, some sparkling personality, and a dose of imagination, elevates it into something divine.
Her adventures come in easy-to-read books (both Easy Readers and picture books) and encourage the readers to be uniquely themselves just as Nancy is free to be completely herself. If you’ve never read her stories, choose one from the shelves of your library and see just how special this young girl is!
Adventures with Bella & Harry
By Lisa Manzione
What could be better than exploring the world through the eyes of two cute puppies? Bella and Harry, two traveling Chihuahuas, take you along for incredible adventures as they explore the wold with their human families.
But these books aren’t just fluff and pictures! And while you will get to see pictures of amazing places, you’ll also learn a lot about the different cities and landmarks as Bella and Harry share what they’ve learned with each other.
The best part of all is that you’ll hardly realize you’re learning! As you explore with these two fun-loving pups, you’ll experience wonder and amazement through their eyes…and if you’re imagination is really good, you just might be able to taste the yummy local meals they enjoy, too!
So far, Bella and Harry have explored places like Paris, London, Cairo, Athens, Vancouver, Machu Picchu, and Istanbul along with many more. And their traveling isn’t done! Author Lisa Manzione is still creating and writing about incredible new adventures.
By Stan and Jan Berenstain
Come and join the Bear family who live in a tree house down a sunny dirt road deep in Bear Country. This tight-knit family of Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Brother Bear, and Sister Bear (and later adding in baby sister Honey Bear) engages and teaches children through their everyday lives.
As you get to know the Bear family, you’ll realize that they’re not all that different from you and me. They go through struggles with wanting things they can’t have and learning to deal with different situations like Mama going back to work or dealing with kids being mean to other kids or what to do when your room gets so messy you can’t walk in it or how to overcome bad dreams.
But one of the truly magical things about the Bear family is that they don’t shrink away from these challenges. They don’t ignore them. Instead, in each and every book, they work together to discover the problem, and resolve it. They don’t shove things under the rug, they deal with the issue and learn from it before moving on.
But before you start thinking that these books are all lessons and boring, don’t forget that these books are written about a Bear family – and they always make you smile and laugh as you read!
BOOKS I LOVE TO LISTEN TO SOMEONE READ TO ME
The Chronicles of Narnia
By C.S. Lewis
The world of Narnia is one that calls to you: Inviting everyone of all ages to come and experience the adventure, the wonder, and the joy that is found in this enchanting world created by CS Lewis.
Now, these books are too advanced for beginning readers to read on their own, but the beauty of Narnia also lies in its simplicity. Just because your child might not be ready to read the Chronicles of Narnia on their own doesn’t mean they can’t listen to you reading these books and enjoy the world of Narnia.
Setting aside the benefits of spending time together and allowing your children to hear you read out loud, Narnia itself is worth exploring. It is a world filled with adventure and wonder, mistakes and lessons, excitement and forgiveness. And what could be better than animals being able to talk with humans?
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
…or any of Roald Dahl’s books!
Embark on an adventure in imagination through the eyes of a master storyteller through these incredible books. As you wander through the pages together, Roald Dahl will have you imagining a delicious chocolate factory that not only creates the finest chocolates and candy you can image, but is actually made from them.
Charlie and the Chocolate factory has always been one of my favorite books, but reading it out loud with my children has added a whole new dimension. You see, it’s one thing to read it on your own, but to hear the gasps and exclamations and giggles as you read out loud…
To allow your children to experience the wonder and the Oompa Loompas for themselves…
There is just no other way to explain it other than for me to agree with my daughter: This is one of my favorite books to read out loud!
National Park Mystery Series
By Mary Morgan
When you first meet twins Ben & Becca through the pages of the National Park Mystery Series books, you think they’re pretty typical kids. But the more you read, the more you realize that these kids are more than they appear.
Ben and Becca love to travel around the country, visiting many different National Parks with their mom and dad. But somehow, they always end up in the middle of some sort of mystery wherever they are.
One thing that is so amazing about these mystery books is that they are written for younger children. You can see how Ben and Becca work to figure out the mystery and follow the clues, but the way these books are written also gives your children the opportunity to try and figure things out along the way with the twins.
On top of that, you get a front row seat to some of the most interesting and intriguing information about some of the beautiful National Parks in our country! Becca makes sure that you know what you’re looking at with her tidbits of information thrown in throughout the books!
And while these books are too hard for a beginning reader to pick up and work through themselves, they are super easy to follow along and enjoy when you turn these incredible books into a read-aloud. They’re sure to be a hit for the whole family!
The Final Chapter
So now that you’ve checked out this list of Melody’s* favorite books, only one question remains:
Which one will you read first?
- How To Make Reading Fun & Interesting
- When Animals Dance, You Have a Chance To Smile a Ton and Join in the Fun! (Sandra Boynton Books)
- Dr Seuss: Rising to the Rhyming Challenge
- The Fabulous Flair and Fun that is Fancy Nancy
- The World of Narnia and the Lessons to be Learned There
- Roald Dahl: Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary
- Adventures and Mystery Await in the National Parks
*While the children and their opinions are real, their names have been changed to a favorite book character of their choice.
Elizabeth Tatham, founder of Inspiration in the Everyday, is a homeschooling momma of 5 who loves helping other homeschooling mommas create a unique homeschooling adventure your kids will love…without the overwhelm! Join in on the journey with 7 simple steps to make your homeschooling day go faster, easier, and with less tears here.