When I posted our list of chapter books we plan to read this year, Maria asked if I could recommend some chapter books with nice pictures for younger children.
I’ve scoured our shelves, the Internet, and our local library to find some short chapter books with numerous illustrations that can serve as a sort of entryway for younger kids into the world of chapter book reading.
What I found was a whole lot of Cynthia Rylant! Her writing is perfect for toddlers while still being entertaining to older children and even the adult reading, which if your children like to be read to as much as ours do, is a very important thing.
Although these are a great place to start with toddlers or young preschoolers, I do believe that most children can enjoy listening to chapter books long before many parents introduce them. (If by chance you start too early, just stop for a little while and then pick it back up later, no harm done.)
While these books work great as first read-alouds they are also perfect for their intended audience of beginning readers! So if you choose to purchase these books as read-alouds now, they’ll get double mileage when your child begins reading on their own.
The Mr. Putter and Tabby Series by Cynthia Rylant
These books are comprised of very short chapters and each page houses a beautiful watercolor illustration by Arthur Howard.
While my three older kids (almost 3, 4, and 5 years old) always want me to continue reading until we’ve finished the entire book, which I very rarely object to, this series would be a great place to start with a younger child to get them use to the idea of reading a chapter at a time.
The first book in the series, Mr. Putter and Tabby Pour the Tea, introduces the main characters, Mr. Putter and Tabby, and tells how they become friends.
The second book, Mr. Putter and Tabby Walk the Dog, introduces two new characters, Mr. Putter’s neighbor, Mrs. Teaberry and her dog, Zeke. I would suggest reading the first two books in order, but really any of the books could be read as a stand alone story. After the first two books you can easily read these books in any order.
The Henry and Mudge Series by Cynthia Rylant
The Henry and Mudge Series is another great example of fun, short chapters accompanied by vibrant pen and ink watercolors by Sucie Stevenson.
All of our children love these books. They can’t wait to see what adventured Henry and Mudge will have next!
Amelia, our 18 month old enjoys finding and pointing to Mudge on each page. Usually she adds to the story with her own barking, too
The books we’ve read in this series have all had 4 chapters each. And like all books with very short chapters, we tend to finish the book in one setting. However, if you’re just starting with chapter books, you can easily read a chapter at a time.
The 28 Henry and Mudge books can be read in any order, and since Rylant is such a popular author, your local library probably has quite a collection for you to choose from.
The High-Rise Private Eyes Series by Cynthia Rylant
Join Bunny Brown and Jack Jones as they look for clues to solve mysteries.
These fun mysteries will keep your audience of little ones guessing and will also help to develop critical thinking skills as they try to solve the case.
Make sure you ask your little ones lots of questions during these books to help them try to crack the case along with Bunny and Jack.
The books in this series also have only a handful of chapters and have colorful illustrations on each page.
From what I’ve found online there are eight books in the High-Rise Private Eyes series.
The Poppleton Series by Cynthia Rylant
You may also want to check out the Annie and Snowball Series by Cynthia Rylant…that’s next on our list
Have you come across any good chapter book read-alouds for very young children? We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below!
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