Little Library Bookshelf: Ready to Read- Librarian Recommendations for First Readers

Is your little one learning to read? Guest librarian Heather Hageli from VAPLD is here to share her favorite books for early readers.

Ready to Read: Librarian Recommendations for First Readers

Is your little one chomping at the bit to start learning to read? (Wonderful!) Are they starting to learn letters, words and sentence structure in school and you want to read with them at home? (Fantastic!) Start here to get them going on these series, perfect for children ready to whet their reading whistle!


Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems

Like milk and cookies, chocolate and peanut butter – Elephant and Piggie are a perfect pair of friends who share adventures and learn lessons together. Check out Waiting is NOT Easy! or Elephants Cannot Dance!






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Flip-a-Word books by Harriet Ziefert

Each book highlights the nouns and verbs from a word family. As your child flips the pages, the words transform, showing your child word structure and similarities. The single words turn into phrases and then sentences. The book is illustrated with colorful, vibrant art. The author, Ziefert, is a language arts/reading specialist and has intentionally created these books for pre-readers.





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TOON Books by various authors

The publishers at TOON Books are making high quality comics for beginning readers.  They state in their mission that “visual narrative helps kids crack the code that allows literacy to flourish, teaching them how to read from left to right, from top to bottom. Speech balloons facilitate a child’s understanding of written dialogue as a transcription of spoken language. Many of the issues that emerging readers have traditionally struggled with are instantly clarified by comics’ simple and inviting format.” Check out series such as Silly Lilly, Benjamin Bear, and Luke on the Loose. Visit their website – – and toon into reading!


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Fly Guy series by Ted Arnold

A boy and fly meet and become friends. Yes, it’s true! A fly. The entire series is funny and entertaining; start with Hi! Fly Guy or anywhere in between.






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Big Dog and Little Dog series by Dav Pilkey

Author Dav Pilkey is a favorite of older readers for his hilarious series Captain Underpants, but now beginning readers can enjoy his humor too. Full of simple illustrations, clear text and an explanation of concepts that will help your beginning reader grow confident.






Here at the Vernon Area Public Library, we use the five early literacy practices — TALK, SING, READ, WRITE, PLAY — as the foundation for all of our storytimes.  It’s never too early to start on these five activities to set the stage for reading readiness.

We offer storytimes beginning at birth, and all are welcome to stop by and visit — no library card required. But if you are a resident, you can sign up for your library card while you are here! Find our calendar of storytimes and other events at

If you would like more information about early literacy, what is happening at the library, and a printable calendar, click here to subscribe to our quarterly Early Literacy eNewsletter.

Looking for more book recommendations for you or your little ones? Visit the Vernon Area Public Library’s Goodreads or Pinterest accounts for librarian-selected reading for all ages.

favorite books about grandparents

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About Melissa Haak 626 Articles
Melissa is mom to 4. She used to dream of traveling the world, now she dreams of a clean kitchen. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair because with this much hair and four kids, you're bound to find something in it.

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