What are the best Kindergarten reading books on the market now? This is a question I get asked the most when explaining to a parent why consistent reading of easy text is essential to develop their reading ability and fluency.
Despite books being highly accessible, through large bookstores, toy shops, libraries and even online, finding and selecting the suitable Kindergarten book for a child can be challenging if parents do not consider certain criteria. The best Kindergarten reading books do not need to advertise how fast it can teach a child to read.
Physical or Online Kindergarten Books?
This is something I want to tackle first. I grew up holding physical books and getting close up to the text and pictures. A tablet or any other electronic hardware that presents a story does not have the same effect. It simply doesn’t.
The best Kindergarten books are not online, simply because it is a proven brand that has had consistent and positive results. Copyright is a huge problem as books can now be shared online through the use of social media. You may see the benefit of free materials, but it causes a headache for an author.
For myself, I provide free worksheets, but I allow this as long as my copyright is not taken away. However, for my more premium resources that took a lot of time and effort, I simply cannot give away. This applies to authors as well, the amount of money invested to create these materials does not come out of nowhere!
Back on track, stick to physical books. Do not get ebooks for your child, simply avoid theme. There are many disadvantages to children when going digital, such as;
- Lack of fine motor skill development
- Not as engaging and distracting with other functions on the device
- Requires a parent to set up
- Can cause strain on the eyes
What Should the Best Kindergarten Books Have?
I am going to make this very simple for parents to follow. Do not judge a book based on whether the child likes the character, choose a book for its function. Any story needs to be sold a child, they can learn to love something new.
The biggest mistake I see is that young parents tend to let their child choose their story. The biggest example, Elsa from Disney. This character can literally be in anything, from story books to pencil cases. A child needs diversity to expand their vocabulary range.
Choose a book that meets these criteria;
- Has large font size and is separated into a couple of sentences per page
- Has an array of sightwords and follows vocabulary that is align with consonant-vowel (CVC, CVCC, CCVCC etc)
- Different characters and settings
- Simple pictures with multiple things going on in the background
- A book that allows a child to hold by themselves
These five simple criteria for choosing the best Kindergartenreading books should allow parents to choose the most effective books to supplement their child’s reading. Be wary that this is different from story telling books. Story telling books are designed for parents to read to their child. We are focusing on books that the child will need to read by themselves.
I cannot stress enough that the best Kindergarten reading books out need to be simplistic! We want to encourage the child to read independently. For them to have the motivation to do so, we want them to introduced to simplistic text. Confidence is everything, especially in the beginning.
Even though big colorful pictures are great, it is key to choose something with a bit more to them. For example, a simple picture with not much going in the background will only allow so much for the child to refer on. With more objects, a child can engage more in the story and start to develop other areas such as comprehension and their speaking ability.
What are Sight Words? What are Single Sounds? CVC?
A parent needs to realise how they first began to read. Young learners of the English language only know basic sounds, usually their single sounds (like a, b, c). Blending words with only single sounds is easier than ones with digraphs. Digraphs (combined letters that make a different sound) are usually introduced in the later stages of Kindergarten/early Primary school.
Here is the MOST important thing when it comes to finding the best Kindergarten reading books. Sight words. Parents usually miss out on what these are, as for native speakers, it came to us naturally.
Sight words are high frequency words that commonly make up the majority of early childhood reading materials. They are encouraged to memorize the word by sight, so they do not phonetic system or blends. The best way to learn sight words is high exposure. The best kindergarten reading books will take note of this and slowly introduce a couple new sight words per book.
We just mentioned how the best Kindergarten reading books will also focus on single sounds. Sight words are the most important, but the vocabulary choice comes after. Focusing on vocabulary that only allow single sounds can allow the child to blend the word themselves, using the early phonetic knowledge their learned as a child.
The ideal vocabulary for the best Kindergarten reading books will follow the CVC or CVCC format. This simply means consonant-vowel-consonant (consonant). For example, the most common words you may see in early text;
- cat, mat, pat, sat, bat, hat, fat, rat
- mad, lad, pad, dad, had, bad
- jam, ham, pam, ram, fam, yam
The list can go on and on. You be should be able to get the drift.
Free Kindergarten CVC Worksheets
Now you have a general idea of what vocabulary the best Kindergarten reading books need, let me introduce to you some worksheets that can help students practice blending, spelling and practicing their CVC words! Here are many free kindergarten CVC worksheets that were all created by myself.
To view all my free Kindergarten CVC worksheets, you can simply visit here. I highly suggest you go through my selection, as there are more to come! Any new Kindergarten CVC worksheets will be uploaded in the link provided.
Best Free Kindergarten CVC Worksheets
If you find those worksheets to be too simplistic, then try out these vowel enrichment worksheets. If students are struggling with their vowel pronunciation, these worksheets are ideal for them to practice.
Click the picture to go to the free Kindergarten CVC worksheets download link!
Best Kindergarten Reading Worksheets
If your student is blending and reading CVC words with ease, you should look into building their sight words and getting them to read as much as possible.
Click one of the pictures to link you to some basic reading passages.
For more Kindergarten worksheets, visit here.
The Best Kindergarten Reading Books – Mr Greg Recommends
I grew up with these books at school and currently teach the same set in my classes today! It is a proven series that is taught in the UK and has a high focus on the criteria mentioned before. This is by far the best Kindergarten reading books out there, it is Oxford Reading Tree.
Oxford Reading Tree is used in over 130 countries around the world and the characters are well known to many. It teaches and practices phonics while training readers in their sight word ability. It is the UK’s most successful reading scheme, definitely making it the best kindergarten reading book.
To those who have read Oxford Reading Tree books already, you may know these characters already! Biff, Chip, and Kipper!
What is the biggest attraction of Oxford Reading Tree is that there are 20 levels, designed from Nursery all up Primary 7/Year 6 (a year before high school). For those who are new to the English language can start in the beginning levels, and for those more advanced can do the later levels.
There are over 170 books, which is more than enough for a child! The books are designed to slowly get the students reading independently as much as possible. My favourite part is the illustrations in the book. There is a lot going on and in my classes, they are always a hit! My students always look beyond the main characters, trying to get as much information as possible.
Now these books are not free, nor they are not cheap in some countries. But if you are looking for the best kindergarten books, I highly recommend you invest in Oxford Reading Tree to supplement your child or student’s reading development.
I hope this post has been informative and you have got an idea of what the best kindergarten reading books are! If you are still looking for some reading worksheets, why not visit our friends at MakingEnglishFun?
Happy teaching everyone! If you need to get in touch with me, please visit my Facebook page and contact me there!