Last Easter Magnolia got her first chapter book in her Easter basket (Little House Chapter Book, Laura and Jack). I knew she was ready to begin reading longer books and wanted to her to have one to start. Since then she has poured through book after book and has really established a love of reading.
She began learning to read using the BOB books when she was 3.5. Sometimes she would get frustrated and not want to read and I didn't push her. I was scared she'd end up hating to read if I pushed it. I'd let it go for about a week and then ask her to read with me again. We did that all spring and summer until by September before she turned 4, she had finished the BOB books and was ready to move on. Having an early reader has been a benefit to me too as I could have Magnolia read to Boothe when I needed to tend to Henry when he was a baby. Boothe has now started the BOB books but my experience with her is a whole different story! Haha. If you know Boothie, you can understand. And it's not a big deal, 3 is very young to read and I don't feel like she needs to read this early at all. Each child at their own time will embrace it, crack the code, and will be reading.
Here are some early reader chapter books Magnolia has enjoyed over the past year. They are all about 60-120 pages. She began with shorter ones and has moved in to longer ones. We are always looking for other recommendations of books to read so pleae share if you have a favorite!
1. Magic Treehouse Series by Mary Pope Osborne This series was recommended to us by a cousin who also had an early reader. Perfect for boys or girls and full of adventure, Magnolia read the first half of this series (28 books) last summer, one right after the other. The other half of the series gets a bit longer and so she took a break, but will probably pick this series back up this summer. The Magic Treehouse also has a wonderful website full of quizzes and games about the books.
2. Nancy Clancy Series by Jane O'Connor A new series by the Fancy Nancy author. The same Nancy is now the star of her own chapter books. Magnolia got the first in this new series for Christmas and I just saw that book 2 was released at the beginning of the year. One of Magnolia's favorites so far and she learned all about Nancy Drew so now I've been reading the Nancy Drew series with her at night.
3. Little House Chapter Books by Laura Ingels Wilder These are condensed versions of the Little House on the Prairie books. They are shorter (60-80 pages) and focus on just a part of one of the big books. I think it's safe to say that any young girl would enjoy books by Laura Ingels Wilder.
4. The Littles by John Peterson A great series for both boys and girls. Do you remember the cartoon series on Saturday mornings as a kid? Loved that show! It's fun watching Magnolia reading about their adventures and the characters and telling me about it. Netflix also has the cartoons and the girls like watching those too.
5. Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan Magnolia loved this book. I had no idea that there are more books in this series. I may have to it one in her Easter basket this year.
6. Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park Written from the voice of a ornery kindergartener, most kids might miss some of the humor. Don't give these to your kids to read if they are likely to pick up naughty words like stupid and dumb! Magnolia is fine reading these and just enjoying the story...I probably won't encourage Boothe to read these though when she is ready! :)
7. The Little Mermaid by M.J. Carr An out of print series about Disney's The Little Mermaid. I found one at a garage sale and since Ariel is Magnolia's favorite Disney princess, she loved reading this book. Maybe I can find others in this series at garage sales this summer.
8. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren This one is next on Magnolia's list to read. The girls love the movie so I have high hopes that she'll love the book too. I'll let you know what she thought of it after she reads it.
9. Berenstain Bears Big Chapter Books Who doesn't love the Berenstain Bears? I never even knew there were chapter books about the bears. I picked up a couple at a garage sale and unfortunately they are out of print. I'm hopping maybe the library will carry the rest of the series.