Guest post: www.readbrightly.com
9 Books to Help Kids With
by Iva-Marie Palmer
Photo credit: Miguel Sanz, Moment Collection/Getty Images
Iva-Marie Palmer lives with her family in a book-laden house just outside Los Angeles. She is the author of two YA novels, The End of the World As We Know It and The Summers. She doesn't need to write a letter of advice to her 9-year-old self because that 9-year-old had already discovered the works of Judy Blume.
While every child develops an interest in reading at their own pace, it most often happens between the ages of 4 and 7. To help kids prepare for reading readiness, many kindergarten classes teach sight words. Sight words typically include between 100 and 300 words children memorize and become familiar with in order to read and write. They fall into two categories: frequently used words (think: it, can, will) and non-phonetic words (or simple words that you can’t “sound out,” like buy and talk).
These nine books are all entertaining and engaging places to start looking for sight words. Have fun reading with your child by making a game out of finding the words they recognize. Use these printable lists of common sight words to help as you go.
by Mr. Boddington’s Studio
With beautiful illustrations based on designs by Mr. Boddington’s Studio, this ABC board book leads kids on a tour through New York City. A single line of simple text describes each image. Kids will likely gravitate to their favorite scenes, a great way to practice the words on the page.
by Dr. Seuss
This oversized board book is perfect for little ones eager to page through books on their own. There’s no narrative to follow as kids familiarize themselves with 100 essential words. Each word is paired with art from some of Seuss’s most famous works. Combined with the sturdy pages, it’s an excellent beginner book for even babies and toddlers.
by Dr. Seuss
Simple sentences, a catchy rhyme, and a compelling main character. If you want to understand why Dr. Seuss is one of the most beloved children’s authors of all time, there you have it. His most famous work, The Cat in the Hat gets stuck in kids’ heads, making it easier for them to deduce the simple words on the page.
by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Sharon King Chai
The author of kid-favorite The Gruffalo penned this fresh approach to the alphabet. With a guessing game and peekaboo pages to lead little readers from animal to animal, kids will be able to determine which word aligns with the animal depicted. Simple sentences and riddles feature common sight words throughout.
by Richard Scarry
The king of kids’ easy readers, Richard Scarry leads his fans through Busytown, taking them everywhere from the airport to the grocery store. Kids will love the colorful artwork and can grow their vocabulary with hundreds of labeled objects throughout the pages.
by Michael Frith, illustrated by P.D. Eastman
Looking to add an element of silly to the word-learning game? Check out this book about a pet owner who aims to teach his remarkably smart dog 100 new words and commands. Incorporating rhymes and rhythm as well as alternating colors of print, this one is sure to be a repeat read – the key to recognizing the words inside.
LEGO fanatics will adore this vibrant book of detailed block-built scenes. With labels throughout, early readers can seek out familiar words in the city scenes — firefighters training at the station, hot dog vendors serving crowds, and streets filled with busy LEGO Minifigures.
by Oliver Jeffers
This title will work best with slightly more advanced learners. Featuring a surreal short story for each letter of the alphabet, Jeffers pulls out all the stops in this sizeable volume of art and wordsmithing. Full of rhyme and wordplay, this captivating tome will inspire careful study for eager readers.
by Sylvan Learning
This practical workbook is great for kindergarteners. Rather than relying on standard flashcard-type exercises, the workbook’s game-based activities create a fun way to engage readers-to-be. The sight words cover animals, colors, action words, and more.
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