Chapter books for very young reader? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 07-27-2014, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Chapter books for very young reader?

I have a 4 year old who reads anything and everything. She would love to sit on her bed and just read for an hour but she devours her age appropriate books in no time flat and becomes bored.

I think she would love something *like* Junie B Jones or Ramona but she is so young that she won't be able to socially identify with those books. Are there any chapter books that would be relevant to her preschool life?
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#2 of 11 Old 07-27-2014, 12:27 PM
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Some chapter books featuring preschool-age kids:

Did You Carry the Flag Today, Charley? - Rebecca Caudill
Happy Little Family - Rebecca Caudill
The Jamie and Angus Stories and Jamie and Angus Together - Anne Fine

And I wouldn't necessarily rule out Junie B. Jones or Ramona or other books about older kids. My DS liked listening to Junie B. Jones audio books as a 3 or 4 year old. He also enjoyed read-alouds like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Ronia the Robber's Daughter, even though they were about older kids and included a lot of things that were outside his daily experience. I bet a lot of 4 year olds would love the Secrets of Droon series. My kids liked them as read-alouds or audio books at that age. They're short chapter books written at about a 3rd grade level - exciting but not too scary. Every dangerous situation is resolved immediately (like on the next page) and no one dies. The Magic Tree House books would also appeal to a lot of 4 year olds.
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#3 of 11 Old 07-27-2014, 01:22 PM
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First, my dd loved Junie B at four as well as the earlier Ramona books. (Ramona starts out as a four year old.)

However, my favorite early chapter books are told from the point of view of the dog. My kids have loved these books but I don't know just how much of the humor a typical four year old would get. We didn't discover them until my youngest was 5. She did love them at 5 though. They are the "Down Girl and Sit" books. The dog thinks her name is "Down Girl". The neighbor dog believes he is "Sit" and they have all sorts of adventures.
Amazon Amazon
There are 4 books to the series. You can view a sample on Amazon.

My girls also really like the books by Dick King Smith at that age (and up). A Mouse Called Wolf, and Lady Lollipop were two favorites by him.


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#4 of 11 Old 07-27-2014, 04:06 PM
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Oh, and The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook is another one that would be very appropriate for a 4 year old.
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#5 of 11 Old 07-27-2014, 04:46 PM
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What about pippi longstocking? I can't remember it well but I think those children were all fairly young.

Not strictly a chapter book as each story is discreet but the original Winnie the Pooh stories are a bit more complex and Christopher Robin is about pre-school age.

A lot of the Enid Blyton books would probably be ok but not everyone is comfortable with some of the old fashioned themes.
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#6 of 11 Old 07-27-2014, 06:42 PM
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Cynthia Ryland has some chapter books for younger readers. (they are written about animals)- The Lighthouse Family, Poppleton and
Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo

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#7 of 11 Old 07-27-2014, 07:45 PM
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I have a list here of dozens of extremely gentle chapter books for very young readers. There's some Cynthia Rylant in there, for sure. Michael Bond, Tove Jansson, A. A. Milne, E. Nesbitt, Edward Eager, Dick King-Smith, Avi, Ruth Stiles Gannett and Ursula LeGuin are others who wrote lovely literature very appropriate for 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds. Reading level varies in these ... there's everything up to high school level in terms of level, but the content is all appropriate for young kids, and most of the books have a reading level between 2nd and 4th grade.

AAK and starling&diesel like this.

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#8 of 11 Old 07-28-2014, 05:51 PM
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Subscribing, great topic! DS didn't read on his own yet but he loves having Magic Treehouse read to him. I also started reading Little House on the Prairie to him because I was tired of his kid books :-P I'm not sure how well he is following but he wants to keep going.

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#9 of 11 Old 07-28-2014, 07:06 PM
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I though of a few more. Again, older books with casual violence similar to EB.

Muddle-headed wombat series Ruth Park
Snugglepot and Cuddlepie
The Waterbabies

Also, my four yo loves Alice in Wonderland. And there is Mary Poppins as well. Although I believe the book is darker than the movie so it may be a bit old.
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#10 of 11 Old 07-28-2014, 07:44 PM
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Our just turned 5 yr old and I have been doing chapter books for about a year.
We have done all the Ramona Books. She loved them.
All the Henry Higgins series by Beverley Cleary also.
The Ralph Mouse Books.

We have done the Clementine Series.

Harriet the Spy has been a hit with my DD. She considers herself a "spy" now and really took to Harriet.

We did the Little House Series. That was more difficult because of all of the "savage indian" stuff. But my DD loved the books and liked to play Little House for quite some time. Also extra benefit of getting her to help out with any chore or errand by calling her Laura

We are right now devouring the Ivy and Bean series.

She does Magic Tree House with her Mum.

I don't know exactly what she got out of the books, or how much of each she absorbs. But she does very much enjoy it and so do I.

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#11 of 11 Old 07-29-2014, 04:56 PM
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Chiming to subscribe. My DD really enjoyed the first two Ramona books and the Happy Little Family series by Rebecca Caudill this past year (3/4). Can't wait to try some of these other suggestions!
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