As a homeschooling mom to a new reader, I spend a lot of time researching and hunting down books that are just right for my freshly independent bookworm. My son is six years old, just started reading fluently about six months ago, and is rather … *ahem* … choosy about his reading material.
According to Mr. I’m A First Grader Now, a good chapter book series has to be:
ILLUSTRATED. My little guy prefers graphic novel style, but an illustration on every page spread will also be accepted.
COLORFUL. “Black and white is boring and I’m not really interested in that.”
FUNNY. If he’s not giggling during the first book in the series, I’m probably not going to request the second from the library.
All of the series below have been a HUGE success in our house. I hope you find some that your little readers love, too!
Narwhal and Jelly by Ben Clanton
“Narwhal is a happy-go-lucky narwhal. Jelly is a no-nonsense jellyfish. The two might not have a lot in common, but they do they love waffles, parties and adventures. Join Narwhal and Jelly as they discover the whole wide ocean together.”
Tiny Tales: Shell Quest by Steph Waldo
“When a little slug finds new friends in the backyard, she notices they look a lot like her...except they have shells! Maybe a shell is exactly what she needs to fit in—but finding one is a lot harder than it sounds!”
Note: this one isn’t listed as a series on Amazon, but Tiny Tales: A Feast for Friends has the same adorable characters!
Sir Ladybug by Corey R. Tabor
“Sir Ladybug never shies away from a quest, even when he’d rather be playing a video game or baking a cake. So when a caterpillar needs rescuing from a “monster” (a hungry chickadee), Sir Ladybug and his trusty friends—his herald, a roly-poly named Pell, and his squire, a snail named Sterling—hatch the perfect (delicious) plan.”
Note: MOST ADORABLE AWARD! And beautiful messages for your little reader to internalize. LOVE THESE and can’t wait for more!
Scurvy Dogs by Kevin Frank
“This group of backyard pets with big imaginations will have you hoisting the flag, trimming the sails, manning the oars … and laughing all the way through.”
Billy and the Mini Monsters by Zanna Davidson
“Billy is an ordinary boy until one night he finds five mini monsters living in his sock drawer. From the moment he discovers Gloop, Peep, Fang-Face, Captain Snott, and Trumpet, Billy’s life will never be the same again…”
Press Start! by Thomas Flintham
“Super Rabbit Boy is super fast and super brave, but he's also a video game character living in a video game world. What will happen when Sunny, the boy playing the game, loses each level? Will it be game over for Super Rabbit Boy and all his friends?”
Dog Man by Dav Pilkey
“George and Harold have created a new breed of justice. With the head of a dog and the body of a human, this heroic hound digs into deception, claws after crooks, rolls over robbers, and scampers after squirrels. Will he be able to resist the call of the wild to answer the call of duty?”
*Note: There’s lots of poop jokes in this series, so if that’s not okay in your family, be aware. (We’re all about potty humor in our house.) It’s also worth previewing every book in this series before you read it with your kiddos to make sure the cartoon “violence” / bad guy aspects are appropriate for your readers. Personally, this is the best series we’ve read so far. HILARIOUS, and surprisingly poignant, especially later in the series.
BOTS by Russ Bolts
“Meet Joe and Rob, the two most big-hearted, but goofily annoying robots in the entire universe. And they’ve just found some strange video cameras that fell out of the sky. Now these two best bot buddies are recording their every adventure and mistakenly beaming it down to Earth!”
Note: This one breaks our “no black and white pictures” rule, but my little guy likes them enough to not complain. :-) Also, the page numbers feature a cool page flip animation!
InvestiGators by John Patrick Green
“John Patrick Green's goofy graphic novel series follows the super spy alligator duo the InvestiGators as they travel through the sewers and fight the forces of evil. With their Very Exciting Spy Technology and their tried-and-true, toilet-based travel techniques, the InvestiGators are undercover and on the case!”
Note: The first one in this series was a little “meh” for me, although my son wanted to keep reading through the series. I’m glad we did, because the cheesy word puns really grew on me as the books went on!
Bird & Squirrel by James Burks
“Squirrel is afraid of his own shadow. Bird doesn't have a care in the world. And Cat wants to eat Bird and Squirrel. Of course, he'll have to catch them first, and that's not going to be easy. Join this trio as they head south for the winter in a hilarious road trip.”
~ Elizabeth Guerrero @schoolofchildhood