5 Super Books to Jump Start Reading at Home

By Jessica Streit

The greatest gift you can give your child is a love of reading. Giving this gift is simple; read to them yourself. The time you spend sitting with your child, reading to them will lay the foundation for a book lover and life-long reader.

As the child grows, introduce them to high-quality books that will jump start their ability to read. Here's a list of 5 super books that every child should be reading.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle – Any book by Eric Carle is a must-have for your child's library but Brown Bear, Brown Bear has repetitive text and a predictable story line that allows the child to learn the words quicker.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. - This vibrant, colorful book flows through each letter of the alphabet with a fun rhyming text. Early readers will need assistance with portions of the book that have phrases such as “skit skat skoodle doot.” This and other phrases are simple and repetitive which allows the child to quickly learn them and have success reading on their own.

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss – The Cat in the Hat (as well as most books by Dr. Seuss) is a great book for teaching word families and rhyming. The similar words with same sounds are easy to decipher (for example, cat, hat, and sat). These word families (words with the same ending, in the case of sat, hat, and cat, it would be the “-at” family) are an important skill that all early readers must master to move on to more difficult words.

Don't Let the Pigeon Stay UpLate! by Mo Willems – This book is great fun for readers of all ages. It's a fun book to read aloud, allowing for emotion and facial expressions as well as drama. But it can be a great motivator for children who are learning to read. When their parent or teacher is excited about the book, they will get excited. Children will read this book multiple times until they have mastered the words. This and any other books by Mo Willems (especially all the Pigeon books) are a must-have for all early readers.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak – There isn't a list that this book doesn't belong on! It's an award-winning, classic book loved by millions. Children will enjoy the detailed, colorful artistry in the illustrations as well as the text. The words are written at a nice pace that allows beginning readers to navigate with east. This book should be owned by all children and read frequently. 

Learning to read is the single most important academic skill a child will learn. Starting them early is proven to be essential for the strength of a reader. To assist with this ability, it is important to encourage a love for reading in all children. Developing this love is simple. Read together. Read often.

Jessica Streit is an educator, freelance writer and single mom of 2 boys. Her writing can be found on a variety of topics including personal finance, education and parenting. She blogs about overcoming debt and living a royal life on a budget at The Debt Princess.


  1. I haven't quite gotten Mo Willems, but the others are all enjoyed around here. Brown Bear is one that my four year old has been reciting to me since she was two!

  2. "Yo! Yes?" is another super-easy reader.

    I liked "Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus" best of all of them. Willems' "Elephant and Piggie" series is great fun as well.


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