When children start to move away from reading schemes it is very important that they find books that are at just the right level that they will enjoy. One of the best ways of doing this is to introduce children to books in series as this means that there is a good chance that if they like one, they will like some of the rest. They provide a safety net for the newly fledged reader. Below are some of my favourites which I have tried to put into some order of difficulty but it is very subjective.
This is a great series for young readers written by real authors. The books are quite small with only a few lines of text on each page with the pictures playing an important role in the stories. Books for Keeps has a great detailed review here.
I have long been a fan of these great little graphic novels. Each one features the life and adventures of BabyMouse and is aimed at girls, being very pink. They are great stories, quite often with a moral tale to them about how life should be lived. The most recent one I have bought is BabyMouse Cupcake Tycoon which I especially enjoyed because it was about generating money for the library and books.
This series is told through small amounts of text on each page spread between the text and comic like illustrations. These are set out in a linear fashion so it is quite obvious what order to read things in, which can sometimes be a bit of a challenge in some series. These books have short chapters. One of my favourite in this series is Stan and the Crafty Cats by Scoular Anderson. This is the story of Stan the dog and the two cats who come to stay. Told from the dog’s point of view, I love the names that he gives to the humans and the title of each chapter, first helping, second helping, third helping etc.
I particularly like the variety of ways in which these stories are told. Some consist of text and comic like sections whilst my favourite, The Dragon Test by June Crebbin is told through letters from a princess to her father about becoming a dragon catcher. There is not too much text on each page and once again, like the rockets there is a great deal of humour in the books. Delightful. (The Dragon Test is good enough to appear on our texts that teach list)
With books written by Kevin Crossley-Holland, Anne Fine, Michael Morpurgo and Penelope Lively, who can complain that these are not real books written by real authors. These books dmand more reading and stamina than the blue bananas, occasionally having only text on a page but they are not overwhelming and many pages have both images and text. Some are divided into chapters. My favourites are Storm by Kevin Crossley-Holland and Scaredy Cat by Anne Fine.
This series from Walker Books moves away from the comic style to just text although most pages do have an illustration on which breaks up the chunk of text. The books are divided into chapters and are written by well–known authors; Michael Morpurgo, Jan Mark, Dick King-Smith and Anne Fine. Favourites are Lady Long Legs and Taiking teh Cats Way Home both by Jan Mark.
Colour Young Puffins (scroll down the page to see the titles)
These are the next step for readers having slightly more and smaller text on each page than the sprinters. Most pages do have an illustration to break the page of text up and divided into chapters. The illustrations are however in colour rather than just line drawings. Again written by well-known authors.
What are your favourite books in series for fledgling readers?