Best first chapter books?

(19 Posts)
Littleoaktree Sun 09-Mar-14 09:42:31

Ds1 has just finished the songbird phonics series which he really enjoyed and which were great at helping him to decode/blend. He's confidently reading level 5/6 Peter & Jane books (I know what some people on here think about those but they're good practice for him dealing with a lot more text on the page). I'm a bit confused about what level he's on at school as the books seem to vary a lot but I think it's mainly blue band.

What I'm after is some simple chapter books which have more of a story in them but that are either mainly decodable in the same way as the songbirds ones or using familiar words such as the Peter & Jane.

Does anyone have any recommendations?

redskyatnight Sun 09-Mar-14 10:06:32

Not familiar with the P&J levels - but it seems a bit early to be thinking chapter books if your child is on blue level. DS liked the red nose readers (which have 3 levels of ability and do sort of have chapters) but I'm not sure if they were easily decodable. After that it was the Happy Families series of books by Allan Ahlberg - but they are equivalent to purple level and, again, not sure they are particularly easily decodable for a reader at this stage.

mrz Sun 09-Mar-14 10:21:09

Last Songbirds are orange level not blue redskyatnight.
OP look at Early Reader series - lots of choice on Amazon etc

simpson Sun 09-Mar-14 10:32:05

I would agree with redsky and be looking at picture books rather than chapter books for a bit.

The Gruffalo is the equivalent of stage 9, you could try Mr Men, Topsy and Tim (my DD was obsessed) or some of the easier Roald Dahl books (The Magic Finger, The Enormous Crocodile).

Go to the library and let him choose what he wants.

Littleoaktree Sun 09-Mar-14 12:56:22

Thanks for the replies. The issue with the picture books is that he knows stories like the Gruffalo etc off by heart so they're not great to help him with reading iyswim.

I have tried the local library but they seem to have a really odd mix of books, the levels don't correspond to anything I understand, we've tried just taking a selection but I'm struggling to find something that engages him in the way the songbirds ones did.

Maybe it's not chapter books I'm after - just something with a good story to engage him. I'll have a look at the suggestions thanks. Any other ideas welcomed smile

Fuzzymum1 Sun 09-Mar-14 13:14:42

My youngest loved the happy families range when he was just about ready for chapter books.
www.brightbooks.co.uk/eCommerce/search.aspx?loc=1&q=happy+families&c=0

fuzzpig Sun 09-Mar-14 13:19:45

I've no idea how P&J compare in terms of levels, but the first chapter book my DD read was one of the Claude series by Alex T Smith. She loves them, really funny and not too wordy as the pictures take up most of the page IYSWIM smile

Tinuviel Sun 09-Mar-14 14:47:53

I Am Reading books are really good - colour pictures, well-spaced out text, round letter 'a' and about 4-5 short chapters. They aren't phonics based though. Albert's Racoon was a personal favourite of mine but there are plenty to choose from - Ricky's Rat Gang, Ooh la la, Lottie, Just Mabel and one about a dinosaur that I can't remember the title of! I think the newer editions come with a CD as well.

mrz Sun 09-Mar-14 15:04:14

A child who has completed the whole Songbirds programme should have a secure phonic knowledge and be able to read anything that is age/stage appropriate

noramum Sun 09-Mar-14 16:04:29

I never bothered with any levels when it came to DD's home reading. I found most reading schemes fairly dull and we just chose what DD liked topic wise and where she couldn't do it in her own we helped.

Picture books are for babies according to DD, as soon as she was more secure she wanted proper books like the ones we read to her at bedtime.

I loved the Usborne First and Young reader series, still lots of pictures but a set-up with chapters.

Magic Tree Hiuse is also a nice series.

Snowballed Sun 09-Mar-14 16:06:56

Another vote here for the Claude books by Alex T Smith. They were the first chapter books DD read & she loves them.

ChocolateWombat Sun 09-Mar-14 16:32:53

There are Horrid Henry Early Reader books with short chapters. Still lots of pictures.

Walker stories have short chapters for newly fluent readers.

Mine liked My Naughty Little Sister, Naughty Amelia Jane and Milly Molly Mandy, as well as the simple Enid Blyton books with lots of short stories. Noddy books actually have lots of short chapters too.

BackforGood Sun 09-Mar-14 16:39:29

Have a look for Jeremy Strong books in the library - they are hilarious.

hels71 Sun 09-Mar-14 18:28:47

I second the usbourne young/first readers.....

threestars Sun 09-Mar-14 22:13:32

Walker Stories
Chris Riddell books like Ottoline and the Yellow Cat??
Dick King Smith?

Lots of ideas on the Children's Books topic.

Second Claude books and Dick King-Smith, and add Winnie the Witch longer stories (usually 4 to a book).

emmaMBC Mon 10-Mar-14 17:49:31

Illustrated chapter books are definitely worth exploring;

Claude books by Alex T Smith are great
Dixie O'Day a new series from Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy
www.mybookcorner.com.au/listings/1031-dixie-oday-in-the-fast-lane
Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
the Violet Mackerel series (no 7 soon to be released I think) is fabulous!
www.mybookcorner.com.au/listings/403-violet-mackerels-brilliant-plot

Littleoaktree Mon 10-Mar-14 22:05:57

Thanks for the further ideas, lots to try smile

The Claude ones look fun, I think those would appeal to him and I remember enjoying Dick king Smith as a child so might try those too.

Yesterday following some of the thoughts on here I encouraged him to read some books we have which I don't think of as 'learning to read' books iyswim, like some Winnie the pooh ones and he did really well which has given him more confidence that he can read books other than school/'scheme' books.

I think we might try the library again with some of these recommendations in mind smile

ddmommy Tue 11-Mar-14 00:47:05

Usborne Reading scheme books are great. They have a list of books and National Curriculum reading levels, that I found useful when DD was still reading levelled books. They are a bit expensive, so look for them in the library, as often kids don't want to read early books more then once...

http://www.usborne.com/downloads/book-bands/urp-book-bands-nc3.pdf

Also - Green Bananas, followed by Blue and Red, I believe, are good introduction to chapter books with pictures. (maybe it's Blue and then Green, can't remember)

After that DD moved to Color Young Puffins - slightly longer chapters but still with pictures.

After that we read through Corgi Pups - chapter books with b/w pictures...

Good luck! It's a fun journey...

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