Early reader recs(40 Posts)
Don’t do Ballet Shoes! We made that mistake, all six parents die in the first chapter...
Old fashioned stuff is good in terms of higher reading level/lower interest level. Winnie the Pooh is perfect, Alice, Paddington, Pippi Longstocking. My early reader loved joke books and poetry and fact books - particularly usborne look inside ones which have a great level of information but still engaging at a young age. The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark and series are adorable. We did have a phase of rainbow magic which are dire but at least got it out of the way! Anything by Jeremy Strong is a big favourite, silly and funny not scary. Ottoline series? Beano annuals? Have fun, there's loads out there. We found DD didn't stop reading picture books till a couple of years after she started reading chapter books too, only trouble would be they'd all be finished in the car on the way home from the library.
My Naughty Little Sister series was a favourite here!
Also didn't realise Michael Morpurgo wrote for younger children, thank you.
Winnie the Witch sounds good - someone else recommended The Worst Witch, which I remember from childhood and would probably be about right. I love Paddington, and my son did too, but sadly she's not interested. A friend's child loved these godawful animal stories (Holly Webb?) and that may work. I'll ask someone to pick one up from a charity bookshop and give it a whirl. She might like Ballet Shoes, come to think of it. A lot of it may be dated, but she does live in a house with a home ed sibling, her nanny is here a lot (she won't realise Nanny isn't Grandma) and she absolutely loves ballet. Worth a whirl. The How To Train Your Dragon ones might be good too, as I think they're aimed at younger children. We do have those, so will try and see if she takes to them.
We have a lot of books in the house, but they're either books suitable for her actual age, or books for the rest of us. There's a gap, because at her age my son was able to understand books for older kids, even though he couldn't read them himself. She could theoretically read them in terms of pure decoding, but lacks the understanding. That's the problem, really. She's not evenly able.
Thanks for the specialist librarian advice - we have a children's library in the town centre, so I'll call tomorrow and ask her or him for their input. That's a great tip.
Honestly, I'm not trying to challenge or extend her. I don't really believe in that, not in the early years. The evidence is that they should play at this age to develop their brains, I know. She can't write yet, and that's not something I have any interest in changing. If she wants to learn to do it, then I'm sure she will. This is child-led, her reading ability, and I'm no more going to stop trying to find the books that appeal to her than I'm going to insist she plays with Duplo if she wants lego. With ASD in the family, in several people, I'm also aware that this very precocious reading may not be good news. But right now, reading chapter books is making her happy. She says she, 'likes knowing more about what happens'.
Thanks so much for the help. I didn't know who to ask, because it would be seen as stealth boasting anywhere else, and yet I don't think she's actually gifted either so you weren't my first thought. It's been really useful advice.
My ds was a really good reader, and best thing for him was the selection of books at library. I wouldn't try to give her books aimed at older age, even she can read it, she may not appreciate it. He enjoyed reading any books, even the ones looked like too easy for him.
He practically read all the books in early reader sections of our local library. We also bought lots of books from charity shops, as well as buying them from book people.
Also the winnie the witch chapter books, tanglewood zoo series and animal ark series.
Both my early reading dds loved the Happy Families series at that age - right balance of words to pictures, lots to talk about and discover, some quite complicated vocabulary, nothing scary. The library had them, but they loved them so much that I bought lots of them from charity shops at 10p a pop.
The wonderful expert children’s librarian was fantastic, though. I’d suggest ringing your library - in our borough the children’s expert now only works at one library, so when she moved we followed her!
@Winifredgoose thank you, those sound perfect!
I'm an idiot, and the library hadn't occurred to me - my son has sensory issues (ASD as well as gifted) so the library was never a winner with him. I'm on chemo right now so can't go, but will ask my Mum to take her, explain, and ask for recs. Should be a damn sight cheaper, too. Once she's old enough to catch up on her brother we're fine, and well stocked (he's home educated at the moment). It's this weird gap now between KS2 ability to read, and preschooler understanding.
Animal stories sound good - she has some godawful Rainbow Unicorn books she got for Christmas and loves, so she should enjoy that. I'm hesitant about Dahl and Narnia because she is very, very easily scared - the stone table, and the Witch's threatened violence were pretty disturbing to me as a kid, and I was older (the Witches gave me nightmares at ten! And as I am chemo bald right now, that really WOULD be a horrific idea for her). I suspect current events are making her more fragile than most, too.
We are getting the How It Works magazines as LittleBird had a cut price sub offer - she's obsessed by Do You Know? and loves maths and science, too, so factual books might be good. She has one on the history of chocolate, which is very precious to her! Wise choice there.
It's a weird one. Her decoding outruns her maturity by a long, long way. She's just like any other child to talk to, and loves play and other children. Just perfectly average in the best and loveliest of ways. But it makes catering to her harder than it was with my son, who was clearly able to manage things much above chronological age, even though he didn't read this well this early.
Michael morpurgo's mudpuddle farm series, my naughty little sister, wishing chair(also enid blyton), the adventures of Mr penguin.
I had a similar issue I took them to the library and got the librarian to help him look. We came out with lots of books
Narnia should be fine, as should some of Roald Dahl, such as Fantastic Mister Fox, or The Twits. Don't give her the Witches!
Mine was fine with Dahl, Narnia and the first Harry Potter book at age 4, abridged classics from Usborne such as Oliver Twist were devoured. Fantasy novels are also good, as are pony books such as My Friend Flicka.
Encyclopedias, national geographic books, autobiographies, how do things work? Magic school bus, are all good for kids who devour books but can't handle mature themes yet.
I don't think my daughter is gifted, I should say at the start. My son is, and you could have an adult conversation with him in preschool. DD is completely normal and you, well, can't. She's bright and happy and curious and what have you, imaginative, lovely, and life is going well and normally in all other ways. BUT - she taught herself to read last summer, has taken off like a rocket with it since, has her nose permanently stuck in a book, and I don't know what to give her now. She's finished all the reading book sets I got from the Book People, and has read and reread every picture book and is now asking constantly for more books. She got given a boxed set of Enchanted Wood stories on her birthday on Thursday and she has read 3 of the 4 already. Those are fine as they're at her maturity and comprehension level, but I am at a loss as to what to give her next. She's too small for CS Lewis, Harry Potter, etc etc. and frankly Blyton school stories would have emotional themes way, way over her head. Can anyone recommend books for a preschooler, with the normal maturity and understanding for her age, but a bizarrely developed capacity and desire to read? If she were gifted in other ways then it would be easier, as she'd be able to manage books for older children. I suppose what I'm asking is for recommendations for chapter books meant for parents to read young kids. I think Dahl would probably scare her, frankly.
Sorry to ask you, but frankly there's nowhere else I can go without it sounding like a stealth boast. I know loads of you will have had this, and can therefore hopefully help.
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