Introducing Chapter Books to Preschoolers

I firmly believe children want a fun and well-written story.  As children get older, they seek more depth in the stories they read.  Picture books provide great stories, but chapter books take stories to the next level.

Before plunging into longer chapter books, ease young children into the idea of chapters by reading chapter books designed similarly to a picture book.  Young children, of three to five years, often respond eagerly to simple and short chapter books.

Each of these books has pictures on each page spread and limits the number of sentences per page.  They will hold a young child's interest!
Many of these books are part of a series and available at your local library. 

By Arnold Loebel
Frog and Toad            Owl at Home            Mouse Tales

By Cynthia Rylant
Mr. Putter and Tabby    Henry and Mudge     Poppleton         Annie and Snowball

By Wong Herbert Yee           By Else Holmelund Minarik
Mouse and Mole                   Little Bear
What other books would you add to this list?  Some Amelia Bedelia books are also the easy readers, but I find the play on words in those books are a bit mature for 3 and 4 year olds, though they still enjoy the silliness of the books.

When your child enjoys these simple chapter books, consider going to the next level and reading "real" chapter books.  We have enjoyed many Classic Chapter Books for Children together!  If you feel you don't have time to read lengthy (120+ pages) chapter books, consider listening to an audio book from your library!

~ Annette {This Simple Mom}
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  1. My children have loved some of these titles! However a few are new to me and since our youngest is just embarking on independent reading I will be checking our library for them. Thanks for the suggestions.

    A few other early reader chapter books my older children enjoyed were The Joesfina Story Quilt and The Big Balloon Race, both are by Eleanor Coerr. Wagon Wheels, by Barbara Brenner is another. OK, OK, I enjoy(ed) them too :-)

    1. Dorie, those are new titles and authors to me! I am visiting the library tomorrow to see if they have them!


  2. These are all the books my boys are about to start reading themselves :)

    I'd say read them some of the chapter books for 4th/5th grade. My kids have loved listening to Harry Potter, Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and others in that vein.

    1. Ticia, we now enjoy the BIG chapter books, especially as audio books. Shorter (less than 200 pages) are great for my 4 and 6 year old as read alouds. We enjoy Narnia, Little House, and more...

  3. We have read many of those as well. We also enjoy The Boxcar Children Series, Junie B. Jones, The Little House Series, and The Littles Series. They also enjoyed My Father's Dragon and Elmer and His Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett. I know there were tons more, but these are the ones that popped in my head right away. :)

  4. I agree with you - Amelia Bedelia is fun but the play on words is STILL going over my six year old's head so I've ended up avoiding them.

    You've listed all of our favorites. The only one I can think to add is Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa, by Silverman. We have enjoyed those also.

  5. I have a few of those, but I need to check my library for some of the others! Thanks for these ideas. :)

  6. Great share of your experience and love of reading for kids! Thank you.


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