Easy Early Chapter Books – I

When do children move from picture books to chapter books?

The allure of reaching for something more challenging is inherent in human nature which is a spark that should be always encouraged and kept alight..from the mountains to the moon to Mars and beyond … curiosity keeps the questions alive, the questions fuel the expansion and forever we move forward. Okay, now let’s come back from the ever-expanding edge of the universe, it is the same with books. I’ve seen kids beam with accomplishment on having read a book with chapters and parents too, being able to say their little one is onto chapter books.

I think chapter books are great for shared reading with your child. It makes for a wonderful cuddly experience!!

Expert opinion from Megan Daley author of Raising Readers, recommends never to stop reading picture books because they are the drivers of visual literacy and will benefit every age from 1 – 110. So, while Tomu browses junior fiction these days, I make sure there are picture books strewn across the house in strategic locations enticing him to pick up and read. I also make my teens read these picture books!

What are early chapter books or junior fiction or early readers?

Books that are great for this stage are ones laced with illustrations, large font and lots of white space between illustrations and text.

So, if you are in the process of choosing books for your kids to read, flick through and see what they look like inside. Books suitable for newly independent readers may have between 4 to 8 short chapters in them.

Since the last term of prep, Tomu, then 5, started borrowing chapter books with dragons and swords on the cover, though they were mostly returned without being finished. He was content with just borrowing a book with chapters! A gentle guiding nudge is required here I believe, to choose a book that first-time readers of chapter books will succeed to finish, enabling them to bask in the achievement of having read through the chapters all by themselves.

Do you use bookmarks?

This is also a great time to introduce your young readers to bookmarks. Bookmarks are great!  I think it’s cool to walk around with a bookmarked book and you can have a crafty time making a bunch of them too! One of my childhood favourite pastimes was making and decorating bookmarks. Alright, to the books we’ve enjoyed…


HOT DOG! by Anh Do, published by SCHOLASTIC.

 This is a thick book of 121 pages. Mr 6 read the whole thing by himself and loved using bookmarks to keep his place. The font is bold with a sprinkling of green coloured words throughout. Between 2 to 5 sentences per page. The black and white images also have green highlights. There are green speech bubbles with white bold font, and kids love speech bubbles.

The story follows Hotdog the dog and his friends on crazy adventures, through eight chapters! The narration is hilariously engaging, as are the pictures. We’ve read book 1, 2 & 6. They don’t have to be read in order, we can’t wait to get our hands on the rest. There’s six in the series now, each one a different bright colour!

This is the best series that I have come across for a newly independent reader.


BORIS by Andrew Joyner, Puffin books

There’s a series of Boris’s adventure books which are printed on glossy pages and have colour illustrations. The chapters are short and text easy to read. This book -Boris gets a lizard, follows Boris as he dreams about getting a pet Komodo dragon. The story is engaging and will be a cinch for the newly independent reader. We are yet to read the other in this series.




Boy vs Beast – Battle of the worlds. Scholastic





There is the earth, and then the beast world. The beasts are trying to take over the earth. There are guardians and masters who patrol the borders and fight – the gist.  The font is large and easy to read. Black and white pictures are well spaced and break up the text.

What Tomu loved about these were the labelled drawings. There’s quite a bit of detail in a cross-section diagram of the lighthouse where 12-year-old Kai Masters lives.  Most of the other diagrams are explanations too, of his dog, upgrades and weapons used to battle.



WOMBAT & FOX THRILLSEEKERS by Terry Denton, published by ALLEN & UNWIN.

You can’t go past Terry Denton for an action-packed adventure. Wombat writes a list for his birthday, all the daring things he wishes to do. In four short chapters Wombat and his friend Fox, attempt some of these thrilling things. The story is utterly hilarious and cheeky! There’s just the right amount of text for newbie readers accompanied by Terry Denton’s awesome sketches.

We read this one and can’t wait to read the rest.


WINNIE on Patrol by Laura Owen & Korky Paul, published by Oxford University Press



Tomu’s year 1 class teacher has read Winnie the Witch picture books to them in class. Kids love the antics Winnie gets up to with her crazy ideas and witchy wand! So, when he was checking out the junior fiction shelves and saw Winnie and Wilbur, had to borrow it!

We had a blast share reading through these 4 adventures. There are lots more books in this series too.


The Jolley-Rogers and the Monster’s Gold by Jonny Duddle, Templar Publishing

Jonny Duddles pirate adventures with pirate boy Jim Lad and his funny pirate family along with his land lubbing friend Matilda is a favourite in our house! This one has more text and we took turns reading the pages. There are lots of unfamiliar references too, so I do stop and check if Tomu is getting it all.

Comprehension checks in the way of conversational questions and comments are essential to make sure the readers are grasping the story. Often we do stop and get sidetracked on discussions and explanations brought up by words in the book.

Share your favourite chapter books for newbie readers in the comments below! I love finding out about great reads!!

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  1. Ceejo Thomas

    Nice post Sandhya..keep up the good work

    1. Sandhya Rose

      Thank you! Hope your kids will enjoy some of theses books too.

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