It’s hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner! Giving books for gifts is a MUST for me! My motto? Open a book and you open the world! So it’s time to post my annual blogs with suggestions for new books to give the keen (and reluctant!) readers in your life.
This week, I am featuring great books for your beginning readers – readers who are transitioning into reading beginning chapter books and early reading series.
Here are my top NEW picks for beginning readers and series for 2022.
Shark Princess – Nidhi Chanani
Adorable beginning graphic novel series sprinkled with sharks, princesses, new vocabulary, nautical puns, shark facts, and the importance of being who you are and telling your own story. Perfect for fans of Narwhal and Jelly!
The Under Dogs: Catch a Cat Burglar – Kate and Joel Temple
A one-eyed cat named Fang is welcomed into the Underdog Detective Agency. Fun, fast-paced action and soooo funny! Highly engaging illustrations. Perfect for fans of the Dogman series!
Planet Omar: Epic Hero Flop- Zanib Mian
This series is so funny and easy to follow, broken up by doodles and a variety of text fonts (perfect for fans of the Wimpy Kid books!) Written from Omar’s perspective, this series explores such topic as school, friendships, bullies, religion and cultural festivals. In this 4th book in the series, Omar’s best friend Daniel messes up at school so Omar decides to take the blame to save him from getting in trouble – which makes him feel like a hero!
The Best of Iggy – Annie Barrows
If you’re looking for a fun read-aloud, look no further than this cute chapter book for younger readers by the NYT award winning author of Ivy and Bean! Readers will laugh at Iggy’s adventures and the trouble that seems to follow him at home and at school. I love how Iggy has an explanation for EVERYTHING! Clever writing and illustrations!
Jada Jones – Rock Star – Kelly Starling Lyons
Jada is exactly the kind of character you want to find in early chapter books for beginning readers. She’s passionate, relatable, smart, and sends a positive message that never feel forced. This first book in the series (now up to 4, I believe) is a short and engaging story that weaves in some facts about earth science, and great messages about patience, loss, kindness and friendship.
Miles Lewis – King of the Ice – Kelly Starling Lyons
This new “spin-off” from the Jada series (see above) is a super fast-paced story featuring Miles (from the Jada series) who tries ice-skating for the first time during a class field trip. Great story about moving out of your comfort zone and trying something for the first time. I like how the book includes some great background information on Willie O’Ree, the first Black hockey player in the NHL.
Tally Tuttle Turns into a Turtle (Class Critters #1) – Kathryn Holmes
I LOVE the idea behind this new humorous and heartfelt new chapter book series! Mrs. Norrell’s second grade classroom has magic that allows kids to transform into an animal for a day to learn important life lessons. Each book follows a different child and their animal transformation, and includes fun natural science facts about the featured animal in the back matter. Now why didn’t I think of this??? LOVE IT!
Sir Ladybug – Corey R. Tabor
Highly recommend this new series as a bridge book for young readers breaking into chapter books for the first time. Sir Ladybug is a fantastic new hero for young readers because while he may appear tough, he wins his battles with knowledge and logic! Love his fantastic sidekicks – Pell, the roly-poly and Sterling, the squire snail. This was a super cute story of friendship and bravery.
Let’s Make Cake (Bobo and Pup Pup Series) – Vikram Madan
A hilarious new series about best friends Bobo and Pup-Pup–a monkey and a dog with very different personalities. This graphic chapter book series is perfect for fans of Elephant & Piggie. SO funny and so relatable!
Real Pigeons Fight Crime – Ben Wood
Super fun book easy reader about a crazy gang of pigeons who get up to all kinds of adventures. Part mystery, part adventure, totally hilarious stories. This hilarious illustrated series is perfect for fans of BAD GUYS and DOG MAN.
Cornbread & Poppy – Matthew Cordell
Delightful sweet little story about two mice who are best friends, but completely different: Cornbread is always prepared; Poppy is a procrastinator. For fans of Frog and Toad, this is an excellent choice short chapter book is well- illustrated and would make a great read-aloud for a parent reading to their child, or a child who’s just learning to read on their own.
The Daily Bark: The Puppy Problem – Laura James
The first book in a charming new chapter book series about enterprising young pups who start a neighborhood newspaper. Perfect for any dog lovers – I so enjoyed all the different dog characters with their different interests and personalities (Gizmo, the dachshund is adorable!)
Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of Us – Lauren Castillo
I adore everything Lauren Castillo writes and this adorable early chapter book about friendship and teamwork is close to perfection. All the feels, unforgettable characters, and delightful illustrations in this one. Many connections to Winnie the Pooh!