In my last post, I evaluated several Level 1 Leveled Readers that I found at the public library. I also borrowed several leveled reader sets. I like the “set” concept because if you find a publisher you like at your child’s reading level, it makes sense to check out many books at this level. A set makes decision-making easy.
All three leveled reader sets I share below are for beginning readers. I would estimate all the books in the sets are between level D and F (Guided Reading Level).
Brand New Readers (Green Set) by Candlewick Press
This is my favorite of the three leveled reader sets. There are 10 books in each of the sets. The images below are from the book Puddles. Pages 3 and 4 are similar to pages 1 and 2: Mouse jumps in a puddle. Mouse gets his pants wet. Your child will be successful because the text is repetitive and therefore predictable. The text is humorous, and the illustrations are engaging.
I Love Reading Phonics by TickTock an imprint of Octopus Publishing Group
I also like the I Love Reading Phonics set. There are 8 books in this set, which is called Level 1. There are 6 Levels in the series. The texts are a little more difficult than the texts in the Brand New Readers set. There is less repetition, but phonics is the focus, so words are phonetically-regular (aka decodable). Each book in the series has a different phonics focus. The book shown below on the right, Bret and Grandma’s Trip!, features consonant-consonant-vowel-consonant (or beginning consonant blends) words, such as Bret, spot, crab and trap. The illustrations are vivid, but the language feels a little forced, as is typical in phonics-controlled texts. Other books in Level 1 focus on two-syllable words and double consonant endings, such as -ss and -ll.
BOB Books (Sight Words Kindergarten) by Scholastic
I was not impressed with this series. I do not think it is a great fit for most beginning readers. The text is highly controlled. Almost all the words are either sight words or consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words. This aspect paired with the bare-bones illustrations will not attract young readers. I think this series is a good fit if the reader is struggling and needs texts to be extremely decodable in order to find success. The texts could also be a good way to assess whether your child can accurately decode CVC words. I do not think that the BOB Books make for enjoyable daily reading practice.