"It is a map." Let me tell you, that humble sentence is an exciting one. It's exciting because my son read it all by himself! As a confirmed book addict, I have been waiting, waiting for the day my kids can read because I know how empowering it is to lose yourself in a story. And, thanks to the First Reading Library, that day is on the horizon!
The Usborne My First Reading Library is a collection of 50 - yes, 50! - leveled books that will lay the foundation for literacy with your kids. The first 22 books are leveled very intentionally. They start with "dual reader" books with some text on the page for you to read and a very simple phrase or sentence for your young reader to practice. From there, you progress over 15 levels to books your kids can practice reading independently, still with simple sentence structure and vocabulary.
Buy the Usborne My First Reading Library here! (paperback in cardboard case, $79.99)
Other reading series to consider:
"Who's going to get ready for bed first tonight?"
"Micah!" (says Josh)
If you have kids, I'm sure you've seen this kind of exchange many times over. That classic volunteer-anybody-but-me tactic. Well, Take Ted Instead, a Kane Miller book written by Cassandra Webb and illustrated by Amanda Francey, addresses this sometimes frustrating tactic in a sweet, funny way that reminds you why, ultimately, you do still love your kids. ;)
The premise of this story is quite simple: it's bedtime, and a little boy is resisting, despite his mother's repeated statement, "it's time for bed, sleepyhead." Each time his mom says this line, the boy gives an excuse - "No, no, take Red instead." "No no, take Seb instead." "No, no, take Zed instead." And each time the boy's mom says her line, she finds this little boy somewhere new - inside a cupboard, under the dining room table, behind the curtains.
Eventually, the little boy tells his mom to take Ted, his giant teddy bear, instead. And here, the rhythm of the story breaks: "But Ted will be lonely, in a bed all on his own," says mom. This makes the little boy ponder until he finally dashes after his mom and Ted.
This book is pretty great not only because it pokes fun at the daily struggles of getting a kid to bed, but because it works on so many levels... there's potential for engaging reader's theater as you mix up the intonations of both mom and kid repeating the same lines, there's clever non-verbal humor as you see the little boy (or just his hands or feet) poking out from his various hiding places, and there is strong reading development built in with the repetition of lines and rhyming words for everything the little boy suggests his mom "take instead". You'll love it, your kids will love it... and you might just get them to bed!
It's that book that pokes fun at the toddler quirks that seem so hard in the moment but are just one more reason you love that kid.
Buy Take Ted Instead here! (hardcover, $11.99)
The six books illustrated by Stephen Cartwright in the set also include fold-out flaps on some pages, adding an extra dimension of interest:
Books in the Phonics Readers series can be purchased individually or as the boxed set:
And did you know? Usborne actually has a whole collection of resources available to help young kids start to read:
Hi there! I'm Christine - Usborne Books & More independent consultant, kids' book fan, English teacher, mom of two boys.