Thursday, 18 June 2015

Books for Beginning Readers: Nature & Science

Finding an interesting selection of books to bridge the gap from when a child first begins to read until they are able to read with sufficient fluency can be difficult, especially if that time period is prolonged. I'll be posting books that worked well for us at this stage, dividing them into different categories.  Most of them work well for around the ages of 4 to 8 years. I read these aloud (many times over) to my non-readers but my children loved to read them on their own when they first started reading for themselves. The 'Science I CAN READ' books are well-illustrated and interesting, narrative non-fiction and there is a wide range available secondhand. These are some we used & liked:

Elephant Seal Island by Evelyn Shaw

A Nest of Wood Ducks by Evelyn Shaw

Red Tag Comes Back by Fred Phleger

Ants Are Fun by Mildred Myrick

Caterpillar Green by Marla Martin

This book is published by Rod & Staff Publishers and is unusual in that it is a chapter book of 139 pages of good sized print with words broken down into syllables. The story is about a classroom of children who follow the journey of a green caterpillar as it becomes a beautiful butterfly. The story is told in both prose and poetry and is helpful in developing reading fluency with words of multiple syllables in the context of an interesting aspect of the natural world.

The Microscope by Maxine Kumin 

An illustrated poem about the Dutch scientist, Anton van Leeuwenhoek, who was more interested in looking through his handmade microscopes than in keeping his shop. He saw things with the microscope that no one had ever seen before.

Germs Make Me Sick by Melvin Berger

'Germs all all around you, but they are too small for you to see. Many germs are harmless, but two kinds, viruses and bacteria, can make you sick. Read and find out about germs, how they make you sick, and how your body works to fight them off and keep you healthy.''


Virginia Lee said...

I have read Germs Make Me sick many, many times. It always seems to be a favorite of my littles. I was pretty happy when two of mine could take over some of the rereadings. =)

Our family has enjoyed the Millicent Selsam science I Can Read books, so I will have to check into some of the others you suggested.

Amanda said...

Thanks for all the great suggestions, Carol! We have many of the older hardback I can read books but none of the Science I can reads. My twins are in this stage as we speak!

Carol said...

I only used Germs Make me Sick with my youngest but certainly got my money's worth by the amount of times I read it to her & then she read it herself later.

Carol said...

You're welcome, Amanda. My littles also loved 'Little Chick' which wasn't an actual Science read but close enough to it. I haven't come across one I haven't liked yet.

Unknown said...

Carol, this is fantastic! I was just in a used book store the other day looking at the "early" readers and was discouraged about which/what to get and how to find a non-twaddlish one. THANK YOU! :D

Amanda said...

Well, never one to do things halfway, I went to ebay yesterday after reading your post and bought a 29 book lot of the I can read books. It was a good price for that many, and I'm looking forward to reading them with my kiddos.

Amanda said...

Ah, and the books are...

Benny's Animals and How He Put Them in Order
Albert the Albatross
Plenty of Fish - heavy edge wear
More Potatoes!
Baltimore Orioles
When an Animal Grows
Seeds and More Seeds
The Strange Disappearance of Arthur Cluck
The Several Tricks of Edgar Dolphin
Emmett's Pig
Fish Out of School - heavy edge wear
Egg to Chick
The Toad Hunt
Prove It!
A Nest of Wood Ducks
Terry and the Caterpillars
Red Tag Comes Back
Ants Are Fun
Tony's Birds
The Bug That Laid the Golden Eggs
Let's Get Turtles
Elephant Seal Island
Catch a Whale by the Tail
Hidden Animals

Amanda said...

(in case anyone is looking for more of them than the ones you posted)

Carol said...

Ah, a woman after my own heart! I never do things by halves either! Thanks for sharing your stash.

Carol said...

So pleased it's helpful to you, Amy. I'll be posting some good little titles on history also when I get some time to go through our pile.

Anonymous said...

Carol you have the gift for finding lovely books.
I have to restrain myself now my children are older those books look so very tempting!
Arnold Lobel is always a great illustrator his name on the cover caught my eye.


Carol said...

Future grandchildren :)

Deborah said...

Thank you for the listing!

Deborah said...

I LOVE these types of books - I have the Ants, Woodchuck, Plenty of Fish etc.. but now I will keep an eye out for some of those other lovely titles. :o)

Deborah said...

I forgot to mention that I read Woodchuck every February when I want to do Groundhog day. ha ha ha :o) That's my go to book for that holiday.

Unknown said...

I love this list of books! Finding interesting science books for young readers can be difficult. Thanks for sharing. :-)

Amy Maze said...

Thanks for the recommendations! This is exactly the level my daughter is at right now.

Erin said...

Love the I Can Read Science series, don;t have many but always searching.