What Are Beginner Books?

Has your child begun the transition from an observant listener to an active participant during your reading sessions? Is he starting to string together letter sounds and recognize words on the page? If so, he’s entered an exciting new phase as an emergent reader! This highly important, formative period of literacy development calls for some specific reading techniques.

What Are Beginner Books?Hop on PopWhile some books may be suitable to read aloud to your child, they might not be conducive to independent reading. You can help to hone your child’s budding skills by selecting books tailored to his age, development, and interests. With a carefully chosen library of appropriate books, he’ll more quickly become a confident, fluent reader.

The Beginner Books imprint was developed by Ted Geisel (more commonly known as Dr. Seuss) and his editor in the 1950s. Today, these revolutionary books continue to shape the landscape of early literacy. The vocabulary of Beginner Books titles is slightly more advanced than the

Bright and Early line, but it’s still deliberately simple and controlled, making it easier for your early reader to master the words and sentences himself and boosting his confidence.

The Cat in the HatBefore the launch of Beginner Books, parents of emergent readers were limited to basal readers like Dick and Jane that lacked inspiration and failed to keep youngsters engaged. The Beginner Books line combines the same limited vocabulary and number of words with imaginative verses and bold illustrations. The series includes dozens of widely popular titles. In addition to many of the favorite Dr. Seuss classics, you can choose from works by other notable children’s authors—Al Perkins, Stan & Jan Berenstain, Richard Scarry, and Susan Schade, among others—who drew inspiration from his unique, imaginative style.

Below are just some of the top
Beginner books picks:

  • The Cat in the Hat: Dr. Seuss crafted this timeless favorite in 1957 when his publisher challenged him to compose an entertaining book for beginning readers using a limited number of words. He succeeded, writing the engaging classic with just 236 words. Today, it remains a favorite of preschool-aged children embarking on their first experiences with independent reading.
  • Green Eggs and HamThe Cat in the Hat Comes Back: Published the year after the original, this celebrated sequel also uses controlled vocabulary and verses, making it ideal for beginning readers.
  • Green Eggs and Ham: In 1960, Dr. Seuss outdid himself when he wrote this beginner reader’s favorite using just 50 words. The appeal of Green Eggs and Ham lies in its captivating repetition, rhyming, and humor. Parents also appreciate the story’s moral, which encourages children to try new things.
  • And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street: The first in Dr. Seuss’ line of memorable picture books, this classic was published back in 1937. The imaginative plot and zany illustrations continue to capture the attention of kids ages four and up.

With Beginner Books, Dr. Seuss and his contemporaries proved that the first stages of independent reading can be entertaining as well as educational. Your child will delight in the whimsical rhymes and zany characters, and you’ll enjoy the intelligent wit and life lessons presented in the stories. The Dr. Seuss & His Friends book club contains many popular Beginner Books titles, making it easy for you to build a library of high-quality titles for your new reader. See the complete list of Beginner Books here.

Dr. Seuss and His Friends Club