Tuesday 6 August 2013

Early chapter books

Welcome back to Five days of book lists:
  • picture books
  • early chapter books
  • other children's chapter books
  • books about home education
  • reference books for use at home.

Today is about early chapter books either for reading aloud or for the child to read to themselves.

The first few are particularly gentle, for children who can find many older chapter books frightening.

  • Jill Tomlinson books such as The Owl who was afraid of the dark, The otter who wanted to know and The hen who wouldn't give up.
  • Milly Molly Mandy stories by Joyce Lankester Brisley. These are particularly useful as early chapter books as each chapter is a complete short story.
Christian chapter books
  • Building on the rock stories by Joel Beeke and Diana Kleyn
  • Miller stories by Mildred Martin
Slightly more advanced early books
  • Heidi by Johanna Spyri. The sequels are by Charles Tritton who translated the first book into English and in my opinion, aren't as well written as the original book nor as suitable for very young children. These books might be better for the slightly older voracious reader.
  • Charlotte's Webb by E.B. White. This does have the heroine, spider, dying at the end so might not be suitable for very sensitive younger children.
  • Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown. This story of a boy who becomes flat has lead to "Flat Stanleys" being sent around the internet.
  • The Railway Children by E. Nesbit. This lovely classic has appealed to my children and many others.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. I've got mixed feelings about these allegorical books and found these frightening as a child and never finished them. My own children love this series and these books were the first that one of my children read on his own. My husband, particularly, has read these aloud to each of the children.
  • Ned by Barbara Coyle. 
  • Penny Pony by Barbara Willard
  • Paddington Bear stories by Michael Bond. Classic and funny.
  • The tales of Olga da Polga by Michael Bond. Olga da Polga is an independently minded guinea pig.
  • Famous Five books by Enid Blyton. These aren't great literature and the baddies tend to be identifiable by their disfigurement which may be worth discussion. The great merit of these books is that they seem to increase reading speed.
  • Secret Seven books, again, by Enid Blyton. 
  • The family at One End Street Eva Garnett. Hilarious tales of a large family.
  • Sasha and the wolf-child Ann Jungman
  • The adventures of the railway cat Phyllis Arkle

Do click on the picture below to pop to the Crew site for more posts on subjects from Big family homeschooling to knitting to sensory processing disordering and many, many more.
Summer Blog Hop


  1. Thanks so much for these book lists- they are really helpful... But now my Amazon 'wish list' has grown even longer!

  2. That made me laugh-mine is long too!

  3. This is awesome! I have been looking for ideas for my kiddo to transition him into chapter books. Thanks so much!

  4. We love the Narnia series ... I never read them as a child, but have loved discovering them with our boys. They have been a great starting point for some discussions and I am often amazed at the boys' insight.
    I loved The Family at One End Street when I was small, but the boys didn't go for it at all - much to my disappointment!
    Thanks for the list of ideas! I've put a link on my blog ... Hope that's OK!

  5. Narnia seems to lead to great discussions. Of course, it is fine to put a link on your blog. Thank you.

  6. We've recently read the Railway Cat Stories. I enjoyed them as a kid too as my Dad would have been on the fast train to London Paddington communting to work! I love the story of the stolen stuffed gorilla. We've also really enjoy the Anna Hibiscus series of books. Looking forward to some new reads! Thanks for compiling this list, a great reference. Ellie

    1. We've not read Anna Hibiscus. Will look this out-thank you for the recommendation!