Introducing Our Early Reader Bundles!

We made it! The online coursework for the district is done, and we are all hearing Alice Cooper singing “School’s Out” in our heads. It’s time for that infamous summer slide… But this year, let’s try to flip it to a summer slide into reading! One of the best parts of a local independent bookshop is the knowledge and expertise of the staff, and we would love to help try to match you and the readers in your life with the right books. It's easier for older kids—we have a great summer reading incentive program going on, and are always happy to make recommendations. But what to do with the new and emerging readers in our lives? We’ve been there, and we know it’s a tough spot. Without amazing teachers and librarians to guide them to the perfect book, the reading waters feel a bit murky. Some early reader books have levels printed on the front, but maybe the subject area is a mismatch with your child’s interest or (gasp) those levels don’t seem to make much sense. We are here to help!  

This month, we rolled out a brand new program: Early Reader Book Bundles! Our team sat down and sifted through a mountain of titles, which we then broke down into three categories: Emerging, Beginning Independent, and Independent. Each bundle comes in its own special bag and includes a letter explaining why each title was chosen, as well as a suggested order of reading. We chose a mix of classic and current books and made sure to include some that are part of a series. Here's a sneak peek at the kind of books you can expect in each category.

Emerging Reader Bundle

These books are chosen for minimal text and simple vocabulary—mostly sight words (words that are instantly recognizable and don’t need decoding). More challenging words can be learned from context clues and repetition. At this phase, books should be read alongside a patient reader who can help sound out words, give encouragement and take turns reading to ease pressure.

Jack is a bad rabbit in a series of naughty adventures. In this first book, we meet him and his friends. Mac Barnett creates a funny, engaging book using simple words and sentences and providing context clues from pictures. Readers have a fun practicing reading with intonation. After all, Jack is rather naughty. Scolding him saying “Bad Jack!” and “Stop, Jack!” will sound different from the greeting “Hi, Lady!” There’s a bonus drawing activity at the back of the book. 

Beginning Independent Bundle

Vocabulary skills are growing beyond sight words, aided with context clues and a more experienced helper reading alongside. Also in this bundle, there are books that introduce text in speech bubbles, helping learn how to read the popular graphic novel and comic book style, which can be tricky when there are multiple speakers. Readers at this level will still need a more experienced reader sitting and reading alongside them to build confidence and help as needed.

Kit and Kaboodle are going on a trip! In this book, there are multiple sentences per page, and the sentences themselves are longer than in the earlier reading level. Some of the words are more challenging, but the images are there to help! The secret best part might be the hidden picture searches to keep your reader engaged while they are building vocabulary.  

Independent Bundle

Your reader is now ready to read on their own, though help and encouragement are always welcome. This bundle prepares them for longer chapter books. Lots of illustrations to accompany text increasing in length and vocabulary skill. The pages take more time to read, and the sense of accomplishment grows. In this bundle, the chapters are part of a whole, rather than individual stories. There is also a full-length graphic novel with simple vocabulary and minimal text, which has wide appeal across readers of all levels.

Yasmin is a girl who likes to learn and try new things. This book gives us four separate stories of three chapters each. What a great lead-in to chapter book reading! Your reader can read one chapter, one story or the whole book in a sitting depending on time, interest and ability. Full-color illustrations on every page keep interest high while the amount of text has grown to multiple sentences and even entire pages of reading. Included in the back of the book is a list of topics to talk about with your reader to enhance the book experience (similar to what we find in advanced reader book club guides), as well as a vocabulary list giving pronunciation and simple definitions of unfamiliar words.

You can learn more about our Early Reader Book Bundles on this page. As always, the staff at Blue Willow is here for you and the readers in your life! Give us a call with any questions, or make an appointment to come in and explore the shelves. We'll have your bundles ready.