5 Of the Best First Chapter Books for Eager Readers

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My son is 4.5, and he’s very interested in letters, reading, and writing. I’m thrilled that he’s always loved reading, and lately, he’s shown an interest in longer-form stories.
Needless to say, I was more than ready to delve into chapter books and explore more extended storylines.
 
Here are some of our favorites so far:
 
1. The Wild Robot (plus The Wild Robot Escapes) – I personally loved the experience of reading this book out loud. It’s hard to describe, but I found it so relaxing and well-written. A robot is accidentally stranded on an island and learns to live with the animals. Themes of death and loss are depicted in a very matter-of-fact way, but be aware.
 
2. Zoey and Sassafras – Zoey and her cat Sassafras solve the problems of magical animals with science. The series highlights child-led inquiry science and includes a glossary of kid- and adult-friendly definitions for scientific terms used.
 
3. Skunk and Badger – This one is described as “Wallace and Gromit meets Winnie-the-Pooh in a fresh take on a classic odd-couple friendship.” It’s illustrated by a personal favorite, Jon Klassen, and written by Newberry Honor Author Amy Timberlake. Themes of tolerance, friendship and understanding make this book a great tool for learning empathy. 
 
4. Peter and Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths – This isn’t a “chapter” book, it’s a graphic novel. There are three in the series. My son loves interpreting the facial expressions and movements of the characters in the comic. It’s also the first book I’ve ever seen that includes a tapir, an animal I admittedly had to google to learn how to pronounce.
 
5. Charlie and Mouse – These two brothers have simple adventures that are both relatable and adorably illustrated. It’s repetitive and simple, so that children can read along when ready. I especially love that Mouse is shown wearing a tutu and heeled boots. 
 
Honorable mention goes to The Magic Treehouse, which many of our friends love! What chapter books are you reading with your kiddos?

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