Updated: Feb 21, 2019
According to Harper Collins Books For Young Readers, Easy Readers are the first step to helping children become great readers. This is the transition from Picture Books to longer reads. Easy Readers are the most beneficial when they are read aloud to children first, and then have them read the book with supervised help next.
Books at this level, like Biscuit and Pete the Cat: Too Cool for School, have short compelling stories, and are written with simple vocabulary. Repeated phrases allow young readers to read some words along with their parents. Many of the words are sight words children recognize. Active, engaging stories have appealing plots and loveable characters just for early readers. The hope is to have the reader able to read without the parent or with a minimal amount of help. Written for ages four through to eight.
Here's an interesting article I found on the subject: By Mary Kole
Early Readers... "...are the earliest “chapter” stories that a kid can get. They’re very short in terms of manuscript length (1,500 words max) but are broken up into either chapters or vignettes that will give the reader the feeling of reading a book with real chapters in it. Your target audience for these is kids ages 4 to 8. Early readers feature a smaller trim size, some the size of or slightly bigger than a paperback novel, and can go from about 32 to 60 pages. The font size is smaller and they feature spot illustrations in either color or black and white instead of full color throughout, like a picture book.
Some examples of early readers: Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same by Grace Lin (Little, Brown), the HarperCollins I Can Read! books, and the Random House Step Into Reading books. You can usually find them on spinner racks in the children’s section of your local independent bookstore. If you’re at all curious, go and get your hands on some. As you’ll see, early readers have strict guidelines for vocabulary and sentence structure and are graded so that kids can develop their reading skills and move up a ladder to more independent reading. Even if you think you have a great early reader idea, it has to be a very precise fit for a publisher’s established vocab/sentence/word count guidelines.
(For more general information on children’s book manuscript length, go here.)"
Want some ideas for good series? Consider these popular and easy ones:
A chapter book is a story book intended for readers, generally age 7-10. Unlike picture books for first-time readers and easy readers for beginner readers, a chapter book tells the story primarily through prose, rather than pictures and aims for the junior to intermediate reader.
Don’t Stop Reading Picture Books
Even if you've moved your child into Easy Readers or Chapter Books, don't stop your child from reading picture books. Picture books offer many benefits to children:
they give kids a story they can finish in one sitting,
they increase language development,
they provide wonderful stories, and
the illustrations give opportunities to make inferences and enrich the story visually.
Picture books also encourage creativity through the use of illustrations. Kids need all kinds of books – adding chapter books to the mix of reading material only expands their selection. Unlike books for advanced readers, chapter books contain plentiful illustrations.
The name refers to the fact that the stories are usually divided into short chapters, which provide readers with opportunities to stop and resume reading if their attention spans are not long enough to finish the book in one sitting. Chapter books are usually works of fiction of moderate length and complexity. These books are designed to encourage reading without the aid of a parent. Children at this level like to tell others they're on Chapter...
Humor, puns and word play is highly favored with these ages. Also, readers in this group prefer action and adventure, with enough suspense to keep them wanting more as each short chapter ends. They appreciate humor and twists in plot lines. However, the language in these books MUST be age appropriate. Do not fear challenging this group with a hard word now and then as this will help to expand the reader's language skills.
According to Judy Packhem, M. Ed., Certified Dyslexia Therapist (CDP), Certified Orton-Gillingham Specialist (C/AOGPE), a certified reading specialist and consultant INTERVIEWED BY OJUS PATEL, OWNER OF THE WEBSITE, ROMPER, there is not a definitive answer as to when a child should be reading chapter books.
"This depends greatly on the skill level of the reader and the reading level of the chapter book," Packhem tells Romper. "There are some wonderful beginning chapter books appropriate for second graders (around age 7), and proficient readers, by third grade (around age 8), are usually reading chapter books," she says. Romper is HERE "When considering books for your child as they learn to read, you’ll want your books at a "just right” level, meaning ones that are not too challenging."
Packhem also believes in the five-finger rule. "Open to a full page of text and have them start reading," she says. "Every time they get to a word that they don’t know right away, hold up one finger. If you get to five fingers before the end of the page, the book is too challenging and will be frustrating to/for the child to read. If the child spends too much of his brain energy on figuring out the words, he won't be able to focus on comprehension, and that's the main goal of reading, she says. "
Read more of Romper's article HERE