Recently I was working with a young student who was struggling with letters and sounds. His confidence in reading was extremely low and he already decided that he couldn’t read. Over many weeks, I focused on finding books that were fun and engaging, bringing him out of his shell and drawing him into the world of books, searching for read alouds that helped him explore sounds, repetition, rhyme and alliteration. With time and many, many books, he is making progress toward reading and his confidence is growing! Following are some of the favorite books that he asked for again and again. All of them are wonderful books for reading out loud and building phonemic awareness – plus they will make you laugh!
Fox in Socks. Possibly the best tongue twister ever – you will need to practice this one before you read it out loud! But when you do, kids will laugh and you will too. Expect Dr. Suess’ infamous zany pictures, insanely hilarious rhymes and words. Don’t expect to read this out loud without mistakes (even after practicing!) but somehow, that makes it all the more funny for young readers. The possibilities for finding rhymes, alliteration, and repetition are endless! Now where is Mr. Knox, can you please tell us Fox in Socks????
Silly Sally. Disclaimer: Audrey Wood is one of my favorites, so it’s no surprise that this is a go-to book for me when working with a young reader. Silly Sally is silly! Truly silly. Sally is walking to town, meeting characters along the way. The book builds in a predictable format, using repetition that helps young readers make predictions (and start “reading” on their own) along the way. The illustrations are bright and appealing and the rhythm of the book makes it an excellent choice for a read aloud.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. You can’t go wrong with this classic. Letters are fun when they are climbing up a tree and falling down again (skinned knee D!) Oh so many possibilities for little ones in the classroom with this book – I have walked into kindergarten classrooms with their own gigantic chicka chicka tree, complete with all the letters, watched little ones make their own abc book in the chicka chicka style, and helped children match upper and lower case letters on felt chicka chicka boom boom trees. This book stands the test of time and discriminating readers. My reluctant student who dreaded writing letters was eager to match letters and try out the sounds when Chicka Chicka Boom Boom was on the table in front of us. Boom Boom!
Piggy Pie Po. Audrey Wood again My young reader loved this one and asked for it multiple times. Why? He told me that he loved this pig, and he loved saying “piggy pie po.” Piggy paints, eats, baths, dances, swims, counts…he is a busy pig! The illustrations are colorful and fun. Readers will like piggy and oh so exciting for me….my young reader tried to read the title on his own! It’s tricky as each word begins with “P” but he was motivated to try and figure out how each word was different. Definitely a winner for inspiring a young reader, making him laugh, and asking to read it, “again please!”
What are your go-to books for young readers who are working on letter sounds? Please share!