Titles Beginning With F-J

Fun with Ed and Fred by Kevin Bolger
Approximate Level E
Ed is golden. Fred is cursed. Poor Fred. Written using 53 sight words, this is a funny beginning reader created by a former reading teacher. The cartoon format of the book has gotten my son to go back to this book multiple times. Ultimately, I decided this was a great book to have in our home library.  Give it a try. The giggles you hear will be worth it!

Good News Bad News by Jeff Mack
Approximate Level B
There are only 4 words in this story: good, bad, news and very. In the same vein as That’s Good, That’s Bad by Joan M. Lexau or Fortunately by Remy Charlip, this story tells about the ups and downs in the lives of a rabbit and a mole who just want to enjoy a picnic. The characters’ expressions add so much to this charming story of friendship. It’s sure to be enjoyed by all.

Gran on a Fan by Kevin Bolger
Approximate Level D
Gran on a Fan is composed of short silly cartoon-like stories focusing on one vowel at a time. You might use this book as a good review of short vowels, or take one short story at a time at an earlier stage of reading readiness. Also in the series: Lazy Bear Crazy Bear (Loony Long Vowels) and Fun With Ed and Fred, which focuses on sight words.

Have You Seen My Dragon? by Steve Light
Approximate Level H
With black and white illustrations that include a splash of color on each page, Have You Seen My Dragon is a visually interesting book that begs the reader to hunt for a dragon on each page. With only 1 or 2 sentences per page, relatively easy sight words, and an easy-to-read font, this story is great for sharing with developing readers.

Hello! Hello! by Matthew Cordell
Approximate Level C
A girl, disenchanted with technology, accepts an invitation to step outdoors and revels in a world of beauty. Wonderful pictures. Simply told. Don’t miss the very last page after the copyright information.

Horsefly and Honeybee by Randy Cecil
Approximate Level I
We liked this story of two creatures who learned to share the hard way. My kids especially liked that all the characters said, “Drat!” That one little word set us to giggling nearly every time. Maybe that’s revealing too much about the quirky humor encouraged in our household…Drat!

Hot Dog by Molly Coxe
Approximate Level D
I found it! A beginning reader that really is written for beginning readers! And it’s humorous to boot. Readers will really sympathize with the poor pooch featured in this story, especially if they read this on a hot summer day. Written with 12 sight words and only 3 words per page, this book could be handled by readers at level D. Coxe did a great job of putting the story first. Though this book could be considered a phonics reader, it didn’t seem to me to have the stilted quality of so many phonics readers. Other books by Coxe include Cat Traps, Big Egg and a series called Brave Mouse Readers. All are similar in that they put the story first but with a very controlled vocabulary.

Hi! Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold
Level I
A story about a boy with a pet fly is bound to be silly. Add to this idea the fact that the boy’s name is Buzz, and you’ve got a hit. Hi! Fly Guy was named a Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor Book in 2006. It is followed by several Fly Guy books, including a non-fiction series as well. Check out Super Fly Guy (Level H), Shoo, Fly Guy (Level I), Fly Guy Meets Fly Girl (Level I), and Buzz Boy and Fly Guy (Level J).

I Like to Read Series
All Levels
I was excited when I found this series at the library. It seems the publishers have asked a number of decent writers to attempt a few beginning readers. Included in the series are books by authors such as Ethan Long, Rebecca and Ed Emberley, Betsy Lewin, Ted Lewin, and David McPhail. In general, my son and I have found the story lines to be imaginative. Big Cat by Ethan Long, for example, works on the sight word can. Unlike the standard text of books working on the word can, this title actually has a story line with a beginning, middle and an end. Two children make their cat do many things and in the end the cat makes his feelings known.

 So far his favorite in the series was Pig Has a Plan by Ethan Long. The pictures are so silly, and again there is actually a storyline to follow. The pig just wants to sleep, but all the other barnyard animals are making noise. Pig comes up with a way to drown out the noise only to find the other animals were working on a surprise for pig all along. The sight words focused on in the book are want and to. Most of the other words in the book are easy to decode (nap, gab, pop). And even if the word want is not likely to be found in many beginning readers at a level B, the fact that my son wanted to read this book again made me a big fan.

We’ve only read the titles available at our local library, but of those we’ve read, he has liked Happy Cat by Steve Henry, I Have a Garden by Bob Barner, You Can Do It! by Betsy Lewin and Can You See Me? by Ted Lewin. All of these titles are considered a level A, B or C.

I Said, “Bed!” is a level D book. It’s rather imaginative and ends in a funny way with aliens. It’s a decent choice for kids who have a sight word vocabulary of around 50 words.

Snow Joke is also a Level D, perhaps a bit easier than “I Said, “Bed!” It’s a good story about one animal who is having a hard time treating his friends fairly. It ends well. The story has some repetition and many of the words are easily decodable.

Fix This Mess by Tedd Arnold (Level E) is perhaps my favorite in the series. I think it spoke to me at the time I first read it because I was dealing with a messy house and a rather unhelpful child at the time. I like the sense of justice the ending delivers.

In general, the “I Like to Read” series features interesting stories written at appropriate levels for beginning readers. In my opinion, it is a fantastic addition to the beginning reader genre. I have to say how appreciative I am of authors who produce quality work to help the youngest of readers have an enjoyable experience learning to read.

I’m Bored by Michael Ian Black
Approximate Level I
What’s boring about a kid and a potato? Nothing. Read this book if you’re bored so you won’t be anymore. Also try Naked by Black. It’s a totally innocent story about a youngster who enjoys being free (or occasionally caped!)

I’m Here by Peter H. Reynolds
Approximate Level H
Written in the characteristically artistic style of Reynolds, I’m Here tells the story of an imaginative introvert who is accepted by his peers. There is a deeper story told by the poetic language and gentle illustrations that some readers might really appreciate. This story would be a great one to share with students who have a harder time joining in on the playground. Their peers would likely grow from hearing it too.

I’m My Own Dog by David Ezra Stein
Approximate Level G
Told from a dog’s perspective, this love story perfectly sums up the relationship between pooches and their humans. This book is funny, sweet and told in relatively simple language. Though I would guess it probably would be considered appropriate for a level G reader, I read it to my son when he was at about a level C. There were a good number of sentences he could completely read or mostly read, and we had a good time imagining our own dog’s internal monologue.

In! Over! and On! (The Farm) by Ethan Long
Approximate Level G
The pictures are humorous, and the stories are quick. It requires quite a few sight words to read, but it’s a great choice for a reader who is approximately at a level G.

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