Titles Beginning With Q-Z

Rat Attack by Molly Coxe
Approximate Level F
This is one of a series of beginning readers by Molly Coxe that are illustrated with stuffed critters dressed up and photographed in intricate scenes. The books are phonics readers, but Coxe seemed to consider the plot more important than the phonics lesson, and this one turned out to be a humorous tale that young readers will likely enjoy. Also in the series are Wet Hen, Princess Pig, Cubs in a Tub, and Hop, Frog!

Red-Eyed Tree Frog by Joy Cowley
Level I
My kids have enjoyed nearly everything they’ve read by Joy Cowley. She has a way of looking at the world that resonates with children and generally brings forth lots of giggles. Mostly we’ve read her fiction. With Red-Eyed Tree Frog, Cowley shows she can master non-fiction for children as well. The photographs, taken by Nic Bishop, are amazing, and Cowley provides just the right words to allow kids to experience a day in the life of a tree frog. Cowley and Bishop also teamed up to create Chameleon, Chameleon, a level J book.

Red Sled by Lita Judge
Approximate Level D
This is a nearly wordless picture book that includes one or two mostly nonsense words on each page. The animals are delightful, and the story will draw readers in as they get to glimpse the author’s idea of what might happen when a bear comes across a sled in the wilderness. A child who is particularly skilled in phonics might be able to handle this book earlier, but I included it with the Level D books because it features a few more advanced consonant combinations like scr-, –nch and –ng. I read it with my son earlier, and he enjoyed reading the parts of the words that he could. You just have to know your reader.

Shrinking Mouse by Pat Hutchins
Approximate Level F
The animals in the story are trying to figure out the concept of perspective. I think some beginning readers would be entertained by this thought.

Smick! by Doreen Cronin and Juana Medina
Approximate Level D
Doreen Cronin and Juana Medina made a perfect book-writing duo when they created Smick!, an endearing story about a dog, a stick and a chick. The way Smick (the dog) cocks his ear when he hears the word stick made me want to give him a good scratch. My son loved both characters, and wanted to read the book again when we had finished. It was just the right blend of simple text, a joyful story and cheery illustrations to captivate his attention. Though we checked this one out of the library, I think I’m going to have to order it for my home collection.

Stick! by Andy Pritchett
Approximate Level A
This book is not to be missed. Pritchett tells his tale of a dog wanting to play using only 6 words and perfectly simple illustrations. The spot-on expressions his characters wear automatically get kids to read with expression. Nice message, simple text, great story.

Stick by Steve Breen
Approximate Level F
Stick is a frog who likes to do things on his own. It gets him into trouble, but he learns to ask for help (at least some of the time.) The last page is my favorite! Most pages have only a few words, but the words that are there require a more advanced level of reading than you might think. Try with a level F reader, or expect to read this as shared reading.

Tall by Jez Alborough
Approximate Level B
This is one of three books by Jez Alborough featuring the lovable chimp Bobo. The other two are Hug and Yes! The characters are all rather sweet looking, which might turn off older kids, but I find them hard to resist. My rough and tumble 6-year-old enjoyed them as well. Tall would make a great book to work on the word family –all. They’re also good for practicing reading with proper inflection. Each features one or two main words throughout the whole book. Any early emergent reader is sure to experience success with these books.

That’s Not Bunny by Chris Barton
Approximate Level H
Terrific pictures convey this humorous tale of a hawk who is outsmarted by a wily rabbit. A few words are probably beyond level H (fierce, perched, spied), but the rest of the text is likely accessible.

This Book is Out of Control! by Richard Byrne
Approximate Level I
It may be out of control, but this is a great book. I love the way Byrne explores the difference between fantasy and reality. I love the characters with their big heads and goofy expressions. I love the layout with the text in a large, bold font. Though it’s written somewhere around a Level I, it’s a great book to share with readers who cannot access the entire text on their own. There are a number of words that stick out from the general text, functioning as part of the illustrations, and though there are a few words that are tricky (knocked, watch, instead, replied, and suggested), the majority of the text uses relatively simple language. Besides, it’s really funny. Also try This Book Just Ate My Dog and We’re In The Wrong Book by Byrne.

Up by Joe Cepeda
Level B
Kind of funny, but more dreamy and imaginative. The wind blows a pinwheel in a boy’s window, and the pinwheel takes the boy on an adventure in the sky. The pictures are fresh and make you want to fly. The text is just right for a very beginning reader.

Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayres
Approximate Level H
This book focuses on how various vegetables grow. It might be perfect for a kid who is interested in gardening. There are a number of difficult sight words, but I might try reading it to a reader who is a level D or so. I think there are more interesting books available to a level H reader, but this book still offers a lot as a read aloud for a less proficient reader.

We Are Growing by Laurie Keller
Approximate Level I
Seven blades of grass and one dandelion, each growing in their own special way, decide on their identities…until the mower comes along. Very silly. Kids will love the illustrations. We Are Growing is part of a new series that is associated with the Elephant and Piggie Books. It won the Theodore Seuss Giesel Award in 2017. The majority of the book is written at about a Level F, but there are a few complex words like pointy, boing, dandelion, crunchiest and silliest.

What This Story Needs Is a Pig in a Wig by Emma J. Virján
Approximate Level G
Funny. Imaginative. Silly. This book is just perfect for a beginning reader who has about 60 sight words under control. Also in the series: What This Story Needs is a Hush and a Shush, What This Story Needs is a Munch and a Crunch, and What This Story Needs is a Bang and a Clang.

Where is Pim? by Lena and Olof Landström
Approximate Level F
This is a sweet story about a child who has lost a favorite doll. Would mostly be fine for a level D or so, but has a few pages of more advanced text. Might be best for a younger beginning reader.

Which Is Round? Which Is Bigger? by Miineko Mamada
Approximate Level D
I wasn’t originally going to include this on my review page. On first glance, it looked and sounded like a concept book about comparisons. When I read it with my son, though, I realized it was worth further mention. The book is a book about comparisons, but it is also a book that asks the reader to think about comparisons in surprising ways. At first glance, an apple may appear round while a pangolin does not. On second glance, however, we see that an apple may be eaten down to its core and a pangolin could roll up into a ball. If you’ve got a child who enjoys thinking about the world in unique ways, this book would make an enjoyable read.

You Are (Not) Small by Anna Kang
Approximate Level D
It’s all a matter of perspective. Once the argumentative critters in this story figure that out, they realize it’s time to feed their bellies. This story will get your kids giggling. Thank you, Anna Kang! You are not small at all. What a great addition to the beginning reading genre.