Beginning Chapter Books: A Guide for Parents by Rebecca Crosswhite

So your child is a reader and ready for chapter books. Where do you begin? The range just within the beginner chapter books section is huge, ranging from Kindergarten level to 3rd grade level books, how do you know where to start for your child?

I have put together a few tricks of the trade that I use as a children’s bookseller and as a certified elementary school teacher. These are a what I look for when a child is ready to move out of the leveled paperbacks but are not quite ready for middle grade chapter books.

Earliest Chapter books:

  • Larger text on the page with more spacing between lines
  • Colored pictures in the chapters; or more pictures overall
  • Short chapters, 3-5 pages each
  • Larger book size, slightly bigger book but less pages

Rebecca’s Favorites in this section:

The Bad Guys Series by Aaron Blabey


  Isadora Moon by Harriet Muncaster

Mercy Watson Series by Kate DiCamillo

Princess in Black Series by Shannon Hale


The Chicken Squad Series by Doreen Cronin

Katie Woo Series by Fran Manushkin