2 MUST-HAVE BEGINNING “CHAPTER BOOKS” SERIES YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF
Looking for the best starter chapter books?
The Mr. and Mrs. Green book series and the Joe and Sparky book series are must-reads both in my classroom and with my children at home. My students, my children and I all highly recommend them!
They are hilarious and highly engaging both as read alouds and for readers ready for their very first “chapter books”. The humor in the books is completely appropriate, with no trace of potty humor that may be inappropriate for school.
These are the type of books that appear to children to be chapter books, but, to the adult eye, wouldn’t really be considered full-fledged chapter books. There’s a paragraph or less of text per page, there are about 4 or 5 chapters in the whole book and each chapter is approximately 4 to 8 pages — perfect for those readers ready for a little more than beginning reader books but not quite ready for true chapter books such as Magic Treehouse.
The beauty of a book series is that once your student is hooked by one of the books, you’ll have a built-in pool of others that you know they will be excited about as well.
If your students enjoy books like Henry and Mudge or Mr. Putter and Tabby these are at a similar reading level with the humor amped up. They are perfect “hook-books” – books that get your reluctant readers engaged with reading.
MR. AND MRS. GREEN, BEGINNING CHAPTER BOOKS FOR KIDS
Two alligators, Mr. Green and his wife, Mrs. Green, are the stars of these books.
Mr. Green is adventurous and gregarious and LOVES to eat yummy food and play with numbers. Mrs. Green is very understanding of Mr. Green and the predicaments he can get into and is practical and down-to-earth while still being independent, fun-loving, crafty and adventurous herself.
The stories have moments ripe for extending learning in fun ways (when Mr. Green is calculating the incredible amount of cookies he could eat if he just kept doubling the cookie recipe over and over and over again, for instance) and their humor is somehow both thoughtfully smart in a way that makes the books engaging for parents and still silly in a way that keeps kids coming back for more.
Be aware that Mr. and Mrs. Green books are available in anthology sets of 3 Mr. and Mrs. Green stories bound in one book. There are 4 anthology books with 3 stories in each. However, 4 of the stories in those anthologies are also available individually.
If you don’t realize this, it can be confusing and you may order an individual story that is in an anthology you also ordered. This list should help clear up any doubt.
I recommend getting the anthologies since all of the Mr. and Mrs. Green books are so engaging and well worth investing in!
Anthology Mr. and Mrs. Green books
Individual Mr. and Mrs. Green books
(all are also part of the anthologies above)
Joe and Sparky Beginning Chapter Book Series
Another series that gets two thumbs up from my students each year is Joe and Sparky.
When Joe, a giraffe with boundless energy, limitless dreams and a curiosity to see the world, gets together with Sparky, a turtle who loves nothing more than staying at home — warm, snug, safe — some crazy antics ensue.
The humor in Joe and Sparky books is slightly less “smart” than in Mr. and Mrs. Green’s adventures and a bit more slapstick (though still totally appropriate), causing kids to laugh like crazy.
Just like Mr. and Mrs. Green, these are great “hook books”, both as read alouds or as independent reads, that will engage almost any child.
There are 3 books in the series, and if more are ever released, they will definitely be on my “purchase immediately” list!
Joe and Sparky Books
Have you heard of these series? Do you have any other very-beginning chapter books that you and your students love? I’d love to try out your recommendations!
And if a teacher you know would enjoy these books, please share this post with them — spreading a love of reading is always a good idea!!