A Guide to Early Readers

Early readers are perfect titles for children starting to read on their own.

With options ranging from phonics to fluent, you can help build your child’s reading skills and confidence. Whether you’re just getting started with letter sounds or you’re almost ready for chapter books, this collection helps encourage independent reading skills. These titles feature simple, repetitive words that are easy for children to read, recognize and decode.

To find all of the Early Readers in the Plano Public Library collection, subject search “Readers (Primary) — Juvenile fictionin the online catalog for over 2,000 results. See our digital Early Readers on Overdrive or in the Libby app.

Here’s a look at the categories we have for your newest reader:

Phonics (Phonics Label)

These books are perfect for introducing your little reader to simple letter sounds. These stories generally focus on a single letter sound (like the hard c) or a blends sound (like th). They have simple text and repetition for the target sound.

Sample titles include:

You can use Overdrive or the Libby app to download eBooks for kids learning phonics by searching “Phonics”.


Pre-Emergent (Orange or Yellow Label)

These books are for readers who are just getting started with simple words. You’ll find large print and exaggerated spacing to make it easier to distinguish individual words, only one or two lines of text on each page, and very little punctuation. These stories use high frequency words with lots of pictures to explain what’s happening. Many include repetitive, predictable or rhyming text, and stories are simple and short. You’ll also see topics similar to your child’s life, which makes it easier for little readers to understand what’s happening in the story.

Sample titles include:


Emergent (Pink or Purple Label)

These books are for readers confident with simple words, but who still need more practice. Unlike pre-emergent titles, you’ll find more variety in the print size, but still see exaggerated spacing. These stories introduce more difficult words, but still have a lot of picture support. While there is some repetitive and rhyming text, these stories also start introducing more complex sentences. You’ll also see new word endings, like -s, -ed, and -ing, and more punctuation. Some stories also introduce literacy language, using phrases like “Once upon a time” that we associate with storytelling.

Sample titles include:


Early Fluent (Green Label)

These books are for more confident readers ready for the next challenge. They begin the transition to chapter books, including more text and less pictures. Text size and spacing are no longer exaggerated, and there’s much less repetition and rhyming. These stories also feature more complex structure, with more episodes, sub-plots, and action. You’ll also see multi-syllabic words and more vocabulary. Stories in this group may also include genres, like fantasy and science fiction, that you also see in chapter books.

Sample titles include:


Fluent (Blue Label)

These books are for confident readers who are almost ready for chapter books. They include more literary structures and genres, and you’ll also find more challenging ideas and themes. You can expect to find more complex vocabulary, and minimal picture support. Each story’s episodes and plots are extended, and many books have simple chapters as well.

Sample titles:


Book Bundles

Practice is an important part of building reading skills, so look for series, characters and concepts your child finds interesting. If you’re looking for an easy way to try out some of our early readers, check out a Book Bundle! These books are chosen to provide variety based on your child’s reading level. Each bundle includes 8-10 books in that reading level. Here’s how to get yours:

  1. Call the library when you arrive.
  2. Let us know what reading level you’re interested in.
  3. We’ll bring out a book bundle to you, using our porchside pickup procedures.

Please note, book bundles are available while supplies last. If you’d like to access more titles, try placing a hold on your favorite series or author.

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