Collections Overview: Early Literacy

Plano Public Library has something for everyone. Learn about the various library collections in this four-part miniseries under the Library 101 umbrella.

Today, we’re talking about beginning readers! As your child takes their first steps into the wider world of literature, make sure you know how best to help along the way.

Early Literacy Collections

Plano Public Libraries offers numerous options for children just learning to read, as well as families reading together. Try out some of our early literacy tips by reading a picture book to your child, or pick some chapter books that suit their interests and reading level. Learn more about some of our collections below:

Board Books

For the youngest children, board books are a great option. High-contrast images such as those often found within these books are more visible to young infants’ eyes, and the thick cardboard pages are more difficult for young hands to accidentally tear.

While board books cannot be placed on hold, you can pick up a Book Bundle, or come in to browse the whole collection.


Picture Books

Most people can claim some familiarity with the bright, colorful picture books featured in storytimes and read at bedtime to young children. Our Easy collection includes reading material that is great for exploring with the whole family.

For younger toddlers, choose books with more familiar themes, such as shapes, colors, letters and numbers. Toddler-appropriate books will have fewer words per page and simpler concepts like farm animals, household routines and food. Within our Easy collection, some of our favorite toddler books have red dot stickers and labels saying ‘toddler’ along the spines. Additionally, books focusing on letters and numbers have identifying stickers as well.

Preschoolers begin learning about more advanced concepts, such as seasons, community members and friendship. With more words per page, books may contain more challenging vocabulary and more complex emotions. Pick up toddler- and preschool-appropriate books in hand-selected Book Bundles, or browse the collection for items of interest. Also, check out our new Easy books in the online catalog.

Looking to have a DIY themed storytime with your child? Check out one of our Theme Backpacks, which include multiple picture books centered around a single topic. For holiday-specific picture books, explore our Easy Holiday collection.


Early Readers

If your child is learning how to read letters, words, phrases and phonics, Early Readers are the materials for you. Designed to introduce common words and sounds in sequence, books in this collection feature simple stories and clear pictures to help associate words and meanings in your child’s mind.

See our Early Reader Guide for details on the color-coding system we use to help you guide your child from pre-emergent to fluent reading level.

Has your child outgrown Early Readers? Browse our Junior Fiction collection for some simple chapter books to take your reading to the next level. Chapter books for beginning readers are typically very thin, often with some pictures and large font for easy visibility.


Early Media Collections

Supplementing the written word with an audible readalong can offer scaffolding for a beginning reader. Check out some of our age-specific offerings within the media category!

Junior CD Sets

Read along with the CD book recording of a children’s picture book classic. Each book in the collection includes the audiobook version in an enclosed sleeve. Great for listening to a story while driving!


Wonderbooks

One of our newest additions to the library, the Wonderbook collection includes several Easy and Early Reader books. Browse our full selection of Wonderbooks in our online catalog.

Explore Wonderbooks with our video here.


Bookpacks

Take your learning to the next level with a Bookpack. Similar to Theme Backpacks, these kits include several children’s books, often by the same author, along with a Playaway audiobook of the collection. Read more about Bookpacks, as well as some other types of junior media, in our Types of Playaway blog post.

Explore Bookpacks with our “Check It Out” video here.


Junior World Language Collections

In addition to the collections mentioned above, our Junior World Language collections can offer similar benefits to young readers of more than 10 different world languages. The junior world language collections have recently been delineated into reading level and will indicate whether they are considered Board Books, Easy picture books, Early Readers or beyond.

Place items on hold for pickup at any one of our five locations, or call ahead to find out which world languages are available for browsing at your favorite location.


Access our eBooks and eAudiobooks through Overdrive or the Libby app, and you can request print books through our holds service in the library catalog. Our eBook collection is robust, with many read-alongs for kids, picture books, juvenile fiction and non-fiction, and young adult reads.

Placing holds is a great way to fast-track your library experience, or access materials not available at your closest library location. Check out this blog post on placing and picking up holds for more information.

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