Reading Recommendations for Early Readers (4-8 year olds)
Years 4 to 8 are crucial to nurture a lifelong love of reading in children. Not only do they learn the craft of reading and graduate to becoming independent readers during this time, but children this age also mature from image-heavy picture and board books, to chapter books that carry a textual narrative across multiple chapters.
Children learn reading from being read to. Some of the most engaging books that capture the imagination are children’s books that many of us enjoy even as adults! So read, read, read – to and with your kids! Make sure there’s plenty of fun and interesting reading material around the house – buy or borrow; and don’t pass up an opportunity to place a good book in your little reader’s hands!
Here are a few more tips to get your kids to enjoy reading –
- Set aside a special time each day to read together.
- Read books you like. Your enjoyment will be infectious.
- Early readers often develop a fondness for certain characters and books, and have favorites they love to read or be read to, over and over again. Encourage this.
- Capitalize on your child’s interests. If they ask you a question, go together to a book to look for the answer—even if you know the answer already.
- Stop occasionally and point out an interesting word with your finger.
- Don’t throw out the picture books and early reader books once your kids have progressed to more advanced reading. Kids love returning to their old favorites every now and then.
- Have your kids listen to audio books – on tape/CD every now and then.
- Make reading a bedtime ritual.
- Be a reader yourself. Pass along your appreciation for books and reading to the little ones around you.
To help you pick great children’s books for the 4-8 year age group, we’ve put together this awesome catalog of award-winning books from the US, UK, Canada, & Australia (look out for the winners in the early reader and picture book categories) and also browse through SmartBean’s picks for 4-8 year olds in our bookstore. Additionally, the lists below are an exhaustive compilation of popular classics, well-loved and well-regarded authors, and book series that have delighted early readers for decades. Also included are fascinating titles that do a great job of providing a kid-friendly window into other cultures. Many of these titles and authors have won awards and accolades. We’d welcome suggestions for additions to this list of recommended classics, book series, authors and multicultural books for 4-8 year olds
Popular Classic and Multicultural Titles
|Amazing Grace (African American)|
|Anansi the Spider (& other stories by Gerald McDermott) (Africa & other regions)|
|Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions (Africa)|
|Babushka’s Doll (Russian)|
|Beatrice’s Goat (Central Africa)|
|Bringing Rain to Kapiti Plain (Africa)|
|Cat and Rat: The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac (China)|
|Chang’s Paper Pony (Chinese American)|
|Hill of Fire (Mexico)|
|Honey… Honey… Lion! (Africa)|
|Listen to the Wind (Pakistan/Afghanistan)|
|Molly’s Pilgrim (Russian Jewish)|
|One Grain Of Rice & other books by Demi (India & other regions)|
|One Green Apple (Middle East)|
|Rikki Tikki Tavi (India)|
|Ruby’s Wish (China)|
|So Far from the Sea (Japanese American)|
|Stories by Grace Lin (China & Chinese American)|
|Tikki Tikki Tembo (China)|