phonics books for kids

Phonics Books for Kids (Best Books to Teach Reading)

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Are you teaching a young child to read? Then one great way is to pick up some delightful phonics books for kids. These books are a great way to encourage a love of reading through simple stories that children love.

phonics books for kids - easily teach your kids to read!

Teaching Children to Read

When teaching children to read, begin by teaching the children the essential skills of phonics and simple sight words using fun decodable texts. The texts are so much fun for young readers.

Plus, they’ll develop your children’s language skills while helping your kids to master the initial sounds of the alphabet.

Phonemic Awareness

The first step to reading is developing what’s called phonemic awareness. This is simply the ability to hear and manipulate the individual sounds in the spoken language. 

You can introduce this skill to children through rhyming games and by breaking simple words apart into their individual sounds. You can also point out the beginning and ending sounds of various words.

Some children develop phonemic awareness easily, and you will wonder what all the fuss is about. However, other children take a long time before they can hear the individual sounds in words.

I’ve found it helped for my children and me to play word games to develop the skill.

You can play rhyming games in the car, think of words beginning with the same sound, or go on letter hunts. A letter hunt is a walk around the neighborhood where you and your children search for a specific letter like B.

Can you find the letter B on the street signs?

What about finding words that begin with the letter B, like /b/-/b/-bug or /b/-/b/-bee?

Phonics Skills

As phonemic awareness develops, you can begin teaching the individual letters and the sounds each letter makes. Most programs begin with short vowel sounds for the vowels so kids aren’t confused by all the sounds a vowel can make. 

However, I discovered it’s helpful to mention one or two exceptions as my kids are learning so they’re not blindsided by the various sounds each vowel makes down the road.

I don’t make a big deal about it, but I do mention a simple sight word or name where a vowel makes a different sound. 

Phonics Instruction for Young Children

It’s helpful to provide systematic phonics instruction at the very early stages of reading.

You can do this using decodable readers at the CVC level or a systematic phonics program with a parent guide to walk you through the process. 

This structured approach is the best way to teach a child who is struggling with phonics skills or phonemic awareness to read. You’ll lay a solid foundation by using research-based teaching methods.

But not all young kids need a highly structured approach. A few kids will take to reading like a duck takes to water.

If this is the case, you may wish to use a phonics program that provides systematic instruction to ensure your child has a firm grasp on reading, but you can let your child progress as quickly through the reading levels. 

How to Help Struggling Readers

The best way to help struggling or reluctant readers is to be patient. They can learn how to read.

Use a highly-structured phonic sequence developed by a phonics expert. Take your time with each step and make sure that your child has firmly mastered each reading level. 

It takes time and a lot of drill, but struggling and reluctant readers can develop the reading skills to read at grade level.

Best Phonics Books for Kids

The best phonics books for kids include simple text and decodable stories. Often they’re little books designed to be held by small hands.

Sometimes you can find these children’s books as a box set so you can pick up the entire set and read through the books with your child. Young kids love simple stories and have easy books that they can read by themselves.

Wordless Books for Very Young Children

When you’re first introducing readers for small children, pick up some wordless books to start. These are great books for helping kids learn how a story line develops.

Plus, they can have the fun of ‘reading’ a book from the very beginning.

A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog – If you’re looking for a great book that has stood the test of time, then you’ll love A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog. A boy and a dog head down to a creek near their home. Will they be able to catch a frog to take home?

Penguin Sets Sail – Penguin longs to be a sea captain and sail across the ocean. Travel with the penguin as he sets sail and explores the world!

Decodable Books for Beginner Readers

Decodable books are easy-to-read books for early readers. Many decodable readers begin with simple CVC words and fun stories for kids to read.

These little phonics books for kids are an important step on the path to fluent reading as beginner readers learn how to translate individual letters into words.

Usborne Phonics Readers

If you’re looking for fabulous children’s books with simple text and colorful illustrations, check out the Usborne Phonics Readers. Your children will read these high quality phonics storybooks many times over the years.

Usborne Phonics Readers – Younger children will enjoy reading these delightful stories about small animals like Big Pig on a Dig. Each story focuses on a specific phonetic skill children need to master as they learn to read.

My First Phonics Reading Library Collection – Read phonics storybooks featuring various animals. Each story is a separate book that your kids can pull out and read. Your kids will love the stories and illustrations in each book. These books feature many long vowel sounds.

My First Reading Library – This library includes 22 simple books from Usborne’s Very First Reading introducing phonic skills. You’ll also find 12 books from Usborne’s First Reading Level One and 16 books from Usborne’s First Reading level two.

Your children will have a solid foundation by the time they have finished reading through this library books collection set.

Bob Books

Bob Books has been around for a long time, and these were the first books many of my children read aloud to me. The sets use a highly-structured phonic sequence to help children learn how to read.

The first book focus on just a couple of letters so kids can start reading as soon as they know the letters M, T, S, and A.

Bob Books Set 1 – Your little learner will adore reading through these easy stories that gently increase in difficulty. The first book only uses four letters, so kids can begin learning how to decode words from the very beginning.

Each book introduces another letter or two so children can enjoy fun stories as their reading skills improve. This set is at the CVC level.

Bob Books Set 2 – This set is also at the CVC level, but it uses slightly longer sentences. Kids will love reading the fun stories about people and animals in these charming books.

First Little Readers

This is another beginning books collection set that will help young children learn to read in a fun way. Kids can work through the various levels as their reading skills improve.

This is a fun way to give beginner readers little books that they’re able to read easily.

First Little Readers Level A – You’ll find 25 simple books with contemporary illustrations for children to read. They have simple short stories full of sight words and are easy for young children to read.

First Little Readers Level B – This set of 25 simple books is slightly more difficult than the level A books. The sentences are a touch longer, and there may be two sentences on a page.

First Little Readers Level C – Level C readers use slightly more challenging words than the previous levels. Kids will love the short, simple stories.

First Little Readers Level D – Level D readers have two to four lines of text and strong pictural clues to help kids read these charming stories. Your kids will be begging you to pull out the next book for them to read.

First Little Readers Levels E & F – These full-color books have longer stories than the earlier readers supporting your child’s growing reading skills. Kids adore these humorous tales about animals and children.

I Can Read

Are you looking for fun books for little bookworms to read? Then you need to check out the I Can Read series.

The books are fun stories with simple words for children just starting to read independently.

I Can Read: Fancy Nancy – You’ll find five delightful and charming stories about a little girl named Nancy who loves to be fancy. My daughter couldn’t get enough of Fancy Nancy when she was in the first grade. If your kids love the show Fancy Nancy, they’ll adore these easy readers.

I Can Read: Little Critters – The Little Critters books are hilarious stories about all the trouble a young critter can get into. This specific set focuses on short and long-vowel phonics skills and a reviewed by a phonics expert.

Dr. Seuss Children’s Book

​Dr. Seuss’s books have been a favorite for generations. Even older children will enjoy reading these high-quality books. They deserve a place on your bookshelves!

Dr. Seuss’s Beginner Book Collection – This beginner book collection includes five books that are easy for young readers. The books include colorful illustrations and simple sentences. They’re so much fun to read that your children will ask to read them again and again!

Activity Books

​Extend your children’s reading skills with some fun activity books. The books include fun games and activities to help your children develop both phonemic awareness and their phonics skills.

My Phonics Workbook – This workbook covers the pre-reading skills children need to develop in a fun way. Kids will color, trace, and solve mazes, among other delightful activities.

Learn to Read Activity Book – This workbook includes lessons designed to teach your children how to read using phonics in a fun atmosphere. The exciting activities will keep your kids engaged as they learn the phonics skills necessary to read.

Primary Phonics Books for Phonics Instruction

​If you’re looking for help teaching essential phonics skills to your children, the phonics books for kids below are just what you’re looking for. These books will hold your hand as you teach your children how to read. 

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons – This is the book I used with all of my children to get them started blending. The font introduced in the book standardizes the English language.

Towards the end of the book, children are introduced to the standard font used in printed material. By the end, children are able to read beginner readers. My favorite part of the book is the systematic approach it uses for teaching children how to blend.

Alpha-Phonics – Your children will learn the skills they need to read over 128 lessons. The book doesn’t require complicated equipment or preparation beyond sitting down with the book and working with your children.

Excellent Phonics Books for Kids Learning to Read

Phonics Pathways – After my children and I started the reading process with Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, we moved over to Phonics Pathways.

It carefully and systematically teaches kids to read and gives kids enough practice to become skilled readers. The font is large and easy for young children to see.

Read my detailed review of Phonics Pathways.

The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Reading – The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Reading is another excellent book to teach your children how to read. It includes fun activities to extend the lessons. Young readers will have so much fun with the many activities that keep them engaged.

Read my comparison of Phonics Pathways and The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Reading.

Dancing Bears – I discovered one of my kids was dyslexic after my normal teaching methods didn’t work. So, we worked our way through Dancing Bears Fast Track.

My daughter loved the stories! The stories were not cute stories written for small children. Instead, we followed a young boy as he went on an exciting adventure.

Teach Kids to Read With Phonics

All About Reading – All About Reading is a research-based program that uses a multi-sensory approach to teach reading. This is perfect for young readers who are struggling with the traditional methods.

Kids will learn to read and write as they work through the program. And kids enjoy the fun activities, and you can rest assured that your children are learning the skills they need.

Explode the Code – Explode the Code Online presents the content from Explode the Code workbooks 1-8 in an engaging format online. It focuses on the skill your children need to develop and gives you progress reports.

Your kids will be able to work independently through a phonics best-seller!

All About Reading


How do you teach phonics to kids?

Teaching phonics to kids begins by teaching children the individual letters and the sounds each letter makes. Most beginning readers start with short vowel sounds.

You then teach kids how to blend and read short vowel words.

Keep progressing to simple sentences, long vowel sounds, and common sight words. Phonics books written for children are a fun way to teach young children to read.

What is phonics for kids to read?

Phonics is the process of matching the letters with the sounds they make. Once kids know the sounds the letters make, they can decode the written text into spoken English.

This will enable your child to sound out difficult words they run across in their reading.

How can I help my 5-year-old with phonics?

You can help your 5-year-old with phonics by reading aloud to your child, playing rhyming games, and breaking words into their individual sound. 

You can also attach magnetic letters to your refrigerator. While you’re cooking or preparing a snack, challenge your young children to find various letters that make specific sounds.

Encourage your child to spell words using magnetic letters and make a game of writing words for your kid to read.

Phonics Books for Kids

Teach your children how to read with delightful phonics books for kids. These books will walk your children from CVC words to CVCC word-level text and beyond.

By the time you’ve finished working through the books, your kids will be able to read any book they choose!

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