There are so many fantastic Beginner Books, and in I Can Read It All By Myself: The Beginner Books Story I tried to give all of them equal time without playing favorites. But of course I do have favorites, and now I'd like to share them with you!
I based this not only on my own enjoyment of these books, but on the fact that they all represent the ideal of early readers: They're funny, quotable, written with repetition and rhythm, and have unforgettable illustrations.
Based on an idea by novelist Nathanial Benchley, P.D. Eastman’s first Beginner Book a lovely and funny story of odd-couple friendship.
Mike McClintock and Fritz Siebel’s other Beginner Book, A Fly Went By, is more well-known, but this tale of an out-of-control ball is just so much fun.
Robert Lopshire subtly drew on his own childhood to document the talented Spot’s search for a place where he can belong.
Joan Heilbroner’s funny words and P.D. Eastman’s funny drawings are a perfect combo. One wishes they’d made more books together.
Two Beginner Books giants, P.D. Eastman and Roy McKie, teamed up for the first and only time to perfectly capture the joys of winter.
This Bright and Early Book by Al Perkins and Eric Gurney is a rhythmic poem that's perfect for reading out loud. "Hello Jack! Hello Jake!"
Al Perkins's story is sweet and Rowland B. Wilson’s pictures are perfect. It’s a shame this book (and its sequel Tubby and the Poo-Bah) have fallen into obscurity.
Rich illustrations, clever use of repetition, and just the right amount of spooky add up to make this the ideal early reader.
Beginner Books typically offer chaos rather than emotional resonance, but this book by Angelo DeCesare performs the magic trick of combing the two.
This absurdist parody of commercials by Eric Seltzer may just be the funniest Beginner Book there is.
Five Honorable Mentions: