Who doesn't like a laugh or two? And what better way is there to encourage new readers than with fun, action and much silliness? The following three suggestions will pique interest and engage beginner readers resulting in the occasional snort, snicker and guffaw.
The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
So-- not your typical princess in pink scenario. This princess has a secret identity with lots of daring-do. She’s able to handle a troublesome, blue-horned monster and quell the curiosity of a most –annoying Duchess at the same time without breaking a sweat or putting a run in her black stockings. This action-packed romp includes lots of brightly colour illustrations contributing to the farcical nature of the story.
Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny by John Himmelman
No one can kick higher, hit harder or throw farther than Isabel, the best bunjitsu artist in her whole school. But what’s even more important than her martial arts ability is her wisdom. She would never use her powers to hurt another creature – unless she had to. “Bunjitsu is not about kicking, hitting and throwing,” she said. “It is about finding ways NOT to kick, hit, and throw.” So, what could have been a pretty preachy book is one with humour and gentle insights in to life’s challenges and adventures. I thought her one clever bunjitsu bunny when she outsmarted a boat of greedy pirates in a very non-violent way.
These are part of a slightly older series of early readers but I think the likable characters, silliness and illustrations will engage readers with no problem. Minnie and Moo are cows living in the country that end up in mischievous situations that always come out right. Like the night Moo wishes for thumbs and to go dancing. Well, wish one would be near impossible to grant so Minnie orchestrates wish number two. After a little gussying-up, the two cows crash the party of the farmer, mix in, shake things up, and gain two admirers. Things are going well until Moo starts to eat a hamburger and Minnie suspects that it’s been made from two friends who are missing. The HORROR! But don’t worry, Moo isn't a cannibal and all ends well.
All recommended for Kindergarten to grade 2 or 3.