December 2, 2021
Recently, my family has started to transition from reading solely picture books to a mix of picture books and chapter books, and my preschooler is loving it! If you have young children at home, here are some great early chapter book series to read either aloud as a family or for early readers to try on their own.
All of these series include some illustrations and lots of humor, so they are great for keeping kids engaged and excited for just one more chapter!
The Mercy Watson series was my family’s first foray into reading chapter books, and they were a huge hit! Mercy the pig gets into hilarious hijinks with her friends and family on Deckawoo Drive. She fights crime, accidentally drives a car, goes to the movies and evades animal control. She also loves toast with a great deal of butter. The characters and scenarios are hilarious! My favorite is her grumpy neighbor Eugenia Lincoln. The audio books, read by Ron McLarty, are also wonderful.
The Princess in Black series features Princess Magnolia, a princess who shows us that princess can love tea parties, sparkles, and pink while also saving the kingdom from monsters, giants, and a horde of hungry bunnies! Whenever the monster alarm rings, Princess Magnolia must sneak away, ditch her fancy ball gown, and transform into The Princess in Black. These books are funny and full of adventure and make a great read aloud for the entire family. Currently, the series includes eight books, with book nine, The Princess in Black and the Mermaid Princess, available in February 2022.
The first Nate the Great book was published in 1972, includes more than two dozen children’s detective stories. These books are hugely popular in my house right now! I love detective stories, so I am thrilled that my preschooler is following in my footsteps. Nate the Great, along with his dog Sludge, and his friends Annie, Rosamond, and Oliver investigates a variety of cases including a lost list, a missing key, and a mushy valentine. The audio books, read by John Lavelle are also wonderful. Marjorie Weinman Sharmat passed away in 2019, but her son Andrew Sharmat is continuing to write the series.
Willa the Wisp is the first book in the new series by Jonathan Auxier called The Fabled Stables. The Fabled Stables are built on an island owned by a wealthy and mysterious professor and are home to the rarest creatures in existence, including a will-o-wisp and a tattle-tail. They are also home to an 8 year-old boy called Auggie. Auggie serves as caretaker, and sometimes rescuer, for the creatures. The illustrations in these books are beautiful and whimsical, and the stories are both heartwarming and full of adventure. I look forward to discovering more about the creatures and mysterious island as new books in the series are released.
Mrs. Noodlekugel is not your normal babysitter. She is also not your normal little old lady. She lives in a tiny cottage behind a tall apartment building with her talking cat Fuzzface and her four nearsighted mice. One day, brother and sister pair, Nick and Maxine, discover Mrs. Noodlekugel and their lives will never quite be the same again. This three book series is admittedly a little weird, but it is a lot of fun for a family that enjoys silly and magical stories!
For more recommendations, visit your local MCPL location or call the MCPL Wausau children's desk at 715-261-7220.
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