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Saturday, September 26, 2020

Librarian’s Talk Children’s Books: I Can Reads

This week on Librarian’s Talk Children’s Book we wanted to discuss what we at FCPL, call “I Can Reads”- our Early Reader books collection. Historically, Random House and HarperCollins both started publishing early reader book titles in 1957. Random House started with the famous Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss and Harper Collins started with Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik. Random House called their collection “Beginner Books” and HarperCollins called their collection “I Can Read Book”. Many of the titles from these collections are still popular today. These books are ideal for children ages 4-8 who are just starting their literacy skills and developing the ability to read independently. 

In the ICR book collection; there are also a lot of concept books that focus on phonics and sight words for reading development. Jane Belk Moncure is a prolific author specializing in early education resource books. Sound Box series that focuses on individual letter sounds and Word Birds is a series with themed sight words. BOB books written by Bobby Lynn Maslen and John Maslen is a popular resource for parents and educators to help children through the early stages of reading skills.

Schools use different reading programs including AR or Accelerated Reader, Lexile, Guided Reading, and DRA or Developmental Reading Assessment. Some good websites for finding a books reading level is or a personal favorite of mine is It is important to note that many of these I Can Read titles may have different reading levels from “pre-reader” to readers able to read complete paragraphs and short chapters. Typically, book levels in this collection will range from a 0.5 to 3.5 (kindergarten to third) grade level ranges. Expect most of the titles to fit somewhere between 1.5 to 2.5 grade levels. Find books that are both slightly challenging and fun to read for your child.