This website is under development throughout 2018. Check in periodically for updates.

Picture Book and Early Reader Recommendations

The Early Learning Continuum Picture Book Directories

Based on years of practical experience road-testing the canon of childhood texts with early years cohorts, I have provided lists of recommended books for library programs. These lists have been grouped by developmental level, which is the first and most important factor to consider. An excellent piece of literature, which is fantastic for four year olds, may be wildly inappropriate for baby’s stage of development. (Often books for older children have busy imagery that is hard for baby to visually decode, for example). The recommended books are also excellent for one-on-one, intimate reading sessions with small children of the advised age. But since many books that work in intimate settings fail dismally in group settings, these book lists have been compiled with the particular nuances of group storytelling in mind. See:

Book of the Year: Children’s Book Council of Australia

The past years’ Book of the Year notable books, shortlisted books, and category winners from the CBCA are a fabulous starting point for high-quality children’s books. For the preschool years, stick to the early readers category, for the most part. The picture book category may have appropriate books, but they are often more sophisticated and better suited to a primary school-aged audience. It also depends on your reading context–one-on-one reading sessions can accommodate more complex books. Group read-alouds (ie for library programs) generally need to be simpler in the preschool years–unless you are involving the children, using props, acting it out, or in some other way, bringing the heavier text off the page:

Book of the Year: Speech Pathology Australia

According to the SPA website, “Literacy is based on good oral language skills. The Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards aim to promote quality Australian books that help children get the best, most literate start in life.

Books are awarded for “Best Book for Language and Literacy Development” in the following categories:

  • Birth to 3 years
  • 3 to 5 years
  • 5 to 8 years
  • 8 to 10 years
  • Indigenous Children.

Each book is judged on its appeal to children, interactive quality and ability to assist speech pathologists and parents in communication and literacy development.”

Reading Games: Free Books to Print or Read Online

[Insert blurb about readers to match progression of ST, based on preschool learning capability and conversation reading/learning games/phonemic awareness/parent empowerment philosophy, and link to index of readers.]

SPELD SA Free Downloadable, Printable and Online Readers

[insert blurb and SPELD SA readers link]

Buy Recommended Evidence-Based (Phonics) Early Readers