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Making Easy Readers EASY

April 18, 2017

In the past, we haven't made finding the right book for your beginning reader an easy thing to do, have we? Well, we've changed that now!


One of my favorite things to be asked at the Children’s Desk is: “Can you help me find books for my child who's learning to read?” How exciting! Learning to read! As my enthusiasm builds and I launch into my usual list of questions for the parent, I see their enthusiasm wane and turn into a mixture of fear and uncertainty.

We haven’t made learning to read easy, have we? For the parent or the child. With different reading levels and incentive programs at school and a complicated shelving system at the library, it’s no wonder that the parent’s enthusiasm doesn’t match mine. Helping your child learn to read is an awesome, yet daunting responsibility for a parent. So, let’s make it a little easier, shall we?

For years and years, we have had our Easy Reader collection (it’s where the skinny Dr. Seuss’ books and Elephant and Piggie books are found) but they are shelved alphabetically by the author’s last name – not by reading level. So, when I would walk a parent over to the collection and show them how to open each book to glance at the inside to see if it looks like the level of book their child is reading, I could see that they were calculating the amount of time it might take to leave with a handful of appropriate books. What a laborious way to look for books!

Now, you will see that the Easy Readers are sporting a small colored dot at the bottom of the spine. The dots help parents and children identify books that are a similar level of difficulty. The book page images below can help you ascertain the color level in which your child is reading and make it easier to choose books.

When you find that your child is tearing through their stack of green dot books before you even have time to plan your next trip to the library, it’s time to move on to the yellow dot books. Have you read all of the blue books at your branch? Check out our online catalog where you can search for and request blue dot books from other locations.


Now, when I enthusiastically walk a parent over to our Easy Reader section and quickly explain the colored dots, their relief is evident and they are able to join in my enthusiasm. And what is the job of a children’s librarian if not to spread excitement about reading?!