When I first started sharing books on my Instagram page the category of books people were most grateful to hear about were early chapter books. The short, highly illustrated, engaging books intended for newly independent readers. For a long time I felt like there were not a lot of great options available, but in the last several years this genre has really expanded and I want everyone to know about the quality books available to kids starting off on their reading journey! These books are perfect for newly independent readers or for reading aloud to kids as they adjust to listening to books longer than picture books.
All books featured on this list are around 100 pages long, have short chapters, high interest plots, and frequent illustrations. Most books are about 1st or 2nd grade reading level for independent reading.
I have separated the list into a couple different sections depending on the text to illustration ratio so you can have an idea of which books your child is most suited for.
Disclaimer: Some of these books I received free from publishers, but all decisions whether to include on this list were my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links which means I receive a small commission if you purchase through the links (at no additional cost to you).
Full color illustrations on every page, high text to illustration ratio. Perfect for first transitioning from picture books to chapter books.
Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo
The Princess in Black series by Shannon Hale
Fabled Stables series by Jonathan Auxier
Meet Yasmin series by Saadia Faruqi
The Adventures of Caveboy by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Wilems
More text per page, illustrations on every page spread, but usually black and white:
The Kingdom of Wrenly series by Jordan Quinn
Dragon Masters series by Tracey West
The Adventures of Sophie Mouse series by Poppy Green
The Kung Pow Chicken series by Cyndi Marko
Mia Mayhem series by Kara West
Louise Trapeze series by Micol Ostow
A bit longer text with fewer illustrations, but still frequent:
Zoey and Sassafrass series by Asia Citro
Mindy Kim series by Lyla Lee
Tales from Deckawoo Drive series by Kate DiCamillo (a spin-off series featuring side characters of the Mercy Watson series)
Jasmine Toguchi series by Debbi Michiko Florence
Aven Green series by Dusti Dowling
Too Small Tola by Antinuke (check out the giveaway of this one happening on my Instagram right now!)