As the father of two, it was always important to me that my children’s bedtime routine included at least 10 minutes of reading together. Before my children could walk, they both had bookshelves in their rooms. Once they could walk, they were responsible for choosing three books from their bookshelf and taking them to their bed each night. In addition to reading those books, I was responsible for keeping their bookshelf well-stocked with selections they would find interesting and ones that didn't drive me crazy from repeated readings.
From 18 months through 6 years of age, my children had more than 1,000 books read to them each year by committing to 10 minutes of reading each night before bed. This did not require us to have thousands of books in our home, as that total number includes multiple readings of the same books. In fact, many of their favorite books were read to them dozens of times before they ultimately started picking them up and reading them independently.
All books recommendated below are available for sale in the Obido online bookstore and available to borrow from the Obido Leveled English Library.
Here are some of our favorites:
- Title: Elephant and Piggie Series
Author: Mo Willems
Recommended Age: 3 to 7
Mo Willems is a multi-award winning author for his simple and hilarious children’s books. He began his career as a writer and animator on Sesame Street before focusing on books. His Elephant and Piggie series consist of 25 books written as dialogues between best friends, Gerald the Elephant and Piggie. When reading, I recommend using a masculine voice for Gerald and a feminine voice for Piggie to match their genders. The simple drawings provoke big reactions, and laughter is guaranteed when reading these books. The simple text is easy to remember, and your child will be reading along with you in no time.
- Title: Dog Man Series
Author: Dav Pilkey
Recommended Age: 6 to 11
If you have a young child at home who has not heard of the "Dog Man" series, they are most likely living in an environment without access to English books. Created by Dav Pilkey, the prolific author of Captain Underpants, Ricky Ricotta, and several other graphic novel series for young readers, this wildly popular series appeals to readers of all ages and explores universally positive themes including empathy, kindness, persistence, and goodness. Unlike some of Dav’s earlier series, these books are generally written with proper spelling, making them a better choice for ESL readers. It is recommended you flip through the books in advance and practice using the “Flip-o-rama” features of the books in advance to avoid accidentally ripping pages. These are annually our top sellers and the most popular titles borrowed from our library.
- Titles: Smile / Sisters / Guts
Author: Raina Telgemeier
Recommended Age: 8 to 13
This series of autobiographical stories from Raina Telgemeier’s childhood have proven incredibly popular with middle school girls facing similar issues in their lives. They have won multiple awards and widespread acclaim from book critics around the world. The books explore themes such as struggles with peer and sibling relationships, discovering personal strengths, the horrors of wearing braces, and how to cope with anxiety. Her books have been described as a dead-on look at the confusing world of middle school.
All books in these series are available for sale in the Obido online bookstore and available to borrow from the Obido Leveled English Library.
About the Author:
Aaron Tearne is the founder of Obido Education, a book services company that provides schools and families in China with easy access to imported physical books from top publishers in the US, UK and Australia. Obido’s new Leveled English Library subscription service helps parents and teachers identify their child’s current reading level in English and recommends hundreds of fun-to-read books suitable for independent reading. All books have an online quiz to test comprehension after reading, with quizzes available for more than 200,000 English language books.