How to Grow a Reader
Welcome to our Emerging Readers Guide! We developed this page to help parents choose just-right books for little ones. On this page, you'll find information about developing a reader, recommended reading lists, and other resources to support your child as they begin learning the basics of reading.
Wondering what's normal for your child at this stage? An early / emerging reader (PreK - 2nd grade) is just beginning to learn how to read independently with assistance from an adult. They are developing Early Reading Skills like:
- Phonemic Awareness - memorizing alphabet letters by sight and sound, and applying that knowledge to sound out new words
- Recognizing Sight Words - memorizing simple, high-frequency words by sight without needing to sound them out (examples: the, and, they, no, yes)
- Fluency - reading smoothly and with expression, with some pauses to identify words
- Basic Vocabulary - absorbing common words and using them in sentences
- Comprehension - understanding the gist of what they read and recalling 2-3 important details
Learn more about the Five Pillars of Reading Development in this Reading is Fundamental video on YouTube.
Physical Items from Our Collection
These links will take you to our Catalog & My Account site, where you can see details about the items. Have your library card number and PIN handy to put items on hold.
Smooth Reading Kits: Designed to help emerging readers practice reading with fluency and expression.
Take Home Play Kits: Great for introducing little ones to new vocabulary during play.
New EASY & Picture Books: Browse our newest and on-order picture books and easy readers.
Special Feature: Decodable Books
Decodable books contain words and repetitive letter patterns that children can recognize once they've learned letter sounds (example: "dog on a log"). These recommended series can be found in our Early Readers areas or reserved at the links below with your library card:
- Bob Books
- Let's Go!
- Little Blossom Stories
- Sounds Like Reading
- Usborne Phonics Readers
- Whole Phonics
- Word Families
eBooks & eAudiobooks
In addition to the physical items above, families can download picture books, other eBooks. and child-friendly eAudiobooks from eBooks Minnesota and the Twin Cities Metro eLibrary on Libby.
Access our eBooks on the Libby App: Download Libby from your app store and search for "Scott County Library" (listed under "MELSA: Twin Cities Metro eLibrary"). Sign in with your child's library card and PIN. Many of our eBooks offer the Dyslexia font, which makes text easier to read for anyone.
eBooks Minnesota K-5 Collection: A digital collection of always-available K-5 fiction and nonfiction items selected by librarians and school experts - no checkout required. Items in Spanish are also available. For best experience, view in a browser or download the MackinVIA app.