It feels like my daughter has been fascinated with books since the day she was born.

Even as an infant, she’d sit peacefully on my lap, listening to the rhythm of my voice as I read simple children’s books. At that age, her favorite was anything Dr. Seuss. As a toddler, she loved interactive books that prompted her to find objects or experience the feeling of new textures. This is when her love of animals really took hold, so any book with an animal theme was an instant favorite.

Now my little baby is a 4 year old preschooler, still in love with books, yet needing new challenges. She isn’t reading by herself yet, so we set out to find great early reading chapter books for little girls (ages 5 and up).                                                          

Here are some of our favorites:

  1. Lulu and the Duck in the Park by Hilary McKay: A popular book in the UK and recent publication here in the States, I love this book for its beautiful imagery of a little girl who is an avid animal lover. Read along Lulu’s journey as she finds and cares for an abandoned duck egg. Lulu’s second installment is about her adventure with a dog. We can’t wait to read that one!
  2. Dorrie the Little Witch by Patricia Coombs (series): My daughter loves Dorrie – a sweet little witch that can’t help but find mischief wherever she goes – for several reasons. She’s kind and silly, never trying to get into trouble. And who can resist her cute cat, Gink? If you come across a Dorrie book, snag it! Not all of these classics are available for purchase.
  3. Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke (series): A collection of books about a little girl who visits extended family in Africa. Beautifully illustrated, these chapter books teach girls about other cultures from the perspective of another little girl.
  4. Marty Mcguire by Kate Messner (series): For girls who think the beyond the princess, Marty Mcguire is a smart third grader who digs worms and climbs tress. We enjoyed reading this series together and debunking common gender stereotypes that my 4 year old has already started to learn from society.
  5. The Critter Club by Callie Barkley (series): A series based on the philanthropic adventures of 4 best friends and their Critter Club is sure to be on any little girl’s favorite list. I love that the series is based on the relationships of 4 diverse best friends, teaching the readers about teamwork and friendship.

Reading early chapter books aloud with your little girl is a great way to instill a love of literature and improve reading comprehension. But, most importantly, it’s a great way to bond with your little girl.