Snubnose’s Favorite Series Books


A couple of months back, snubnose finally discovered the joy of reading regular books (non-picture books), and I was beyond thrilled. To make the transition easier, I tried to pick up books that come in a series.

In my mind, series books are awesome for hesitant readers because of the following reasons:

  • If snubnose likes one book, then automatically she starts reading the entire set.
  • It helps to read series books because the context, settings, and characters are already known, so it’s far easier to jump into the story (or at least that’s my theory).

This summer we started with Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl (technically not a series, but it was required reading for her school summer assignment). She liked the story and was intrigued enough to read a couple more Roald Dahl books. I could tell that she was still hesitant about reading on her own though. She liked me reading it out to her, but it was hard going on her own.

So, we looked together for books that were fun and easier for her to read on her own, and which suits the snubnose’s fizzy philosophy. So of course there were going to be books about fairies, and sweet little girls.

First off, we checked out the Rainbow Magic series by a number of authors under the common pseudonym of Daisy Meadows.

The Rainbow Magic series

A selection of The Rainbow Magic Books

These books are perfect for dreamy little girls. The stories deal with best friends Kirsty Tate and Rachel Walker and their encounters with good fairies and bad goblins. The plots are quite repetitive, but the books are well-written and easy enough for the snubnose to read and process on her own without having to check with me or the dictionary too often.

They are most definitely not classic children’s literature, but snubnose enjoys them and goes through them at the rate of one a week (and that’s because I have placed boundaries). When I see other mums coaxing their kids to read, I am relieved to have hit upon something that snubnose likes. Also considering that there are almost a hundred of these books already available, and more being churned out, I have no worries about lack of new material for snubnose.

She did need more variety however so I also encouraged her into trying the Junie B.Jones books by Barbara Park. While there are no fairies, snubnose relates well to Junie B.Jones and loves the madcap humor in these books.

A selection of Junie B. Jones books

A selection of Junie B. Jones books

The reading level is a bit higher than the Rainbow series, and snubnose does not always get the jokes (which are sometimes not obvious to Indian readers), but she enjoys reading the books anyway.

And last but not the least I want to mention the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osbourne. She just started these books a couple of weeks back, so I can’t really tell whether she likes them or not. The books feature a brother and sister who discover a magical tree house filled with books. The Magic Tree house then whisks the kids off to tons of adventures in different places and times.

A  selection of The Magic Treehouse Books

A selection of The Magic Tree house Books

What I like is that mixed in with the stories, there is a fair amount of knowledge that can be gathered. Plus, while the basic template of the books is the same, the adventures are all quite different from settings in the Amazon, to a night on the Titanic, to dinosaurs, and what not. There is enough variety for the snubnose to pick and choose which adventure she wants to read about.

Another thing I love about all these series books? Although they are a series, technically, they can be read in any order. A boon as snubnose can just randomly pick a book that suits her fancy without having to think anything about continuity.

She has now become such an avid fan of series books that she is even contemplating her own selection. When I was embarking on my business trip to San Francisco, she charged me to get the entire collection of Roald Dahl books for her. I absent-mindedly agreed. Now as I sit browsing late night, I see that this box set is available for almost 50USD. Gulp! Why do children’s books have to be so bloody expensive? Feel so bad that I am going to disappoint snubnose on this one 🙁

So, how do you get your kids to read? What books work/worked for your first-time little readers?

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  • I had one non-reader who series books worked for (while they lasted) but I gave both free rein at the library with the unsaid expectation that something was chosen and didn’t comment if I thought it was too young or too old. For the non-reader we chose lots of audio books, that way he got the vocabulary etc. without having to read but if I’m honest he read very little in the way of books. The irony is that he left school and promptly read all the classics and now belongs to a writers group!

    • Nishita

      @disqus_mUBrEiIQ5D:disqus haha thanks for sharing. That’s real irony. It’s quite likely that for kids there are so many distractions and such high energy levels that books are just not that exciting.

      • True and I guess what I’m trying to say is keep providing the opportunity to read but bear in mind you don’t really know the results until years later! My son admitted he hadn’t read one book he was supposed to at secondary school he used the internet to get the gist (and he did really well in his exams!) Not what I’d recommend but once the pressure to read was off from school he read all the books anyway, but he does have a contrary streak (can’t imagine who he inherited that from 😉 )

        • Nishita

          @Cleo: Yeah, pressure to read can be counter-productive. Great that he took to reading later on 🙂

  • veens

    Theze are all fantastic books, Nish! I am so happy she has the reading gene as well 🙂

    • Nishita

      @veens:disqus It’s not something that she naturally gravitates to though. There is a lot of coaxing involved. Piglet though is a different case altogether, I have to coax him into some other activity than being read to 🙂

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