10 of The Best Phonics Books To Help Your Child Read

Phonics is a really difficult concept for children to grasp, and every child develops at different rates. So you should never feel frustrated as a parent that you’re child isn’t progressing.

 

Phonics isn’t just about reproducing letter names and sounds; it’s the foundation for reading. So even if you’re child isn’t ready to read yet, phonics is still an important part of their development, and books are a fantastic resource to help with this.

 

Sitting down and reading a book together with your child is a fantastic way to introduce phonics to them in a fun and enjoyable way.

 

Louisa Smith is a primary teacher and book blogger for Epic Book Society, who has put together 10 of the best phonics books to help your little ones develop a love of reading and improve their phonics skills.

Why is Phonics Important?

 

But first, let’s quickly recap why phonics is essential. As mentioned earlier, it’s the first stage of your child’s reading journey. Whether your child is a toddler just learning to replicate sounds or learning to read whole sentences, all of this is the learning and demonstrating their phonics skills.

 

Phonics is the way in which sounds and letters are taught. It can be from recognizing individual letters and sounds to blending two-letter or three letters or whole words.

 

Of course, some words are not phonetic (or, as we educators call them, sight words), but understanding the principles of phonics is the first stage to becoming a fluent reader.

The 10 Best Phonics Books from Beginner to Advanced

 

Phonics takes years to grasp, and it’s not easy for children to learn. So no matter what age or ability your child is at, you’ll find a book that will help them on this list.

 

These are the best phonics books for children, listed from foundation phonics and early years phonics readers to advanced level phonics readers.

This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase one of these items, I will get a small percentage at no additional cost to you. Read full disclosure here. 

Beginner Phonics Books

 

At the beginner stage, children should only really be expected to understand letter names and sounds. They may also recognize some simple sight words such as “the” and “with,” but don’t be alarmed if they haven’t got this yet.

 

These are the best phonics books for beginners to help them learn their ABCs.

Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers

1.    Bob Books

Bob Books are a top choice for children at the early stages of their phonics journey. The books come in a box set, with around 12 books per set. Each book focuses on learning four letters and sounds.

 

This is a great resource for helping your child learn the alphabet (except Q), short vowel sounds, and common sight words.

 

Each book in the series gets gradually more challenging, but it’s important not to rush on to the next book if your child is still struggling with one, as this can knock their confidence.

 

The simple sentences help your child grow in confidence. And bright and colorful pictures accompany each word to help them learn through context.

 

Reader level: Foundation

Recommended Age: 3-6

 

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Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

2.    Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is an excellent resource for helping your child to learn their ABCs as the characters are the letters from the alphabet. It’s a vibrant book with a yellow cover that features many engaging and captivating colorful illustrations to keep your child’s attention.

 

This introductory book aims to help your child learn the letter names and sounds as they race each other to climb up a coconut tree.

 

This is a book that parents will need to read to their children. A pro tip is to point to the letters as their name comes up in the story. Then, ask your child to point to the letters too.

 

Reader level: Foundation – Beginner

Recommended Age: 3-6

 

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ABC: Alphabet Animals at Bedtime: Preschool rhyming bedtime ABC book (Funny bedtime stories for kids ages 3-5, early learning the alphabet of English) (Cute children's ABC books 1)

3.    ABC: Alphabet Animals at Bedtime

 

Similar to Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, the Alphabet Animals at Bedtime story aims to teach children the letter names and sounds through story and rhyme.

 

Each animal is given a letter, such as A for alligator and E for elephant, which helps your child to remember the letter and corresponding sound.

 

And to keep them engaged, the illustrations are incredibly cute, too.

 

Reader level: Beginner

Recommended Age: 3-6

 

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Intermediate Phonics Books

When a child has recognized all the letters and sounds, they should be ready to move on to blending letters.

 

At the intermediate phonics stage, they should only be expected to blend two letters, such as “an” or “at,” and recognize simple sight words.

 

They can move on to three when they have mastered blending two sounds. They should also be looking to recognize more sight words at this stage.

 

Here are the best phonics books for intermediate phonics learners.

Peppa Phonics Boxed Set (Peppa Pig)

4.    Peppa Phonics

Children love Peppa Pig, so to have Peppa help them with their phonics journey is a great way to keep them engaged and entertained.

 

These phonics books focus on blending two-letter words and introducing more complicated diagraphs such as the “th” sound, so it would be perfect for intermediate phonics readers ready to start their blending journey.

 

The recommended reading age in this book is 3-5, but without parental help, I doubt a child of 5-6 can work out these blends independently.

 

Reader level: Intermediate

Recommended Age: 5-7

 

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An Ant - Learn to Read, Book 1, Home School Version: By REAL Phonics

5.    An Ant: Learn to Read

 

If your child is capable of recognizing letters and sounds, they might be ready to start blending.

 

An Ant is a great resource for the initial stages of blending sounds, as it features only simple three-letter words with the same sounds throughout, so your child can learn through repetition and practice.

 

It’s also a great first introduction to simple sight words such as ‘the’ and ‘with,’ which are not phonetic words.

 

The story is simple and comes with colorful illustrations to help your child figure out a word if they are struggling. This is the perfect first step to blending sounds.

 

Reader level: Upper Beginner – Lower Intermedia

Recommended Age: 3-6

 

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Learn to Read: Phonics Storybook: 25 Simple Stories & Activities for Beginner Readers (Learn to Read Ages 3-5)

6.    Learn to Read: Phonics Storybook

The Learn to Read storybook is a great resource for helping your child blend two letter sounds and practice writing letters. It helps them blend sounds, develop motor skills, and practice writing.

 

The stories are short and simple, so it’s not overwhelming for children. There are also some activities in the back that help children recognize sounds.

 

A pro tip is to read a sound and ask your child to color the sound they think they heard (make sure to choose sounds in the story).

 

Reader level: Intermediate

Recommended Age: 3-6

 

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Advanced Phonics Books

 

Once a child has learned to blend sounds and recognize basic sight words, they are ready to start spelling. This is much harder than reading, as it requires a child to remember sounds from memory.

 

Here are some of the best phonics books for advanced phonics learners to help them with their spelling.

The Berenstain Bears 12-Book Phonics Fun!: Includes 12 Mini-Books Featuring Short and Long Vowel Sounds (My First I Can Read)

7.    The Berenstain Bears 12-Book Phonics Fun

The Berenstain Bears Phonics Books are great for reading on a rainy day. This box set comes with 12 phonics books that aim to teach short and long vowel sounds, as well as simple sight words.

 

As children learn to read, they are also taken on adventures with The Berenstain Bears, who make learning phonics fun and engaging for children.

 

Each page in the book features short sentences of only a few words, but it requires them to learn from sight words such as “on” and “the.”

 

If your child is struggling, see if they can use the picture to help them figure out what the word might be.

 

Reader level: Upper Intermediate – Advanced

Recommended Age: 4-6

 

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Word Detective, Grade 2: 130 Games and Puzzles to Improve Spelling

8.    Word Detective Puzzles (Grade 2)

 

If your child is confident with reading and blending sounds, then they may be ready to move on to spelling. However, spelling is much more complicated than reading, as it requires you to decode sounds in your head without visual aid.

 

A great way to help your child with spelling is with a ‘word detective’ book. This book of word searches, crosswords, word scrambles, and other activities provides a visual aid to your child as they learn to spell words.

 

It helps bridge that gap between visually understanding where letters are placed and being able to spell by memory.

 

Reader level: Upper Intermediate – Advanced

Recommended Age: 7+

 

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Learn to Read: Sight Words Storybook: 25 Simple Stories & Activities for Beginner Readers (Learn to Read Ages 3-5 Book 1)

9.    Learn To Read: Sight Word Story Book

 

If your child is confident with blending, they may be ready to move on to learning sight words.

 

Sight words are words that do not have a phonetic pattern, and the only way to learn these is by memory.

 

A great resource to help your child learn sight words is a sight word activity book.

 

This Learn to Read Sight Word story book is fantastic as it has a short narrative featuring the sight word, and then immediately followed by an activity designed to aid their memory of the word.

 

Reader level: Upper Intermediate – Advanced

Recommended Age: 7+

 

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PAW Patrol: The Movie: Back on Track! (PAW Patrol) (Step into Reading)

10. Paw Patrol: Step Into Reading

 

Children love Paw Patrol, and learning to read and spell by some of their most beloved characters is a great way to get them engaged.

 

Although these phonics books aim to teach children to blend two and three letters, they also focus on long vowel sounds.

 

Long vowel sounds are hard for children to learn as there are different letter variations of the same sound, and there’s no way of remembering the correct spelling without memorizing them.

 

So, these Paw Patrol phonics readers are an excellent resource for teaching long vowel sounds. And because the story is fun and engaging, they will love reading them over and over again.

 

Repetition is one of the best ways children learn, so choosing a phonics book that interests them is always a bonus.

 

Reading level: Advanced

Recommended Age: 7+

 

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Final Word on the Best Phonics Books

 

So there you have it, 10 of the best phonics books to help your child with their phonics journey!

 

Remember that all children learn at different paces, and there is no one shoe fits all approach to learning phonics. Phonics is hard for children, so be patient and don’t rush them.

 

If you’re struggling to get your child interested in phonics, choose books together. An interest in their reading goes a long way in helping them with their phonics journey.

 

Hopefully, these top 10 books will be a useful resource for both parents and children.

 

 

 

 

Louisa Smith is a primary school teacher and English as a Second Language teacher who spent several years teaching phonics to children. When she’s not teaching, she can be found writing about books she loves on her book blog, Epic Book Society.