Children love to have their own “library” of books to read and re-read, and this is an excellent way to encourage reading skills. I have found some sites which have free mini-books that you can print and keep. These vary from very simple beginner books/readers, to books suitable for children in Grade 2 up.
This list has been checked/revised July 2013
dltk-teach.com/minibooks - free printable mini books, including a set of alphabet books. If you look in their kindergarten section, you can download tiny “itsy bitsy” alphabet books, and in their animal sections (or if you search for itsy bitsy books on their site), you can find appealing tiny books on bats, sharks, penguins, frogs, spiders and bears. Instructions to assemble the itsy bitsy books are at kidzone.ws/prek_wrksht/shapes/ib-books-photos.
There are also printable story pages at dltk-teach.com/fables/. This site has lots of other very good educational resources, too.
kizclub.com/stories This site has lots of readable and printable books which are perfect for beginner readers and primary school children - click on Level 1, 2 or 3 in the menu on the left. There are also beautiful picture props or "patterns" to use with re-telling favourite stories.
minibooks.scholastic.com Scholastic has a wide range of mini-book readers, which are levelled from easiest to harder books; they are illustrated and are excellent quality; some of these are free to download and print. You can select the most appropriate Grade level to find the list of titles, and the free books have a little red gift icon next to them.
ReadingA-Z.com also has an excellent range of levelled readers to print (some in colour). You can subscribe if you wish, but several titles (and other reading resources) are available as free samples. There are also free trial weeks available at times, where you may download quite a lot of books etc. learningpage.com (associated with www.ReadingA-Z.com/ Learning A-Z) has a series of over 20 illustrated “Tommy Tales” in book form for free download, in English or Spanish. These are suitable for children of around 8-10 years and would be good to encourage boys to read, as they follow the adventures of “the lovable rascal Tommy Tomkins and his friends”. There are also some more simple little mini books about animals, insects etc and some harder “flower children” mini books. You need to sign up to access the books, but it’s free and no hassles.
makinglearningfun - Emergent Readers to print for classroom or individual use, in various formats and on various topics, including favourite story books.
bbc.co.uk/cbeebies is an excellent site with lots of reading activities for young children. You can read story books online and many have a printable version (do a search for print + story).
NEW listing July-Aug. 2013:
education.com/worksheets has lots of printable worksheets; you can download 10 free sheets per month. If you do a search for 'mini books' you'll find some really cute, simple printable mini-books.
themeasuredmom.com has a collection of free, printable beginner readers with simple, appealing colour pictures. She also describes the features of the readers and how she uses them.
Amended listing July 2013:
homeboundbooks.com - no longer available, unfortunately
Tiny foldable books to make for beginner readers:
Here is a tiny book I have designed. Click on the picture to open the PDF to download.
These little books are quite fiddly to make, so most children will need adult help, but children love the small format.
Free instructions for assembly of tiny books are at the bottom of this page.
I have designed several other tiny books to print, but due to the expense of offering these for download, I have had to put them on a private page.
If you would like to donate $5 or more towards site expenses, you will receive a link to the private Premium page with the other tiny book and activity sheets etc for free download.
Most of the books have been designed in colour, but you can print/photocopy in black and white if you prefer, to save costs for classroom use.
All printables here or on the private page are for private/educational, strictly non-commercial use.
Here are pictures of the other tiny books I have designed. These are all available for download from the private premium page, accessible to those who support the site with a donation of just $5 or more.
My Animals Fruit
I'll Take You For a Ride Here is an Egg
This book is available in English (I'm Scared) and Italian (Ho Paura)*:
*(thank you to my friend Luigi for the Italian translation!)
Ready for School Insects