5 favorite early chapter books

Maddie and Mabel by Kari Allen, illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss

Published by Kind World Publishing

Two independent sisters work, play, fight, and make up without adults around to mess things up.

Cornbread and Poppy by Matthew Cordell

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Cornbread’s careful planning and Poppy’s spur-of-the-moment adventurousness prove to be a good mix for a successful friendship.

The Puppy Problem by Laura James, illustrated by Charlie Alder

Published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Gizmo helps his friend solve her puppy problem in this series opener about a dog-run newspaper called The Daily Bark.

Zara’s Rules for Record-Breaking Fun by Hena Khan, illustrated by Wastana Haikal

Published by Salaam Reads

Zayd Saeem’s sister Zara gets her own series with a book inspired by Beverly Cleary’s stories about neighborhood kids.

Sir Ladybug by Cory Tabor

Published by Balzer + Bray

Sir Ladybug is a modest knight who likes to hang out with his friends, Pell, a roly poly bug who serves as his herald, and Sterling, his trusty squire, who’s a snail with a shell that’s bigger on the inside than the outside. 

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