Introductory Chapter Book Companions Have Arrived at Read to Them!

The magic of a One School, One Book program happens when every student is enjoying the same story across your school. For some of your families, however, the length or complexity of your chosen novel might make it hard for them to participate. To support these families, Read to Them has added five Introductory Chapter Book Companions to our book list. These Introductory Chapter Book Companions feature some of our favorite characters in stories with simpler plots and vivid illustrations. 

An Introductory Chapter Book Companion title:

  • extends your reading program to include families needing more literacy support (such as families of younger students, ESL students, or students with special needs)
  • includes a full complement of school and family materials.
  • coordinates easily with full-length titles to maintain the beauty of a whole school reading together.

These Introductory Chapter Book Companions can also be used independently of the full-length novels for a One School, One Book program – perfect for schools looking for simpler, shorter texts. Take a look at the five new Introductory Chapter Book Companions and the novels they’re paired with below:  


Humphrey’s Playful Puppy Problems by Betty G. Birney

Everyone’s favorite classroom hamster stars in an illustrated early chapter book series, Humphrey’s Tiny Tales. In this first book of the series, Richie takes Humphrey home for the weekend to be the centerpiece of his science project, and the helpful hamster is happy to be of service. But when Poppy the playful puppy wrecks Richie’s presentation, it will take Humphrey’s ingenuity to save the day.

The Tiny Tales books feature Humphrey’s insights and tenacity found in the longer Humphrey novels, pared down to a one-story arc. The Priscilla Burris illustrations will support your families as they become friends with the always-lovable Humphrey.

The World According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney

A favorite Read to Them title, The World According to Humphrey is sure to provide your families with a fun and memorable reading experience. Humphrey is the class pet in Mrs. Brisbane’s Room 26 at Longfellow School. He loves to be helpful, especially when he travels home for the weekend with his human friends. Come along with Humphrey as he opens the lock-that-doesn’t-lock on his hamster cage and gently guides children and adults alike.

Friendship According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney 

The fun, fun, fun and lesson-learning that Humphrey has to offer continues in the second book of the series with the introduction of a new class pet, Og the Frog. As Humphrey figures out how to befriend his new colleague, he helps several students in Room 26 with their friendship challenges, too.


Aven Green Baking Machine by Dusti Bowling

Eight-year-old Aven Green is an expert baker and one funny kid. Not having arms doesn’t slow her down, and she’s learned to navigate everything from cracking eggs to opening doors without them. Learning to navigate friendships, however, is a little more tricky. Journey with Aven as she explores how to make milk barfi and how to be as good a friend as she is a baker!

The Aven Green series introduces families to Aven’s tenacity and wit with a simpler story and supporting illustrations by Gina Perry. The themes of friendship and perseverance link this book to the longer Aven novel, Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, providing all of your families with plenty to talk about.

Insignificant Events in the Live of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling 

Elementary school Aven from Baking Machine is now a middle schooler, and her family has moved to Arizona. Back home in Kansas, everyone was used to her lack of arms. But being a new kid in a new school is doubly difficult when you have a physical difference. Lucky for Aven, she finds kindred spirits in Connor and Zion, and together they solve a mystery and build a beautiful, unforgettable friendship.


Trouble at School with Marvin and James by Elise Broach

The unusual friends, James (a boy) and Marvin (a beetle), star in this illustrated early chapter book series, The Masterpiece Adventures. In this story, James takes Marvin to school so he can experience Art Class with the wonderful Mr. Chang. Drawing with pastels is grand, but the cafeteria is not. Luckily for Marvin, a helpful cockroach and a loyal boy save him from the dumpster, giving him the chance to reflect on the value of new experiences.

Elise Broach’s books present themes of friendship and perseverance with a bit of art appreciation and a dash of suspense. The Masterpiece Adventures series supports families, providing a simpler storyline and Kelly Murphy’s illustrations throughout, while maintaining all the novelty of seeing the world through the eyes of a beetle.

Masterpiece by Elise Broach 

A beetle artist who can make perfect copies of Dürer miniatures. A boy who pretends to be the artist. And an art thief who is determined to own all of Dürer’s Virtues. Can the boy and the beetle solve the mystery? Come along on this adventure to see how two very different creatures become best friends as they work together to save the art and thwart the thief.


Fenway and the Bone Thieves by Victoria J. Coe

Fenway charms his humans into buying him the perfect treat – a bone! He is so excited to enjoy his bone, but first he must protect it from those evil squirrels lurking in the backyard Dog Park. Fenway is certain the rodents will steal his bone if he isn’t vigilant. The good news is he finds the perfect hiding place. The bad news? He can’t seem to remember where that perfect hiding place is…

The Make Way for Fenway series shows you the world through the eyes of the same funny Jack Russell terrier that readers love in Fenway and Hattie. It is a briskly paced, tightly constructed story, and Joanne Lew-Vriethoff’s illustrations bring the tale to life.

Fenway and Hattie by Victoria J. Coe

 Life can be hard for a dog who just wants to protect his favorite short human from scary UPS drivers and evil squirrels. Luckily, Fenway is up to the challenge. As families read this story told from Fenway’s point of view, they just might find themselves understanding the perspective of other humans, too.


Bookmarks Are People Too! by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

Second grade Hank is excited – and a little scared – to try out for the class play. Reading is challenging for him, and there are so many lines to learn for the lead part of Aqua Fly. When the audition doesn’t go well, Hank wins the role of a bookmark. But leave it to the quick-witted Hank to make that part shine.

In the Here’s Hank series, Winkler and Oliver present a younger version of Hank Zipzer who is just as endearing and hapless as he is in the Hank Zipzer series. Printed in the Dyslexie font with Scott Garrett’s humorous illustrations, Bookmarks Are People Too! will have your families cheering Hank on at every turn.

Niagara Falls, or Does It? by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver 

Fourth grade is off to a rocky start for Hank: the strict Mrs. Adolf is not charmed by his wit, and the principal is getting tired of seeing him in the office. Hank is sure that his fortune will improve when he constructs a papier-mâché model of Niagara Falls – complete with rushing water. What could possibly go wrong? Lucky for Hank he has some great friends, an experienced and understanding grandpa, and an empathetic new teacher to help him through all the chaos that ensues.

Which one of our Introductory Chapter Books are you must excited to read with your school community? Let us know in the comment section below.


Leave a Comment


To get the latest Read To Them content

Read More