Hmmm... I'm not familiar enough w/real easy readers--taugth SECOND grade, though. How about some of those classic "Little Critter" books?? I'll post this on Twitter and let you know if I get any response.
Wow...thanks! I've seen the Pigeon books, but never heard of Elephant and Piggie. This looks like what I've been looking for. I'll have to take a closer look into this series, but thanks for your help Pat and Michelle!
I find it more helpful to teach elements of fiction during chapter book read aloud time. Since their listening comprehension abilities are way ahead of their reading comprehension, I am able to use better literature that they wouldn't be able to read, yet they can understand. Rather than a passive "story time", I use my read aloud time for valuable vocabulary, sequencing, and story element lessons. The students never see this as work time, yet they are building valuable literacy skills.
Some chapter books I use with my first graders are: The Mouse and the Motorcycle, My Father's Dragon, and Mr. Pudgins.
It would depend on how struggling.
A great one for those just learning to read is No David.
My rule of thumb for beginning readers are five words a page, then ten words a page. (I teach kindergarten so most of my kids are just starting to read this time of year.) I usually go to the library, use my rule of thumb to gather 30-40 books that meet the criteria of 5 or 10 words, then let the kids themselves decide. What we decide for them doesn't matter as much as what they individually are interested in. The second criteria, of course, is can they read the books, and are they interested in them.
If you go with the 30-40 books, you'll certainly find some that they really like, and really want to read.
The rule of thumb (sorry, but I'm a rule of thumb kind of guy, sigh) is that you can read them books that are up to two years ahead of them that they will truly get; but if they are struggling they need lots and lots of reading. Sometimes books that we think, or know are too hard for them are just the books that set their little minds on fire and make them want to read that book. With my kids this year it was a book on sharks. It was non fiction, and a bit above most of them, but they made word cards and learned the words and worked and worked until nearly every one could read the book.
Some of my favorite books to read to kids are Hats for Sale, Tikki Tikki Tembo, and most especially A New Coat for Anna. I sometimes find that when a book resonates with me, I pass that excitement along when I read it enough so that it resonates with kids. But not always! I personally can't stand No David, but my kids love it.
And they read it over and over.
So, that's my two bits, for what it's worth.