Help My Child to Read: 10 Print Salient Books for Your Emerging Reader

Help My Child to Read: 10 Print Salient Books for Your Emerging Reader

print salient books

What is Salient Print?

Salient Print is print that is purposefully noticeable, interesting and gets children’s attention. They want to focus on the print. This in turn, grows their awareness of print.

In print-salient books, print is enlarged, redundant, and catches the child’s eye(s) because the font may change in color, size, and direction. The print may also be embedded within the illustrations as a way to support the text.

If your child is an emerging reader, choosing print salient books will help him grow his awareness of print.

Some of my favorite print-salient books are the following:


Barnyard Banter by Denise Fleming

  • I use this with my toddlers because they love making the animal sounds! But, it’s also fantastic with preschoolers because they can look at the salient print (see image below) and realize that I am reading the text and making the sounds.

Barnyard Banter


Bunny Cakes
by Rosemary Wells

  • Simply adorable book with lots of embedded print in the text.


Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault


City Signs
by Zoran Milich

  • Similar to I Read Signs in that it’s a picture book that uses real photographs. I happen to like these photos even more though because the pictures are taken in real contexts (see image below –  “push” and “pull” on a door are accompanied with the hand movement).

push pull


Freight Train
by Donald Crews Classic book.

  • Great for the child who LOVES trains. There’s only a few words on each page and the words are color coordinated with the carts of the train. This makes memorizing the text easy for children and they get the feeling that they are actually reading!

freight trainI Read Signs by Tana Hoban

  • Actual photographs of popular signs and symbols. Can keep a copy of this book in your car and have your child play “I spy”.


I Stink!
By Kate and Jim McMullan

  • The print really jumps out in this funny picture book about a stinky garbage truck. It’s a pretty long picture book so it’s best for a child who has a strong attention span and is interested in garbage trucks. I would bet that a child who likes I Stink! would also like Feed the Woozle – an interactive board game. To learn more about it, please read my Toys post.


I Spy Letters by Jean Marzollo Play I’ll be honest, it’s not too hard to spy the letters in this book, but that’s the whole point! This beginner book is interactive and helps with letter recognition.


Mouse’s First Halloween
by Lauren Thompson


Planting a Rainbow
by Lois Ehlert

Can you think of any other print salient books to increase your child’s print awareness?

Looking for more information to help your emerging reader? Check out my Help My Child to Read Series.
Kimberly Scanlon, M.A. CCC-SLP is a speech language pathologist, an author and a mother. As the owner of Scanlon Speech Therapy, LLC, a unique boutique practice in Bergen County, Kimberly embraces individuality and treats the whole person. Her goal is to spread compassion, hope, and some speech, language and literacy tips one moment, one person at a time.  Her first book, My Toddler Talks: Strategies and Activities to Promote Your Child’s Language Development and her second book, Learning to Read is a Ball are available for purchase at online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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