Pickatale Reading Stages provide best-fit guidance for book selection as children develop skills and interests in reading. Prior to being given a stage, each book is carefully reviewed for format, language and phonics, vocabulary, sentence and paragraph structure, themes and subject matter, content complexity, and image or audio support.
Spanning eight stages, our framework offers progression for all readers: from those who are just learning to read, to proficient, independent readers. The stages approximately align with reading age, and they give an indication of demands on fluency, comprehension and reading stamina.
Learn more about the Reading Stages
For children who are just learning to read.
These short, simple, richly illustrated books spark wonder and encourage young readers to explore the magic of storytelling.
All stage 0 books include the option to read with narration and word highlighting, giving children the opportunity to enjoy books at their level before they’re able to read independently.
For children practising emerging reading skills and beginning to read with more confidence.
Stage 1 books often offer children a window on the world, providing ample opportunity for young readers to make connections to their own lives.
All books include the option to read with narration and word highlighting to support fluency and comprehension in emerging readers.
For children reading stage-appropriate texts silently or aloud.
Stage 2 books help develop reading stamina and consolidate reading skills in novice readers.
A variety of genres and styles encourage broad and diverse reading as children develop their own interests.
Pictures still heavily support engagement and understanding, and all books include the option to read with both narration and word highlighting.
For children who are reading independently with increasing confidence and accuracy.
Stage 3 books have fewer pictures, and children are encouraged to become increasingly reliant on fluency, comprehension and reading stamina.
Some stage 3 books contain short chapters, and books often include the option to read with narration to motivate transitional, struggling or reluctant readers.
For children who are reading silently for sustained periods of time.
Stage 4 books are increasingly diverse, offering a variety of subject matter for readers who are developing their own preferences.
More emphasis is given to the text than images, and many books have chapters. The books are often longer and language and vocabulary are more challenging.
For children who are reading a broad and diverse range of texts with confidence, comprehension and stamina.
Stage 5 books become longer and more challenging.
Books have longer chapters or sections, vocabulary is more sophisticated, and meaning is often more nuanced. The books may contain little or no image support.
For confident readers who are independently reading - and understanding - challenging books with perseverance.
Stage 6 books tend to be longer, and they might contain demanding language and cover more complex themes.
For high-ability readers who are able to independently read and understand long, challenging texts.
Stage 6+ books often contain complex technical or literary language and demanding vocabulary. Themes may be more mature.
Pickatale has been developed for children and all content is quality assured for children. Once you're subscribed to one of our pricing plans, no additional costs will be incurred and no indiscriminate products will be added.