Recommendations for Graded Readers🙏

Hi y’all cool crabs and alligators,

Thanks to you all WaniKani-ans, earlier this year, I published Japanese Books For Upper Beginners. Seems like Tofugu readers have been enjoying the recommendations from their fellow Japanese learners.

This time, I’m planning to write an article to introduce graded readers to absolute beginners, and I’d love your recommendations! I’ve created a survey for this, so please tell me about your faves.

Here’s the survey link:

Graded Reader - Japanese Graded Readers for Absolute Beginners Survey :closed_book:

Before starting the survey, please read the following:

What level of beginners am I asking about?

I am thinking beginners around JLPT N5, Tadoku L0-L1, WaniKani Level 1-10. Beginners who are not quite ready to read native content, but want to start getting familiar with reading Japanese text with graded readers.

What kind of graded readers am I asking for?

  • Graded readers designed for second language learners of Japanese.
  • Doesn’t have to be a “book.” It can be online content/apps, etc.
  • When you recommending a series of graded readers like にほんご多読ブックス series, please also be specific about which volume/story/episode(s) that you’ve enjoyed the most as many graded readers are a collection of a bunch of short stories.
  • Submit more than one if you have multiple favorites :heartbeat:

I’m planning to keep this survey open for a couple weeks at least, and see how things go! Let me know if you have any questions. Thank y’all!


Of the things I’ve tried I keep going back to Clay and Yumi

They have complete beginner to more advanced, and are good at marking it so you know (also a very affordable price!) but what they have that many don’t is a translation with detailed notes so you get to learn new words without tediously looking up (and adding details that might not be covered in a dictionary anyway)
You get the text as a whole, so can read it without distraction, then do the notes, and read it again to see if you understand more.

Sometimes I’ve left with “did I really understand that right?” from other readers.

Edit: Sent a recommendation for Frank and the Obaasan, as that is the one aimed at the complete beginner level=)


I must say though, this one gets a special mention cause of reasons :wink:


I know 庭には二羽鶏がいる ー にわにはにわにわとりがいる (there are two chickens in the yard) but this is my first time hearing about the ワニ version!:joy::crocodile:


Graded readers fitting in wordplay. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: