A good book we came across recently is Eve Garnett's "The Family from One End Street" (Frederick Muller, 1937; repr. Puffin Modern Classics 2010; 308 pp). Lots of pages, but generous leading and margins and good big print--it was well within Chico's (age 5 pretty soon 6) reach--maybe grade 3ish, 4ish, reading level? A very nice choice for an early "big" chapter book, in any case, with lots of charming line drawings by the author.

Garnett tells the story of the Ruggles family, Jo and Rosie and their seven children; he's a dustman and she's a washerwoman--money is very tight, but love is abundant and adventures and fun are everywhere. The children are extremely resourceful and enjoy a lot of freedom to explore; each child is the star of one chapter, while the final chapter is an adventure for the whole family (a long-awaited trip into London to see Uncle Charlie enter his cart horse--named Bernard Shaw!!--in a parade).

It's not a word I use often, but this book really is heartwarming--lovely and innocent and gentle, and just the ticket if you have a young one who's ready for a satisfyingly big book to read.