I realized for kids who like the depth of picture book stories, like Eloise, easy readers are overly simplistic. While the idea of reading their own books is important, both of my boys wanted to move from picture books to detailed stories.
All of that to say, we love the Bad Kitty series in my house. The original Bad Kitty is cute and funny. Both boys laughed and asked us to read it again and again. The pictures are amusing and well done. In addition, it is also a more advanced alphabet book incorporating words a child would not be expected to know but can easily learn. After reading Bad Kitty, we immediately moved on to Poor Puppy.
Nick Bruel made a great choice in expanding the picture book into an easy chapter book series. The same humor is apparent in the stories. They are funny for kids but equally funny for the adults reading. The great pictures (although in black and white rather than color) run throughout the book which means for Eldest he can hear the story and still be invested in what's on the page. In addition, there is enough text to tell a whole story. I started reading Bad Kitty Gets a Bath the other night and after I left Boy2 finished reading the story on his own. We have not yet read Happy Birthday Bad Kitty but I foresee it in the near future.
If you can think of other series like Nick Bruel's which bridge the gap between graphic picture books and graphic chapter books, please share. We're always looking for more like it.