"In a day and age when so many kids have problems with dyslexia, why not make it a little easier to read?" asks Carol Chittenden, owner of Eight Cousins Children's Books in Falmouth, Mass., who has recently begun keeping a list of titles and editions that use larger type.

"One of the characteristics I observe with middle-grade and middle-aged readers is how their faces light up when I show them a book with a large typeface," she says, "and how worried they look when the type is smaller than expected. Some pages just look friendlier than others," she adds, noting that many books are bought by grandparents, who also appreciate larger typefaces.

Her list of big-type titles starts off with Laura Ingalls's Little House in the Big Woods in the special read-aloud edition, which, she says "sells more often for solo reading than group use," and Walter R. Brooks's Freddy the Detective books, her own childhood favorite.