Sunday, February 3, 2013

Calling All Early Readers

I love a great early reader.  As kids are learning to read, they want to feel a sense of independence and accomplishment.  They also want to tackle big kid books.  They feel proud when they can turn to the last page and know that they finished a book all by themselves.

Successful early reader books have few words per page and illustrations that help the child decode the words and understand the story.  They also have a fun narrative that is worth working through and some humor as a reward.

I am profiling three early readers that I love this week.  One I am reposting from a previous blog because it just won a very prestigious award, the Theodor Geisel, given to distinguished beginning readers - although all three are award winners or honorees.  An award doesn't necessarily mean your child will enjoy the book, but in the case of these three, I am pleased to say that they are both distinguished and appeal to children.

So let the reading begin!

Title:       Let’s Go for a Drive

Author:   Mo Willems

Target:    Preschool - Grade 1

Series:     Yes

Theodor Geisel Honor Book

What this book is about:
In the latest Elephant & Piggie book, Elephant decides that they need to go for a drive.  As they collect everything they need for the trip, they do not realize until the end that the one thing they are missing is, in fact, a car!  What will they do now?

Why I love this book:
First off these books are just fun and funny.  With only 6 words per page, Willems manages to create a wonderful storyline that is clever and complete.  The illustrations add so much to the story, and the fact that he has carried the fun to the inside book covers, just keeps the cleverness going!  Don’t forget to check them out.

Who this book is for:
These books are for children just learning to read.  Most of the words are simple and are repeated but he does throw in some challenge words.

Final thoughts:
Just when I think Willems may run out of ideas for these two fabulous friends, he comes up with a new and quick-witted story!

To purchase this book click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Let's Go for a Drive! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

Title:       Rabbit & Robot

Author:   Cece Bell

Target:    Kindergarten - Grade 2

Series:     Not yet

Theodore Geisel Honor Book

What this book is about:
Rabbit and Robot are friends.  When Rabbit invites Robot over for a sleepover, he makes a list of all the activities they will do.  When things don’t go as planned, Rabbit has a hard time adjusting.  But with the help of Robot, Rabbit finds that even if they can’t do everything on the list perfectly, they can still have a great time!

Why I love this book:
Think Frog and Toad for a new generation.  Rabbit is obsessed with following the rules, but Robot is able to show him that it’s ok to go with flow.  This is a nice message, especially for kids like mine who are obsessive about following requirements to the letter.  I wish they had a Robot to help them ease up a bit!

It is a cute story that shows the challenges and rewards of friendship without ever being preachy or feeling like a lesson.  

Who this book is for:
Kids starting chapter books.  The story is divided into four simple chapters.  There are lots of pictures, almost on every page, and a text that is not overwhelming.  

Final thoughts:
1. write blog, 2. eat lunch, 3. pick up kids - perhaps I am little more like rabbit than I would like to admit!

To purchase this book, click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

Title:        Up! Tall! and High!

Author:    Ethan Long

Target:     Kindergarten - Grade 1

Series:      Not at this point

Theodor Geisel Medal

What this book is about:
This book has three short stories that feature our bird friends.  The first story features the word “tall” and a bird tries to get in on the action by wearing stilts.  When he is called out, he puffs up his features and declares that he is indeed not small.  The second story is about the word “high” and the penguin laments that he cannot fly so he cannot go high.  However thanks the quick thinking of his friend, he is able to go very high.  The final story is about the word “up” and a bird sits up in a tree.  Unfortunately a friend decides to join him and that changes everything.

Why I love this book:
First I love it when books with few words are able to deliver a clever story with humor.  This is almost impossible to do, yet Long does it sooooo well.  I also love that the book has flaps that make the pages higher and lower at the appropriate times.  This just adds another fun dimension to the book.

The illustrations are bright, colorful and simple which will make the books very appealing to this age group.

Who this book is for:
Kids just learning to read, who are not yet ready for chapter books.

Final thoughts:
Clever and funny!

To purchase this book, click the following link to connect to Amazon: Up, Tall and High  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog!

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