Posts from the ‘read aloud’ Category

GETTING THROUGH FIFTH GRADE

Pi

Written by Lori Ann Stephens

Illustrated by Trevor Yokochi

Pierre Francois is a fifth-grade student who lives in Texas. As you may have guessed from the name, Pierre’s father is French. To his chagrin, Pierre spends his Christmas holiday in France with his grandparents. He tells his readers that he hates fifth grade because the boys are annoying and the girls are mean.

Readers follow Pierre’s troubles in school, his attempt to impress his friends by winning the spelling bee, his first crush on Cynthia, the new girl in school, and his disastrous camping adventure with school buddies. The book has a few simple illustrations. It is a pretty easy read, and I would categorize it as an early chapter book or a good choice for reluctant readers. Especially recommended for readers in grades three through six. Lots of humor and plenty of situations that they will find familiar.

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DANCING TO HER OWN TUNE

Willa the Ballerina

Written by Leela Hope

Willa the Wolf loves dancing ballet, but she feels that her fellow swan ballerinas are so much more talented than she. Cynthia, the lead swan, tells Willa that she looks like a fool and should leave the school. Willa goes off into the woods to have a good cry. She meets up with Tommy the Toad who encourages her to practice and not to worry. Once Willa stops worrying, she becomes a proficient dancer. Willa returns to the dance school before the recital. There will be a surprise in store for Willa and her readers.

This is a cute picture book that teaches preschoolers not to worry what others think, to work hard, and develop self-confidence. While it probably did not need to be written in rhyme, that makes it a good read aloud. Simple but effective illustrations convey the message. Recommended as a bedtime story or read aloud, especially for preschoolers but can be used with children a bit older.

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PERSEVERANCE PREVAILS

Charity’s Big Dreams

Written by La Keya Guy

Illustrated by Bryan Golden and Bryan Aguilar

 

Charity is a sweet, student who works hard and tries to do her best. When Mrs. Jones, her social studies teacher, announces that the top three students in each class will earn a trip to Washington, D.C., Charity is elated. Charity does everything possible to earn one of the spots. But one day, disaster strikes when a power failure causes her to be late for one of her exams. Despite her teacher’s encouragement, Charity is sure that she will not do well. She despairs, but ultimately perseveres and refuses to give up.

This book provides encouragement to children who have problems with self-esteem or lack of self-confidence. The illustrations are attractive and appealing. The book is targeted at a wide range of students, but the thirty-page length probably makes it most appropriate for children in the eight to ten-year-old age range.

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STICKING TOGETHER

Raffie and Friends – The Lunch Box Mystery

Written by VaLerie Irene

Illustrated by Amy Rottinger

 

This book contains adorable illustrations and simple text with a message important for children to assimilate and practice into their everyday lives. Raffi is a giraffe who has a fetish for grilled cheese sandwiches. One day he finds that he has misplaced his lunch box. Raffi meets animal friends like Marlon the Monkey, Torrey the Turtle and Owie, the Owl. Each friend contributes by using individual talents, Marlon makes Raffi laugh, and Torrey has infinite patience. Owie uses his logic to solve the mystery.

Children learn that friends stick together to help each other, and that patience and thinking things through will provide the answers we are seeking. This book is recommended as a picture book for younger children and a beginning reader for older siblings.

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LAUGHS GALORE

3-in-1 Jokes, Riddles & Tongue-Twisters for Kids

Written by Rob Hilario

 

 

This book contains roughly one hundred pages filled with one line jokes, riddles, and fun tongue twisters. It is written mainly for an elementary school age audience, but it would be enjoyed by kids of all ages. The book is divided into categories such as animals and pets, school and science, holidays, ghosts and monsters.

The book would provide lots of entertainment for children’s parties or fun for siblings and friends to quiz each other. Any child who loves jokes or practicing tongue twisters would enjoy this book as a gift. Recommended especially for ages six through twelve.

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I CAN DO IT!

Little Bunny – I Can

Written and Illustrated by Alexandra Dannenmann

Translated by S. Paterson

 

This is a cute little picture book for toddlers that features a little bunny as the protagonist. Each page features the bunny with an I can sentence that demonstrates skills mastered. Some of these skills are simple, like brushing teeth, getting dressed by oneself, and throwing a ball. Others are fanciful like taming lions and protecting a princess from a dragon. The book can serve as encouragement to acquire skills yet unlearned or as a self-esteem book rewarding toddlers for achieved goals.

Recommended as a read aloud or bedtime story for children ages two through four.

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AN UNEXPECTED REWARD

Hazelita And The Magic Broom

Written and illustrated by Hope Finning

Hazelita is a destitute, lonely old woman. Every day she wanders from village to village with her only valuable possession, an old broom passed down to her from her mother. At night she knocks on the door of a local inhabitant seeking a warm meal and a place to state. In return, she promises to sweep their home in gratitude for their kindness. Hazelita cries herself to sleep each night because she has no family to care for her. After a while, word spreads around that her broom is magic and that it will grant any wish the family requests.

One evening she comes to a family headed by Thomas who goes out of their way to shower kindness upon Hazelita. The next day, they refuse to allow her to sweep as she is their honored guest. But Hazelita is horrified to discover the next day, that her broom has lost its magic. What will happen to Hazelita now that she cannot pay for her room and board? The answer lies in kindness rewarded. Read the book to find out how.

This book teaches children the value of community responsibility and the lesson that we should not expect rewards for everything we do. I would recommend the book to elementary and middle-grade students.

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