Posts tagged ‘beginning reader’

DON’T BE A CHICKEN

Chicken Wants to Roller Skate

Written by Elsa Takoda

Illustrated by Catherine Toennisson

This beginning reader has a lot going for it. The protagonist is a chicken who wants to do more than an average chicken. She decides that roller skating looks like fun. Chicken lays out the steps necessary to roller skate and proceeds to try. After falling down and feeling bruised, chicken gives up just as many children might do. When Cat begins to chase her, Chicken decides to try once more. Sometimes one must take a risk in order to succeed.

Toennisson’s illustrations are humorous and cartoon-like, perfect for young readers. Takoda uses onomatopoeia effectively. Children will love reading the book aloud and imitating the sounds as they learn the vocabulary words. Recommended for all beginning readers, but I think readers in the five to seven year age range will enjoy it most. Look forward to reading more of this series.

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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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ARE THESE BOOTS MADE FOR WALKING?

Bossy Boots

Written by Steve Ellis

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Cute early chapter book for beginning readers. Sophie has just finished shopping with her mother who has bought her a new pair of shoes. Suddenly a mischievous pup steals one of her shoes; she finds her naked foot standing in a puddle. An old woman in the store comes to the rescue by coming up with a pair of boots in a box behind the counter. When Sophie tries the boots on, she hears a squeaky voice. Sophie finds herself running down the street disrupting traffic, walking up and down the walls in her room and generally wreaking havoc. Of course Sophie now secretly gets a bit of pleasure from her talented feet. One day, the inevitable happens when the boots become too small for Sophie’s feet. What will happen to Sophie now? Will the mischievous boots find a new owner or will they be condemned to life in a box behind the counter?

I would recommend this book for children ages six and older. The illustrations interspersed within the chapters enhance understanding of the story. This humorous and easy to follow plot also makes the book a good choice for reluctant readers or children with special needs.

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WHAT’S IN A NAME?

The Chronicles of Ragnar Rabbit Book 1 How I Got My Name

Written and illustrated by Melinda Kinsman

Ragnar Rabbit,pic

Funny and clever early reader done in the format of a graphic novel. Protagonist is a stuffed rabbit nicknamed Raggy; the real story is how he got his name Ragnar. One day Raggy’s human owner, Max, goes to the library with his grandpa. They return home with a book about Vikings. Max and Raggy begin to act out Viking adventures. Max builds a Viking ship with the help of his parents and Raggy.

The next day, they are about to launch their ship when Raggy is whisked away by a vulture. I won’t give away the plot, but I can say Raggy will encounter a Ninja, and a helicopter before being kidnapped again. Max is disconsolate; the family searches for two weeks. At the end of the story, readers are still unaware of the whereabouts of Raggy, now named Rangar in honor of a famous Viking warrior. What has happened to the dedicated stuffed rabbit? Will he be reunited with Max? Guess we will find out in Book 2.

The simple vocabulary and speech balloons allow early readers to master the text and follow the emotions of the characters, including the adorable ants who comment and have their own little adventures while following Max and Raggy. Nice bedtime story, but particularly recommended for reluctant readers or as a beginning reader for ages four through seven.

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THIS CAT IS NO RAT

The Amazing, Super Secret, Undercover Life of Roscoe the Cat

Written by Richard Kelley

Photographs by Sherrill Kelley

RoscoetheCatpic

This short adventure is the story of a cat who leads a double life as a secret agent. At the beginning of the tale the reader meets Roscoe and his sibling, Olive who have been rescued from a shelter. They have some difficulty adjusting to life with the resident house cat, Cayenne, but soon all become friends. Roscoe finds the life of a house cat very comfortable. Still, Roscoe is a very strange cat in one respect; at night he becomes a secret agent prowling the area to solve whatever mischief is afoot.

One night Roscoe notices a small tear in the cat food bag in the laundry room. He leaves his fellow cats to guard his warm bed spot and investigates. He thinks he knows the culprit but does not confront him. The mystery continues for a few nights until Roscoe discovers that a rat has been stealing the food. At first he is determined to kill him, but after looking the rat in the eye, he changes his mind. Roscoe discovers that the rat was cold and hungry so he broke in to find shelter and survival. Remembering his earlier fate, Roscoe persuades all the cats in the household to befriend him.

Okay, this does sound a bit ridiculous that a cat who is the natural enemy of the rat would suddenly let him off the hook. However, the book does teach children that we can have empathy for those we have been taught are our enemy and all of us have the same basic needs and wants for survival. This book is filled with adorable photographs that children and adults will enjoy. Young children will delight in the book as a read aloud. It also makes a good beginning reader for children in the early elementary grades.

The author is a medical doctor who is also a fitness expert. He has written books on health and the Christian faith. Kelley now has expanded his writing interests to include children’s books. If you and your family love cats, this book might be a good choice.

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SEARCHING FOR MOMMA

Terry Treetop and the Lost Egg

Written by Tali Cami

Illustrated by Cindy Liang

TerryTreetopandlosteggpic

This is another book in a series from the Happy Inspired Children’s Books Collection featuring an endearing young boy named Terry Treetop because he loves climbing trees. In this one, Terry has found an egg lying on the ground. He vows to protect it at all costs until he can locate the mother. Terry meets several animals on his journey including a turtle, alligator, frog , hen and parrot. Along the way, the reader is introduced to the way each of these animals nourishes and takes care of its young. When Terry finally solves the puzzle and finds the true mother, he insists on remaining with the egg until it is hatched and the mother is present to take full charge.

The entire story is written in verse which works most of the time, but seems forced in a few instances. The illustrations by Mindy Liang are simple but drawn in bold deep colors to attract even the youngest reader. Children will learn a lot about how animals take care of their young as well as lessons of loyalty, empathy and kindness for our fellow creatures. This book is marketed for ages two through six; older children will have the patience to listen to the entire text which is a bit on the long side for a picture book. I read the kindle edition which was nicely formatted. As a bonus, the author offers a link to obtain a fun creative kit that can be downloaded as well as a preview of another book in the series titled, Terry Treetop Finds New Friends.

These books are a worthwhile addition to your bedtime story collection or useful as beginning readers for a child who has begun to read independently.

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