All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools
that you may use with readers at the start of their reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.
In 2016, I wrote a few posts about early readers. In case you missed them or would like a re-read, I am sharing links here.
April 13, 2016 - Between Picture Books and Middle Grade Novels: Books for New Readers
April 21, 2016 - Between Picture Books and Middle Grade Novels: Early Readers and Leveled Books
May 5, 2016 - Between Picture Books and Middle Grade Novels: Beyond Levels
As a Literacy Specialist, I work with classroom teachers especially at the primary level. One of the biggest challenges, I hear from teachers is how to find "just right" books for those students just beginning to read independently. A year or so ago, I discovered a series produced by Holiday House Books for Young Readers.
I Like to Read: A Picture Book Series for Emerging Readers - You can read more about the series on the Holiday House website. Below I have included a few titles and some interior shots. The challenge with books that are written with very specific patterns and controlled language often make for a less than entertaining book - for adults. Children who are learning to read their first book have a different perspective on what is considered entertaining and both the illustrations and text in these books will engage readers.
Holiday House has done an admirable job in creating this series of books that are available in hardcover, paperback (usually at a later date), and in e-book format and are perfect for children just beginning to independently read a book.
Big Cat by Ethan Long (Holiday House, February 2016)
About this title: Ethan Long's newest easy reader is for true beginners, offering laughs, a lovable and patient cat, and the simplest vocabulary possible. Two rowdy siblings love playing with their oversized kitty. They wake him up from a nap so he can fly and dance around the room while being smothered with hugs. But as Big Cat endures his final humiliation—being dressed in a wig, hat, and high heels—it's apparent that despite the discomfort, Big Cat loves his family. Long's long-suffering, big-bellied, feline is sure to charm readers. His understated text and hilarious characters with looney expressions will have readers rolling on the ground.
Each page in BIG CAT follows the pattern seen here with the change of one word at the end.
Pug by Ethan Long (Holiday House, July 2016)
About the book: "Yap, yap, yap!" Pug sees Peg through the window. He wants to join her! Why won't anyone take him on a wonderful snowy walk? Mom is just too comfortable in her recliner. Dad is tired from shoveling. That leaves lazy Tad, who is still sleeping. "Yap, yap, yap!" insists a determined and clever Pug. Theodor Geisel Award-winner Ethan Long uses his trademark wit and energy to make this simple story for the newest readers memorable and hilarious.
PUG is similar to BIG CAT is sentence pattern. Ethan Long is skilled at creating an entertaining read with limited sentence patterns and vocabulary.
Grace by Kate Parkinson (Holiday House, January 2015) - This title has a little more complexity than the two titles by Ethan Long.
About this title: Grace's name may be a bit of a misnomer, for graceful she is not. She wants to be a ballerina, but dancing is not her forte. "Give it up, Grace," the other girls tell her. Saddened, Grace turns to drawing—and when she does, she starts to feel better. Grace is good at drawing and the other girls love her artwork. Grace finds a way to be part of the ballet using her true talent—she paints the sets! But the indefatigable Grace also keeps dancing in this easy reader that encourages youngsters to celebrate their own special gifts.
Here is Big Bunny by Steve Henry (Holiday House, January 2017) Now available in paperback.
About this title: In this urban adventure filled with more than one hundred fifty colorful animal characters, readers may notice something funny about the bright, energetic scenes. As critters roam through the city, each spread has a clue: a huge hand, a gigantic foot, a big tail, an enormous ear . . . What do these clues add up to? Big Bunny the oversized balloon, who sails down the street with a smile on his big face! Spot him in the background at the museum, the library, even the toy store. Playful art inspired by illustrators Hilary Knight and Garth Williams, as well as modern artists Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder and Henri Matisse, features bold colors and detailed cutaways.
The newest books in the I Like to Read Series come out at the end of the month and I hope to catch a glimpse of them and others at ALA Midwinter.
Pip Sits by Mary Morgan (Holiday House, January 27, 2017)
About this title: Mother Duck asks Pip to sit on her eggs for a bit. As soon as Pip sits, he hears a tap! The chicks are hatching! The chicks follow Pip, even when Mother Duck returns. Oh no! They think Pip is their mother! With charming art and a sweet, simple text, Mary Morgan tells a fun and touching story about mistaken identity, childhood adventures, and motherly love.
And the other title for Early Readers....
Peeper and Zeep by Adam Gudeon (Holiday House, January 30, 2017)
About the book: When Peeper the little bird and Zeep the young alien meet after a tumble from the sky, Peeper breaks his wing and Zeep breaks his spaceship. They must band together to figure out a way home. With the help of the innovative but eccentric A. Frog, the three friends try various machines to get Peeper and Zeep off the ground and back home. One machine leaves them stuck in a pond. Another leaves them stuck in a tree. So the three friends cooperate to design an alternate solution. Peeper and Zeep learn the meaning of patience, persistence, friendship, and family.
Look for the I LIKE TO READ series at your local indie bookstore or public library or available through on-line distributors.
If you have a post to link up, please do so below. We look forward to learning with you.