Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Ben book recommendation

Tonight Ben and I started reading Ricky Ricotta...Jurassic Jackrabbits from Jupiter by Dav Pilkey. Now, I knew Dav is a boy favorite already through his other series and books (Captain Underpants, for example), but I hadn't read this series. I liked it - it had a good plot, it was short, managable chapters, it was funny (they even ring the doorbell on the evil bunny's rocket lair), and it had places where I could ask some good comprehension questions.

It also had this little section where the kids could flip the pages and create motion/animation. I liked that for two reasons: one, they had to read and follow directions to figure out how to make the page flip right, and two, it was highly motivational to get to that part. (SO SMART that Dav Pilkey!)

There were a few times where I could ask some vocabulary/conceptual questions such as: What is cloning? (Ben knew) and times where I could ask him to predict. There were some places for cause and effect...if the character does x, what will follow? or Why did z happen? I could also ask about character motivations and traits...I could ask inferential questions (questions where the answers are not exactly stated in the text...they have to use "clues" to figure it out).

I like books that hit all types of comprehension.

More importantly, Ben liked it. He immediately asked, "Can we get the other ones in the series?"

We read it in two sittings, one where he did most of the reading, and then the second, where I did most of the reading. It is about 120 pages, but there are large illustrations and the text is short snippets on the pages, or concentrated on one of the two spreads.

I think these would be great to add to that list of books from yesterday's blog. Now there is a girl character who saves the day, so your tomboyish gals will like that. It is, however, more geared to those guys in your life.

I have a stack of about 10 more that I am reading -- some new series, and some that I haven't read in a while. I will try and share some insights on those as I finish them.

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