Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's Cold Outside, but Perfect for Reading

It 's been typical Winter weather here in Austin, with warm 40 degree days -- I know, it's warmer than other places and I am not shovelling snow to go anywhere! My boys and I have been reading a lot. We've tried a couple new series, and I wanted to tell you my thoughts, and theirs.

So I read a book called Rich by Nikki Grimes - I really liked it. It teaches kids to be themselves, and I later went to her website, which was really great. Her main character is a young African American girl, and I like that because there aren't a whole lot out there. I think girls would like this book and it is an early reader - say second grade, early third.

I also read Applewood Elementary -- First Day, by Nancy Krulik. It is an early reader, and deals with a boy who doesn't want to go to first grade. He resists enjoying school until they have an adventure with a class pet. I liked it - it was relatable, and had quite a bit of dialogue between kids - which would be perfect if your child needs to work on expression in fluency. You could take turns acting out the characters by reading their talk aloud.

If there is sibling rivalry in your home, your kids will like Horrid Henry by Francesca Simon. Henry loves playing pranks on his younger brother, Perfect Peter. I thought it was creative and funny, my boys were so-so on it. I don't know if it is because they don't have a lot of rivalry where they trick each other, but they didn't just LOVE it. There are just enough illustrations to support the reader picture what is happening without totally painting the scenario for them. I like books that entice them with a few pictures, but require them to still create the "movie" of the story in their minds. Ohh...I have got to talk about that tomorrow!

Ben and Matt both read Andy Shane Is NOT in Love by Jennifer Richard Jacobson. They laughed at the ending, and because both of them aren't into girls yet, could sympathize with Andy for being teased/accused of liking a girl in his class. The ending is a cute surprise. I like this for the ease of reading for early readers. There aren't too many words on a page, and there is a good amount of picture support for kids who are just starting chapter books.

Those are a few thoughts, we have several more to read that we got for Christmas!

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