The Animal Band. K?

INFO: Smith, Annette. The Animal Band. K?. 1998.

DESC: Another of the classic animal fables retold in simple leveled language, with a play at the end! Children may be quite familiar with the “Brementown Singers” tale, which makes this easy-to-read leveled story a great and wordier transition from the earlier reading levels. The repetitive plotline (each animal leaves its home because it has become too old to do its appointed job) and interesting “lesson” helps carry readers along – and it leaves lots of room for good discussion. Although the characters aren’t too well developed and seem interchangeable (typical fable), The Animal Band is a fantastic introduction to setting, plot, and theme – and especially setting, since the world in which the story is set (rural; largely reliant on animal labor, &c.) is so different from our own.

TAGS: fables, Aesop’s fables, animal band, animals, farm, farming, rural, singing, adventure, play, K, fiction

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Sly Fox and the Little Red Hen. L.

INFO: Giles, Jenny. Sly Fox and Little Red Hen. L?. 1998.

DESC: A good classic ballad with an easy-to-follow (and surprisingly delightful) plot that many children will already know from other folktales and fox/”trickster” tales in their classes. This book is one of the popular “fables” leveled reader series, and includes a play (with photos of children from New Zealand in terrifying masks) in the back. Since this story is in the style of a leveled reading book, but is a higher level read, it’s a comfortable and non-intimidating alternative to the more mature chapter books (Arthur, Marvin Redpost, Horrible Harry) that begin to crop up in these levels. Good for character motivation and plot sequencing, too!

TAGS: animals, fables, Aesop’s fables, fox, fox stories, trickster tales, folktales, folklore, easy read, easy readers, non-intimidating, short, fiction, L