Dinosaur Fun Facts. F.

INFO: Keller, Ellen. Dinosaur Fun Facts. F. 1997.

DESC: This easy-to-read introduction to dinosaur life is an interesting starting point for early readers. The full-page illustrations literally act out the one sentence that graces each page. Students will definitely struggle with “real” dinosaur names, given here in full (e.g. “heterodontosaurus”) – these moments may be good opportunities to practice breaking unknown words down into chunks.

TAGS: dinosaurs, non-fiction, ancient reptiles, museums, easy readers, easy reads, K

The Gingerbread Man. K.

INFO: Smith, Annette. The Gingerbread Man. K. 1997.

DESC: Yet another classic-fables-retold-as-levelled-reading, with-a-play-at-the-end! This book is fantastic for resistant readers: it pairs the familiar plotline of the Gingerbread Man fable with dynamic, often quite funny illustrations; and the surprise and joy of the moment when the clever fox outfoxes the witty, rebellious Gingerbread Man (much to the shock of the Old Man and Woman) genuinely keeps kids engaged. As with the other fable-and-play books, these are wonderful transitions from shorter, less complicated leveled readers since they have a number of sentences on each page; but the character development and plotline are so simple and familiar that they build confidence with each turn of the page.

TAGS: fables, plays, gingerbread man, easy readers, easy reads, K?, fiction, fox stories, trickster tales

What a Trip, Amber Brown! N.

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INFO: Danzinger, Paula. What a Trip, Amber Brown! N. 2001.

DESC: Although it hails from acclaimed, hilarious and beloved Amber Brown maven Paula Danzinger (R.I.P., Paula!), What a Trip comes from Danzinger’s “A is for Amber” younger reader’s series. While the book makes for a Henry-and-Mudge-esque introduction to the world of Amber, it is very, very “young” feeling for a level N – if a student can handle What a Trip, Amber Brown, with its copious illustrations and much-reduced level of charming punnery, they can certainly handle – and benefit from – reading Amber Brown herself. Suggested for students in the K-L range – especially since Amber, here, seems to be about 5, rather than 7 or 8. While still recognizably Amber, the “very young reader” lens definitely clouds the potential appeal for our 2nd and 3rd graders. Still – great for getting some classic “Amber spirit” in the house for a quick one-or-two session read, or for any students who love summer, vacations, camping, or all three!

TAGS: amber brown, paula danzinger, summer, camping, mountains, pools, friendships, argument, vacation, summer vacation, easy readers, easy reads, quick, non-intimidating, N-runs-low, N, fiction

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

Roy at the Fun Park. H.

INFO: Hunt, Roderick. Roy at the Fun Park. H?. 1986.

DESC: This is a very early reader, with short sentences on each page and a repetitive structure that helps students predict what’s coming next. The plot is fairly uneventful – but at least it’s more exciting and familiar than the plots of many other early levelled readers. Roy and Grandpa’s insistence on eating, riding, and eating and riding (at the fun park) is just as hilarious as they are groan-worthy, and that makes the ending both satisfying and cute.

TAGS: grandpa, amusement parks, fun, adventure, family trips, vacation, nausea