The Coral Reef. H.

INFO: Economos, Christine. The Coral Reef. H. 1999.

DESC: This cheerful, navigable non-fiction piece is a splendid introduction to coral reefs for budding readers. It presents many new creatures and ideas in an easy-to-read structure, with one or two sentences per page, and big, bright full-color photo accompaniments. Students will enjoy the names of coral reef creatures – like “yellow tang fish,” “clownfish,” and “green lettuce slug.” This one makes written reflections about “what have you learned?” a cinch!

TAGS: coral reefs, oceans, fish, scuba diving, ocean, ocean life, non-fiction, H

Scared at Night! H.

INFO: Charren, Deborah. Scared at Night! H. 2001.

DESC: One of the more amusing of the early levelled readers. This two-chapter book with live-action (looks like throw-away camera, c. 1991) stills chronciles the life of young Kai, who is terrified of the dark. Kai confronts his many monsters (with the help of his dad), and eventually finds a great solution for camping, regardless of the spooky noises! 2nd graders will identify with Kai’s fear and paranoia; and will appreciate the goofy and over-the-top photo accompaniments throughout!

INFO: fear, scary, spooky, scared of the dark, camping, friendship, family, monsters, monsters?

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

Space Ant Goes Home. H.

INFO: Warren, Celia. Space Ant Goes Home. H?. 2000.

DESC: This computer-illustrated, levelled book is definitely a bizarre read. It stars a “space ant” who is exploring other planets, and meets a number of mixed-up creatures – like “Tigeroo” and “Elebird”; and then they go to a Purple Planet, which turns out to be Space Ant’s home! Other than these elements, the book has little coherence of plot, and really was not the best to read with students – it’s a little too “out there” to make much sense; but nice try! Some students, though, might find it funny; or could suggest their own re-writes!

TAGS: aliens, outer space, home, mixed-up animals, space-ships, space travel