Ring, Susan. Wind, Water, Ice. K. 1999.
This book covers the basics of geology and land formation—canyons, beaches, glaciers and lakes, mountains and volcanoes, caves, and deserts. Index at the back.
TAGS: Nonfiction, geology, earth, glacier, Michigan, grand canyon, beach, volcano, desert, k
Yolen, Jane. Commander Toad and the Intergalactic Spy. K. 1986.
Commander Toad and his loyal crew of amphibians must rescue his cousin, the famous spy Tip Toad, from a spy training planet—if they can figure out which spy is really Tip Toad! The goofy spies and their funny schemes and scenarios are quite funny, but many of the pop-culture puns are very dated (Laugh-In, anyone?) and will go far over heads.
TAGS: Fiction, science fiction, outer space, aliens, spies, commander toad, puns, funny, k
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
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
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
INFO: Rylant, Cynthia. Henry and Mudge and the Bedtime Thumps. J. 1991.
DESC: Another adorable and charming number in Cynthia Rylant’s Henry and Mudge repertoire. “Bedtime Thumps” is a great read for anyone just emerging from leveled readers – its short, funny, and narratively linked chapters and lush (especially in this installment!) watercolor illustrations make for a striking, wondrous reading experience. Not to mention that both Henry and Mudge are as loveable and believable as they are funny! In this book, Henry’s family goes to visit Henry’s grandmother waaaay out in the country. Her house is tiny – and cluttered. Poor, gigantic Mudge knocks over everything in sight – until he finally gets sentenced to staying outside. What will Henry do without his best companion? How will Henry protect Mudge, if Mudge gets scared? And just what might happen if it’s Henry who’s needing Mudge for company and comfort in this strange new rural environment?
TAGS: easy reader, easy read, full-color illustrations, pictures, fiction, henry and mudge, cynthia rylant, boy and dog stories, dogs, pets, travelling, visiting relatives, strange new places, grandparents, trouble, scared at night
INFO: Gibson, Bryless. Inside Caves. K. 2006.
DESC: A fascinating survey of the wide world of caves and cavings – with surprisingly detailed and ample text for a level “K” read. Recommended for the high-flying reader. Some students may get bored after a few pages – encourage them that this book guides them through not only underground caves, but caves under ice and under the sea! This text easily lends itself to a host of writing activities: comparing and contrasting different caves, making a “main idea/detail” box with one detail about each type of cave, &c. Also noteworthy is that this book details caving safety and rescue missions. Includes text features like an index and diagrams, and helpful critical thinking, vocab, and before/during/after questions for teachers.
TAGS: caves, geology, caving, the earth, non-fiction, underwater, ice, ocean, science, K