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Recommended School Stories: Easy Readers and Chapter Books

cheng_year of the book

Cheng, Andrea The Year of the Book 148 pp. Houghton 2012. ISBN 978-0-547-68463-5 Illustrated by Abigail Halpin. Nine-year-old Anna, who always has her head stuck in a book, sometimes uses reading as a shield against social exclusion (of the specialized fourth-grade-girl kind) and her own lack of confidence. Cheng’s telling is as straightforward yet sympathetic […]

Welcome, new readers!

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Four welcome books — two easy readers and two beginning chapter books — invite new readers in using humor and tried-and-true formats and structures. The Thank You Book is (sob!) the final entry in Mo Willems’s hugely popular series of easy readers featuring the free-spirited Piggie and her best friend, the reliable if sometimes officious […]

2016 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Early Readers and Primary Grades

Out of the Woods

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2015–2016 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion. For a handy take-along list of […]

Picture books and early readers | class #2, 2016

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Now that our first class is done, we can move on to some in-depth reading and discussing. Last week we got our feet wet with two picture books, one a classic and the other a wordless exploration of culture. For our second class on March 31, we will read two more picture books, two easy […]

Review of Andy & Sandy’s Anything Adventure and When Andy Met Sandy

new readers_depaola_when andy met sandy

Andy & Sandy’s Anything Adventure by Tomie dePaola and Jim Lewis; illus. by Tomie dePaola Preschool, Primary   Simon   32 pp. 3/16   978-1-4814-4157-5   $8.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4814-4158-2   $8.99 When Andy Met Sandy by Tomie dePaola and Jim Lewis; illus. by Tomie dePaola Preschool, Primary   Simon   32 pp. 3/16   978-1-4814-4155-1   $8.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4814-4156-8   $8.99 Andy and […]

New (and old) friends for beginning readers

new readers_depaola_when andy met sandy

Many beginning readers love visiting familiar characters. Here are two continuations of existing series; one spinoff of an old favorite; and the beginning of a series whose characters may quickly feel like old friends. Tomie dePaola and Jim Lewis debut a series for just-beginning readers, with entertaining, expressive illustrations by dePaola. In the first entry, […]

Review of Ballet Cat: Dance! Dance! Underpants!

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Ballet Cat: Dance! Dance! Underpants! by Bob Shea; illus. by the author Primary   Disney-Hyperion   56 pp. 2/16   978-1-4847-1379-2   $9.99 Dance diva Ballet Cat returns for her second early-reader performance (Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret, rev. 7/15), and once again she’s paired with a reluctant partner/friend. Butter Bear likes dancing but draws the line at […]

Review of Ling & Ting: Together in All Weather

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Ling & Ting: Together in All Weather by Grace Lin; illus. by the author Primary   Little, Brown   44 pp. 11/15   978-0-316-33549-2   $16.00 In this fourth book in the sweet and funny easy-reader series (Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same, rev. 7/10, and sequels), six brief chapters take the twins through the 
seasons, together. In […]

Get a move on

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Whether kicking a soccer ball, dancing ballet, tiptoeing through the…jungle, or belly-sliding on the ice, these feisty protagonists know how to keep things moving. Get on up! Brian Pinkney’s On the Ball begins on a soccer field, then takes flight as a young boy’s imagination soars. The opening text reads, “Owen loved playing ball,” and […]

Review of Misty

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Misty [Stanley & Me] by Christine Dencer; illus. by Jessica Meserve Primary   Simply Read   32 pp. 2/15   978-1-927018-59-0   $12.95 The first title in this new beginning reader series introduces Sophie and Stanley, neighbors and best friends. Four cumulative chapters tackle the friendship’s first obstacle, Stanley’s new dog Misty. “I would like to play in Stanley’s […]