Review of The Biggest Roller Coaster and The Great Bunk Bed Battle

The Biggest Roller Coaster [Fox Tails]
by Tina Kügler; illus. by the author
Primary    Acorn/Scholastic    48 pp.    g
9/20    Library ed.  978-1-338-56170-8    $23.99
Paper ed.  978-1-338-56169-2    $4.99
e-book ed.  978-1-338-63515-7    $2.99

The Great Bunk Bed Battle [Fox Tails]
by Tina Kügler; illus. by the author
Primary    Acorn/Scholastic    48 pp.    g
9/20    Library ed.  978-1-338-56168-5    $23.99
Paper ed.  978-1-338-56167-8    $4.99
e-book ed.  978-1-338-63514-0    $2.99

In this lighthearted and lively early reader series, anthropomorphized Fox siblings Fritz and Franny’s everyday experiences are depicted with imagination and playfulness. In Roller Coaster, the kids visit a (pinecone-themed) amusement park in search of the perfect ride. When they line up for “The Big One” — a huge looping coaster — their fears get the best of them, but they ultimately find a just-right amusement (for themselves and pet dog Fred). Bunk Bed finds the kids arguing at bedtime over which bunk is best before opting to snuggle together — in Fred’s bed. In each title, the events of three short chapters come together to make one cohesive story arc. Straightforward and usefully repetitive dialogue is presented via speech balloons that have plenty of white space and color-coded outlines for each character. Prepositions and opposites (over and under, above and below) scaffold beginning readers’ understanding of new words, and keep the books moving at a zippy pace. Vibrant-hued illustrations with thick black outlines complement the mood of the humorous tales. Back matter includes instructions from Kügler on how to draw one of the characters and a “What’s Your Story?” comprehension and activities section.

From the March/April 2021 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Elisa Gall

Elisa Gall is a teacher-librarian at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. 

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