Easy Readers

Arnold, Tedd.  SHOO, FLY GUY!  Illus. by author.  New York:  Scholastic, 2006.  32p.
    ISBN 0-439-63905-0 hb. $5.99   Gr. 1-2  ER

    This is the third Fly Guy book by Tedd Arnold.  Like the previous stories, there is a simple story line, divided into chapters to ease young readers into books.  In this story, Fly Guy finds himself locked out of the house because Buzz, his owner, has gone on a picnic.  Fly Guy, who is always hungry, searches for food and repeatedly lands on someone else's food.  He hears "Shoo Fly!" time and time again.  Can he find his way back to the one person who doesn't mind sharing his food with Fly Guy?
    If the whimsical story doesn't draw you in, the illustrations certainly will.  The colorful illustrations are accented with swirly lines that provide texture and depth to each picture.  This book has wonderful repetitive vocabulary to enable word recognition as Fly Guy travels from one food source to the next.  Each time he finds food, his microscopic eye shows an enlarged view of it.  Readers can try to guess what is is before turning the page to find the answer.  This clever book will appeal to boys and girls.  It is recommended for beginning readers.
    Lynette Suckow, Peter White Public Library, Marquette, MI

Baker, Keith.  ON THE GO WITH MR. & MRS. GREEN.  Illus. by author. Orlando, Florida:  
           
Harcourt Books, 2006.  72p.  ISBN: 978-0-15-205867-8 hb. $5.95   Gr. K-2    Easy Reader

            Mr. & Mrs. Green are a loving alligator couple who have three adventures in this book:  Magic Trick, Cookies, and Inventions.  These stories are full of fun and adventure, making them good read-alouds for younger children.  Mr. & Mrs. Green are a charming pair and the illustrations are very well done.
            Bettina Graber, Library Trustee, Munising School Public Library

Bauer, Marion Dane. BEAR'S HICCUPS.  Illus. by Diane Dawson Hearn.  New York:  
      Holiday House, 1998.  48p.   0-8234-1339-X, hb. $14.95.    Gr. 1-2.    ER

        All children can relate to Bear's feelings of, "It's all mine!"  While the reading level is appropriate for beginning readers, the content is inviting to the higher level readers as well.  Bear has to deal with the blistering heat of a midsummer day and he ertainly doesn't appreciate any "countryside friends" getting in his way.  When one does just that, it sets up the mystery and suspense that will entice readers to actively predict and read on to discover the ultimate outcome.  The plot is kept simple, yet interesting.  There is repetition of some phrases, which also encourages active reader participation.  The illustrations,  a complimentary addition to the text,   are especially beneficial in adding to the elements of humor and emotion.  Without being "preachy", this book is a great example of how sharing applies to everyone, big or small.  Sequel to TURTLE DREAMS.
     Kathy Amsbury; NMU Student Teacher, K I Sawyer Elementary School, Gwinn, MI

Bauer, Marion Dane.  FROG’S BEST FRIEND.  Illus. by Diane Dawson Hearn.  New York:
    Holiday House Reader, Level 2, 2002.  48p.  0-8234-1501-5 hb.  $14.95   Gr. 1-3   ER

    All six chapters of this story feature frog.  Other pond animals are bird, otter, turtle, squirrel, and a mother bear and her cub.  This versatile easy reader can be used to introduce pond creatures, spring, and friendship.  Recommended.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Bently, Peter. TEACHER SCREECHER. Vampire School/4.  Chicago: Albert Whitman & Co, 
      2012.  89p.  ISBN 978-0-8075-8466-8 hc. $13.99  Gr1-3.  J Fic

       Vampire class teacher Miss Gargoyle is home with the flu. The class is tittering about who will replace her when the substitute teacher Miss Fitt, a gargantuan real monster, thunders into the classroom, stunning the class. Silly and mildly shivery, it’s just right for young readers who like a bit of a chill and thrill.
       Barbara Ward, Dickinson County Library, Children’s Librarian, Retired

Black, Sonia W.  PLENTY OF PENGUINS.  Illus by Turi MacCombie.  Hello Reader Science, Level 1.  
    New York: Scholastic Cartwheel, 1999.  30p.   0-439-0932-7; pb., $3.99    PreS-Gr.1    ER or 598.1

    This easy reader begins with a note to family members for before, during, and after reading.  Told in the first person by a penguin, this rhyming nonfiction book imparts information about where they live, what they eat, predators they avoid, and how they live in groups.  Eight different types of penguins are shown and labeled on the last page.  Readers are asked “Can you find these penguins in your book?”  This book should have been classed as fiction because the penguin is anthropomorphic.  If purchased, please place in the easy reader rather than bird section.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan

Boegehold, Betty.  A HORSE CALLED STARFIRE.  Illus.by Neil Waldman. Bank Street Reader Series, 
    Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens, 1998. 48p.  0-8368-1763-X; lib.bdg., $18.60    Gr.2-3    ER

    This easy reader is about a horse named Estrella that is eventually renamed Starfire. Estrella comes to the new world from Spain as the mount of an explorer.  The explorer gets sick but before he dies, he frees Estrellla.  The horse wanders.  Lone Owl and his son Wolf Cub discover the horse while they are hunting for game.  Wolf Cub adopts the horse and names him Starfire.  The pastel watercolor illustrations evoke the mood of the Southwest.  The dream-like drawings expand the text.  Although not completely satisfying, the text will appeal to boys.  The illustrations will appeal to girls.  This does provide another selection for horse fans.
    Susan Mustatia; Burt Township School Library, Grand Marais, MI

BoltSimons, Lisa &Gail Saunders-Smith,PhD. AIRMEN OF THE U.S. AIR FORCE. North Mankato,
      MN: Capstone Press, 2011.  24. ISBN: 978-1-4296-6115-7 hb.    Gr. K-3    Easy Readers

      This book describes what is involved with being a U.S. Airman. It include four chapters: joining,training, living on a base and serving the country. Full page sized photos add to the readers interest. There is some repetition of words and phrases to help early readers learn new words and a glossary defines new terms. This is a bilingual text- English and Spanish.
      Joyce Hoskins, Teacher- L'Anse School Public Library, L’Anse, MI

Brenner, Barbara. GOOD NEWS.   Illus.by Kate Duke.  Bank Street Ready-To-Read Series,
    Milwaukee:  Gareth Stevens, 1999.  32p.  0-8368-1775-3; lib.bdg. $18.60.  PreS-Gr. 1     ER

    Canada Goose is so excited because she has four lovely eggs to hatch.  She tells her good news to Wood Duck, who tells it to Green Frog, who tells it to Beaver, who tells it to...  And, in the telling, the news gradually changes.   By the time Muskrat hears, the good news has become terrible news and the animals decide they must go inform Canada Goose because she probably doesn't realize she is in such dire straights.  But now the animals are puzzled because when they go to warn Canada Goose,  there is no terrible problem.  Brenner has written another delightful story that is accompanied by more of Kate Duke's equally delightful illustrations.  Brenner's book would be good to read or listen to just for fun, and an end of the year first grader can probably read it without help. This story would also easily lend itself to a lower elementary classroom discussion about gossip and rumors and about evaluating things you hear before your accept them as truth.
     Alice Johnson; First Grade Teacher, Sawyer Elementary School, Gwinn, MI

Brenner, Barbara. THE PLANT THAT KEPT ON GROWING.  Illus. by Melissa Sweet. Milwaukee:  
    Gareth Stevens Publishing, 1999. 32p.  0-8368-1776-1 lib.bdg, $18.60     PreS-Gr. 1    ER

    A strange plant--in fact, the only plant in the twin's garden that has survived the garden pests--has gone on to win the grand prize at the 4-H fair.  As this fanciful rhyming story progresses, the twins, as well as the reader, become more and more curious about the unusual plant.  The delightful colored illustrations by Sweet help build suspense by the use of simple, but effective, expressions on the children's faces.  The rhythm of the poetry makes this story fun to read, and the fact that it lends itself to role playing during the reading is another plus.
    Alice Johnson; First Grade Teacher, Sawyer Elementary School, Gwinn, MI

Buck, Nola. OH, CATS!   Illus. Nadine Westcott. New York:  HarperCollins,  1998.  24p.   
    0-06-025373-8, hb., $12.95   0-06-444240-3; pb. $3.95    PreS-Gr.1  ER

    A little girl deals with the independent nature of three cats which whom she would like to be friends.  Sometimes they delight her and sometimes they frustrate her, but all the while they keep her busy with their antics.  This is a very simple story uses a very basic reading vocabulary, some rhyming, and a minimum of words on a page making it suitable for use with  a very early reader.  The colorful line drawings  by Westcott, especially those showing the girl's facial expressions, generally enhance the story and help interpret some text that seems a bit awkward.
    Alice Johnson; First Grade Teacher, Sawyer Elementary School, Gwinn, MI

Caple, Kathy.  DUCK & COMPANY.  New York: Holiday House, Inc. 2007.
          32p.  ISBN: 13: 978-0-8234-1993-7 hb. $14.95.   Gr. K-2    Easy Reader

          DUCK & COMPANY is a very short chapter book about Rat and Duck, friends who run a bookstore. Let the jokes begin: Cat is shopping for a book on how to cook rats. He goes away happy with a book on cooking carrots. Mother Hen wants a book to read while waiting for her eggs to hatch; Badger is looking for a funny joke book-he takes humor very seriously. And so it goes. Helped along by the colorful illustrations, young
readers will be entertained.  Designed for beginning readers at Level 2 (grades 1-2).
          Judy Bennett, Ironwood Carnegie Library, Ironwood, MI

Catrow, David. FUNNY LUNCH.  Illus. by author.  New York: Orchard Books,
        2010.  30p.  ISBN 978—545-057479 hb.$16.99  Gr. K-1    ER

        The book cover art featuring Max Spaniel is enough to invite new readers to explore each page inside.  My daughter was instantly excited to see the pictures of Max with food and kitchen tools, and spent ten minutes on the first two pages.  All children will love this humorous story about Max Spaniel and laugh out loud at the very funny illustrations.
       
Mary Koshorek, Spies Public Library, Menominee, MI

Cazet, Denys.   MINNIE AND MOO GO DANCING.   Illus. by author.  New York:  
    DK, 1998.  48p.  0-7894-2536-X; pb., $3.95    97-39416     Gr. 1-3     ER

    On a particular evening two cows, Minnie and Moo are feeling a bit melancholy because it seems to them the grass is greener on the human side of the fence.  So, they dress up in old prom dresses and venture out to a human birthday party where they are eagerly, but mistakenly, welcomed  as the guest of honor's sisters from California.  They are so attractive they quickly acquire boyfriends and spend the evening dancing up a storm and having a wonderfully exciting time until--the hamburgers are served!  Hamburgers are beef.  They are beef.  Just who is it they are eating at this party?  It is time to run for it!  It is time to re-assess their original premise on their own side of the fence.  And they do.  Cazet has skillfully developed a fast paced, funny, easy-to-read chapter book with sufficient suspense to keep the pages turning until the very end.  Though the text is simple, it contains some subtle humor which is an added bonus to those readers who are able to grasp it.  Denys' colorful illustrations are a delight and visually compliment his text.  This book will entice children to read other titles about Minnie and Moo.
    Alice Johnson; First Grade Teacher, Sawyer Elementary School, Gwinn, MI

Cazet, Denys.  MINNIE AND MOO MEET FRANKENSWINE.   I Can Read series. New York: Harper,
    2001.  48p.  0-06-623748-3; hb., $14.95; 0-06-623749-1; lib.bdg. $14.89   Gr. 1-3    ER

    Chapter One begins “It was a dark, dark night” and ends “There was a scream in the night.”  Moo and Minnie go to see what is wrong even though it is “the kind of night that curdles your milk.”  Rooster thinks  it is a monster who has taken the pig.  Frankenswine turns out to be something other than what they expect.  Other books about these likeable cows are  MINNIE AND MOO GO DANCING (DK, 1998) MINNIE AND MOO GO TO PARIS (DK, 1999) to name only a few.  This is a good for reading practice at Halloween time or any time.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Christopher, Matt. HEADS UP. Illus. by Daniel Vasconcellos.  Boston: Little, Brown
    and Company, 2002. 54 p. 0316135046; $13.95 hb. 00-041229   Gr 1-2    E

    Short and sweet...in chapter and content.  Whose afraid of a ball? Nobody, right? Right! That is, not until Amanda Caler takes a hit in the face and is momentarily knocked out. Mother is called to the scene, but like mother, like daughter. Upon seeing Amanda's blood-soaked shirt, she too becomes faint and crumples to the ground. In the meantime it appears that one of Amanda's teammates is scheming to steal her halfback spot.  Chaos leads to comedy and comedy leads to solution. Vasconcellos' line drawings cartoonize the characters of this addition to the Soccer Cats series supporting the humor of the text.  Beginning readers will feel they are a part of the team as they score with this title.
    Patricia Fittante; Children’s Librarian, Escanaba Public Library, Escanaba, MI

Cohen, L. Caron.  HOW MANY FISH?  Illus. by S. P. Schindler.  My First I Can Read Series.
    New York: Harper, 1998.  24p.   0-06-027713-0 hb. $12.95      PreS-Gr. 1      ER

    The title and cover illustrations are inviting and informative to the reader and participants.  The format is done well.  The type size is large and displayed up and down to swim the reader along.  The fish and feet are given character that keeps the audience involved in the story.   You can go to the seashore, cool off your toes, use your counting and color skills, and witness the saving of one happy yellow fish.
     Sue Danielson; Birchview & Central Elementary School Libraries, Ishpeming, MI

Cook, Lisa Broadie. MARTIN MacGREGOR'S SNOWMAN. Illus.by Adam Cauley. New York:  
           
Walker & Company, 2003.  ISBN=0-8027-8858-0 hb. $16.95.  Gr. K-2   Easy Reader
 
            Martin is waiting and waiting for snow so he can build a snowman.  While he waits, he uses other materials that look like snow to build his snowman. This gets him to quite a bit of trouble with his family. Finally it snows and he makes his own snowmen.  This book was entertaining and showed what creativity a young mind has. It is recommended for early elementary grades.
            Laurel Miller, K.I.Sawyer Learning Center and Library

Copeland, Cynthia L. and Alexandra P. Lewis.  SPLASHY FINS, FLASHY SKINS: DEEP-SEA 
    RHYMES TO MAKE YOU GRIN
.  Silly Millies , Level P. Illus. with photos.  Brookfield, CT:  
    Millbrook, 2002.  32p.  0-7613-2906-4; lib.bdg. ,$17.90   2002-012374     PreS-Gr.-4     ER

    The photos of fish in their natural habitats are labeled and information is imparted in rhyme.  The note to parents provides  tips for reading and discussion.  Some of the 18 sea creatures are Mudskipper, Puffer fish, Stonefish, Red-lipped Batfish, and Frogfish.  This is a worthy addition to easy reader collections in school and public libraries.     
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan

Cosby, Bill.  THE MEANEST THING TO SAY.  Illus. by Varnette P. Honeywood. Hello Reader! Series.   
     Little Bill Books for Beginning Readers Series.  New York: Scholastic Cartwheel, 1997. unp.  
     0-590-13754-9, hb.,  $13.95 590-956167, pb. $3.99    96-32791    Gr. 1-4     ER

     When Little Bill tells his parents about his contest with the new boy at school, his father says that "Playing the Dozens" or contests to see who could say the meanest things about someone else was called "ranking" in his day.  When Big Bill counters Little Bills statements with "So," he provides his son with a weapon to disarm the bully.  Little Bill asks the new boy to join his basketball team at the satisfying ending.  The introduction, a letter by a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medial School,  gives parents ideas for helping their children solve conflicts when others pick on them.  Public libraries should purchase  this book and school library media specialists should show it to their counselors.  Both should add it to their Easy Reader collections.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Egan, Tim. DODSWORTH IN LONDON.  Boston: Hought Mifflin Books for Children,
            2009.  48p.  ISBN: 978-0-547-13816-9 hb. $15.00.   Gr. K-2    Easy Reader

            In this four-chapter book, Dodsworth and the duck travel to London in a hot air balloon.  Dodsworth worried about the duck disappearing and he does.  A duck shows up and Dodsworth thinks it's his.  But this duck has an English accent and knows things about London that Dodsworth's duck would not know.  The case of mistaken identity is solved at Buckingham Palace.  This delightful book is perfect for both beginning readers and with adult reader to read aloud.  The colorful illustrations add interest and supporting
characters into the story.
            Jolene Hetherington, Teacher, Munising School Public Library

Emmett, Jonathan. TERRY TAKES OFF.  Illus. by Peter Rutherford.  Read-it! readers.  Minneapolis, MN:  
        Picture Window Books, 2007.  32p.  ISBN: 9781404831322  hb.     Gr. K-3   ER 

          This book is an orange level Read-it-Reader,the highest level in this easy reader series.  Terry is a pterodactyl who is afraid of heights and thus doesn't fly.  When his friends get in trouble he overcomes his fear.  This is an interesting story and has coloful illustrations to appeal to beginning readers.  This book should also appeal to older students who are reading at a lower grade level.   Because the book is about dinosaurs it should appeal especially to boys.
          Denise Engel, Director, Wakefield Public Library

Fitch, Sheree.  POCKET ROCKS.  Victoria, B.C. Canada: Orca Book Publishers, 2004.
    ISBN: 1-55143-289-7   K-3   Easy Readers

    Red-haired Ian Goobie dreaded school and wished he could be anywhere but there. He believed he couldn't write as well or do what came naturally to the other kids. One day he found an ordinary rock on the playground.  Whenever he held it against his face, extraordinary flights of fancy ensued. He was even inspired to try harder in school. If one rock did all this, imagine what a pocketful of rocks could do! Oh-oh, disaster. Pockets full of rocks can cause a young boy's pants to fall down. But, inspired by his rocks, Ian could survive even that humiliation.  Fanciful, colorful illustrations add humor to the story.
    Judy Bennett, Ironwood Carnegie Library, Ironwood, MI  

Gallagher, Diana.  CAMP CAN'T:  THE COMPLICATED LIFE OF CLAUDIA CRISTINA CORTEZ.  
   
Illus. Brann Garvey. Mankato, MN: Stone Arch Books, 2008.  81p.  
    
ISBN: 9781598898408  hb. $23.93  Gr. 1-3   Easy Readers

      CAMP CAN’T is a selection from The Complicated Life of Claudia Cristina Cortez. This high-interest realistic fiction series for struggling and reluctant readers is targeted at elementary girls. In the story, Claudia attends summer camp for the last year as a camper. Her goal is to be asked back as a junior counselor the following summer and she faces a number of obstacles, like horrible bug bites, a pesky neighbor, passing her swimming test and dealing with bullies. To help out struggling readers, there are simple sentences, a glossary, discussion questions and related Internet sites.
      Heather Crozier, Public Librarian, Munising School Public Library

Gerver, Jane.  GROW A PUMPKIN PIE. Illus.Rammy Speer-Lyon. New York:  Scholastic Cartwheel, 
    2000.   32p. ISBN  0-439-20056-3; pb., $4.95      PreS-Gr. 1   635.62  or  ER

    Learn how to make a pumpkin pie from planting to seed to eating the pie and saving seeds for next year.  There are stiff cards in the middle that have perforated edges so readers can take them part and match a picture with the word.  Five other activities and answers are included.  The rhymes in this book are natural and easy to read.  Use in the fall for Halloween or Thanksgiving for reading practice for beginning readers but always couple it with Levenson’s PUMPKIN CIRCLE (Tricycle, 1999).
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Giff, Patricia Reilly. THE BIG SOMETHING. Illus: Diane Palmisciano.  New York:
      Orchard Books, 2012. 40p.  ISBN 978-0-545-24459-6 hc.  $6.99  Gr. K-2    Juv FIC

      Active imaginations lead Jilli and Jim to think that their dog Fiercely is in danger from the woman next door. They are certain that she is a witch. The series introduces chapters to young readers along with a light adventure including situations that will resonate with occurrences in their own lives. What child hasn’t used the family pet or stuffed animal for comfort when their imagination conjures something scary under their bed, as Jilli uses Fiercely to comfort her when she imagines snapping lobsters under her bed. One confusing bit that didn’t quite fit was the red one-room school house since the illustrations portray modern dress and surroundings.
     
Barbara Ward, Dickinson County Library, Children’s Librarian, Retired

Goodman, Susan E.  WHAT DO YOU DO AT THE ZOO?  Illus. Steve Pica. Silly Millies series.  
    Brookfield, CT: Millbrook, 2002.  32p.  0-7613-2755-X; l lib.bdg., $17.90     Gr. 1    ER

    A female zookeeper wearing modern clothing says “Please feed the lion…What do you do?  Then she and a boy feed the lion and readers learn that it can eat 70 pounds of meat for lunch. The same pattern is repeated when she asks about feeding a baby camel but they back off because Mother camels are like other mother because they like to keep their babies safe and besides--they kick hard.  Readers learn something about giraffes, elephants, monkeys, and hippos.  This is interesting easy reading for emerging readers.  
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan

Goodman, Susan E.  WHAT DO YOU DO ON A FARM?  Illus. Steve Pica. Silly Millies series.  
    Brookfield, CT:  Millbrook, 2002.  32p.  0-7613-2756-8; lib.bdg. $ 17.90     Gr. 1    ER

    There are lots of children’s books that show farmers in stereotypical situations and this one is one of the worst.  The farmer, wearing overalls and what might be a straw hat, is milking a cow using a bucket.  He speaks to a young girl, “We need some eggs, he says./What do you do? You do not go to the store.  You go to the hen house.“  The hen house shows hens on shelves sitting on nests like they did in the 1940s.  When the girl looks for an egg in the hay she hears a peep and sees a new chick that can‘t be her breakfast egg.   Modern hens are in cages and never get near a rooster that might fertilize the egg.  The farmer goes on to repeat the same pattern with some pigs that are hot.  The girl puts water on the dirt so the pigs can roll in the mud to stay cool.  This is a misleading book about farm life.  A similar pattern appears in Goodman‘s WHAT DO YOU DO AT THE ZOO?  (Millbrook, 2002) where the zookeeper is a woman wearing modern clothing.  Forget the farm book and purchase the zoo book.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan

Granowsky, Alvin.  AT THE PARK.  My World series; Level 2.  Brookfield, CT: Copper Beech, 2001.  
    24p.  ISBN 0-7613-2167-5 lib.bdg. $15.90  ISBN 0-7613-2288-4 pb. $3.99.    PreS-Gr. 3     ER

    Photos, drawings, and text intertwine to describe what it is like to go to a park.  A recurring sentence is “That is why (the dog, Dad, etc.) like the park.”  A review at the end shows words and phrases labels for pictures so readers can review the vocabulary.  This easy reader is better than many in this series.  Purchase for emerging readers.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Granowsky, Alvin.  CAN I HELP?  My World series; Level 2.   Brookfield, CT: Copper Beech, 2001.  
    24p.   ISBN 0-7613-2172-1 lib.bdg. $15.90  ISBN 0-7613-2291-4 pb. $3.99      PreS-Gr.3       ER

    Pardon the pun, but this easy reader is “meatier” than some of the others in the series.  The scene is a barbecue and Jenny asks, “Can I help?”  Mom gives her a job and thanks her for helping.  Others who offer to help and are given jobs include Dad, Sasha and her Mom, Sam, Mrs. Lee, and the three children together.  Review words and phrases appear next to pictures or photos in a double page spread at the end of the book.  The repetition of words and predictable pattern make this an excellent easy reader.  This is a fine addition to easy reader collections in school and public libraries.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Granowsky, Alvin.   COLORS.  My World series; Level 1.  Brookfield, CT: Copper Beech, 2001.  24p.  
    0-7613-2458-5; lib.bdg., $15.90   0-7613-2292-2; pb., $3.99     PreS- Gr. 2    ER or 535.6

    Each of the ten colors in this easy reader receives a double page spread except for black and white, which share pages.  Photos and drawings express the color and the sentences describe objects that contain those colors.  Readers are involved because there is at least one question about each color.  A small square picture is next to each color word.  Except for a blue peacock, almonds, and  a zebra, the object is the same color as the background and fades into it so that the object is not clearly delineated; i.e., tomato on red, banana on yellow, grapes against purple, etc.  The peas are especially difficult to recognize.  Because this is an easy reader, some specific words are not used.  The almonds are called nuts and the jack-o-lantern is called a pumpkin.  At the end of the book, nine colored squares are labeled with the color word.  On the next page, readers are asked to name colors in six pictures and then to make up a story using words that are labels for the pictures.  The last picture shows three Venn diagrams of six colors and what they look like combined.  Despite the recognition problem in the small photos, his book is still a suitable easy reader.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Granowsky, Alvin.  DIGGERS AND CRANES.  My World series; Level 3. Brookfield, CT:  Copper Beech, 
    2000.  32p.  0-7613-1222-6; lib.bdg., $17.90  0-7613-2293-0; pb., $3.99    Gr. 1-3     ER or 621.8

    The illustrations in most of the books in this series are a combination of drawings and photos and in many instances that detracts from the message.  This book completely utilizes color photos to accompany the easy text that explains what each digger does making it more realistic than others in the series.  The review section of the book labels those machines that have wheels and those that have tracks.  The second review labels activities of diggers.  This book is highly recommended for emerging readers but use it with new adult readers also.  This is one of the best titles in this easy reader series and is a first purchase.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Granowsky, Alvin.   HOT AND COLD.  My World series; Level 1.  Brookfield, CT:  Copper Beech, 2001.  
    24p.  0-7613-2463-1; lib.bdg., $15.90   0-7613-2298-1;  pb. $3.99      Gr. 1-3     ER

    Sonia and Greg learn about hot and cold at the animal park when they learn about places where animals live.  Vocabulary that begins double page spreads is:  hot, cold, getting warm, staying cool, fire, ice, warm and damp, wind, and just right.  The first entry is hot and cold together.  Paintings and photos alternate in this easy reader.   Vocabulary words and pictures appear in a double page spread at the end.  Three facts about water and heat appear at the end of the book.
    An odd feature of this book is two sections that do not seem to fit with the theme of animals living in varied climates.  Fire is hot and father is shown cooking on a grill in a drawing opposite a page showing hot rocks, not called lava.  In another section, the wind is cool and dry and towels are shown drying on a clothesline.  Although these incidents are not within the theme of the book, there is still much information of value that emerging readers can find out for themselves.  Purchase based on curriculum needs.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Granowsky, Alvin.  MY PET.  My World series; Level 2.  Brookfield, CT: Copper Beech, 2001. 
    24p.  0-7613-2171-3 lib.bdg. $15.90   0-7613-2328-7 pb. $3.99      PreS-Gr. 3       ER

    The narrator’s friend Pete has a kitten and she wants a pet too.  There is no discussion with mother about taking care of a puppy.  The puppy she chooses is pictured in the illustration on page 5 and looks a lot like the photo of a pup on page 7  but the girl’s pup has black ears and this one has white ears.  At first readers will wonder if a mistake has been made but further illustrations show a variety of breeds of dogs that do not look anything like the girl’s dog.  Although the pattern of alternating photos and drawings is common in other books in the series, it is not successful in this book.  It rather breaks up the story of the girl and her puppy and their period of adjustment to each other.  Dog words and phrases along with illustrations conclude the book.  This is also not the only book in this series where a sentence ends with a preposition.   Emerging readers will be able to read this easy reader and will enjoy the photos of the variety of adorable puppies so they may be willing to overlook the interruption in their reading.  However, it makes the book less effective.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Granowsky, Alvin.   NIGHT AND DAY.  My World series; Level 1.  Brookfield, CT:  Copper Beech, 
    2001.  24p.  0-7613-2460-7; lib.bdg., $15.90;   0-7613-2329-5 pb., $3.99    Gr. 1-3     ER or 525.35

    Emerging readers learn words like dawn, morning, day, noon, sunset, evening, night, bedtime, midnight, night, and day through double-spreads that include text, photos, and drawings.  The review consists of labels on drawings and photos from the book from the aforementioned words as well as activities.  The last page shows six alarm clocks that divide the 24 hours into midnight, early morning, morning, noon, afternoon, and evening.  Purchase this easy reader to reinforce reading and the concept of time or for easy reader collections.  This is one of the best books in this series.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Granowsky, Alvin.  RAIN OR SHINE.   My World series; Level 1.  Brookfield, CT: Copper Beech, 
    2001.  24p.  0-7613-2460-7; lib.bdg., $15.90   0-7613-2329-5 pb., $3.99      Gr. 1-3     ER  

    The headings in these double page spreads include weather, hot, cold, sun, clouds, rain, wind, storm, thunder and lightning, snow, and the rainbow.    A vocabulary review of weather at the end of this easy reader places labels on photos and drawings.  Created for emerging readers, this book makes a good addition to weather units or easy reader collections.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Granowsky, Alvin.  SHAPES.  My World series; Level 1.  Brookfield, CT:  Copper Beech, 2001. 
    24p.  0-7613-2462-3 lib.bdg., $15.90   0-7613-2333-3 pb., $3.99     PreS-Gr. 2      ER

    Amy and Jon discover shapes at the beach in this easy reader.  Vocabulary, explained in double page spreads, includes: shapes, square, rectangle, triangle, curved, circle, special shapes, machine shapes, adding shapes, and lots of shapes.  A review of words about shapes is shown in pictures and photos at the end of the book.  Another page asks readers to identify shapes and encourages readers to write stories about shapes.  Facts about shapes appear on the last page.  Purchase for emerging readers if the subject matter is needed.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Granowsky, Alvin.  SLOW AND FAST.  My World series; Level 1.  Brookfield, CT:  Copper Beech, 
    2001.  24p.  0-7613-2464-X; lib.bdg., $15.90   0-7613-2334-1-1;    pb., $3.99      Gr. 1-3    ER

    Kate and Dan learn about fast and slow at a fun park.  The illustrations are a combination of photos and drawings.  Their car is fast like a cheetah.  The traffic jam is slow.  At the park the slides are considered fast and readers are asked to guess which child is faster and gets to the bottom first.  Each of nine vocabulary words is explained in a double page spread.  The words are fast, slow, faster, slower, going faster, fastest, slowest, spinning, and falling.  Slow and fast are the words on the last double page spread.  Words about speed are pictured and labeled at the end of the book in a review secton.  The next page involves readers by asking them to tell whether the labeled pictures are fast or slow.  Several interesting facts about objects that measure speed finish the book.  Although there are good picture books about this subject, this is an acceptable easy reader to help understand this concept.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Guest, Elissa.  IRIS & WALTER AND COUSIN HOWIE.  Illus.by Christine Davenier. Orlando, FL:  
           
Harcourt Books, 2006.  44p.  ISBN: 978-0-15-205656-8   hb. $5.95    Gr. K-2   Easy Reader

            Iris and Walter are best friends who encounter all the fun and difficulties that come along with being best friends.  This series of Iris and Walter books are good easy readers or read alouds for younger children with valuable lessons about friendships.  They are well illustrated to help transitional readers make the leap to chapter books.
            Bettina Graber, Munising School Public Library, Munising, MI

 
Gunderson, Jessica.  FRIENDS AND FLOWERS.  Illus. by Cori Doerrfeld.  Minneapolis: Picture 
        Window Books, 2008.  32 p.  ISBN: 9781404822917  hb. $19.93      Gr. 1-3     Easy reader

          This is a delightful book that describes true friendship while focusing on the complexity of the tulip bulb. Lindsay's best friend Julia moves away, but leaves her with
a tulip bulb that will help Lindsay remember her friend.  The story follows Lindsay as she plants and protects the bulb throughout the seasons. The illustrations throughout describe the life of the tulip bulb as it is planted and continues to grow. Along with the blooming of the tulip, a new friendship for Lindsay blooms also. This book is recommended for elementary students with an extended vocabulary range.
          Stacy Painter, Crystal Falls District Community Library

 

Hayward, Linda.  IT TAKES THREE.  Illus by Robin Micihal Koontz.  Silly Millies series. 
    Beginning to Read Alone, Level 2.  Brookfield, CT:  Millbrook, 2003.  32p.  
    9-7613-2902-1; lib.bdg.,  $17.90     2002-011410     Gr. 1-3      ER

    Children join a circus-like Compare-A-Thon where a stork, horse, and a giraffe explain tall, taller, and tallest and a snail, slug, and sponge explain slow, slower, slowest Other comparisons are large, small, wide, long, odd, and fast.  The easy reader ends with a note to parents and tips for reading and discussion.  Children can practice reading, meet  various creatures, and learn some grammar at the same time.  Consider this rhyming book for easy reader collections in school and public libraries. 
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan

Helmer, Marilyn.  CRITTER RIDDLES.  Illus by Eric Parker.  Kids Can Read Alone series,
    Level 3. Tonawanda, NY:  Kids Can, 2003.  32p. 1-55337-445-2; lib.bdg.,  $14.95 
    1-55337-411-8; pb.,  $3.95     C2002-901546-4      Gr. 1-4      ER   or   818.54

    These 28 animal riddles are fun and contemporary.  The first one is “What do you call a lion who never tells the truth?”  The answer is “The Lyin’ King.”   There is a riddle per page; each riddle appears on the top of the page and the answer is at the bottom.  The illustration in the middle often provides a clue to the answer.  Emerging readers love riddles and this book has kid appeal.   Helmer’s YUMMY RIDDLES (Kids Can, 2003) and this title are both good values for school and public libraries.  “A Note to Parents and Teachers” also makes the paperback a good home purchase.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan
    Consultant: LLW, third grader at Sandy Knoll Elementary, Marquette, MI

   
Helmer, Marilyn.  YUMMY RIDDLES.  Illus by Eric Parker.  Kids Can Read Alone series,
    Level 3.  Tonawanda, NY:  Kids Can, 2003.  32p. 1-55337-446-2-0  lib.bdg. $14.95 
    1-55337-412-6 pb. $3.95     C2002-902989-9     Gr. 1-4       ER  or  818.54

    The 28 riddles are about food.  There is a riddle per page; the riddle appears on the top of the page and the answer at the bottom.  The illustration in the middle often provides a clue to the answer.  The riddles are “tasty” and provide good practice for emerging readers.  This and a companion title, CRITTER RIDDLES (Kids Can, 2003), are valuable purchases for school and public libraries.  “A Note to Parents and Teachers” also makes the paperback a good home purchase.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan
    Consultant: LLW, third grader at Sandy Knoll Elementary, Marquette, MI

Henkes, Kevin.  OH!  Illus by Laura Dronzek.  New York: Greenwillow, 1999.  24p.
    ISBN 0-688-17053-6; hb. $15.00   ISBN 0-688-170054-4; lib.bdg. $14.93     PreSr. 3     ER

    The animals that play with children in the new snow are: squirrel, rabbit, cat, dog, and birds.  This title is good for sight reading the word "Oh" for even the youngest child.  The cardinals are called birds but can be identified as cardinals to children when the book is read aloud to them.  This cozy book ends with children returning to a cozy house.  School and public libraries needing easy to read picture books will purchase this book which is an essential purchase in schools where the elementary curriculum includes the study of woodland biomes.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Hill, Susan.  STUART LITTLE:  STUART AT THE FUN HOUSE.  I Can Read series.
    Illus by Lydia Halverson.  New York: Harper, 2001.  32p.  0-06-029539-2; hb., $14.95
    0-06-444304-3; lib.bdg., $14.89  00-050557  Gr. 1-3    ER

    Stuart Little and his brother George go to an amusement park.  Everything they try doesn’t work for Stuart because he is not strong enough, not heavy enough, or not tall enough.  The brothers go into the fun house where they both can enjoy the mirrors.  George realizes that he needs to allow Stuart to pick a ride that they both can enjoy.  Fans of the movie/video will enjoy reading this book which is preferable to those by Shaymalan and Brooke, like STUART LITTLE: STUART’S LITTLE BROTHER (Harper, 2000) which has fuzzy illustrations taken from the movie/video frames.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Hillert, Margaret.  WHO GOES TO SCHOOL?  Illus. by Nan Brooks.  Beginning to Read series.  
    
Chicago:  Norwood House Press, 2006.  32p.  ISBN: 1599530325 hb. $18.60  Gr. K-1   ER

     This "Beginning-to-Read Book" features common sight words to assist the emerging reader.  The text uses only 65 words.  Bright, colorful illustrations accompany the text.  Activities are included at the end of the book to assist the parent in helping their child to read.  These include:  Phonemic awareness, Phonics, Vocabulary, Animal Sounds, and Fluency:  Echo Reading and Text Comprehension:  Discussion Time.  Because of the frequency of the words used in the text, this book would not be a good choice to read at a storytime, but it is a good book for the new reader to achieve success in independent reading.
     Denise Engel, Director, Wakefield Public Library, Wakefield, MI

Hoban, Lillian.  JOE AND BETSY THE DINOSAUR.   Illus. by author.  I Can Read Series.
     New York:  HarperCollins, 1995. 48p.   0-06-024473-9; hb., $14.00   0-06-024474-7;
     lib.bdg.,  $14.89    0-06-444209-8; pb., $3.95   93-44725      Gr. 1-2       ER

    Joe has a huge friend, Betsy the Dinosaur.  When the days are warm they play outdoors together, often  in the company of the other forest and plains animals.  But then winter comes and no one comes out to play because they are now all tucked away in snug homes.   With high hopes of being snug and warm, too,  Joe and Betsy decide to go visiting.  But visiting other animals'  homes is a problem..  Several disastrous mishaps caused by Betsy's size such as the collapse of Bear's den, when she checks via the chimney to see they have the kettle on,  make them unwelcome guests everywhere.  At last they discover a way to use Betsy's size to their advantage, and the story ends with Joe and Betsy as snug and warm as they can be.   Hoban has created wonderfully gentle pictures that enhance the text of this simple story with a happy ending.  Joe and Betsy the Dinosaur is appropriate for a good first grade reader later in the year.  It would also make a fine read aloud for any younger child.
    Alice Johnson; First Grade Teacher, Sawyer Elementary School, Gwinn, MI

Hoban, Lillian.  SILLY TILLY'S VALENTINE.   Illus. by the author.  I Can Read Series.
    New York: HarperCollins, 1998.  48p.   ISBN0-06-027400-X hb. $14.95   
    ISBN0-06-027401-8 lib.bdg. $14.89   ISBN0-06-4223-3 pb. $3.95   Gr. 1-2      ER

    Silly Tilly and Mr. Mail-Mole make a snowman in this valentine story for beginning readers.   When her glasses become fogged, Tilly thinks the valentines the wind is blowing around are colored snowflakes. When Tilly slips in the snow, Mr. Mail-Mole thinks she is making snow angels.  There is just enough silliness for first graders to enjoy while sharpening their new reading skills.  Hoban has created an entertaining and snowy easy reader.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Hoff, Syd.  DANNY AND THE DINOSAUR GO TO CAMP.  New York: Harper I Can
    Read series, level 1.  Harper, 1996.  32p.  0-06-444244-6; pb., $3.75.  0-06-026440-3;
    lib.bdg., $15.89  0-06-026439X; hb., $15.95     95-12410   PreS-Gr. 2     ER

    Danny and his friend go off to camp and the dinosaur is game to try everything that Danny does.  The dinosaur helps out Danny like when he carries Danny on a tiring hike or offers to let Danny row him instead of a boat.  Although this easy reader is a series of events instead of a story with a beginning, middle, and end; fans of Danny and his dinosaur will enjoy this easy reader.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Hoff, Syd.  OLIVER.  Illus. by author.  I Can Read series.  HarperCollins, 1960, 1988. 
    64p. ISBN0-06-028708-X; hb., $14.95      99-25591       K-2      ER

     Should a book that was originally published in 1960 still be purchased for emerging readers?  The answer in this case is a resounding yes.  This book has many elements of a good easy reader.  The cartoon illustrations help convey the story, there is lots of action and repetition, and the interesting story flows from beginning to end.   School and public libraries who have never had a copy or have worn out a copy, should purchase this book.
     When Oliver is the eleventh elephant to walk off the boat, the circus man does not want him because he expected only ten elephants; so Oliver spends the whole book looking for a home.  Oliver is rejected bya taxi driver, the zookeeper, and many people who don’t want or need him as a pet.   Children can identify with Oliver, “Oliver was all alone.  He didn’t know where to go.”  The book has a happy and satisfying ending.   This versatile book also contains numbers from 1-10, names of pets, names of careers, as well as works with circus units.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Hood, Susan.  PUP AND HOUND AT SEA.  Illus.by Linda Hendry.  Tonawanda, NY:  Kids Can Press Ltd., 
        2006.  32p.  ISBN: 1553378040  hb.  $14.95.  Gr. K-1   Easy Reader

        This charming story starts with a question to engage the reader.  Follow these two friends as they go on a high sea adventure.  Two-page illustrations grab the reader's attention and give visual clues to the beginning reader.  The text is written in rhyme and has one to two sentences per page.  This is an entertaining book which will appeal to the beginning reader and will also make a good read aloud story.
            Denise Engel, Director, Wakefield Public Library, Wakefield, MI

Hood, Susan.  PUP AND HOUND LOST AND FOUND.  Illus.by Linda Hendry. Toronto, Ontario, 
        Canada:  Kids Can Press, 2006.  32 p.  ISBN: 1553378067 hb. $14.95.    Gr. K-1    ER

            Follow Pup and Hound as they take a trip from their home to the county fair.  This book is written with a simple rhyming text and colorful artwork rendered in pencil crayon.  As Pup and Hound are visiting the fair, Hound loses track of Pup and looks all over the fair for him.  The text prompts the reader to look at the illustrations to see what Hound thinks is a sighting of Pup.  But, if you look carefully at the illustrations, you can see where Pup actually is.  This is a very engaging story, sure to please all who read it.  The publisher states this story is appropriate for Grades K-1, and it certainly is.
            Denise Engel, Director, Wakefield Public Library, Wakefield MI

Hooks, William.  THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING TOOTH.  Illus by Nancy  Poydar.
     Bank  Street Ready-To-Read Series.-Level 1.  Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens, 1998. 32p.
     0-8368-1758-3, lib. bdg. $18.60.   97-28946.  PreS-Gr.2    ER

     This is an appealing story about a major milestone to a child-losing his or her first tooth.  Kara, the last child in her class to have a loose tooth, is feeling left out.  When the time finally comes for her to lose a tooth, she is too busy to notice, and it is lost.  She writes a letter to the tooth fairy and gets an interesting response, which ties in with the arrival of her baby brother Jon's first tooth.  This would be an appropriate and comforting book to children just learning to read and beginning to lose teeth.
     Ann Best, Menominee Catholic Central School Library, Menominee, MI

Howe, James.  HOUNDSLEY AND CATINA.  Illus. by Marie-Louise Gay.  40p.
            Candlewick, 2006. ISBN-10: 0763624047  hb. $14.99   Gr. 1-2   ER

            An unlikely friendship between dog and cat is the set-up for a series of easy readers, the first of which introduces us to Houndsley and Catina.   Catina is an aspiring writer, currently on Chapter 73 of Life Through the Eyes of a Cat, certain that she will be a famous.  Houndsley, with aspirations of his own, enters a cooking contest to win new pots and pans.  When these ambitions don't turn out exactly the way Catina and oundsley expect, the pair take time to reflect on their goals and decide that you don't have to win awards to enjoy your chosen activities.  Choosing the right friends might be just as important. The illustrator, Marie-Louise Gay, adds an element of fun to the story with watercolor and collage portraits of Houndsley, Catina, and neighbor, Bert.  Their unusual looks make the characters look friendly and humorous at the same time.  The second offering in this series is HOUNDSLEY AND CATINA AND THE BIRTHDAY SURPRISE.
            Lynette Suckow, Youth Services, Peter White Public Library, Marquette, MI

Hudelhoff, Alleln H.  CATS AND KIDS.  Illus by Anne Canevari Green.  Silly Millies series. 
    Brookfield, CT:  Millbrook, 2002.  32p.  0-7613-2668-5; lib.bdg., $17.90    Gr. 1    ER

    The double page spreads alternate by showing cats and humans.  The first pages say “So many cats.  So different, but alike.” The pages with the humans say “So many kids.  So different, but alike.” The book compares other items, eyes, hair, playing love and friendship.  The book ends on positive note about friendship.  The tips for reading and discussion for parents on the last page is written in red ink which is OK when it appears on a white star background but is difficult to read against the pink background. Young children learn as they read.  They read and see different kinds of eyes in cats and different colors in different faces in human children because the children represent different ethnic groups.  Teachers who are looking for books about values will find this book helpful.  The message is clear but not didactic.  This is a valuable purchase for school and public libraries. 
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan

Hurd, Edith Thacher.  JOHNNY LION’S BAD DAY.  Illus. Clement Hurd.  New York: Harper, 1970,
    1998, 2001.  64p. 0-06-029335-7 hb. $14.95 0-06-029336-5 lib.bdg. $14.89     K-Gr. 2  E

    What makes this book a new edition of an old favorite?  The front cover and title page are different and the red accents throughout the illustrations have been changed to blue; changing a warm color to a cool color does not improve the mood of the book.  The rich gold color of the lions has been changed to a yellow color, making them less lion like.  The text remains the same.  If you are desperate to replace a worn out copy, by all means purchase this new edition.   If not, keep the old one; it is more appealing.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Hurd, Edith Thacher. JOHNNY LION’S BOOK.  Illus.Clement Hurd.  New York: Harper, 1965, 2000, 2001.
    64p.  0-06-029333-0 hb., $14.95;  0-06-029334-9 lib.bdg., $14.89     K- Gr. 2      E Reader

    The cover on the old edition is charming; the new one is less appealing.  Otherwise the illustrations throughout the book are the same except for the color accents and a different looking title page.  All the red colors have been changed to the same turquoise that appears as a border on the front cover of the new edition.  The color of the lions has been changed from gold to yellow, making them look more like kittens than lions.  Thankfully, the text of this old favorite has remained the same.  If your old copy has been damaged or lost, by all means purchase this new edition.  Otherwise, keep the old one.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Hurd, Edith Thacher.  JOHNNY LION’S RUBBER BOOTS.  Illus by Clement Hurd. New York:  
    Harper, 1972, 2000, 2001.  (Harper I Can Read series)  64p.  0-06-029337-3; hb. $14.95  
    0-06-029338-1; lib.bdg. $14.89       0-06-444295-0; pb, $3.95     K- Gr. 2    E

    This is the third of the Johnny Lion easy readers that are out in new editions.  Like other titles about this engaging cub, the text and illustrations are the same but the cover, title page, and color of the illustrations are different from the previous edition.  In this case, however, the blue color suits the mood and theme of the book better than the original color.  On some pages, 22-23, in particular, the blue with yellow and red accents are even better than the original because they make the illustrations livelier and more interesting.  If you need replacement or new copies, this is a good choice.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Jackson, Garnet.  THE FIRST THANKSGIVING.  Hello Reader series, Level 3. Illus by Carolyn Croll.  
    New York: Scholastic/Cartwheel, 2000.  48p. 0-439-20628-6; pb., $3.99    Gr. 1-3    ER or  394.26

    This is a straight-forward account of the Pilgrims from the sea voyage to the first Thanksgiving.  Although the illustrations are undistinguished, they are adequate.  Emerging readers will find information about Samoset, Squanto, Massasoit, and Bradford.  Although there are lots of picture books on this topic, this easy reader will be useful for reading practice during November for beginning readers.  The paperback price makes this book attractive for classroom libraries.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Jennings, Patrick. THE TORNADO WATCHES.  Illus. by Anna Alter. New York:
    Holiday House, 2002. 64 p. 0823416720; $15.95 hb. 2001052765   Gr 1-3   ER

    Good things come in little packages.  Although this beginning chapter book is small in format, it is a hugh find for a novice reader.  Ike lives in tornado country, so one night when a tornado warning is issued, the family takes shelter in the basement.  When the warning is lifted, Ike is concerned that if he goes to sleep, they fill miss any further alerts.  So he secretly sneaks the TV into his room and plans to watch it all night.  Needless to say, he falls asleep in school the next day...and the following day.  Alas, his teacher and parents are led to believe Ike is sick.  Much to Ike's alarm, one night he wakes up to discover that he is in the basement. Being in a state of exhausted sleep, Ike did not wake up when the alarm sounded, so his parents carried him down to the basement shelter. Tragedy strikes the nighbors who have the roof of their house blown off, which results in Ike learning about emergency first-hand.  The plot is simple, the pace just right, and the text complex enough without being beyond youthful comprehension.  Alter's pencil illustrations provide just the right breaks and bring comfort to a young worrier.  A great little find that will help any youngster familiar with natural catastrophies, wait out the storm.
    Patricia Fittante; Children’s Librarian, Escanaba Public Library, Escanaba, MI

Jennings, Sharon.  FRANKLIN STAYS UP.  Illus by Sean Jeffry, Shelley Southern, and Jelena Sisic. Based on a TV 
    episode written by Brian Lasenby.  Based on characters created by Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark. Tonawanda, NY: 
    Kids Can, 2003.  32p.  1-55337-371-5;     lib.bdg., $14.95  1-55337-372-3; pb., $3.95     Gr. 1- 3   ER

    Fans of Franklin who watch his TV series will enjoy reading this book for themselves.  Readers, like Franklin, have probably wanted to stay up past 9:00.  So he plans a “stay-up-over in my tent” party with his friends Bear, Rabbit, and Snail.  The prize if they stay up is mother’s pancake breakfast.  Franklin keeps his friends from being scared, provides a variety of entertainment, including eating, but one by one, his friends fall asleep.  Readers will enjoy guessing how this book ends.   Franklin is the only one who stays up until dawn but falls asleep and misses breakfast.  This is a very satisfying easy reader that should be purchased by school and public libraries. 
Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan
    Consultant: LLW, third grader at Sandy Knoll Elementary, Marquette, MI


Jennings, Sharon.  FRANKLIN‘S TRADING CARDS.  Illus by Sean Jeffry, Shelley Southern, and  Jelena Sisic. 
    Based on a TV episode written by Brian Lasenby.  Based on characters created by Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark.  
    Tonawanda, NY: Kids Can, 2003. 32p.  1-55337-463-0 lib.bdg. $14.95  1-55337-464-9 pb. $3.95    Gr.1- 3    ER

    Knowing that kids are interested in prizes in cereal boxes, in this case trading cards that are also popular, this book is of interest to emerging readers.  Franklin eats Fly Krispy cereal and enjoys getting Superhero Trading Cards and talks his friends, fox and beaver, into collecting them also.  He and his friends have all of the cards except Super Cat so Franklin eats two bowls a day, makes Fly Krispy squares for desert, but is disappointed when his mother won’t purchase new boxes until he finishes what they already have.  When he finally gets two Super Cat cards he and his friends begin heavy duty trading.  Franklin’s creative solution will tickle readers.  Fans of Franklin who watch his TV series will relish reading this book for themselves.  Recommended for school and public library easy reader collections.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan
    Consultant: LLW, third grader at Sandy Knoll Elementary, Marquette, MI

Karlin, Nurit.  I SEE, YOU SAW.   Illus. by author.  My First I Can Read Series,  Level 1.
    New York:  HarperCollins, 1997. 24p.    PreS-Gr. 1    ER

    Karlin makes extensive use of homonyms common in a young child's speech.  Two cats provide the simple conversation on each page, and the facial expressions provide added humor when the homonyms prove to be particularly confusing to the characters.  This book is perfect for introducing homonyms to young readers who have had only a few weeks of reading instruction and are eager to read a real book on their own and provides a challenge to the reader to correctly interpret the homonyms when they occur.  There is lots of repetition in the text with only a few words per page and the colored line drawings provide clues to figuring out the words if a young reader gets stuck, besides adding to the enjoyment of the story as a whole.
    Alice Johnson; First Grade Teacher, Sawyer Elementary School, Gwinn, MI

Keane, Dave.  BOBBY BRAMBLE LOSES HIS BRAIN. Illus. by David Clark. New York:
          Clarion Books, 2009.  32p. ISBN: 978-0-547-05644-9 hb.  $16.00.     Gr. K-3   ER

          Have you ever lost your mind,  - make that your brain?  Bobby Bramble has.  Bobby is an active boy who was warned numerous times by his mother not to climb, somersault, jump, bounce, slide, swing, saprint, flip, hang upside down.  Bobby does not listen, and he looses his brain. It runs off.  After a prolonged search, the brain is found and Bobby puts it back in his head.  Bobby's fanciful story might help children understand what it means to be careful, but who knows?  They may want their brain to run away!
        
 Christine Collins, Library Director, L'Anse Area Schools/Public Library

Keller, Holly.  A BED FULL OF CATS.  Illus.by author.  Green Light Readers Series. New York: Harcourt, 
    1999.  20p. 0-15-20233-13 hb.,  $13.00   0-05-202262-7; pb. $3.95     PreS-Gr.2      ER

    True to tradition, Keller comes through with another appealing easy reader that is sure to strike the fancy of students in the early grades.  This entertaining title is generously illustrated, yet has fully developed characters.  The link between the text and the art is subtle, yet the playful story will keep the reader holding on.  Flora is Lee's cat...soft as silk.  She likes to sleep on Lee's bed.  Lee likes it too.  One day Lee discovers that Lee is lost.  As the story grows---so does the family of cats.  A purr-fect  ending, wouldn't you say?
    Patricia Fittante, Children's Librarian, Escanaba Public Library, Escanaba, MI

 Keller, Holly.  THE HAT.  Illus. by author.  Orlando, FL:  Harcourt, Inc., 2001.
   
20p.  ISBN 0-15-205179-1 hb. $12.95   Gr. K-1   ER

     This is a level one book in the Green Light Reader series for the beginning reader.  The story is about Pam and Dan and their efforts to catch Pam’s hat, which has blown away.  The book has very few words, and the repetitive vocabulary will make a beginning reader feel successful.  The story shows how friends help friends.  The book includes thinking and hand-on activities, plus a list of other titles in the Green Light Reader series. 

      Marsha Gleason, Assistant Librarian, Ishpeming Carnegie Public Library

 
Kindley, Jeff.  SCAMPER'S YEAR.  Illus.by Laura Rader Bank Street Ready-To-Read Series, 
    Level  l.  Milwaukee:  Gareth Stevens,  1999. 32p.  0-8368-1777-X; lib.bdg. $18.60     PreS-Gr. 1    ER

    This easy reader follows Scamper, a young squirrel, as he experiences nature's changes and watches the seasonal activities of several children through the year.  Each season intrigues him and he finds they all have something to offer.   Rader's  colorful illustrations portray exactly what is happening in the text on each page.  Besides being a delightful story to read, this book could be used as an aid in a discussion or with a unit on the characteristics and activities of each season.
    Alice Johnson; First Grade Teacher, Sawyer Elementary School, Gwinn, MI

Kleinhenz, Sydnie Meltzer.  PLEASED TO EAT YOU.  Illus by Beth Griffis Johnson.  Silly Millies series.  
    Brookfield, CT:  Millbrook, 2003.  32p.   9-7613-2909-9 lib.bdg. $17.90       K-Gr. 2      ER

    Readers learn about carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores in a humorous way in this rhyming easy reader.  Because he is a carnivore, an alligator says to a girl, “Pleased to eat you.”  A horse won’t eat her because he is a herbivore but the bear says he is an omnivore who eats everything.  The easy reader ends with a note to parents and tips for reading and discussion.  This title is a good choice for easy reader collections in school and public libraries.   
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan

Klier, Kimberly Wagner.  YOU CAN’T DO THAT, AMELIA! Illus. Kathleen Kemly. Honesdale, PA:
          Boyds Mills Press, Inc., 2008. 32 p.  978-1-59078-467-9; hb. $16.95.   Gr. 2–4    Easy Reader

        This is the story of Amelia Earhart’s dreaming to do more than what was expected of her.  She was frequently told “You can’t do that, Amelia!”  But, she followed her dreams and did what couldn’t be done.  In the early years of flight, she even became a pilot and broke many flying records.  Her story is told in this colorfully illustrated book.  Included in the book are information about Amelia, Important Dates, Web Sites and DVDs to explore, Places to Visit, and a selected bibliography.  The book would add to any Women’s History collection.
        Chris Collins, L’Anse Area School/Public Library, Director

Koontz, Robin Michal.  HOW IS A MOOSE LIKE A GOOSE?  Illus by author. Silly Millies series.  
    Brookfield, CT:  Millbrook, 2002.  32p.  ISBN0-7613-2669-3 lib.bdg. $17.90    Gr. 2      ER

    Not only is this book fun for beginning readers to tackle by themselves, but they will also learn something about animals.  Two animals are compared with each other on double page spreads. Many of the features are opposites. The last sentence asks what the two have in common.  For example a moose is tall, fuzzy, and doesn’t make much noise while a goose is short, has feathers, and makes a lot of noise.  The question is “How is a tall, fuzzy moose/like a short, honking goose?”  When readers turn the page, they find the answer on a double page spread.  The pattern is repeated for a bee/manatee, gorilla/chinchilla, sloth/moth, cockatoo/ kangaroo, and warthog/bullfrog.  It will be interesting to see which readers realize that the animal names in each pair rhyme with each other.  There is a double page spread at the end that asks readers questions about the animals that appear in the book.  The next double page spread provides more facts about the animals mentioned in the book.  The last page includes tips for reading and discussion for parents.  This is an OUTSTANDING easy reader.  If you purchase only one book in this series, this is the book to buy for school and public library collections.         
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Krier, Chris. WHO WANTS TO PLAY JUST FOR KICKS? Illus. Jorge Santillan. Stevens Point, WI:  
    Stone Arch Books, 2011. 54p. ISBN 978-14342-2229-9 hb.  Gr. 1 - 3    Easy Reader

            The format of the book will first remind the reader of modified graphic design.  As the reader gets into the book, the illustrations become much bolder and almost want to jump off the page.  Krier tells the story of Josh, the young boy who is reticent about giving up his much loved #1 sport, hockey, to learn a new game - soccer.  When Josh has difficulty learning the new game strategy, messes up, and wants to quit, he asks himself, “Who wants to play just for kicks?”
            Patricia Fittante, Children’s Librarian, Escanaba Public Library, Escanaba, MI

Labatt, Mary.   PIZZA FOR SAM.  Illus by Marisol Sarrazin.  Kids Can Read series.  Tonawanda, NY:  
    Kids Can, 2003.  1-55337-329-4; lib.bdg., $14.95  1-55337-331-6; pb., $3.95   Gr. K-2   ER

    Sam is an adorable shaggy dog.  Joan and Bob make food for a party but do not make any for Sam.  Guests also bring food.  As Sam eyes each type of food, he is told that “[they]…are not good for puppies,”  providing lots of repetition for emerging readers.  Readers become hungry with Sam.  When pizza is delivered and left unprotected, Sam decides that “Pizza is for puppies.”  The story is better than many found in easy readers.  Make this book and the companion book, SAM FINDS A MONSTER.  (Kids Can, 2003), a first purchase.    
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan

Labatt, Mary.  SAM AT THE SEASIDE.  Illus. by Marisol Sarrazin.  Kids Can Read          
   
Series.  Toronto, Ontario, Canada:  Kids Can Read Press, 2006.  32p.
     ISBN: 13: 978-1-55337-876-1 hb. $14.95.     Gr. K-3     Easy Reader

    Bob and Joan take their fluffy, lop-eared, lovable puppy "Sam" to the beach for a day of fun and exploration.   Sam experiences the joy and peril of confronting new creatures. Crabs and seagulls are not friendly, but digging in the sand and rolling in the remains of a dead fish are true delights. The illustrations capture Sam's doubts as well as his rollicking good time. This book is certain to delight young readers.
            Judy Bennett, Clerk, Ironwood Carnegie Library, Ironwood, MI

Labatt, Mary.  SAM FINDS A MONSTER.  Illus. Marisol Sarrazin.  Kids Can Read series. Tonowanda, 
    NY: Kids Can, 2003. 1-55337-3551-0 lib.bdg. $14.95  1-55337-352-9 pb., $3.95   Gr. K-2   ER

    A shaggy dog named Sam was watching a scary big green monster on TV.  When the monster disappeared from the TV, Sam wondered where the monster went.  Then, with lots of repetition, Sam checks under the bed, behind sofas, under tables, in kitchens.   In a small room off the kitchen, Sam encounters a big green monster next to the broom, mop, and pail.  No matter what Sam does, including barking and jumping up and down, the monster does not move.  So Sam bites the monster several times and out come cookies, then doughnuts thus providing more repetition.  After a good shaking, out come bones, cake, and pizza.  The monster leaves just as the door opens and the family returns so Sam expects to be treated as a hero.  Readers have fun being able to identify the monster as a garbage bag and for knowing that Sam will not get the praise he expects.  This easy reader has several elements that make it exemplary: an engaging hero, lots of meaningful repetition, chances to make projections, and humor.  Make this book and the companion book, PIZZA FOR SAM (Kids Can, 2003), a first purchase.    
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan

Labatt, Mary.  SAM GOES NEXT DOOR.  Illus. by Marisol Sarrazin.  Kids Can Read Series.
            Toronto, Ontario:  Kids Can Read Press, 2006.  32p.  hb. $14.95.    Gr. K-3     Easy Reader

            Sam, the fluffy, lovable puppy, is inquisitive about the big truck which has arrived next door. He watches from his own yard as a new family with two small children moves in.  The story unfolds as Sam and the children get acquainted and even learn to compromise in their playing together. Well, Sam doesn't compromise, much--the children do most of it in a most delightful, entertaining way.  Marisol Sarrazin's illustrations portray Sam's true feelings. There is no mistaking whether Sam is happy or not. 
            Judy Bennett, Clerk, Ironwood Carnegie Library, Ironwood, MI

Labatt, Mary.  SAM AT THE SEASIDE.  Illus. Marisol Sarrazin. Toronto, Ontario, Canada:  
       
Kids Can Read Press, 2006. 32p. ISBN: 978-155337-876-1 hb. $14.95.  Gr. K-3  Easy Reader

        Bob and Joan take their fluffy, lop-eared, lovable puppy "Sam" to the beach for a day of fun and exploration.   Sam experiences the joy and peril of confronting new creatures. Crabs and seagulls are not friendly, but digging in the sand and rolling in the remains of a dead fish are true delights. The illustrations capture Sam's doubts as well as his rollicking good time. This book is certain to delight young readers.
            Judy Bennett, Clerk, Ironwood Carnegie Library, Ironwood, MI

Laurence, Daniel.  CAPTAIN AND MATEY SET SAIL.  I Can Read.  Illus by Claudio Munoz.
    New York: Harper, 2001.  64p.  06-028956-2; hb., $14.95  0-06-028957-0; lib.bdg.,, $14.89
    0-06-444285-3; pb., $3.95   00-0350080   Gr. 1-3    ER

    The four stories in this pirate book are self-contained.  The first is about how the Captain and his first mate acquire and name their parrot.  The parrot helps the two men resolve their squabble over their songs in the second story.  The third story is the least effective and is about a pirate they pick up swimming in the ocean.  In the last story, the two pirates talk about how they will spend their treasure even before they find it and in the process they discover the importance of friendship.  Pirates are a crowd pleasing topic and the stories will interest beginning readers
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Levinson, Nancy. NORTH POLE SOUTH POLE.  Illus. Diane Hearn. New York: HolidayHouse, 2002.  
    40p.   0-8234-1737-9; hb., $14.95     Gr. 1-2      ER    

    A globe and then maps of the top and bottom of the earth show the North and South Poles.  Within the text readers learn about the axis, role of the sun, animals, people, and visits by scientists and explorers.  This is a versatile nonfiction easy reader that will be useful in studies about the Poles, winter, animal habitats, and continents.  
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan

Levinson, Nancy Smiler.  PRAIRIE FRIENDS.  Illus by Stacey Schuett.  An I Can Read Book series.  
    New York: Harper, 2003. 63p.   0-06-028001-8 hb. $15.99   0-06-028002-6; lib.bdg. $16.89   K-Gr. 2    ER

    There are five chapters to this book and in each one Betsy, who lives on the Nebraska prairie, wants to have a friend.  When Emmeline finally moves into a dugout  near them, they have an adventure while berry picking.  Throughout the story, readers learn about frontier life: husking bees, food, children’s games, and corn-husk dolls.  In an “Author’s Note,”  Levinson discusses dugouts and soddies as well as the isolation on the prairie one hundred and fifty years ago.  This is an exemplary easy reader that has potential for enhancing studies of frontier life.    
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan

Lexau, Joan M.  DON'T BE MY VALENTINE: A CLASSROOM MYSTERY.
    Illus by Syd Hoff.  I Can Read series.  New York: Harper, 1985, 1999.  64p.
    0-06028239-8; hb., $14.95  0-06-023873-9; lib.bdg., $15.89   PreS-Gr.3    ER

    Sam is bugged by Amy Lou's constant advice so he writes a mean valentine verse for her that goes to his teacher instead.  Then Sam blames his best friend, Albert, for the mix-up.   The problem is realistically solved to the satisfaction of all parties.  Because of the variety of interpersonal relationships, teachers and librarians can use this book for discussion purposes.  This book has more meat to it than most easy readers.  The problem isn’t whether or not to purchase this book but where to shelve it— with easy readers, mysteries, or holiday books.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Little, Jean.  EMMA'S MAGIC WINTER.  Illus by Jennifer Plecas. I Can Read Series.
    New York: HarperCollins, 1998.   64p.  ISBN0-06-025389-4 hb. $14.95;
    ISBN0-06-025390-8 lib.bdg. $14.89.   97-49667       K-Gr.3     ER

    There are seven chapters in this easy reader about how shy Emma makes friends with a new girl next door and her baby brother through magic boots and reading aloud.  Because the story takes place in winter, the girls play outside in the snow.  The winter setting is a natural part of the story.  By the time spring comes, Emma's self confidence has improved.  This easy reader moves emerging readers toward chapter books.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Little, Jean.  EMMA’S YUCKY BROTHER.  Illus by Jennifer Plecas.  Harper I Can Read
    series.  New York:  HarperCollins, 2001.  64p.  ISBN0-06-028348-3 hb. $14.95  
    ISBN0-06-028349-1 lib.bdg. $14.89.  99-34515    Gr. 1-3    ER      PAULIN’S PICKS

    Here is an easy reader with some “meat” in it.  This is a book about siblings and adoption in particular.  In the first of five chapters, Little tells about Emma’s excitement about her new adopted brother who will be coming shortly.  Sally, her best friend, says “He will be a pest…All brothers are pests.”  Of course her little brother Josh does not agree.  When Max arrives for a visit he does not appreciate Emma’s cookies and toy car.  To further hurt her feelings, he likes Sally better and calls her Yucky Emma.   Needless to say, Emma is not happy when Max comes to live with them.  The plot is substantial for an easy reader but not overwhelming and the ending, while happy, is arrived at naturally and without saccharine.   This book can be enjoyed as a brother/sister story, not just for the adoption theme.  Place this book at the top of the order list for school and public libraries of all sizes.  Media specialists should tell their counselors about this one.  Little has upheld her considerable reputation as a great storyteller.  This is an essential purchase.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Lowry, Lois.  GOONEY BIRD IS SO ABSURD. Illus. by Middy Thomas.  New York: Houghton Mifflin,
        2009. 105p. 978-0-547-11967-0 hb. $15.00   Gr. 2-3  Easy Reader

The title leads readers to think the story is about a second grader called Gooney Bird, but that’s not the case.  The story is really about Mrs. Pidgeon and how she teaches poetry to her classroom by taking advantage of teachable moments.  The school principal and several other notable characters in the classroom inspire lessons in couplets, Haiku, limericks, and poems for many voices.  This is an intermediate reader, the perfect way for young readers to launch themselves into the juvenile collection.        
        
Lynette Suckow, Youth Services, Peter White Public Library, Marquette, MI

Macdonald, Maryann. RABBIT'S BIRTHDAY KITE.   Illus. by Lynn Munsinger.
    Bank Street Ready-To-Read Series, Level 2.  Milwaukee:  Gareth Stevens, 1999.  32p.
    0-8368-1779-6; lib.bdg., $18.60     98-38745    GR. 1-2     ER

    Rabbit had never had a kite so Hedgehog decided to make one for his birthday.  As soon as he received it, Rabbit was eager to get it into the air. He ignored Hedgehog's directions because, after all,  he knew about kites--he had watched others fly them.  After a series of misfortunes due to Rabbit's  know-it-all attitude, the long-suffering and ever patient Hedgehog  finally succeeded in coaching Rabbit to a successful launch.   Finally, they were able to enjoy the kite as it soared over the sea until the string broke.  Macdonald's story is a good study of how attitudes, as well as how love and patience within a relationship, can affect outcomes.  Munsinger's whimsical illustrations are a delight to the eye and add much to the enjoyment of the story.  This would be a great addition to an elementary child's bookshelf.
   Alice Johnson; First Grade Teacher, Sawyer Elementary School, Gwinn, MI

Maddox, Jake. SPEED CAMP. Illus.by Sean Tiffany. Mankato, MN: Stone Arch Books,

            2010. 63p. ISBN 978-14342-16021 hb. $23.99    Gr. 2-4   ER

 

            Race car fans now have a great book in SPEED CAMP.  Cylan and Robby have always done everything together. However, at rance camp, they are given different partners for their big challenge of building a stock car.  Know-it-all Robby teases Dylan when they find out that Dylan’s partner, Joe, is actually a girl named Jo.  Dylan and Jo seem to get along great, and succeed in building a very competitive car.  They race against Robby’s team and, due to Robby’s good sportsmanship, Dylan wins.  The author keeps readers engaged in the story until the very end when all is resolved and new friendships are made.  Readers will find age-appropriate discussion questions and writing ideas at the end of the book.

            Amy Becker, Librarian, Peter White Public Library, Marquette, MI

McMullan, Kate. FLUFFY MEETS THE GROUNDHOG.  Hello Reader series, Level 3.  Illus. Mavis Smith.  
    New York:  Scholastic Cartwheel, 2001. 32p.    0-439-20672-3; pb. $3.99   00-035812  Gr. 1-2  ER

    Ms. Day explains to her class that tomorrow is Groundhog Day.  There is a Guinea pig named Fluffy in a cage in that room.  The bold print is dialogue for Fluffy.  On Feb. 2, renamed Groundpig Day, classes take their Guinea pigs outside on the playground to see if they can see their shadows.  Fluffy wanders off and falls into a tunnel and meets a grumpy groundhog.  The twist at the end of the story makes it especially interesting.  There are few picture books and fewer easy readers about Groundhog Day so this book will be doubly welcome in school and public libraries.
 Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Maestro, Marco and Giulio.  GEESE FIND THE MISSING PIECE: SCHOOL TIME RIDDLE 
    RHYMES
.  Illus. Giulio Maestro.  I Can Read Series.  New York: Harper, 1999.  48p.  
    0-06-026220-6; hb.,$ 14.95   0-06-02621-4; lib.bdg., $14.89     K-Gr. 3       793.7  or   ER

    What an exciting way to learn to read!  The 22 riddles depend on rhyme for students to guess the answers.  The riddle and the rhyming hint are on one page and the answer is on the reverse.  If by chance the reader does not guess the answer, the illustrations depict it.  The rhyming hint on the riddle page is in bold type and the answer on the next page is also in bold type.  "How do the noisy ducks play with blocks?  They stack while they... [turn the page] quack."  The question is not should school and public libraries purchase this book but where they should put it-- with the easy readers or with the riddle books.  This book is a first purchase.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Michaels, Anna.  BEST FRIENDS.  Illus. by Brian Karas.  Orlando, FL:

            Harcourt, Inc, 2004.  ISBN 0-15-205136-8 hb. $12.95   Gr. K-1   ER

 

            Dan and Zack enjoy a snack together, then through rhyming phrases, repetition and questions, Dan has a surprise for Zack.  There are only two short chapters to provide a transition for beginning readers.  To get readers thinking about the story, there are questions and two great hands-on activities are included at the end of the book.

            Debra Ely, Children’s Librarian, Ishpeming Carnegie Public Library

Michelson, Richard.  OH NO, NOT GHOSTS!  Illus. by Adam McCauley. Orlando, Florida:  
           
Harcourt, Inc., 2006.  ISBN: 13: 978-0-15-205186-0 hb. $16.00    K-3    E R

            This book is about a brother teasing his little sister at bedtime. Brother's imagination takes flight as he describes all the scary night creatures he will protect his sister from: werewolves, giants, ghosts, demons, skeletons; all illustrated in action-packed exaggerations which older children would not take seriously. As Miss Muffett said, "We little girls aren't afraid of spiders any more."  A word of caution:  illustrations show the little girl cowering in fear. This book encourages the stereotype of helpless little girls depending on big, brave (and bullying) brother.
            Judy Bennett, Clerk, Ironwood Carnegie Library, Ironwood, MI

Minarik, Else Holmelund.  LITTLE BEAR’S VALENTINE.  Illus by Heather Green. New York:  
    Harper, 2003.  32p.  0-694-1712-4; hb.,$14.99    0-06-052244-5  lib.bdg. $15.89   PreS-Gr. 1     ER

    The original illustrations for the “Little Bear” books were created by Maurice Sendak.  In this title, Green illustrates a bear reminiscent of Sendak’s.  While Mother Bear is making cookies, Little Bear makes valentines for Emily, Hen, Owl, and Duck.  Before he leaves to deliver his valentines, Little Bear hides his mother’s valentine in the cookie jar.  A stop at the mailbox provides Little Bear with an unsigned valentine which his mother says comes from a “secret admirer.”  While delivering his valentines, Little Bear learns that none of his four friends are his secret admirer.  This quest provides repetition as well as a mystery that is resolved at the end of the story.  Add this easy reader to holiday collections in school and public libraries.    
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan

Mortensen, Lori. VOTE FOR OUR ZOO.  Illus. Gina Perry.  Minneapolis, MN: Picture Window Books, 
    2009. 32 p. ISBN 978-1-4048-4908-2 hb. $14.95    Gr. K-2   Easy Reader    

            Jamie loves the zoo and field trips to it.  But the zoo is getting old and needs a special vote to stay open.  Jamie and her friends campaign to save the zoo.  The story places election concepts into a framework that young children are able to understand, and it also helps build character education through working for the good of the community.  Included in the book are a glossary, secret ballot activity, and a “learn more” section.  This story is very useful to use with Social Studies curriculum during any election process.
         
Chris Collin, L’Anse School/Public Library Director

Nagel, Karen Berman.  SNOW?  LET’S GO!  Illus by Carolyn Croll.  My First Hello Reader Series.
    New York:  Scholastic Cartwheel, 2000.  32p.  0-439-09906-4; pb., $3.99.     K-Gr. 2     ER

    The paperback format makes this easy reader accessible for home and classroom use.  Reading the few words per page, learners read about clothing necessary to wear out in the snow.  The humorous ending and rhyming text make the book fun to read.  The flash cards in the middle of the book can be removed for word recognition of winter clothing.  There are activities at the end of the book that include identifying rhyming words and items that are not winter clothing, , finding pictures that do not belong in a winter scene, and placing items of clothing in the order they should be put on.  Answers appear on the last page.   Because of the potential for writing in the book and loosing the flash cards, this book is recommended for library use only if encased in a plastic checkout bag.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Nielsen-Fernlund, Susin.  HANK AND FERGUS.  Illus.Laliberte Louise-Andree. Victoria, BC Canada:  
    Orca Book Publishers, 2003.  34p. ISBN: 1-55143-245-5 hb. $16.95     PreS-Gr2      ER

    This book is about Hank who has an imaginary dog Fergus.  Hank has a birthmark that makes him feel insecure.  He meets a boy named Cooper with a scar on his stomach from an appendix operation.  They become friends after Cooper challenges his imaginary dog.  Very nice illustrations accompany this story.  Recommended for school and public libraries.
    Sharon Evans, Assistant Librarian, Engadine, MI

Novak, Matt.  LITTLE WOLF BIG WOLF.  Illus by author.  Harper I Can Read Series,
    level 2.  New York: Harper, 2000.  48p.  0-06-027486-7 hb., $14.95   0-06-0274487-6;
    lib.bdg. $14.89    0-06-4423330-6; pb., $3.95.  99-10610    Gr. 1-3     ER   

    All three of the stories in this easy reader are exceptional.  In “New Friends,” Little Wolf and Big Wolf decide that they can be friends even though they like different activities.   Mothers may not like “The Visitor” but kids will.  Little Wolf hires a cleaning service to clean his house so that Big Wolf will feel at home. After cleaning each item, Mrs. Bear of the Busy Bear Cleaning service admonishes him not to touch, sit on, or wear  anything and Little Wolf is afraid to move around in his house.  When Big Wolf comes and muddies, rumbles, and creates a mess, Little Wolf is worried he won’t feel at home but he does.  The last story is the best, “A Fun Party.”   They divide the tasks, Big Wolf will get the food and Little Wolf will invite the guests.  Big Wolf gathers up all the animals he sees and puts them in a sack.  When he arrives at the party, Little Wolf is crying because he can’t find any of his friends.  To make him feel better, Big Wolf empties his sack and out comes--you guessed--the friends.  These stories are fun for beginning readers and are a first purchase for school and public library easy reader collections.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Oppenheim, Joanne.  DO YOU LIKE CATS?  Illus. Newsom Carol. Bank Street Ready-To-Read Series.
    Level 1.  Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens, 1993. 32p. 0-8368-1757-5, lib. bdg., $18.60.   ER

     This book may convince you to get a sweet, cuddly, and playful cat.  If not, it is still an enjoyable rhyming book that  would be good for readers and non-readers.  The pictures flow very well with the story.  Did you know that not all cats have two eyes that are the same color? You will learn this and other unique facts about cats by reading Oppenheim's book.  The book shows some types of cats and places where cats can live.  Recommended especially for children who are interested in cats.
     Summer Wells, Volunteer; Engadine Library/Consolidated Schools, Engadine, MI

Oram, Hiawyn.  MY UNWILLING WITCH GOES TO BALLET SCHOOL. Illus. Sarah Warburton. 
   
New York: Little Brown, 2009. 78p.  ISBN: 9780316034722 hb.$9.99     Gr. 3-5   Easy Reader

          MY UNWILLING WITCH GOES TO BALLET SCHOOL is the first book in a series starring Witch Hagatha Agatha (Haggie Aggie for short, HA for shortest), narrated by her familiar Rumblewick. Written in diary form, Rumblewick relates his woes in being a familiar for a witch who delights in non-witchy behavior, such as wearing pink and not using live ingredients for her potions. In this particular installment, Haggie Aggie has decided to enroll herself in ballet school on the â?oOtherside,â?ť where the non-magical people live.  The humor, illustrations and diary format are sure to appeal to young elementary readers. Includes glossary of unfamiliar ballet and other terms, as well as the Witchesâ?T Charter of Good Practice.
          Heather Crozier, Munising School Public Library, Munising, MI

Otto, Carolyn B.  WOLVES.  Scholastic Science Readers series, Level 2.  Illus with photos.  New York:  
    Scholastic Reference, 2000.  48p.  0-439-29584-X; pb., $3.99     Gr. 2-3    599.773     ER

    The colorful photos and easy sentences provide information about wolves to beginning readers.  The words in bold print within the text are found in the glossary at the end of the book right before the index.  Difficult words like regurgitated have phonetic spelling in parenthesis after the word; the accented syllable is in bold print.  The word domesticate appears on both lists.  The book begins with a gray wolf on the Alaskan tundra.   After reading aloud Jean George’s JULIE OF THE WOLVES (Harper, 1972) to second or third graders, children can read more about wolves for themselves.  Use the book when studying biomes (tundra), mammals, endangered species, and ecology.  Shelve with animal books or easy readers.  This is a first purchase for school or public libraries but is essential in Alaska, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin, and Wyoming because they are mentioned in the text.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Papademetriou, Lisa.  LUCKY ME!  Photos by Dorothy Handelman.  Brookfield: Millbrook Press, 1999.   
    48p.  Real Kids Readers series.  0-7613-2071-7; lib.bdg. $18.90     Gr. 1-3     E READER

    Illustrated with photographs of real kids, and using content dealing with real kids' problems, this book is relevant and interesting to young readers.  The series uses a blend of whole language and phonics instructional methods which is useful for remediation or reading practice.  The phonics guide and advice for parents on teaching young children to read provide support for use in the home.  Ted's grandma lives with them.  Ted sees this as a mixed blessing; although he loves his grandma, she embarrasses him by wearing slacks, playing baseball and soccer,  and publicly calling him "Teddy Bear.”  Ted wishes she would act more like other grandmas.  His friend Tony gives him some good advice and the title of the story hints at the outcome.
    Carolyn Anderson, retired teacher; Member of the L’Anse (MI) Public Library Advisory Board

Papademetriou, Lisa.  REALLY?  Photos by Dorothy Handelman.  Brookfield: Millbrook Press, 1999.  
    48p. Real Kids Readers series.  0-7613-2072-5; lib.bdg. $18.90       Gr. 1-3     E Reader

    Illustrated with photographs of real kids, and using content dealing with real kids' problems, this book is relevant and interesting to young readers.  The series uses a blend of whole language and phonics instructional methods which is useful for remediation or reading practice.  The phonics guide and advice for parents on teaching young children to read provide support for use in the home. Samantha and her new friend, Fern, have a great time pretending but Fern tells Sam some things that sound like outright lies. How much of what Fern says can Sam believe?  Can she really be trusted?  When Sam is invited to sleep over at Fern's house, her dilemma is resolved.
    Carolyn Anderson, retired elementary teacher;Member of the L’Anse Public Library Advisory Board

Porte, Barbara.  HARRY’S BIRTHDAY.  Illus by Yossi Abolafia.  New York: HarperCollins 
            Publishers, 2003.  47p.  ISBN 0-06-0503564 hb. $16.89    Gr. 1-3     ER

 

            Porte and Abolafia come together for a another story about Harry.  In HARRY’S BIRTHDAY, the main character relates the story of his birthday party.  Harry had a bad experience with his previous birthday and would like to correct that with a big party, pizza and clowns.  Most of all, he wants a cowboy hat.  Dad decides on a party at home where Harry helps with planning and recruiting his aunt and uncle to assist in the entertainment.  This easy reader is a hit with early elementary students.

            Amy Becker, Technical Services Librarian, Peter White Public Library

 

Porte, Barbara.  HARRY’S PONY.  Illus. by Yossi Abolafia.  New York: HarperCollins Publishers,
            2003.  56p.  ISBN 0-06-050658-X hb. $16.89    Gr. 1-3    ER

 

            Harry has won a contest where his choice of prizes is a pony or a bicycle.  On course, Harry wants the pony, as he already has a bicycle.  As he talks to the various people in his life about the reality of owning and boarding a pony, he is able to come up with an alternative course of action.  He concedes the bicycle and he is able to visit the pony whenever he wishes.  Throughout the Harry series, the engaging narration lets readers into Harry’s thoughts.  The well-chosen vocabulary and the illustrations aid in moving the story along.  These books and the entire Harry series is recommended for elementary school libraries and public libraries for students in grades 1 - 3.

            Amy Becker, Technical Services Librarian, Peter White Public Library

Poydar, Nancy.  THE BIGGEST TEST IN THE UNIVERSE.  Illus. by author.
    New York: Holiday House, 2005.  Unp. Gr. K-3   Easy Readers.

    The dreaded "big test" has been announced by teacher, Mr. Albright.  Word spreads and stress levels increase as the children anticipate a test on everything they ever learned. Exaggerated stories of past tests quickly make the rounds, and stomachs churn in expectation. To their surprise, the children survive and become part of the initiated who, with an air of bravado, perpetuate the tradition of stress-and-dread before the test.  Nancy Poydar is a former elementary school teacher who knows whereof she writes. She also provided the colorful, comical illustrations.
    Judy Bennett, Ironwood Carnegie Library Clerk, Ironwood, MI

Rau, Dana Meachen.  YAHOO FOR YOU.  Illus. Cary Pillo.  Minneapolis:  Compass Point, 2002.  32p.  
    SIBN 0-7565-0177-6; lib.bdg., $18.60  2002-004727   K-Gr. 3     ER    PAULIN'S PICKS

    The list of 42 words that appear in the text are given at the end of the book.  The story is interesting and helps readers to discover themselves as they face their fears.  A “Parent’s Page” offers activities to help children try new things.  All this is commendable but it is the story that is riveting.  Told in the first person by a girl who visits her Grandmother, there is lots of repetition.  The older woman wants her granddaughter to try new things; i.e., climb, swim, eat pea soup, and ride ponies.  Grandmother says “Give it a try.“  The girl tries and likes the new experiences.  At the end of the book she turns the tables on her grandmother and asks her to do something she thinks she doesn’t like.  The repetition, universality, and surprise ending make this story a great easy reader.  After the girl and/or her grandmother enjoy something new, the recurring refrain is “Yahoo for you (us)!”  I say Yahoo to Rau.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Ruelle, Karen Gray.  SNOW VALENTINES.  Holiday House Readers, Level. 2.  New York:  
    Holiday, 2000.  32p.  0-8234-1533-3; hb., $14.95    Gr. 1-2    ER    PAULIN’S PICKS

    It is difficult to write an easy reader that sustains the story while making it fascinating for emerging readers.  Ruelle does so admirably using sufficient repetition in four chapters about a cat named Harry and his sister, Emily.  The kittens get hugs from their mother and drawings from their father for special occasions and know this will be true for Valentine’s Day also.  The cat kids want to do something special for Valentine’s Day but after unfavorable feedback from their parents, they discard paper hearts, a dance, a song, a dessert, and finally settle on the newly fallen snow to help them express their love for their parents.  This is a humorous and tender story which is totally believable.    Although this title is a holiday and winter book, it can be read year long because love and family don’t have boundaries dictated by the calendar.  Consider shelving it with the easy readers rather than with the holiday books, especially in snowy climates.  Even if your easy reader budget is limited, make sure that this is one of your selections.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Ruelle, Karen Gray.  SPOOKIER THAN A GHOST.  Illus by author.  New York: Holiday House Readers, 
    Level 2, 2001.  32p.  ISBN 0-823-1667-4 hb. $14.95.    00-053854   Gr. 2-3     ER

    Harry and his sister Emily are preparing for Halloween.  The setting for the first chapter is Oct. 1 and the cat children discuss previous costumes.  Emily has Harry guessing what her costume will be this year.  In the second chapter, the two cats make a variety of spooky pictures to put in the windows and carve their jack-o-lanterns but Emily won't even tell her mother what her costume will be.  In the third chapter, Emily helps Harry make his dinosaur costume but works on her costume in secret.  In the fourth and final chapter, Emily is crying because she wanted her costume to be spooky, beautiful, big, and a surprise but it turned out dumb.  Harry cheers her up and when they go out trick-or-treating, Emily gets two extra surprises.  Primary students will enjoy reading this book for themselves.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Ruelle, Karen Gray.  THE THANKSGIVING BEAST FEAST. Illus.by the author. Holiday House Reader
    series, Level 2.  New York: Holiday House, 1999.  ISBN0-8234-1511-2 hb. $14.95.       Gr.1-2       ER

    There are four chapters to this holiday easy reader.  In the first chapter two cat kids, Harry and Emily, talk about what they like to eat at Thanksgiving time. Emily prefers  pumpkin-shaped cookies to pumpkin pie.  The two cats discuss how the American Indians helped the Pilgrims grow corn and how they had a feast together because they were thankful.  In the second chapter they watch a squirrel, a bird, and a chipmunk look for, but not find food.   In chapter 3, Harry and Emily make plans for their beast feast.  In the last chapter, the cat family is getting ready for the Thanksgiving feast for their relatives.  But Harry and Emily take time to put out food so the animals can have Thanksgiving too.  They even share Emily's pumpkin-shaped cookies with them for dessert.   This is a satisfying story for emerging readers.  It even works as a read aloud; teachers may want to read it aloud and then pass out pumpkin-shaped cookies before  putting the book in the back of the room for students to read individually.  Or teachers may choose to read only the first three chapters aloud and let the students finish it by themselves.  Although easy readers and early chapter books  are not the read aloud choice for public library story hours, this one would work before children frost pumpkin-shaped cookies as a culminating activity.  The cat children are as appealing as the story.  Librarians may decide to put this one in with the easy readers or chapter books  rather than with the holiday books.  Wherever they put it, it belongs in every library.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Rylant, Cynthia.  ANNIE AND SNOWBALL AND THE MAGICAL HOUSE. Illus. Susie Stevenson.  
       
New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010.  ISBN 978-1416914594 hb. $15.99   Gr. K-2   E Reader

 

Annie is such a great character in her book series, always frilly from head to toe!  When she arrives at the house of her new friend, she’s surprised to find that is looks like a gingerbread cottage, complete with her favorite frilly things inside.  However, Annie and her new friend, Sarah, are not afraid to change activities and get dirty in the garden as then venture through the roses, climbing vines, walls of ivy to make a magical fairy house.  The pair remember to pick some lavender for Annie’s pet rabbit Snowball, who also appears in every book.  Annie has a wonderful time at her new friend’s house, which makes me think she will visit again soon in upcoming books.
        Mary Koshorek, Spies Public Library, Menominee, MI

Rylant, Cynthia.  HENRY AND MUDGE AND THE SNOWMAN PLAN.  Illus. by
    Sucie Stevenson.  Ready-to-Read Series, Level 2.  New York:   Simon and Schuster,
    1999. 40p.  0-689-81169-1; hb., $14.00.   98-108942     Gr. K-3    ER

    This is the 19th Henry and Mudge easy reader written by Rylant and illustrated by Stevenson using  her usual watercolors.  Three chapters are listed in the contents.   In the first chapter Henry learns about the snowman contest and asks his father to enter with him.  His father is green from painting a chair.  While Henry and his father build their snowman, Henry visits with his dog friends.  The last chapter shows a variety of entries:   snow people, cats, dogs, and aliens. The judges are mystified by Henry and his Dad's snowman until Henry tells them it is his dad painting a chair.  Winners are varied: Abraham Lincoln, a snow leopard and third place to the snowman with paint in his mustache.   They receive a ribbon for most original and a box of snowman cookies.  Snowman cookies would be a great treat after reading this book.  First and second grade teachers can have a box of snowman cookies in the reading corner for students to eat after reading the book to themselves.  This winning combination has produced another winner.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director, Superiorland Preview Center
 
Schecter, Ellen.  DIAMONDS AND TOADS: A CLASSIC TALE.  Illus by Ami Blackshear.
    Originally published by Byron Preiss,1994. Milwaukee:  Gareth Stevens, 1999.  48p.  
    0-8368-1781-8; lib.bdg., $18.60.   98-038483      Gr.2-4.    ER   or   398.2

    This easy reader is intended for second and third graders to read on their own.  Although no source notes for the story are given, this favorite folktale is known by this title in French but is called  "Mother Holle" or "Mother Hulda" in German.  In this retelling, the daughters are called   Caire and Malina. A fairy disguised as an old woman, and later as a princess,  appears to the two sisters. Claire, kind and pretty, gives the woman a drink at the well and is rewarded when diamonds fall from her mouth.  The greedy mother sends Claire's older sister to the well but Malina  is rude to the princess so toads and snakes spew forth from her mouth.  A prince conveniently comes along and after hearing Claire's story, falls in love with her.   The illustrations are pale but in keeping with the story.  Add this story to the easy  reader collection rather than the folklore collection
    Mary Ann Paulin;  Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Schlepp, Tammy J.  BABY ANIMALS.  My World series; Level 3.  Brookfield, CT: Copper Beech,
    2000.  32p.  0-7613-1218-8; lib.bdg., $17.90   0-7613-2289-2; pb., $3.99   Gr. 1-3     ER    

    The illustrations in this easy reader alternate between realistic drawings and photos.  The printed information includes the name of the animal babies, i.e., puppy, foal, joey, duckling, when there is one.  Otherwise they are simply called baby crocodiles or baby spiders.  Six are born from their mothers, four come from eggs, and three are surprises like tadpole/frogs or caterpillar/butterflies.  The book is interactive and readers are asked to identify animals by pictures of their skin.  Another double spread has children identify which ones lay eggs.  This series, first published in London, contains an index and answers to the two sets of questions.
    The problem with this title is that it is classified as nonfiction and the information is nonfiction.  However, the information is presented in the first person through the voice of each animal.  The same two sentences are found at the beginning of the section on each animal.  “Hi, I’m a little (puppy, baby gibbon, penguin, etc.)  Do you know what I do?”   All of the information is imparted through the baby animal.  Each sentence either begins with I or contains the pronoun in the sentence.  The illustrations and photos are realistic rather than anthropomorphized, but the text confuses the issue and moves the book into that realm by having the animals provide the information.  There are plenty of books about baby animals that are less confusing; pass on this one.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

 Schlepp, Tammy J.  FARM ANIMALS.  My World series; Level 3.  Brookfield, CT:
    Copper Beech, 2000.  32p.  0-7613-2295-7; pb., $3.99      Gr. 1-3     ER

    Using colorful photos and drawings, Schlepp introduces a variety of farm animals to children.  There are a number of problems with this book.  A photo shows nursing piglets and their mother but the caption identifies only the piglets with no mention that this is the name for baby pigs.  The drawing that is labeled “Pig” shows a dirty pig standing in the mud, reinforcing the misleading information that pigs are dirty animals.  The double page spread showing chickens includes many hens in a photo, a drawing of a rooster, and a photo of a chick.  The lone chick fills two thirds of the opposite page and makes the chickens and rooster look small, leaving the impression that a chick is larger than its parents.  The cows are shown with “udders are full of milk for you to drink.”  However, if a child does not know what and where the udder is, there is no label or written description.  Two kids (baby goats) appear on page 12 and one of them looks more like a cat than a goat.  The lamb on the opposite page is much larger in size.   The intervening pages are about milk cows, beef cattle, and a bull.  Pages 18 and 19 return to sheep and shearing.  Pages 20 and 21 are about goats and pages 22-12 are about sheep dogs.  There is no reason to jump back and forth; the result makes the book disjointed.  The best part of the book is two double page spreads at the end where children have to identify farm animals by their parts or by things we get from them.   There are better books where children can learn about farm animals; pass on this one.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Schlepp, Tammy J.  GAMES I PLAY.  My World series; Level 2.  Brookfield, CT: Copper Beech, 2001.  
    24p.  0-7613-2173-X; lib.bdg., $15.90   0-7613-2296-5 pb. $3.99   00-065799    PreS-Gr. 3     ER

    This story, told in the first person, is about a girl who invites her friend Jerry to play with her.   Illustrations are a combination of photos and drawings.  Because it is raining, the two decide to play “dress-up” with the girl being a princess and Jerry being the knight.  The children decide to build a castle out of a table.  When the rain stops, they play outside on a trampoline, play hopscotch, and watch her brother Will play soccer.  During halftime, Jerry and the girl play catch with the ball and after the game, Will plays with them.  On the way home, the kids play “I spy” and readers are involved in the game.  At home, while Mom cooks dinner, Dad plays checkers with them and again readers are involved in the game.  Jerry goes home and after dinner Mom plays “Go Fish” with Will and his sister.  A list of words and phrases with photos and illustrations concludes the book.
    Although this book portrays a white nuclear family that is not the norm today, it is still a good easy reader for students to practice independent reading and learn about using time wisely in constructive play.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Schlepp, Tammy J. GOING TO SCHOOL. My World series; Level 2.  Brookfield, CT: Copper Beech, 2001.  
    24p.  0-7613-2168-3; lib.bdg., $15.90   0-7613-2297-3 pb., $3.99  00-052393    PreS-Gr. 2      ER

    Alex has butterflies before his first day at school.  He asks his mother numerous questions and her answer always begins, “Don’t worry.”   There is a mixture of photos and drawings and many of the photos, like the one with supplies, are all labeled.  Mr. Adams is Alex’s teacher.  Alex and his friend Sally invite Jin Soo to eat and play with them.  During art, Jin Soo returns the favor and loans Alex his paintbrush.  A number of activities like raising your hand and listening to a story are introduced.  Words and phrases are reinforced through words and pictures at the end.   Although there are better picture books to prepare children for school, there are few easy readers on this topic.  However, if the children are going into kindergarten, many will not be able to read a book labeled for level 2.  Perhaps emerging readers will find this book a nostalgic trip back to the “olden days.”
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Schlepp, Tammy J.  MINIBEASTS.  My World series; Level 3.  Brookfield, CT: Copper Beech, 2000.  
    32p.  0-7613-1223-4; lib.bdg., $17.90   0-7613-2325-2 pb., $3.99  00-055598    Gr. 1-3     ER  

    The photos in this book bring hairy spiders, cockroaches, Tarantulas, slugs, maggots, stinkbugs up close and personal.  Much information is imparted through simple informative sentences.  The illustrations are either enlarged photos or realistic drawings.  Two double page spreads at the end provide a review for readers who are asked to match parts of minibeasts to the photos and drawings or are asked to match pictures of four creatures with pictures of four homes.  The information is factual; the illustrations are repulsively appealing to make an interesting read for beginning readers or remedial adults.   This book is a great easy reader for students who are studying insects.  This is one of the best titles in this series and is a first purchase for easy reader collections.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Schlepp, Tammy J.  MY HOME.  My World series; Level 2.  Brookfield, CT: Copper Beech, 2001.  
    24p.  0-7613-2174-8; lib.bdg., $15.90   0-7613-2327-9 pb., $3.99  00-065788     Gr. 1-3      ER

    Homes come in all sizes and appear in many places.  This easy reader begins with Rosa who lives in an apartment building in a city.  Life in the city is shared.  Rosa says “The city is the best place to be!”   This refrain is repeated by others; Jack who lives in the country near the Jackson family who live on a farm, and Nicky who lives in a town or suburb and lives next door to his friends Joe and Billy.  Readers are asked where they live and what they like about their home.  The review shows the photos and drawings from the book and labels them.  Readers are asked to use the words to write a story of their own.  The only illustration that is unrealistic is the drawing of a very dated tractor in an otherwise modern world.   Despite this inaccuracy, this is an acceptable easy reader.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Schlepp, Tammy J.  SEASONS.  My World series; Level 3.  Brookfield, CT: Copper Beech, 2000.  
    32p.  0-7613-1224-2; lib.bdg., $17.90   0-7613-2332-5 pb. $3.99     Gr. 1-3     ER  

    Each of the four seasons is shown in clear and informative photos and drawings.  Questions are asked of readers within the main text to keep them involved.  “How can you tell when it’s spring?  The answers follow.  At the end there are two double page spreads in which readers review what they have learned.  Readers are asked to tell what season it is by looking at pictures of plants and animals.  The second double page spread has readers identify the season based on pictures of trees.  Answers to the questions appear on the index page.
    This easy reader provides readers with practice in reading as well as imparts interesting science information.  Just when adult readers are wondering why Schlepp is leaving the impression that the whole world has four seasons, she provides a double page spread that shows the rain forest, the South Pole, and Desert so readers will know that there are other patterns.  However, those who live in these other areas might not like having their area labeled as having “strange seasons.”   Purchase for independent readers, especially where enhancement of the science curriculum is important.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

 Schlepp, Tammy J.  THINGS ON WHEELS.  My World series; Level 3.  Brookfield, CT: Copper Beech, 2000.
    32p.  0-7613-1219-6 lib.bdg. $17.90   0-7613-2336-8 pb. $3.99   00-060132      Gr. 1-3    ER  

    The first sentence is “Wheels are everywhere!”  After a few explanatory sentences, the author provides a variety of examples.  “A wheel is shaped like a circle.  A wheel moves round and round.  A wheel is used for moving things.”   The photos are appealing and the items with wheels will appeal to readers; i.e., in-line skates, ambulances, fire trucks, motorcycles, tractors, caterpillars, moon buggies, and roller coasters.  Two sets of double page spreads at the end of the book involve readers.  The second question is more difficult and asks readers to tell what the wheels are made of.  Answers are provided on the index page.  The answers to the last question is either wood or metal.  This is an excellent addition to easy reader collection and is a first purchase.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Shaskan, Trisha Speed.  PRINCESS BELLA'S BIRTHDAY CAKE. Illus. Aysin Eroglu.  
          Minneapolis, MN: Picture Window Books, 2007.  24p. ISBN: 13: 978-1-4048-3166-7   Gr.1-2    ER

          What a delicious way to recognize and learn the names of shapes! Cook baked a very special cake for Princess Bella's birthday: it was based on an oval, then he added a trapezoid, then rectangles and triangles, each contributing shape toward an ultimate castle with towers and flags. Even Bella's birthday gifts came in a variety of shapes. This story is a Read-It Readers "yellow level,"presenting a broad variety of words and more complex sentence levels.
          Judy Bennett, Ironwood Carnegie Library, Ironwood, MI

Shyamalan, M. Knight & Greg Brooker.  STUART LITTLE:  STUART’S NEW BROTHER.
    New York:  HarperCollins/Avon, 2000. 32p.  0-06-444290-X pb. $3.99.  Gr. 2-3  ER

    This should have been an excellent idea--capitalizing on the popularity of the movie STUART LITTLE to entice beginning readers.  One would expect the photos from the Columbia Pictures feature film to be crisp and clear but they are fuzzy, cluttered, or both.  Another annoying feature includes the pastel bars that intrude on each page.  The most annoying feature is that kids will probably like this series.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Silverman, Eric.  COWGIRL KATE AND COCOA.  Illus. by Betsy Lewin. New York:
            Harcourt Inc., 2005. 40p.  ISBN 0152021248 hb. $15.00   Gr. 1-3    ER

            Totally cute pictures and characters star in a western theme story divided into four chapters.  Cowgirl Kate and her cow horse, Cocoa, share friendship and work.  The work is herding cattle and Kate is challenged to "spur" Cocoa into action.  Hint: Cocoa loves to eat!  Each chapter is just the right length to tell readers about what happens in the life of a young cowgirl and her horse.  Sweet from start to finish, this book will be enjoyed by all horse lovers.  The illustrator is a favorite, Betsy Lewin, from the Caldecott Honor winner, CLICK,CLACK, MOO – COWS THAT TYPE.  Betsy does an outstanding job capturing these characters and their actions.  This is the first book of Kate’s and Cocoa’s adventures together.  We hope they have more!
            Jana Aho, Media Assistant, Gladstone School & Public Library, Gladstone, MI

Stadler, John.  READY, SET, GO!  Illus.by the author.  I Can Read Series.  New York:  HarperCollins, 
    1996.  32p.   0-06-024947-1 lib.bdg., $15.89    0-06-444238-1 pb. $3.75   PreS-Gr. 2        ER

    Although the story is simple to read, this easy ready has a theme and plot.  Little Sasha, a dog, wants her cousin Oliver to play with her but he takes pride in building a bigger snowman and a bigger fort only to be outdone by his friend Juliet.  However, Sasha saves Juliet from disaster while they are skating and the bigger dogs decide to let her play with them.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Stamper, Judith Bauer.  FIVE HAUNTED HOUSES.  My First Hello Reader series.  Illus. Tim Raglin.  
    New York: Scholastic Cartwheel, 2001.  48p.  0-439-20546-8 pb. $3.99  Gr. 2-4    ER     PAULIN’S PICKS

    These five separate stories about haunted houses are exciting for primary readers.  In the first story Jake does not believe in ghosts or that the old house on the hill is haunted.  Because of the illustrations, readers will enjoy the joke that the girl whom Jake talks to inside the house is really a ghost.  In the second story, Lisa is warned not to take the socks off a marble statue in the old house owned by her aunt and uncle.  The third story is a counting rhyme that goes up to five.  Luis’s new home is haunted and he convinces his parents they can’t live there.  In the last story, a boy stops at his friend’s house so they can go trick-or-treating.  The endings to the last two stories are priceless.   This is an exceptional holiday and easy reader.  Shelve with or easy readers rather than Halloween books because scary book are popular all year.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Suen, Anastasia. SKATE TRICK/TRUCOS EN LA PATINETA. Illus.Mike Laughead. Mankato, MN: 
            Stone Arch Books, 2012.  32p. ISBN
978-1-4342-3780-4  lib bdg. $15.99     Gr. K-2     ER / JUV

            After Rico shows Robot his new skateboard trick, Robot wants to see if he can do it too. Unfortunately, Robot has a difficult time mastering the trick, with several mishaps along the way, culminating with a broken skateboard. No problem for Robot, who makes his friend a new skateboard and both Robot and Rico perform tricks on the new board. Rico and Robot’s friendship and their patience and kindness to each other is apparent. The initial vocabulary page is somewhat confusing, with words unconnected with the story, and the story words featured on the closing page could have been expanded beyond the four words listed. This entry will a welcome addition in libraries and schools where Spanish/English books are in demand. 
              Barbara Ward, Retired Children’s Librarian, Dickinson County Library

Tayleur, Karen. HAUNTED! THE SCARY LIFE OF DAVID MORTIMORE BAXTER.  Illus. Brann 
      Garvey. Mankato, MN: Stone Arch Books, 2008.  ISBN: 9780152055738 hb. $23.93    Gr. 1-3    ER

      Haunted! The Scary Life of David Mortimore Baxter is part of a high-interest realistic fiction series for struggling and reluctant readers targeted at elementary boys. The story in this book centers around Halloween. David is convinced that his next-door neighbor is missing and has, in fact, been kidnapped by “the Shadow Man.”  He hatches a plan to rescue his neighbor on Halloween night. The book is sure to be a hit with the target audience because of its exaggerated humor, numerous small illustrations, and random font changes. To help out struggling readers, there are simple sentences, a glossary, discussion questions and related Internet sites. The enticing cover and appearance of the book is sure to draw in readers. Recommended for fans of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.
      Heather Crozier, Public Librarian, Munising School Public Library

Taylor, Barbara.  DINOSAUR DINNERS.   New York:  Dorling Kindersley, 1998.  32p.   
     Eyewitness Readers Series,  Level 2.  0-7894-2959-4, pb., $3.95     Gr. 1-3     ER

     Thank goodness for the phonetic inclusions for pronouncing the names of the dozen dinosaurs in this easy reader because most have five syllables.  DK has used the same vividly colored dinosaur paintings in several bigger versions of its dinosaur books.  Sidebars provide additional information.   This is an excellent beginning science book.
     Virginia Foreman, retired teacher,  lifelong reader of books about paleontology

Udry, Janice May.  THUMP AND PLUNK.  Illus. by Geoffrey Hayes. New York:  
    HarperCollins, 1981, 2000.  30p.  0-06-02858-1 hb. $12.95    99-10510    K-2    ER

    Numerous books in the  I Can Read series have been recently been reissued.  Udry’s title makes a good addition or replacement copy.  This title is a play on the names of two ducks, Thump and Plunk whose dolls are named Thumpit and Plunkit.  As proper nouns they are humorous names but as verbs they are hilarious:   “Then Plunk plunks Thump’s Thumpit.”  Although most easy readers are not for adults to read aloud, this one is excellent for promoting reading for understanding by modeling expressive reading aloud to children.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Van Laan, Nancy.  MOOSE TAILS.  Illus by Amy Rusch.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999. 
    0-395-90863-9; hb.,  $15.00.  97-41273   K-Gr.3      ER

    There is lots of interesting repetition in the three stories about Moose, Beaver, Mouse, Rabbit, and Squirrel that is central to the action..  In the first story Moose takes a walk and wants the company of the others but each suggests he take another.  In the second story Beaver gnaws a tree which Moose causes to pin Beaver to the ground and the animals try to free him.  In the last story, the woodland animals each add features important to them to make a snow creature.  Have primary students read this book when studying woodland animals.  The first story is good for playing out with live actors or with puppets and the last lends itself to an art project.  The humorous animals are appealing. This is a good addition to easy reader collections.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Vernon, Ursula.  NURK.  Orlando, FL:  Harcourt, Inc., 2008.  131p. 
            ISBN 978-015-206375-7  hb. $15.00  Gr. 2-4  FIC

            Life takes a turn for adventure when a timid shrew named Nurk receives a mysterious letter in the mail that convinces him he must set out to find his long-lost grandmother, Surka, the warrior shrew.  He builds a sailing ship from a snail shell, giving him time to build up his courage as well.   On his first trip down the river, Nurk meets a royal dragonfly named Scatterwings who is on a rescue mission to free her brother from the wicked Grizzlemole.  Nurk relies on his wits and finds courage to complete his journey, transforming himself into a confident adventurer.
            This story has all the elements of a hero's quest.  The characters, such as talking fish hanging in trees and slimy caterpillars, are quite interesting to read about.  The author uses new and unusual ways to save the main character with a pair of socks.  NURK is a good choice for introducing students to chapter books.
            Lynette Suckow, Youth Services, Peter White Public Library, Marquette, MI

Weeks, Sarah. SPLISH SPLASH.  Illus. Ashley Wolff. New York:  HarperCollins,  1999.  32p.  
    0-06-027892-7; hb. $12.95.    0-06-027893-5; lib.bdg. $12.89   PreS-Gr. 1      ER

    This early reader is a delightful rhyming story about a fish who shares his tub with so many other animals that, by the end, there is barely room for the bubbles!  At regular intervals the refrain occurs and draws the text together into a neat package.  The words are simple and most pages have only 2 lines.  There are a few challenge words; but, while they are more difficult,  they are words that are in a young reader's speaking vocabulary and are logical words for use in the story.  Other words are decodable because they rhyme and need only the initial sound change.   Wolff's animal illustrations are wonderfully expressive and lend charm to this story which would be a good one to find on any emerging reader's library shelf.
    Alice Johnson; First Grade Teacher, Sawyer Elementary School, Gwinn, MI

Westera, Marleen. SHEEP AND GOAT. Translated by Nancy Forest-Flier. Illus.Sylvia van Ommen.  Honesdale,
      PA:  Boyds Mills Press, 2006.   99p.  ISBN: 978-1-932425-81-9 hb.  $16.95    Gr. 2-4   Easy Reader

The layout of SHEEP AND GOAT is very simple.  Each three to five page chapter is about a specific topic relating to 
friendship and how the characters relate to each other.  Some of the chapters cover things such as needing time alone, 
jealousy over a new friend, and family life. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.  I found myself laughing out loud at 
times and then feeling a little sad.  The author did a very good job of eliciting emotions in only a few pages.   I think that 
because each chapter was short and specific, readers don’t feel overpowered with the topics, but think about things in a 
new way.  One chapter is about a small sparrow who dies.  Goat and Sheep talk about what they should do and how they 
should feel now that he is gone.  Sheep says how the world is different now that Sparrow is gone, but Goat says not really 
that much.  Goat decides to go back to life as normal, but   Sheep says she feels sad and empty.  Finally, Sheep says, 
"What would you do if I was gone for good?  Would you just eat hay and say life's not too bad, you still have hay to eat?"
Goat just says, "I don't know, that remains to be seen."  The chapter brought forth the concept of different feelings toward 
different people in your life; some losses affect you more than others.
      Melissa Coyne, Patron/Substitute Teacher, Tahquamenon Area Library

Wilkinson, Philip.  SPACEBUSTERS: THE RACE TO THE MOON.  Eyewitness Readers Series;  
    Level 3.  Dorling Kindersley, 1998. 48p.  0-7864-2961-6 pb. $3.95.    Gr. 2-3.    629.45   or   ER

     This easy reader, accompanied by photos and drawings, tells of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon.  Information in the text makes it easier to understand, for example the size of the entire spacecraft is taller than a skyscraper or when the outside of the spacecraft becomes heated it is 25 times hotter than a kitchen oven.   At the end of the book there are recent photos of the three Apollo 11 astronauts and what they are going now.  Helpful features are a glossary and a sidebar on each page which provides additional information.   All children, even second and third graders, should know about the first human landing on the moon and this well illustrated book contains lots of interesting facts.  The only drawback is that the danger is minimized, making a complicated task  look too easy.  Highly recommended for easy reading by emerging child or adult readers.
    GUEST REVIEWER: Scott Stobbelaar; Director, Shiras Planetarium, Marquette, MI

Young, Amy.  THE MUD FAIRY.  New York:  Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children’s Books, 2010.  30p. 
      ISBN 978-1-59990-104-6 hb. $16.99.   Gr. K-2   Easy Reader

   This is the perfect book for  young girls who are interested in playing outside just like the boys do.  The main character 
Emmalina, would really like to earn her wings, but she tries and fails at all the traditional ways, such as stringing spiderwebs
with dew drops.  In the meantime, she helps out her frog friends and ends up earning her fairy wings after all.  Emmalina’s 
face and body language shows exactly how she’s feeling.  The story encourages readers to be themselves and things usually 
turn out fine.  The author has strong female characters in all of her books, including the Belinda the Ballerina series.  
      Mary Koshorek, Spies Public Library, Menominee, MI

Ziefert, Harriet.  HEY, IRMA! THIS IS HALLOWEEN.  Illus. by Barry Gott. Maplewood,
    NJ:  Blue Apple Books, 2003.  36p.  1-59354-022-1 hb. $7.95    Gr. K-3    ER

    This is a story about a boy named Hank and his dog, Irma.  Hank is preparing for Halloween and Irma keeps messing up his costume.  Irma is hurt when Hank yells at her.  Finally Hank realizes that Irma wants a costume and to go trick or treating.  This a happy Halloween story.
    Nancy Klingbeil, Librarian, Houghton School Library Media Center, Houghton, MI

Ziefert, Harriet.  HEY, IRMA!  IT'S MOTHER'S DAY.  Illus by Barry Gott.  Maplewood, 
    NJ:  Blue Apple Books, 2004.  28p. ISBN: 1-59354-027-2  hb.  $7.95  Gr. K-3   ER

    A little boy named Hank is in a dilemma about what to give his mother for Mother's Day.  His friends are no help and some ideas are just silly.  He finally gets help from his dog, Irma, who leads him to the perfect gift.
    Nancy Klingbeil, Librarian, Houghton School Library Media Center, Houghton, MI

Zoehfeld, Kathleen Weidner.  FALL LEAVES CHANGE COLORS.  Scholastic Science   
    Readers series, Level. 1.  Illus with photos.  New York: Scholastic Reference, 2001. 
    32p.   0-439-38195-9; pb.,  $3.99     K-Gr. 2    ER 

    Terms in the glossary are emphasized in bold print and many have phonetic spellings to aid pronunciation.  Readers learn about chlorophyll’s role in color change and why leaves fall.  Photos are close-ups and long range.  Needles are also shown.  There is a note for parents and a suggested activity.  This is a colorful and informative easy reader that is suitable for school and public libraries. 
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan

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