Maeve Visser Knoth: 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Beginning Readers

It is not easy to write a book that fits all the pragmatic requirements for a beginning reader and is engaging enough for that young reader to be willing to work her way through it. The following list contains stories that are funny or scary or intriguing. The characters are memorable, the themes are child-centered, AND the books are easy to read, with plenty of white space on each page, illustrations that support the text, fairly limited vocabulary, and relatively simple sentence structure.

Many of the books on this list are the first book in a series. I have a lot to say about series...good and bad...but series books can be particularly helpful to the newest readers. Once I know Henry and Mudge, I can appraoch the next book about the boy and his dog confident that I am not going to waste my time and effort just to be disappointed. It is important for me, as an adult, to remember that reading is indeed work, especially at first. When I have a child in front of me at the library and I am offering her something to read, if I remember that reading is still tough for her, she is more likely to believe my recommendations.

This is just a short list, but it gves you someplace to start.

Finding Providence by Avi
Lucky Days With Mr. and Mrs. Green by Baker
Wiley and the Hairy Man by Bang
The Case of the Double Cross by Bonsall
The Golly Sisters Go West by Byars
Ant Plays Bears by Byars
The Octopus by Cazet
Josefina Story Quilt by Coerr
Iris and Walter by Guest
A Bargain For Frances by Hoban
Surprises by Hopkins
Big Surprise in the Bug Tank by Horowitz
Johnny Lion’s Book by Hurd
Lionel in the Fall by Krensky
Zelda and Ivy: The Runaways by Kvasnosky
Snowshoe Thompson by Levinson
Fox on Stage by Marshall
Grandma’s At Bat by McCully
Gus and Grandpa and Show-and-Tell by Mills
Little Bear by Minarik
The Outside Dog by Pomerantz
The Boston Coffee Party by Rappaport
Henry and Mudge by Rylant
The High-Rise Private Eyes: The Case of the Desparate Duck by Rylant
Nate the Great by Sharmat
I Saw You in the Bathtub by Schwartz
Ghosts! Ghostly Tales From Folklore by Schwartz
Good Night, Good Knight by Thomas
Tales of Amanda Pig by VanLeeuwen