Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Book 548: Clara and the Bookwagon

Clara and the Bookwagon, by Nancy Smiler Levinson, illustrations by Carolyn Croll, HarperTrophy, 1988.

This book is delightful, from the sweet story to the absolutely charming illustrations.  There is even a hefty dose of humor in it, for those who know where to look for it.  My second grade son used this book as a study in comparing and contrasting -- it worked quite well.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Book 547: Stepping Stones -- Peter Pan

Stepping Stones -- Peter Pan, based on story by J. M. Barrie, adapted by Cathy East Dubowski, Random House, 1991.

I love J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan -- both the play and the story from the play -- but this version is not at all like J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan.  Yes, it does tell the story of Peter Pan and Neverland, but in such a plain and dull way that all of the magic and intrigue is sucked out of the book.   Also, the illustrations verge on creepy.

I will say, however, that this version of the Peter Pan story may be slightly easier or beginning readers to read -- slightly.  If you do use this book, make sure to follow it up with the more exciting original version.


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Book 546: The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog

The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog, by John Erickson, Puffin Books, 1999.

Full disclosure:  I didn't buy this book.  A friend of mine bought this book and three others for my son.  But she bought them because she remembered how we used to read them out loud and laugh at them at work.  (Oh, we were both children's librarians, so it wasn't as weird as it sounds.)

This book was pretty darn funny.  I'm not sure that my son caught all of the humor, but a few times he laughed out loud, and he understood the plot.  Good enough for me.


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Book 545: Volcanoes! Mountains of Fire

Volcanoes! Mountains of Fire, by Eric Arnold, illustrated Doug Knutson.

This book is a decent introduction to volcanoes.  The text is written at a second grade level, and the illustrations are all drawings.  It gives examples of a couple of different volcanoes, but really doesn't delve into the properties of the Earth's crust or how volcanoes are formed.

If you want to, er, dig a little deeper, check out a volcano book from the adult section of the library.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Book 544: Heidi

Heidi, by Johanna Spyri, originally published in 1880.

This was my favorite book growing up, and I read it many times before I 'outgrew' it by the age ten or so.  At least, I THOUGHT I read it many times.  Apparently, I read a condensed version of the story, and had never read the entire book until just now, when I am very much not ten.

Some parts of this story were so familiar, they could have been my own memories.  Some parts, perhaps the more 'grown up' parts were so new that they rubbed me a little raw emotionally.  Overall, however, I am very glad to add a non-condensed version of this book to my young son's library.


Monday, September 26, 2016

Book 543: A Weed is a Flower

A Weed is a Flower, by Aliki, Aladdin Paperbacks, 1988.

This beautifully illustration book is an excellent introduction to George Washington Carver for young readers.  The text is fairly simple, but the ideas conveyed are not.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Book 542: The Girl in a Swing

The Girl in a Swing, by Richard Adams, Alfred Knopf, 1980.

I found this book at a second-hand story.  I remember reading Watership Down -- at least thirty years ago -- and liking it, so, for a dollar, I picked up this book.

This book is not really very much like Watership Down.  But the writing is still gently beautiful, as the plot becomes increasingly intense.  By the end of the book, I, like the protagonist, did not want to believe what I know.