Sunday, January 22, 2006

Good Chapter Books

There are a number of great early reading chapter books and I will try to feature a variety of story types. One thing I would like to add regarding my recommendations on age groups is that these are just general suggestions. I have found that age or grade brackets are just guidelines, but each child's reading and interest level should really be the deciding factor in their book selection. The reason I add a suggested grade or age is for that person who is helping a child select a book or picking something out when the child isn't present. But, I firmly believe you are never, ever to old to enjoy a good children's book.

Gooseberry Park written by Cynthia Rylant
This would definitely be a great book to turn into an animated film. The characters and story remind me of a typical Disney movie. However, the good news in this story is everyone lives. (Generally, Disney movies always tend to have some dramatic death.) Here you will find a book whose story is told by animals, which kids just love. There is the lovable and heroic dog, the wise old hermit crab, the wacky bat, and the squirrel in need of rescuing. When a fierce storm destroys Stumpy's (the squirrel) home, Kona (the dog) rescues Stumpy's babies, but can't find Stumpy. With the help of friends, Kona takes over caring for the babies until Stumpy can be found. There is a lot of witty dialogue and comical events that make this a fun read for the individual or as a class/group read aloud. Children from probably 3rd through 5th grade would really enjoy this.

My Dog, Cat written by Marty Crisp
Although this is a very good book selection for a boy, girls too would enjoy it. Don't let the title fool you. The story is more about the animal owners than the animals. The background centers around the main character who just can't seem to overcome everyday life. He is the new kid in town with a girl's name of Abbie, short for Abbott, and is having to deal with the extra tall class bully who has a big dog. Besides all the usually dilemmas of moving to a new town, Abbie has always wanted a dog, but his family has cats. He finally gets his wish when his Aunt comes to town to drop off her new dog while she is away. Abbie in his heart just knows this is the solution to all his problems, a large dog. Yet, to his surprise his Aunt doesn't bring the dog of his dreams, but a shockingly small Yorkie dog whose name is Cat, short for Catullus the Great. How Abbie deals with this disappointment and the bully makes for a heart-warming story. Not a bad choice for 3rd through 5th grade and easy enough of a read for a confident 2nd grade reader.


Blogger Luke said...

Both sound like excellent books, and believe you me, when you have a name that other kids can make fun of, it can be a mighty tough thing to overcome.

6:50 PM  

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