This is the first of 3 reviews for the newest readers. This week will concentrate on beginning books with few words, large font and simple stories featuring full, colorful pictures on each page. Next week will feature books that have more words, a smaller font and beginning chapter books. The third week will showcase early chapter books with few pictures and a much more involved storyline.

The books will begin with a Pre and Level 1 easy format, followed by Level 2 books with familiar words as well as words easily sounded out, and ending with Level 3 and 4 books which are geared for newly independent readers and contain short chapters.

hands canHands Can, by Cheryl Willis Hudson, and photographed by John-Francis Bourke, is the perfect book for youngsters with this newly reissued big book edition. This over-large size makes it fun and easy for child and parent to follow the story by pointing to each large and simple rhyming text throughout the book.

Hand Book, by Jeff Newman, is a clever picture book with a perfect format for the new reader. The repetitive “hand” words throughout along with rhyming action words that hands perform make this an enticing winner!

The I Spy series has the perfect books that make it great fun to read. I Spy Animals, I Spy Numbers, I Spy Letters. I Spy Funny Frogs, I Spy an Apple and I Spy Sticker Book and Picture Riddles are all by Jean Marzollo, and photographed by Walter Wick, and have few words and fun riddles challenging youngsters to locate the items they read on the full page and the bright photos.

gideon1Gideon and Gideon & Otto, both by Olivier Dunrea, are adorable smallish sized books featuring Gideon, a young gosling, who plays all day with an abounding amount of energy. He carries his stuffed tiny toy octopus, Otto, and experiences all kinds of outdoor activities. The second book features his little friend becoming lost. The pictures are simple, colorful and are filled with white background helping and not detracting from the story.

Gus Makes a Friend and Gus Makes a Gift, both by Frank Remkiewicz, has Gus, who is a rhinoceros, heading outside to build a snowman in the first book. The second book which will be published in April, Gus makes his mom a gift. The pictures are full-pages and bright and each adventure is a delight.

Should I Share My Ice Cream?, by Mo Willems, is a favorite series for youngsters and teachers. Gerald, an elephant, is excited about his yummy ice cream cone. But he ultimately decides to be a good friend and share it. There are many elements to learn from this simple and entertaining story. The pictures are simple which help keep the reader on track.

ride flyReading Fun With Curious George Boxed Set, by H. A. Rey, has six new readers along with stickers to reward the completion of each easy book. Ride, Fly Guy, Ride!, by Ted Arnold, is the newest book is this fun series. The covers of all “Fly Guy” books are illuminating with sparkles and color. Fly Guy is full of adventure and fun and kids love reading about him.

Ocean Life, by Brenda Z. Guiberson, Sea Horses, by Nicole Corse and Clifford and the Dinosaurs, by Norman Bridwell are all factual books that help teach youngsters about animals.

TitanicLevel 2 books include more non-fiction books such as Remembering the Titanic, by Frieda Wishinsky, Solar System, by Gregory Vogt, Animal Disguises, by Emma Ryan, Skeletons, by Lily Wood, Puppies and Kittens, by Nicole Corse and this 3-D Thriller series that includes 3-D glasses: Bugs and the World’s Creepiest Microbugs, by Paul Harrison, and The Ice Age and the Incredible Prehistoric Animals, also by Harrison and Lisa Miles.

dragon Level 3 and 4 books have some great stories, as well as non-fiction. A Poor Excuse for a Dragon, by Geoffrey Hayes, is a fun and funny story about a young dragon attempting to do all a dragon is suppose to accomplish. There is a whole variety of “‘toon” books that are formatted like comic strips with many pictures moving a story along on each page. This toon book series, published by Candlewick Press, is full of great adventures that will surely entice young readers. Some of these include Nina in That Makes Me Mad!, by Hilary Knight, and based on a text by Steven Kroll, and Benjamin Bear in Fuzzy Thinking, by Philippe Coudray. catThree More Stories You Can Read to Your Cat, by Sara Swan Miller, and brightly illustrated by True Kelley, is a wonderful book that invites the reader with a full array of adventures, many of which are humorous. Chances are the reader will pick this book up again and again! Uncover & Discover, What Will I Be? and Who’s Like Me?, both by Nicola Davies, and wonderfully illustrated with lift the flaps by Marc Boutavant, is a new series that makes reading about non-fiction fun and interesting.

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Holly E. Newton,  M. A.

Newton’s Book News

newton.holly@gmail.com