Sunday, August 8, 2010

Two Early Reader Chapter Books

I've written before about the challenge of finding interesting early chapter books for the emerging reader. These are readers who are ready to move beyond picture books, but not ready for a full chapter book. So I'm always on the lookout for something new and interesting in this genre. Here are two early chapter books I've recently discovered to introduce to your kids during these waning days of summer.

The Cool Crazy Crickets

Written by: David Elliott
Illustrated by: Paul Meisel
Recommended Ages: 4-7

The Cool Crazy Crickets follows four friends as they go through the stages of forming a club, naming it, making a clubhouse and finding a mascot. It's a 48-page book divided into four chapters. The sentences are short and easy to read, and there's a lot of dialogue which makes reading it fun. I like it that the friends are two girls and two boys, and ethnically diverse. There's an everyday feeling to the book that young readers will relate to. It's just four kids hanging out on a hot summer day making their own fun. Readers may in fact be motivated to go and form a club and build their own clubhouse out of an old box.

Daisy Dawson Is on Her Way!

Written by: Steve Voake
Illustrated by: Jessica Meserve
Recommended Ages: 4-8

Daisy Dawson is on Her Way is a slightly more difficult early chapter book, but equally satisfying. It's a good choice for kids that are ready to move beyond the level of something like the Magic Treehouse series. Daisy Dawson is a dreamer and a dawdler. She is almost always late for school, but only because she finds so many interesting things to look at along the way. On this particular day, she rescues a butterfly from a spider web on her walk to school. After that, she discovers she has the ability to communicate with animals. What follows are all sorts of encounters with different animals.

Daisy is a spunky, independent little girl who has a lot of appeal. The book moves along at a quick pace, and before you know it you're wrapping it up on page 98. The talking animals give it a fun, whimsical quality, and the black and white illustrations lend an old fashioned air to it.

If you are looking for some good books for your emerging reader to read before school starts, either of these books would be a good choice. Both books have sequels, so if your kids like them there's more to choose from.

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