Tuesday, August 2

Sizing-Up Sequels: 3 (More) Early Readers

There's a lot of early reader series. So there's probably going to be a few more of these sizing-up posts (see the first one here). While I am trying to branch out to other series, I thought I'd check up on these classics to see if they're still what you'd expect...

Eva and the New Owl
Written and illustrated by Rebecca Elliott

My rating: ★★★½

ISBN: 978-0545825597
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Date of publication: May 10, 2016
Age: Grades 1 - 3
Format: library book

Themes: friendship, diary keeping, apologizing

Eva is excited to hear that a new owl will be moving in—so excited, in fact, that with all her planning and preparing for a new friend, Eva becomes too busy for her best friend, Lucy. Lucy is mad...and the new girl doesn't quite seem to like Eva as much as she would've hoped. How will Eva, now friendless, fix things?

It's true that I gave the first book I read in this series three stars, and didn't think I would really want to try another one...but it's just so hard for me to resist owls! Turns out, while the trendy diary format is still overly cutesy, this story has a really great message on friendship. The content is there, just under a layer of frill. I like this one better.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

Fancy Nancy: It's Backwards Day!
Written by Jane O'Connor, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser

My rating: ★★★½

ISBN: 978-0062269812
Publisher: HarperCollins
Date of publication: April 19, 2016
Age: Grades K - 3
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Format: library ebook

Themes: opposites, backward, school

Today, Fancy Nancy and the rest of her classmates have walked to school backwards! In fact the whole day is filled with backwards things, including dessert first at lunch, a race run backwards, and saying all sorts of things that are the opposite of what is meant. Can Nancy think of the perfect way to end the day?

I do enjoy Fancy Nancy books because of they're great vocabulary that it has. So really, there's not much new to report from the last book I read—it still fills a need for the ever-expanding vocabulary of the early reader—but this story was not necessarily my favorite. Especially since it will probably encourage a lot of kids to instigate backwards day, which can be fun...or annoying.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

Splat the Cat and the Quick Chicks
Written by Laura Driscoll, illustrated by Robert Eberz

My rating: ★★★★

ISBN: 978-0062294241
Publisher: HarperCollins
Date of publication: January 26, 2016
Age: Grades K - 2
Format: library ebook

Themes: classroom pets, chicks, responsibility

Splat the Cat is awarded the awesome weekend responsibility of taking home the classroom pets—a whole bunch of eggs that are about to hatch! In fact, the very next morning, Splat wakes up to find a dozen chicks climbing all over his room—and they're quick! Will he be able to find and catch all of them before returning to school?

Yep, still quite enjoy Splat. He still offers a great story while practicing simple phonetics; in this case, an impressive number of words with the sound "ick." I just love that these books are not obvious or stilted in its lesson (e.g. "See Jan run. Run, Jan run.") but actually tell a story, while offering lots of word practice.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

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