I Can Read: A Carnival Celebrating New Readers – February 2011

WELCOME to the June February carnival for celebrating emerging and new readers here at the Reading Tub. In all of the excitement of getting ready for Share a Story ~ Shape a Future, I almost forgot we were hosting February

I Can Read! is (supposed to be) a three-day, mid-month carnival whose host rotates each month.  We share reviews of easy readers and short chapter books, as well as ideas for helping new readers hone their skills. This month, I’m so late that it’s going to be a 5-day carnival!

We would love for you to participate in the carnival. Your post can be up to one year old, so posts back to February 2010 can be included!! Feel free to add your post via inLinkz until March 1, 2011.

To get us started, I am going to point you to the Reading Tub review of Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream by Jenny Han (Little, Brown, and Company, 2011)

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Clara Lee awoke one morning very unsettled. She had dreamed that her grandfather died. After some nudging, he got Clara Lee to tell him about the dream. Then he laughed. In Korean culture, having a dream about someone dying is actually good luck. Clara Lee hoped he was right, because the Little Miss Apple Pie competition was in a few days and Clara Lee wanted to show just how American she is. This is a lightly illustrated chapter book about a young Korean American girl.

At Beginning Reading Help, Michelle Breum suggests using the Berenstain Bears books to practice high frequency words,

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The Berenstain Bears and The Spooky Old Tree is a fun beginning reader book. It is still one of my children’s favorite books.They all had to read it when they saw our copy on the table today. I think it brings back happy memories of us snuggled together sharing the reading of this book.

Michelle has a bonus, too! She offers a link to making flashcards with high frequency words, ways to teach with them, AND a link to a Together Time 4 Families post about shared reading. Thanks, Michelle!

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At the Jean Little Library, the incomparable Jennifer Wharton has a review of two Alison Jay titles: ABC: A Child’s First Alphabet Book and 123: A Child’s First Counting Book. If you’re not already a regular reader at Jean Little Library, you’re inf for a treat … Jennifer’s reviews are not to be missed. She has a great way of speaking to both librarian and parent audiences.

These concept books include hours of enjoyment for both small children and parents, searching for the stories and items in each picture. These books are both available as board books, although I would prefer to add them to the library as picturebooks, since the complex art and pictures will have appeal to older children as well as toddlers.

See what I mean?

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Happy Birthday Author is celebrating Walter Wick’s birthday. His Can You See What I See? series is celebrating 20 years this year. I have lost count of how many times the now 9-year-old has brought home a Wick book from the library; her favorite is On A Scary Night. What is particularly fun about the post is that it shows us how literacy goes beyond just words on a page. Not only can you explore images visually, you might just be inspired to create your own picture puzzles. The post is part photo-journal, part tribute, and all fun.

Our first iPad App review. Cool. What’s even MORE AWESOME is that it is a book about reading: How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hill. Random House, which published the book, also developed the App. Holly (aka LitLass) sent us this LitLad review by Johnny Boo (5), who loved the picture book version.

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Rocket learned to spell letters in the snow. I like to make Rocket move in the snow. The mud I like because I like to put mud on Rocket. I like to shake the mud off. Alphabet Drop is about you get to catch letters and then they go on Rocket’s head. Bird’s Words is wonderful and you get to pick words the lady says. I like this app because it’s fateful and it’s wondrous. I would recommend this app to kids who like dogs and words.

I was going through my reader and I found this review of Anna Hibiscus at Great Kids Books. Mary Ann Scheuer recommends this illustrated chapter book for children ages 6 to 8. This book was also a 2010 Cybils Finalist in the Easy Reader / Short Chapter Book Category.

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One of the things I love is when reading provides a window into another part of the world. Anna Hibiscus, a new series of short chapter books, provides a wonderful view into the world of a young girl living in a modern, middle-class African city. The author, Atinuke, creates a likeable character, a little girl children will relate to, seeing much of themselves in her stories. But children will also appreciate how Anna Hibiscus’s family keeps their traditional African ways.

Mary Ann also stopped by to share her review of The Strange and Wonderful World of Ants, a nonfiction picture book for the iPad. As you’ll see in her comments, while she is incredibly excited about the fact that the book can adapt to the reader’s abilities, this particular book lacks some of the other tools useful for helping new readers.

I am very excited to think about the learning potential of providing different reading levels for the same text. This is an inventive, unique app that will appeal to children with an interest in insects. While the adjustable reading levels are a unique and fascinating feature, this app lacks a narrator read-aloud option. It would benefit from more built-in features such as narration, and clickable word definitions. The illustrations are visually appealing, but do not add enough concrete knowledge about the subject. They would benefit from a more scientific perspective, with labels and clear indication of which species are being shown. These are aspects of good illustrations you would expect from a solid non-fiction book for children, and eBooks should provide the same level of clarity with their illustrations.

These are very exciting times for readers, wouldn’t you agree?

Note: Book cover images link to Amazon.com. The Reading Tub has an affiliate relationship with Amazon and can earn income for our literacy work from purchases made through those links. By including these images, we are not implying that you should purchase these books or use these links.

4 responses to “I Can Read: A Carnival Celebrating New Readers – February 2011

  1. Thanks for adding my post here. Please don’t feel any pressure to pass on the award. I never know to pass on awards or not. It feels a little like a chain letter to me. Many bloggers don’t like to participate in these types of awards. I added you as a friend on Facebook and posted about this post on my profile page and at the We Teach Children to Read community page. http://www.facebook.com/pages/We-Teach-Children-to-Read/103519196359196
    Michelle Breum recently posted…Share Read The Chick and the DucklingMy Profile

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