I Can Read: A Carnival Celebrating New Readers – January 2010

easy reader memeWELCOME! The first carnival (or MEME if you prefer) for celebrating Easy Readers and Short Chapter books is here at the Reading Tub. I am really excited about the chance to regularly collect books that will engage and excite new and developing readers.

I Can Read! is a three-day, mid-month carnival whose host rotates each month. To see the list of hosts, check out the list on the right sidebar. There are still a few months open, and if you would like to host, you can leave a comment below or send an email [thereadingtub – at – gmail – dot – com]

Here are the guidelines of what constitutes an Easy Reader or Short Chapter Book. An Easy Reader is a book  designed for children learning to read. Many of them have a banner or label that says “learning to read” in some form, but others look like picture books. Here are some clues. Look for …

  • books sized for the reader’s comfort, usually 6 inches by 9 inches;
  • lots of white space on the page and the print style is larger;
  • short, simple sentences; and
  • illustrations or images that match up with the text so kids can “decode” the words in the story.

A short chapter book is also sized for the reader’s hand (i.e., 6″ x 9″).  They also have illustrations, but their role on the page is different. Their purpose is less about decoding and more about visually depicting details from the story. Look for  …

  • longer sentences;
  • more text on a page and smaller margins (i.e., less white space);
  • page counts from 48 to 128 pages; and
  • fewer illustrations (i.e., not every page).

Within a short chapter book, the illustration placement will vary, but as a rule of thumb, the interior art is black and white. In some books, an illustration fills one page and text the opposite page. You can also seek books with half-page illustrations on both pages and then smaller illustration on one page of a two-page spread.

If you have a post that reviews an easy reader or short chapter book or offers ideas for helping new readers, we’d love for you to participate in the carnival. Your post can be up to one year old, so posts back to January 2009 can be included in this inaugural event. Feel free to add your post via Mr. Linky or leave a link in the comments. I’ll add posts from January 14 to January 16, 2010.

Gwen at a Novel Read has the perfect post for opening the carnival … She draws on her own experience to talk about transitioning from picture books to chapter books with her sons.

The1stdaughter’s post Trucks, Planes, and Trains, Oh My! at There’s a Book offers a great example of how those toddler picture books can have meaning for kids as they move toward becoming readers.

Easy Reader Selections

Sarah N. has a review of Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie series at In Need of Chocolate.

I’m in with a set of mini-reviews of three easy readers about friendship: A Birthday for Bear by Bonnie Becker; Cork and Fuzz: Finders Keepers by Dori Chaconas; and Houndsley and Catina: Plink and Plunk. Each of these titles were 2009 Cybils Nominees.

If you’d like to see the complete list of Easy Reader/Short Chapter Book nominees … and read Jennifer’s INCREDIBLE reviews of every one of them … then run don’t walk over to the Jean Little Library. It can’t be said enough how awesome Jennifer’s reviews of these books are!

At Young Readers, Becky Laney reviews Max Spaniel: Dinosaur Hunt by David Catrow. Max was also a 2009 Cybils Nominee in the Easy Reader/Short Chapter Book category.

Short Chapter Book Selections

Gwen offers a Novel Read review of Dinosaurs Before Dark, the first title in the Magic Treehouse series.


Logo: I crafted the logo that uses Cutte.gif from the Photobucket Album of Sugarfree84 as its base. The original image is a dancing penguin, and if I knew how, I would have kept the animation when I added the rest of the info.


24 responses to “I Can Read: A Carnival Celebrating New Readers – January 2010

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  2. I would LOVE to participate. However, looking through my book blog I realized I’ve been remiss in blogging about what my kids are reading (something I intend to remedy). The last time I posted about chapter books was in 2008
    If you’re still looking for carnival participants I’d love to contribute.


    1. Hi Gwen … I’m happy to add our review and your discussion of chapter books in our first carnival. Your personal experience about making the transition from picture books to chapter books and how you mixed in beloved classics and new books is just what we’re looking for! I’ll get with you to talk about hosting, too!

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  8. I don’t have a post to link to here, but we did read one of Mo Willems Elephant and Piggie books today during our library story time!

    I just wanted to say thank you for stopping by my blog and for leaving great book suggestions for my birthday book box. I’m looking forward to posting all these great recommendations in an upcoming post!

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    1. Hi Shirley – I am hearing great things about Toco Toucan! I can’t wait to read it. The place to add your link is in the comments at Anastasia’s. Not to worry, I’ll send her a note!

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