Reading Ahead – January 2009

Even though we aren’t writing to request review books right now, we still get quite a few each month. Here are some from the January arrivals that really stood out as having great potential for encouraging readers.

Note: In years past, I wrote separate posts for each category of new books. Because of the amount of crossover and the number of people who want books across genres, I’ve decided to combine them into one post.

Bilingual Books


Patterns / los Disenos by Bev Schumacher [Learning Props, LLC, 2008]. This is an interesting twist on a bilingual vocabulary book. The words are sorted by patterns (e.g., the illustration for plaid is a shirt (la camisa). (Flesch Kincaid Readability Level = .5)

Easy Readers and Illustrated Chapter Books

life_is_goodLife is Good and Other Reasons for Rhyme written and illustrated by Dave Manousos [Dog Ear Publishing, 2008] This poetry collection has big type and colorful illustrations. There are lots of sight words, rhyming couplets, and humor … great potential as an easy reader for second graders).(Flesch Kincaid readability level = .63)


Middle Grade and Young Adult

tarantula_tideTarantula Tide by Sharon Tregenza [Floris Books, 2008] The blurb on the back suggests that this is a fast-moving mystery adventure. The black and white with-just-a-touch of red cover is cool. (Flesch Kincaid Readability Level=2.78)

gettysburgGettysburg: The Graphic  Novel written and illustrated by C. M. Butzer [The Bowen Press, 2009] I am intrigued by the potential of illustrating history in meaningful ways for kids. (Flesch Kincaid Readability Level = 8.3)

Picture Books


Westie the Dog written by Colette Anjou, illustrated by Kim Niles [E&E Publishing, 2008] This isn’t a story as much as an opportunity to identify simple objects and actions (toddlers) and introduce reading (Kindergarten). (Flesch Kincaid readabilty level = .5)

pippo_the_foolPippo the Fool written by Tracey E. Fern, illustrated by Pau Estrada [Charlesbridge, 2008] The illustrations are just gorgeous, and the story looks like it offers lots to talk about.I admit that I’m intrigued by historical fiction in pictures.  (Flesch Kincaid readability level = 2.5)