Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Scholastic Easy Readers

Honestly, we don't make much use of easy readers in our household. I'd rather read the original book (not simplified) or watch the movie the reader is based on than read an easy reader. Most of them are pure agony to me to even have to look at. (Yes, yes, insert your argument about children needing to learn how to read with easier books. To that I feel pressed to say, "BOB Books." Painful illustrations, painful text, makes you want to learn to read so that you can move on to more exciting things. I'm only half in jest.)

With that introduction, let me introduce you to some new easy readers which comes courtesy of Scholastic. I like these better than most because they are non-fiction and I'm ok with simple text which shares simple facts of interest to burgeoning readers.

Each of the following readers are marked as being a "Level 2" which is designed to introduce "new vocabulary and longer sentences." Each page spread has two paragraphs of text. Each title also focuses on different members of the animal kingdom which also makes these books pleasant to simply look at. Each title is also marvelously self explanatory, but I'll tell you a little about each one all the same.

Ugly Cute AnimalsThis book focuses on strange and funny looking animals like sloths, red-eyed tree frogs, and orangutans. All of those animals I would argue are indeed so ugly that they verge on cute. However, the book also lists hedgehogs and llamas which I do not think are ugly at all, but magnificently beautiful beasts. Aside from my disagreements on their qualifications of what makes an animal ugly, this book is fun.

If you just can't get enough about bugs, then you might wish to consider Stinky Bugs. I thought my boys would like this title and I was correct. Personally I find this book utterly grotesque because I think bugs are grotesque. Most especially slugs and cockroaches, both of which appear within the pages of this title. My boys think it is funny how adverse I am to even picking up this book, let alone opening it up to look at the pages of larger than life bugs. However, if you have a hesitant reader who fancies themselves a bug lover then you might be more willing to make the sacrifice than I am. Other bugs inside included: assassin bugs and stink bugs. To reiterate - all of these bugs are positively disgusting. (Seriously, I don't find the need to make horror films with blood and guts. Just make a movie about bugs. That's horrifying enough.)

Next up, dive into the world of Fantastic Frogs (which is ever so much more tolerable)! This particular title has about 3-4 paragraphs of information on each page, although the text is larger so it doesn't feel complete overwhelming. The page spreads are also busier with more photographs which I think is not unappealing although I imagine it could prove distracting for the young reader. Learn about frog bodies, what they like to eat, understand the life cycle and learn about the different types. For a young person curious to learn more about frogs, I'd recommend this one for the photographs alone.

Lastly, can you saw, 'aaaawwww!'? Be prepared to say it with Itty-Bitty Animals. Itty-bitty animals are just the type you'll find in this book. Behold the pygmy hedgehog (guess they can be cutely itty-bitty and ugly at the same time?), the pygmy owl, a fennec fox and Beyonce. (Click on the link. Trust me.)

Well, as I say, I'm not a fan of easy readers as a general rule but I didn't find these to be so bad. I definitely prefer the non-fiction and these titles are worth considering based on the interest level of the reader in question.

Many thanks to Scholastic Books who sent copies of these titles in order to facilitate this review. I received no additional compensation for this post and all  opinions are my own.


Cassandra said...

Awwwwwwwwwwww. That was one cute pup!!

Taia said...

If you do ever seek easy readers, we like P D Eastman, especially Fred and Ted.

Bluerose said...

I'm snickering at the BOB comment! We have those things at my house.

We've enjoyed several of the Scholastic Level 2 and 3 books recently. My two oldest recently fell in love with Poppleton. We'll have to see if our library has any of these non-fiction titles.

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