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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I Can Read Fiction and Nonfiction

There are certain books that our kids just can't read enough.  Often, these books are related to something they are strongly interested in, such as construction vehicles, farms, or princesses.  I love when other books catch their interest and become a favorite though!  Zonderkidz sent us some I Can Read books a while back.  I've been amazed at how quickly my four year old has been drawn into these stories and repeated asks for them (and takes them to her room for days at a time).
Troo's Big Climb (I Can Read! / Rainforest Friends)Troo's Secret Clubhouse (I Can Read! / Rainforest Friends)Troo Makes a Splash (I Can Read! / Rainforest Friends)
The Rainforest Friends is a new series that features some animals in the rainforest written by Cheryl Crouch and illustrated by Kevin Zimmer.  We really like the main character, Troo, and his friends in these high interest leve 2 readers.  Mistakes are made, and lessons learned.  The animals are likable, but have the same problems that many children do.  Both of my children love these books.  I like them because of their unique location (the rainforest) and animals (tree kangaroos, water rat, and cuscus), and basic lessons.  Though published by a Christian publisher, I do want to say that other than a Bible verse on the copyright   page (appropriate to the story's theme), the God-focus is minimal, though the themes are biblical.  The final page of each book explains what each character's animal is.  Not only that, each book features at least one plant, insect, or animal in the book (often through an illustration), and then on the last page it tells just a bit more about it in a sentence or two.
  • In Troo's Big Climb, Troo, a tree kangaroo learns the hard why obedience is so important.  His safety is in danger when he climbs the biggest tree in the forest.
  • Troo's Secret Clubhouse is the story of Troo learning that just because he is older than his sister, it doesn't mean that they cannot have fun together.  
  •  Selfishness is the theme of Troo's Big Splash when he is desperate to go swimming and doesn't think of the consequences to other creatures when he makes a dam.  
The Prodigal Son (I Can Read! / Bible Stories)Jesus Raises Lazarus (I Can Read! / Bible Stories)Joshua Crosses the Jordan (I Can Read! / Bible Stories)Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand (I Can Read! / Bible Stories)
Zonderkidz also has some Bible stories in the I Can Read series.  These are written for beginner readers (level 1), though they still remain to bring these Bible stories to life.  Written by Crystal Bowman and illustrated by Valerie Sokolova, these stories tell the different stories from the Bible.  I like the accuracy and drawings, despite that most (all?) of the people are represented as Caucasians (which I don't think is accurate).  We were sent four titles.  The Prodigal Son, Jesus Raises Lazarus, Joshua Crosses the Jordon, and Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand.  We like them all.  My daughter's hands-down favorite is Jesus Raises Lazarus.  I suspect that she is amazed at the miracle and relates to the sadness that Jesus feels when Lazarus is dead.  The language is simple, and the stories explained well.  

We appreciate all of these books that were sent to us for review from Zonderkidz.  I will definitely be looking for more titles in the I Can Read series!   


Christy said...

These books sound great! I'll have to look for them.

Miller Moments said...

How fun! My son is just now reading at about the I can read level, so we'll definitely be looking for these.

Shonda said...

These look great!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I love books like that!

Carrie said...

Oh, the Rainforest Friends look so cute! I think those would be a huge hit in our house.

I noticed the Bible story readers the other day at the book store and thought they looked new. At least, I didn't recollect seeing them before. Nice to hear your take on them. We were just talking about Lazarus the other day. Definitely something fascinating about that story! =)

BTW, I answered your question today in my blog post. (Sorry I forgot to answer it IN the post!)

Everyday Mom Ideas said...

I've been wanting to get some I Can Read Books. I have a five year old and a six year old starting to read and need more material for them to practice with.

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