My daughter is so proud when she reads the Learn to Read CVC Words Storybook! CVC Words Storybook by Crystal Radke (Rockbridge Press, 2022) helps her build confidence, and while I find the stories a bit simplistic, it nicely matches her interest and abilities. She’s in first grade, and when we first started with this

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Detective Gordon: The First Case by Ulf Nilsson is part a mystery story but also part a story of friendship in a friendly forest. Detective Gordon, a toad, is the only officer in the forest, and he sits alone at his desk. When a hungry and lonely forest mouse is caught stealing nuts from squirrel’s winter

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The Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron (originally published 1987) is a clever early chapter book about a boy and his younger brother, along with the crazy stories Julian makes up to explain the world around him. When seven-year-old Julian does not know the answer to his three-year-old brother Huey’s questions, he makes up stories! For example, he tells his

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Sometimes we underestimate the attention span of our youngest children. When I saw the first Bird and Squirrel book, I thought of my 7-year-old son, someone who loves reading but may need a nudge to get interested in a new series or even genre. He has not had much experience with graphic novels, so I thought

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Two years ago, I wrote about how much I enjoyed the first of the Precious Ramotswe Mysteries, a new series by Alexander McCall-Smith sharing the childhood mysteries featuring Precious Ramotswe, the future Ladies’ Detective. I enjoyed the second and third in the series as well. Simple mysteries give the young children reading a chance to feel

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My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannet (published 1948) won the Newbery Honor upon publication. It is an adventure story about a child and geared for a child. In this story, a child named Elmer Elevator (called “my father” throughout the book) befriends an alley cat, who tells him of a captured dragon forced to

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When I saw The Thirteen Clocks by James Thurber (originally published 1950; republished New York Review of Books) had an introduction by Neil Gaiman and was a part of The New York Review Children’s Collection, I was intrigued. The Thirteen Clocks is a short and bizarre fairy tale. Or fantasty story. Neil Gaiman describes it as

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My Name is Maria Isabel by Alma Flor Ada (originally published 1993) is a thought-provoking story about a shy Hispanic girl growing up in the USA who finds herself in a new school. When her teacher decides to call her “Mary” instead of Maria Isabel, she misses opportunities and gets in trouble for not paying attention. In this

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