Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Cybils Easy Readers
I managed to get all four of the Cybils Easy Reader finalists at the same time, so I could force all the kids to look at them and directly compare to make their judgements. I have one kid who is actually a beginning reader, so I could see which books encouraged him to read and keep reading, and then the fifth and seventh graders picked which books held their interest despite being aimed younger.
This is a popular category around here; both my sons see no reason to stop reading books just because they can read harder stuff now. What were the options:
I Broke My Trunk! by Mo Willems. Last years Cybils had converted all of us the Elephant and Piggie fans; in fact N had gone back and checked out every single one, so we had read this one already. Its one of the few books N enjoys reading himself; he'll sound out the words. It lends itself easily to shared reading -- all the text is dialogue so he picks one character (usually Piggie) to vocalize. The older kids also enjoy them.
Aggie Gets Lost, Lori Ries. The illustrations distracted us a bit during this book; everyone found the trees a bit creepy. The words themselves were simple, although the story had drama and tension. N preferred to listen rather than actively read this book; his favorite bits were the post-skunk illustrations.
Dodsworth in Rome, Tim Egan. This was more popular among the older kids than with N, who was never quite sure how worried he should be about the duck. P found it enchanting and wants to get the rest now. I liked the mixture of steady format (picture on top, paragraphs below) with some challenging words.
Frog and Friends, Eve Bunting. Astonishingly, my main library system doesn't have this book -- I had to get it from the city. It's a pity, because the pictures and text charmed N; he liked the episodic chapters with the hippo reference linking the first and last stories. He wanted to hear it a few times before attempting to read himself, but was lured into helping during the repeating bits ("absolutely perfect" or "UP UP UP"). I liked the introduction of interesting words but in a supportive environment.
And now... the prizes! We had a very split panel this time. P voted for the Dodsworth. A and X voted for I Broke My Trunk. N and I settled on Frog and Friends.
And the Cybils committee says...: Mo Willems with I Broke My Trunk.