Thursday, August 22, 2013

You can read "I Can Read!" books!

I mean, we never were in doubt that you could, but with our complete restock of these great stories, now you can go literarily crazy!  This series of books from HarperCollins is known as the series to go
to for young readers;  all of their books are sectioned off by reading levels to make it easy for parents to know which book is best for their budding bookworm.

Our only complaint about these books is that there are just too many to pick from!  They're all great in their own ways, and trying to get the right mix of classic books and newer stories is tougher than you think.  We hope you'll enjoy what we selected, and to give you an idea what you could be reading right now, here's some titles that we'd like to highlight for you (without giving away the whole story, of course).

Pete the Cat: Pete at the Beach
Pete the Cat is a rather new series of books out there whose aim to teach kids that no matter what, "It's all good" at the end of the day.  Which is a lesson that all of us needs to be reminded of from time to time!  Take the relaxed and optimistic approach to life's little setbacks, and learn to overcome them to enjoy it all.  It's all about getting back on your surfboard and riding the waves, as Pete finds out.  If you're really anti-beach, there are many other Pete the Cat titles to check out as well.

Biscuit Finds a Friend
Who doesn't want to be friends with Biscuit?  He's well-mannered, wears his collar with class, and unlike nearly every other dog in every other dog book out there, doesn't meet an untimely end.  The Biscuit books are fantastic for toddlers and pre-schoolers because so much of the writing is done in Biscuit's own voice.  And Biscuit is a dog, so there's a whole lot of 'woofs' in this story.  And wait til you hear what his new friend says.  It'll 'quack' you up!!!

My Little Pony: A Secret Gift
No, they can't knit, even though it would be an interesting gift to have and something a bit unprecedented in the equine world.  This book is all about the pony friends coming together to do something nice for their friend's birthday to let her know how much they value her.  It isn't about the amount of money you spend; it's about the time spent caring for someone and sharing your memories together for the rest of your lives.  Awwwwwww!

Stuart Little: Stuart at the Library
Lots of little going on in the Beginning Level #1 section.  But little do you know how much drama is in this story!  Stuart loves to read, but is scared of owls.  Owls hang out in libraries.  Once Stuart moves past this dilemma, another arises when he finds out that THE OWL CAN'T READ.  What will happen now that the owl's secret is out?  Will Stuart help him learn to read, or be turned into owl pellets?  You'll have to read this one to find out, but in case you're losing sleep over this, I will say that there have been more Stuart Little books out since this one so that should give you a pretty good idea as to the ending.

No Fighting, No Biting!
Now here's a truly timeless tale.  As you can probably deduce from the title, proper manners and behavior are what are taught in this book.  When siblings act up, what's an aunt to do but tell them stories of sibling alligators who also bicker and bite and how that's not the way to go about things.  Written by the author of the Little Bear series, and illustrated by Maurice Sendak, if you have more than one child, this book is an investment worth investing in.  Storytelling at its most powerful/finest!

Calling Doctor Amelia Bedelia
Oh Amelia Bedelia, you really do take things literally!  In a world where that word is used far too often and usually incorrectly, this book is a must read.  It's also great for readers whose first language isn't English to teach them common phrases that don't always translate to what you think they might mean.  And really, giving Miss Bedelia a job in a hospital was never going to be anything but funny (nothing tragic happens, promise!).

The Drinking Gourd
There's a noticeable different from Level 2 to Level 3 books, not only in actual grammar and vocabulary, but also in story.  The themes are much more serious and thought provoking.  The Drinking Gourd is a classic story of slavery and the fight to abolish it.  It forces the reader to question what society says is right vs. what they believe to be right.  The young boy at the center of this story follows his heart and puts his own life at risk to give an enslaved family the right to human rights and recognizes that the law stating that they aren't people but property is wrong.  Don't be afraid of the heavier theme.  It's a difficult yet necessary story to tell, and this book does it beautifully and in a way that encourages the reader to consider their own views on the world and humanity.

The Josefina Story Quilt
What happens when you're forced to decide?  That's the big question that begins this story of a pioneering family traveling west.  Every decision plays a huge role in their fate, and ultimately their valuing of friendship (yes, with a chicken) and caring for others keeps them safe and sound.  And in the end, it's the stories they are a part of and the memories they choose to cherish that become a part of their figurative and actual quilt.  Warning: the loss of a pet is dealt with in this story, but it's about appreciating them when they were alive that makes up the heart of this story.

Sooooo, why are you still reading this?  Go read a proper book :)

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