Review: Pizza Party!

“It cooks./We look.//We read a book.//It’s done./What fun!” p.22-24

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Pizza Party by Grace Maccarone, illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully.
Cartwheel Books Imprint, Scholastic, New York, 1994, my reprint edition 2003.
Rhyming realistic fiction, 30 pages.
Lexile:  BR (What does BR mean in Lexile?)
AR Level:  0.5 (worth 0.5 points)

Five people gather for a pizza party and work together to make, then eat a pizza in this diverse early reader for children who have just mastered the basic sight words.  This is the third book of my thrift store finds.

Pizza Party cover

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Review: Best Friends in the Snow

Angela Shelf Medearis and new-to-me illustrator Ken Wilson-Max team up for an early reader about playing in the snow.

Best Friends in the Snow by Angela Shelf Medearis, illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max.
Cartwheel books imprint, Scholastic, New York, 1999 (my edition is a 2003 reprint).
Seasonal realistic fiction, 22 pages + literacy activities.
Lexile: 60L
AR Level: 1.1 (worth 0.5 points)
NOTE: Although I’m not reviewing it on Fiction Friday, this is a fiction book.

Two best friends, a white boy and a black girl, engage in fun wintertime activities in this simple early reader text.

best-friends-in-the-snow-cover-cropped-resized
Best Friends in the Snow by Angela Shelf Medearis, illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max.

Angela Shelf Medearis is the author – you probably don’t even need me to review it to know that it’s great.  Both the author and illustrator are #ownvoices.

This book is just made to delight preschoolers.  The words are simple, with no more than two sentences per page and often less.  The first page has the longest text of the entire book.  Ken Wilson-Max was new to me, although his style felt familiar.

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Review: We Can!

The earliest readers need diverse books too! Here’s one appropriate for the beginning reader.

We Can! (also titled If You Can, I Can) by Gay Su Pinnell, illustrated by Barbara Duke.
Scholastic, New York, 2002.
Realistic fiction, 9 pages.
Lexile: BR  (What does BR mean in Lexile?)
AR: not leveled
NOTE: Intended for the earliest beginning readers, a later edition is titled If You Can, I Can.

We Can is the sweet story of two non-white brothers, told in extremely simple words with pictures carrying most of the story, for the earliest of pre-readers and beginning readers.

we-can-cover-cropped-resized
We Can! by Gay Su Pinnell, Illustrated by Barbara Duke.

I was delighted to find a nice selection of early readers at a local thrift store.  It is incredibly difficult to find a good batch of books at this level in general, let alone culturally appropriate and diverse books, so I quickly sorted through the stack to find any that had diverse characters.  At a dollar each, this particular store was a little expensive for pre-readers (most places sell used ones for 50 cents down even as low as 10 cents, especially for used books which have writing and highlighting in them as some of these did), so I wanted to only select those that I might not find elsewhere.

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