Kids love to solve mysteries, even if they come within a short spurt of a sentence. What Am I ? by Marie Rippel and Renee LaTulippe gives early readers just such page turning fun in their level 2, volume 1 book. These are the same folks that put out the "All About Spelling" program that some of you may be familiar with. They recently sent me a copy of two of their Readers, from their "All About Reading" program, for review. Even though my students are well past the “early reader” stage, I enjoyed perusing the pages of What Am I ? (which I will review first) and soaked in the beautiful, rich sketches that graced the pages.
As with most early readers, the words are short and mostly one syllable to begin. Weaving various stories that, in one way or another, ask the reader to deduce who is talking or what is being described, this particular book slowly progresses in its complexity. There is a delightful variety of stories and poems to hold a child’s interest with a gradual increase in difficulty, easing the reader from one syllable words written with only a few sentences per page, to small paragraphs sprinkled with greater word challenges.
I can see young readers really digging in and exploring these stories, delighting in playing detective, absorbing the lovely illustrations as they go. From cover to cover, this little gem imparts innocent fun that kids shall want to return to again and again. For those that are too young to read, the stories and poems will provide sweet little moments for mother and child to investigate together.
Here’s a short poem that I found particularly playful:
In My Backpack
A rock from the creek.
A sandwich from last week.
A secret map to find gold.
A cute pumpkin you can hold.
The wing of a bee.
Seeds I got for free.
A bike spoke that is bent.
But no...not even a cent.”
Some selections are longer, written in story form; others are brief like the poem above, ensuring that your child will probably ask to read more! This particular book is part of a new series of Readers to be released as a set in fall of 2010. However, What Am I? will be available to grace your collection on April 12th for $19.95. This hardcover, winsome book is one of those that will likely be saved to be explored, once again, with the grandkids. If that makes you feel rather old, then think of it as a worthwhile deposit for your child's hope-chest! Click here to obtain your copy anytime after April the 12th.