In 1957 HarperCollins published the first book in their I Can Read series. It was Little Bear written by Else Holmelund and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Now, over 55 years later, the series is flourishing and expanding with an ever growing cast of favorite characters for young readers, Fancy Nancy, Splat the Cat, Pinkalicious, and Flat Stanley, to name just a few.
|Clark the Shark: Tooth Trouble|
by Bruce Hale and Guy Francis
Clark the Shark: Tooth Trouble is written by Bruce Hale and illustrated by Guy Francis. This Level 1 book is written by the author of the original Clark the Shark books. In this story Clark has a loose tooth as the result of being hit in the mouth with a soccer ball. He is scared to visit the dentist after talking to one of his ocean friends. Once Clark meets Dr. Pia, the dentist, and hears her funny jokes his nerves are calmed. The short rhyme Clark shares, “I didn’t shed a tear, ‘cause there was nothing to fear” may help young reader’s fears be eased whether the fear is of a dentist or another frightening situation.
|Flat Stanley and the Very Big Cookie|
by Lori Haskins Houran and Macky Pamintuan
Flat Stanley and the Very Big Cookie by Lori Haskins Houran and illustrated by Macky Pamintuan is based on the “Flat Stanley” series created by Jeff Brown. Stanley Lambchop is a boy who is only half an inch thick. He was flattened when a bulletin board fell on him. He doesn’t let his condition affect his life, in fact he uses his uniqueness to help others. In this I Can Read – Level 2 book, Stanley inspires a new phenomenon for the local baker at Pete’s Sweets. Fans of Flat Stanley will enjoy this new story and will definitely want to partake of one of Pete’s new sweet treats. This engaging story is a wonderful addition to the tradition of the I Can Read series.
|Pinkalicious: Cherry Blossom|
by Victoria Kann
Pinkalicious: Cherry Blossom by Victoria Kann is a level 1 Beginning Reading book in the I Can Read series based on the very popular character, Pinkalicious. In this story the title character is excited for the start of spring and the local Cherry Blossom Festival, “the pinkest day of the year”. While attempting to fly a kite, Pinkalicious is magically transported to Japan for a traditional Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival where she enjoys a parade, drums, dancers, and a tasty strawberry mocha. The magic of being transported to Japan might be a bit confusing to young readers. If the cover illustration is discussed prior to reading, there will be a better connection made, especially if there is research conducted about Cherry Blossoms.
|Splat the Cat and the Hotshot|
by Laura Driscoll and Robert Eberz
Splat the Cat and the Hotshot is written by Laura Driscoll, illustrated by Robert Eberz, and based on the bestselling books written by Rob Scotton. Splat the Cat is presented in this Level 1 I Can Read! book as a Cat Scout. He feels inferior to a new member of his troop, but soon discovers to be a true hotshot one has to be prepared for anything. Splat the Cat is a wonderful addition to the I Can Read series because he is such a popular character. By putting Splat in a troop of scouts, young readers can get an insight into activities they might participate in if they were to become a Boy or Girl Scout.
|Fancy Nancy: Peanut Butter and Jellyfish|
by Jane O'Connor and Ted Enik
Fancy Nancy: Peanut Butter and Jellyfish by Jane O’Connor and illustrated by Ted Enik is a Level 1 I Can Read! title. Fancy Nancy and her classmates are visiting the aquarium. Like all of the Fancy Nancy books, fancy words are presented throughout (detest, diorama, revolting, spectacular, and transparent). At the end of the book there is a glossary defining each of the fancy words for the young readers. O’Connor has been expanding children’s vocabulary since she first introduced Fancy Nancy in 2005. This book is a great way to celebrate Fancy Nancy’s 10th Anniversary.
|Charlie the Ranch Dog: Stuck in the Mud|
by Ree Drummond and Diane de Groat
Charlie the Ranch Dog: Stuck in the Mud based on the Charlie the Ranch Dog books written by Ree Drummond, and illustrated by Diane de Groat. In this Beginning Reading (Level 1) story Charlie’s enthusiasm for his job of herding cattle. When a calf wanders off, Charlie tries to redirect her to the herd, but gets stuck. He does not panic. He tries a variety of means in order to get help and free himself and the calf. This is a great title to share with children who are beginning readers and love animals, especially dogs.
**To comply with guidelines set forth by the Federal Trade Commission, HarperCollins Publishing Company has provided a complimentary copy of the above mentioned titles for review purposes. My review is in no way influenced by the authors or publishing company and is solely my opinion.