All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools
that you may use with readers
at the start of their independent reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.
I am jumping for joy! I had heard this rumor but didn't know much about it.... But now I can report it's all true! Scholastic has a new series of books publishing this spring that specifically targets the 4-7yo range and will follow the format of their Branches books! Whoo hoo!! This series is called "Acorn".
I have long praised the Branches series. They are so appealing to readers that fall in the guided reading levels L-P. Branches typically reaches readers that are high first graders to striving fifth graders. I love that so many of them feature full color layouts and they all have inviting illustrations. Fun topics and characters that appeal to readers keep these books in high demand. They are all series and they cover many genres and even span into the graphic novel format.
Now that I've seen the start of the Acorn collection, I can tell you these books are going to be so popular with readers. Yes, they will appeal to the intended audience of ages 4-7. But they are also going to appeal to readers older than that who are looking for chapter books that they can read by themselves. Scholastic says the Acorn series will fall in guided reading levels E-K, which will appeal to my second grade intervention students. They will love these short chapters, each an episodic story, that usually include a humorous story with endearing characters (yes, even a Crab grows on you!). Each book has three chapters with the books lasting between 48-64 pages.
I've read the first four books in 4 out of the 6 series. I loved all of them. We've met Dav Pilkey's Dragon character before and we know he is such a sweet character. The "Hello, Hedgehog!" series, written by Norm Feuti, introduces us to Hedgehog and his friend, Harry. They are good friends who may be opposites but compliment each other in every way. In the "Unicorn and Yeti" series, by author Heather Ayris Burnell, we meet another set of opposite characters who are sparkly, magical and fun! And my favorite, because everything Jonathan Fenske does is fun, is "Hello, Crabby!". As always, his characters stay true to themselves and hilarity will ensue. I love seeing some old favorite characters pop up in this series.
Many of the stories are told through speech bubbles, similar to what graphic novels look like. Something the series does is color code the speech bubbles. For example, all of Unicorn's speech bubbles are orange and Yeti's are purple. This is a good visual way for young readers to be able to track who is doing the talking.
Two more series will be coming as well - "Princess Truly" and "Mister Shivers". The last one sounds perfectly creepy - I know a lot of kids who will line up for that!
The first four books in the series shown below will be publishing in May 2019. A few follow ups will publish over the summer and then all of the series will get books 1-3 in the Fall of 2019. Make sure you have these books marked down for your readers. I'm so excited for the possibilities of these books!