Thursday, July 9, 2020

#road2reading Challenge - Chapter Book Summer series - Celebrating the Outside - 7.09.2020

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This summer I'll be sharing chapter books that are perfect for a range of readers.  
Stop by every Thursday and find a round up of books you'll want to use with your readers!

Today's books celebrate the outdoors!

Green Thumbs-Up! by Jenny Meyerhoff
The Friendship Garden series
written by Jenny Meyerhoff
illustrated by Éva Chatelain
This series celebrates working in a community garden and friendship!  The main character, Anna, has just moved to the city of Chicago and not only has to make new friends, but she is also looking to find a piece of outside that she used to have in her small town in the state of New York.  
In the first book, Anna's third grade teacher assigns groups of students to work together and work on a persuasive speech to present to the class.  Luckily, Anna is able to make friends with her group and convinces them to work on a community garden plot.  The problem is kids can't own a plot in this garden, they need an adult sponsor.  These kids are determined and won't stop until they convince everyone to have a green thumb!
Each book in the series focuses on other environmental and friendship concerns that are appropriate for children - raising chicks, rescuing honeybees, and facing your fears.
Each chapter has a few illustrations to help readers visualize characters and settings.  A plot that is easy to follow with problems that are familiar to young readers.

Jasmine Green Rescues by Helen Peters
Jasmine Green Rescues: A Piglet Called Truffle
written by Helen Peters
illustrated by Ellie Snowdon
Oh, this is such a sweet series, it's a must for all your young animal lovers!  Jasmine has the perfect set up for anyone who loves animals, she lives on a farm and her dad is the lead farmer at the house and her mom is a veterinarian.  Jasmine has decided to one day run an animal rescue, but she'll do it on her own farm where she'll also border animals.
In this first book, Jasmine has found a piglet runt that has a very small chance of survival.  Despite what the adults have told her to do, she sneaks the piglet home and nurses her to health.  Of course it's just a matter of time before her parents find out about the piglet, now named Truffle.  They agree to let her foster the pig for a time, but once Truffle gets too large, she's being sold.
I dare any person to read this book, whether an animal enthusiast or not, and not come away loving Truffle the piglet and Jasmine!
There was once illustrations with the piglet that had a small spider web with a spider in it that made me think it was a little cameo of another special pig story!
Coming in at just over 100 pages and illustrations on many pages, this series is perfect for a reader who is looking for something a little longer but can still use some visual supports.

The Infamous Ratsos Camp Out by Kara LaReau
The Infamous Ratsos: Camp Out
written by Kara LaReau
illustrated by Matt Myers
The Ratsos are heading to the great outdoors on a camping trip with the Big City Scouts.  Their father is coming along and their troup is being lead by Grandpa Ratso!  Of course things aren't as smooth as they had hoped - while some of the scouts are willing to listen to help and consult books and maps, other scouts think they already know what to do.  Louie and Ralphie learn that rushing off and doing things without the correct knowledge is not the best things to do when you're doing something for the first time.
There are quite a few characters in this story that make up the Big City Scouts troop.  I was having trouble remembering who was who until I got further into the story.  That could be confusing for young readers.  There was also name calling and using the name "nerd" as derogatory because the character was looking information up in a book.  Of course those characters are the ones that make out best in the end of the book, but it seemed a bit cliché.

Astrid and Apollo and the Starry Campout by V.T. Bidania
Astrid and Apollo and the Starry Campout
written by V.T. Bidania
illustrated by Dara Lashia Lee
I am so excited for this upcoming chapter book series!  Featuring Hmong twins, Astrid and Apollo, who in this first book are going on their very first camping trip.  Astrid is very nervous because her cousin Lily just returned from camping and had only bad things to day - mosquitos, smelly bathrooms, and bears - oh my, right!  Her twin brother, Apollo, is the opposite and can't wait to go.  Slowly, Astrid conquers each of her fears, including saving her family from some wild animals!
There is a name pronunciation guide at the beginning of the story.  I love when authors/publishers put it at the beginning of the story instead of the end.  Nothing like getting to the end to find the pronunciations to learn you've been saying something incorrectly the entire book.  The end of the book does have some additional information, like a glossary, info about the country of Laos, and a food guide (now I need recipes!).
This chapter book series will be perfect for readers of the Yasmin, Saadiq, and My Furry Foster Family series.  Coming in at under 100 pages, brightly colored illustrations, and a straight-forward story, this series is perfect for readers who are just starting to read chapter books.  There will be four books in the series, preorder them now - your readers will thank you!

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.

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