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of the Center for Children's Books

The Bulletin Dozen is a monthly theme-based list of titles available only on-line. Since we're awfully fond of bakers here at the Bulletin, we thought we'd adopt their philosophy of generosity and throw in an extra one or two when we have th em to offer--so don't expect an even dozen. Please feel free to copy, download, or link to these lists. We ask only that you cite the source. See the archive for lists from previous months.

No Sweat! Easy Reading for Summer selected by Janice Del Negro

Humor, non-fiction, mysteries, and family stories are included on this list of easy readers and beginning chapter books for kindergarteners to fourth graders. There should be something for everyone looking for some by-the-sea, by-the-pool, or by-the-play ground reading. Stay cool!

  • Bauer, Marion Dane. Bear's Hiccups. Holiday House, 1998.

    "Young mystery solvers will surmise long before Chapter Six that Frog is the cause of Bear's digestive disturbances. The engaging plot . . . . and the predominantly green and brown watercolor palette of the pond and its occupants provides plenty of visua l interest and comic relief for the reader in transition from picture books to chapter books." Gr. 1-2 (BCCB 6/98)

  • Brisson, Pat. Hot Fudge Hero. Holt, 1997.

    "Three short stories are divided into shorter chapterettes in this droll entry into the beginning reader genre. Bertie, the intrepid "Hot Fudge Hero" of the title, marches resolutely from adventure to adventure, winning bets, making friends, and eating i ce cream. Blumenthal's black-and-white cartoons have the same affectionate whimsy as the text." Gr. 2-4 (BCCB 6/97)

  • Cameron, Ann. More Stories Huey Tells. Foster/Farrar, 1997.

    "Huey returns in five new chapter-length adventures. . . . Huey's energetic involvement with life, whether it be the end of summer seeding-of-sunflowers or the age of the particles in the cosmos, is depicted with appreciation and understanding." Gr. 2-3 (BCCB 7/97)

  • Getz, David. Floating Home. Holt, 1997.

    "Getz. . . . does a fine job combining Everykids space fantasy with the realities of astronaut life, including the concrete specifics that rivet young readers. Rex's acrylic paintings have a cartoony appeal as the bright-eyed Maxine cheerfully takes on N ASA, the media, and outer space, all with the graceful aplomb of a very self-possessed grade schooler." Gr. K-3 (BCCB 5/97)

  • Greenfield, Eloise. Easter Parade. Hyperion, 1998.

    Leanna is delighted to discover that she and her family are part of the Easter Parade, "in which the whole African-American community, dressed to the nines, joins in a festive walk to church. . . . Small trim size and. . . . delicate layout further enhanc e the charm of this quiet and sensitively presented tale of Easters past." Gr. 2-4 (BCCB 6/98)

  • Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Marvelous Math: A Book of Poems. Simon, 1997.

    "In a dozen + 4 short poems culled from over forty years worth of collections, mathphobes and -philes get their moment in the spotlight. . . . These numerical musings and adventures are set in Barbour's candy-colored, quasi-tropical gouache dreamscape. . . . a boon to teachers attempting to integrate math across the curriculum." Gr. 2-5 (BCCB 9/97)

  • Jenkins, Martin. Fly Traps!: Plants That Bite Back. Candlewick, 1996.

    "What could be more delicious than a picture book of nature ingesting its own? In short order we're introduced to a variety of carnivorous plants--bladderworts, sundews, butterworts, Venus flytraps, cobra lilies, pitcher plants--all of which capture and consume their prey while looking rather fetching [in] cartoony ink and watercolor illustrations." Gr. 2-4 (BCCB 1/97)

  • Johnston, Tony. Sparky and Eddie: The First Day of School. Scholastic, 1997. "Next-door neighbors and inseparable companions, Sparky and Eddie enjoy a glorious summer and eagerly anticipate the first day of school--until they're assigned to different teachers." Gr. 1-3 (BCCB 11/97)

  • Karlin, Nurit. The Fat Cat Sat on the Mat. HarperCollins, 1996.

    "The fat cat sat on the mat--the rat's mat, to be exact, and the rat doesn't like it. The rat, a bat, and a hat all try to talk the cat out of sitting on the mat, but he's a stubborn feline and won't budge. . . . Karlin's watercolors have a James Marshal l feel and appeal to them, that, along with the rhyming text. . . . makes this a better-than-average easy reader." Gr. K-2 (BCCB 10/96)

  • Krensky, Stephen. Striking It Rich: The Story of the California Gold Rush. Simon, 1996.

    "Universal fascination with get-rich-quick schemes and Cinderella success stories makes the California Gold Rush an appealing topic for the chapter-book audience. . . . [Readers] will enjoy rough-and-ready details of moldy, bug-infested chow and frontier lawlessness, as well as DiVito's plentiful line-and-watercolor cartoons." Gr. 2-4 (BCCB 11/96)

  • Kvasnosky, Laura McGee. Zelda and Ivy. Candlewick, 1998.

    "Red foxes Zelda and Ivy are sisters, and Zelda, the oldest, is very good at leading Ivy into regrettable situations, with the best intentions, of course. This cheerily illustrated picture book is divided into three easily mastered title chapters that wi ll make beginning readers feel very grown-up." Gr. 1-3 (BCCB 4/98)

  • Martin, David. Five Little Piggies. Candlewick, 1998.

    "The five little piggies of the title are the five little piggies of toe-counting fame, and each small chapter in this cheery book is named after one of them. . . . Itty bitty piggy problems take the stage as one little piggy forgets what she's supposed t o buy Mama at the store, one little piggy turns into a picky eater. . . . and so on. Dialogue balloons and Meddaugh's illustrations go along way toward achieving a certain lightness of being." Gr. 1-2 (BCCB 5/98)

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    This page was last updated on July 1, 1998.