So, I discovered these last year and they have instantly, crazily successful at my library. Kids, and parents, have figured out to look for the yellow spine and I have made a list of all the titles we own, they get asked for that often.
There are so many reasons I love these, but the top three are: nonfiction for younger readers, amazing photographs, and text that is challenging but in a large font and enticing to read.
National Geographic Kids publishes easy readers at four levels, pre-reader, level 1, level 2, and level 3. This particular title by Laura Marsh, who has written the bulk of the Nat'l Geographic easy readers, is a level 2, aimed at children learning to read independently. It is 32 pages long, begins with a table of contents, and finishes with fun quiz questions and a simple picture glossary. The text is divided into "chapters" of a few pages each. Each spread has abundant photographs with captions, jokes (I thought these were kind of corny, but the kids LOVE them) and when needed simple maps and "tiger terms" or word definitions. Here's a sample of the simple text; "Tigers are full-grown when they leave their families. They are big, heavy cats, but they can climb trees and jump great distances."
Like all of National Geographic's publications, the photographs are clear and gorgeous. The book has an excellent layout, not too cluttered but with many points of interest. The pages alternate between simple paragraphs and more graphic layouts, like "Cool Cat Facts" that has pictures of tigers in pawprint outlines accompanied by a few simple sentences.
Verdict: I strongly recommend purchasing at least a few of these easy readers for your library. Ideally, you'll buy all of them! Start with the titles by Laura Marsh - a nice variety of subjects, concisely written, and appropriate for beginning readers at various levels. Tell your patrons to look for the yellow spines and happy reading!