Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Small Readers: Ten Eggs in a Nest by Marilyn Sadler, illustrated by Michael Fleming

Marilyn Sadler, a prolific author of humorous picture books and easy readers, adds a silly counting book to the well-known Bright and Early Books for Beginning Readers imprint.

Gwen, the red hen, is excited about her first clutch of eggs, but not as excited as the little rooster, Red. He's busy taking care of Gwen when the first egg hatches. Overjoyed, Red rushes off to buy a worm for his new chick. But when he gets back with ONE worm, there are TWO more chicks! Red rushes frantically back and forth, trying to keep up with counting chicks, worms, and coins until all ten eggs have hatched, there is a worm for each, and a kiss from Gwen for the sweet little rooster.

Fleming's art has a vibrant, retro flare with bold colors and lines. The backgrounds are neutral colors, emphasizing the text and colorful characters.

The text is a large font, very friendly to young children beginning to read. The text is a step above the very beginning books, which normally have only a handful of words per page, and includes longer words like "beautiful," "surprise," and "hurried." The sentences are brief and simple, with the numbers emphasized in all caps. The simple exercises in addition flow naturally through the text, although some children may be distracted by trying to count and read at the same time.

Verdict: This is an excellent choice for children who are ready to move up a step from the absolute beginner books. The lightly humorous story and child-friendly art are appealing and the math adds a unique aspect to the story. Recommended.

ISBN: 9780449810828; Published 2014 by Beginner Books/Random House; Purchased for the library

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