Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Small Readers: Brave Fire Truck by Melinda Melton Crow, illustrated by Chad Thompson

I haven't looked at Stone Arch readers before. Their beginning chapter books, including the Jake Maddox sports books and DC superhero books, have been really popular, although the paperbacks are often flimsy and the only alternative is expensive library bound editions.

I liked the opening note to parents and caregivers, which suggested ways to read together and said "reading with your child should be fun, not forced."

This is part of a series, each one featuring a different vehicle. The book shows each vehicle in their garage; School Bus in a school room, Tractor in a barn, etc. But, "Where is Fire Truck?" He's at work, putting out a fire. He returns home to the acclaim of his friends.

The digital art is bold and colorful. The text is brief and simple; there are 89 words (noted in the back), and the font is larger than a normal chapter book, but smaller than I would expect for a very beginning easy reader. It can be hard to pick out with the colorful pages, which don't include any white space.

Verdict: The simple, bold cartoons and text would make this a good choice for the very youngest of beginning readers. However, I found the font too small for the age group. While this might make a good additional purchase, the limited choice - paperback or expensive library binding (and I found the binding to cut too far into the spreads) moves this off my order list.

ISBN: 9781434230294; Published 2011 by Stone Arch/Capstone; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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