Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Small Readers: Carlos & Carmen Tio Time; The Wobby Wheels by Kirsten McDonald, illustrated by Erika Meza

Carlos and Carmen are twins and in this easy reader series they have a number of pleasant adventures and silly jokes.

In Tio Time the two are excitedly awaiting the arrival of their uncle, Alex. Together the three have an exciting morning of playing in the snow but the twins can't wait for the best part of the day - Tio Alex's mysterious, surprise Mexican recipe!

In The Wobbly Wheels Carmen and Carlos are ready to learn to ride their bikes - without training wheels! With Papa's encouragement and Mama standing by with the band-aids, they're soon speeding merrily down the sidewalk. But then Mama remembers there is someone else who needs to learn to ride a bike!

They are illustrated with cheerful digital illustrations showing a happy family with brown skin and rosy cheeks in a suburban neighborhood. The text is laid out in full paragraphs and includes dialogue and Spanish (there is a glossary at the end).

These are a higher reading level than most of the easy readers I buy - about 2nd grade or higher, with the bilingual aspect added as well. There are four titles so far in this series and they are expensive; $20 apiece in library bound editions (more titles are available in Spanish). The art is pleasant but not outstanding, the stories mildly humorous but not anything particularly earth-shaking. I will absolutely be purchasing these as soon as I have the budget. Why? Because they are the only easy readers I have found that feature a Hispanic family. Easy readers tend towards animals and inanimate objects anyways and Hispanic families are depressingly rare in children's books in general so when I find one that is cheerful and fun it goes on the list!

Verdict: You need this to fill out the diversity that's lacking in your easy reader section. They are great as fill-in easy readers - the titles kids need to plow through to get their comprehension and fluency levels up - and ABDO has great deals that will make it worth the extra money. Buy them.

Wobbly Wheels
ISBN: 9781624021442

Tio Time
ISBN: 9781624021435

Published 2016 by Magic Wagon/ABDO; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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