Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Small Readers: My toothbrush is missing by Jan Thomas

Jan Thomas' easy reader series, The Giggle Gang, continues with this hilarious book. The first spread shows a mysterious paw reaching for a red toothbrush labeled "dog". The next page includes the title, My Toothbrush is Missing! in a speech balloon. The story begins with Dog, who is missing her toothbrush, and Donkey, Sheep, and Duck, who are worried but unhelpful. Dog tries describing her toothbrush and Donkey helpfully shows up with various options... but, as Dog exclaims after each try "that is not my toothbrush!" Sheep is increasingly exasperated as she identifies an egg beater, broom, and other items. Duck just can't believe her eyes! Finally, Donkey gives up and gets back to scrubbing her hooves... with Dog's toothbrush???

Thomas' bright colors and cartoonish illustrations have long been a favorite of the toddler and preschool set; I've also regularly recommended her books to beginning readers. Now that publishers have caught on, both old and new titles are being published in easy reader format to great acclaim. This funny story includes bold text that is easy to read, carefully arranged speech balloons and illustrations that make the story easy to follow, and her trademark surprise twist at the end of the story.

Verdict: I've been using these titles in book clubs, to recommend to emerging readers, and to read-aloud for years - each new addition is just as popular as the last. While they don't have the character recognition of Elephant and Piggie, they're a fun staple in any easy reader collection.

ISBN: 9780544966352; Published 2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Purchased for the library

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